Archive for category Sustainable Design

Low Carbon House Design Methodology

Stepwise procedure for designing the low carbon house

Step One

Identifying nationally recognized methods for assessing the environmental performance of new buildings in the UK.

Most widely used methods include Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) 2006 and British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). Other methods include Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB) Silver and Gold and PassivHaus.

Policies for Sustainable Development in Brighton and Hove

The City Plan Policy CP8 for Sustainable Buildings supported by Supplementary Planning Documents, SPD 08 – Sustainable Building Design is expected to deliver viable development that considers community aspirations, environmentally sensitive, high quality, adequate infrastructure and helps in mitigating the impacts of climate change by gradually transitioning towards achieving a low carbon economy (NPPF, 2012).

National Planning Policy Framework, 2012 expects the local plan policy to play an active role in guiding the development that is viable and sustainable. The principles of One Planet approach have been adopted by the Brighton & Hove City Council which aims at radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy consumption before the construction and after it is built. Mitigating the impacts of climate change is an important aspect of delivering Sustainable development (Low Carbon Construction, 2010).

Her Majesty’s Government proposed Climate Change Act in 2008 which was the world’s first long-term legally binding framework to tackle the dangers of climate change. It include a statutory commitment to reducing the carbon dioxide emissions by 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

Step two

One Planet living principles

It provides a framework that helps us examine and evaluate the sustainability challenges that we face and develop action plans in order to create a sustainable and healthy environment.

Sustainable design principles

One Planet Living. Source: bioregional.co.uk

The ten principles are as follows:

  • Zero Carbon
  • Zero waste
  • Sustainable transport
  • Sustainable materials
  • Local and sustainable food
  • Sustainable water
  • Land use and wildlife
  • Culture and community
  • Equity and local economy
  • Health and happiness


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Energy Efficient Structures | Principles of Green Building Architecture

Energy Efficiency | Green Building Architecture

Energy Efficiency is one of the key principles of Green Architecture. Energy Efficient Structures can be described as the structures that involve the use of less energy intensive materials required for the construction. The utilization of energy resources by the users of the building also determines the Energy Efficient of the Built Structure.

In our previous articles regarding “Principles of Green Architecture”, we have listed seven important principles of Green Architecture. They are as follows:

  1. Site and its surroundings
  2. Energy Efficiency
  3. Water Efficiency
  4. Material Efficiency
  5. Indoor Air Quality
  6. Waste Reduction
  7. Low maintenance costs
Flowchart - Energy Efficient Structures

Flowchart – Energy Efficient Structures

The first step towards designing an energy efficient structure is designing the structure in a way that it justifies the principles of Bio-climatic Architecture.

Bio-climatic Architecture is a simple theory of the design of buildings depending on various factors such as:

  • Location of the Site
  • Micro-climate of the place
  • Macro-climate of the place
  • Topography of the site
  • Natural elements present on the site
  • These factors are analysed and then taken into consideration while designing.


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Waste House Construction, Brighton, UK

Case study of Waste House in Brighton | Grand Parade Campus

Waste House is being constructed in the Grand Parade Campus of University of Brighton. Brighton is town in the southeast of England, UK. Duncan Baker Brown and Cat Fletcher are leads in the project. It is a challenging project. This house is going to be used as a studio for postgraduate design students. It will be open to public for viewing. The aim of the project is to demonstrate how waste can be efficiently used for the construction purposes without having to compromise on the quality.

Waste house | Brighton

Waste house | Brighton.  Source: theargus.co.uk

Materials selected for the Waste House Project

Roof – solar roof (Solar PV tiles have been used on the roof.)

Sky harvester – Natural light source

Rainwater harvesting

Timber from local sustainer sources

Second hand timber

Since it is second hand timber and that its strength cannot be determined, the structural engineer assumes that the timber is of the weakest type and compensates in the design accordingly.

Walls

Lightweight prefabricated panels = lots of insulation

Reuse waste materials such as Hemp, glass, earth, tins, straw, carpet tiles

Heavy weight prefabricated panels = lots of heat storage

Chalk wall – 10 tonnes of chalk used + 10% clay

(Although only 100% chalk would mean better wall strength)


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Google Acquiring Smart Home Energy Management company Nest Labs for $3.2 Billion

Internet giant Google is acquiring smart home and connected devices company Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. Nest Labs is best known for designing modern connected thermostats and smoke detector systems. Nest Learning Thermostat launched in 2011 is an automated HVAC controller which learns your habits and helps you save energy. Nest Protect is an internet-connected smoke and carbon monoxide detector which can me remotely monitored.

Google is ready to enter the young and fragmented active sustainable systemshome automation and green tech industry, and leverage its global platform reach to take it by the storm. Google had hinted about its plans for its own home  connected platform Android @Home.

Nest Thermostat | Google

Nest Thermostat | Google

The agreement is currently pending government regulatory approval, which wouldn’t really be a hurdle for Google at this point.


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