ARCHITECTURE - BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Responsible Building Designers
SRD Home . or
click the SRD logo
for a full site tour!
Evidence abounds that population growth and associated development are radically affecting the ecological balance of our planet. Buildings contribute substantially to the depletion of our planet's resources and the reduction of quality of our environment. For example, the largest proportion of the total greenhouse gas emissions arising from fossil fuel combustion in Australia are attributable to energy consumption for manufacture of building materials plus the heating and cooling in buildings. (Refer State of the Environment [SOE] report 2001 www.environment.gov.au/soe/2001/publications/theme-reports/settlements/summary.html#Energy at Environment Australia or numerous other current reports )
Architecture is well placed to influence the built environment through applications of energy efficient and responsible design principles. By combining efforts with the construction industry, urban and landscape planners, and related research communities, opportunities exist to develop and harness processes and materials which will significantly reduce our impact on the environment.
Practical strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions include comparing materials and components, construction systems and products, energy/water saving features and devices, and includes industry strategies applicable to various building life cycle phases.
Whilst the larger issues of pollution and energy consumption of industry and agribusiness are more challenging to address, simple actions in our homes can assist with reduced energy consumption, such as installing pelmets to windows over heavy curtains, draft excluders to external doors, insulation in the roof space, and use of energy and water saving devices are a good start to changing our resources consumption habits plus systematically update and revise current best green practice.
Passive Design Strategies
Passive design is about taking advantage of natural energy flows to maintain thermal comfort. This can be placement of the building to harness the sun's warmth in winter and catching the cooling breezes during summer, sheltering it from driven rain and buffeting winds. It is also about using the appropriate building materials for the location and landscaping. http://www.climatechange.gov.au/climate-change/adapting-climate-change/climate-adaptation-outlook
Life Cycle Strategies
Every product goes through a series of stages, know as its life cycle. These stages generally include material extraction, manufacture of product, packaging and distribution, product use, and disposal of the product. By designing for adaptability and extended use, disassembly, recyclability, and standardisation of components, designers can minimise impact on the built environment.
Ecologically Sustainable Development http://www.environment.gov.au/node/13029
Environmental Impact and Whole of Life Cost http://projects.bre.co.uk/condiv/tool/default.html
Selection of materials used in the design of buildings can make a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emission by choosing environmentally preferable products. EcoSpecifier is a database set up to help architects, designers, builders and specifiers shortcut the materials sourcing process. Ecospecifier is a joint initiative of the Centre for Design at RMIT, EcoRecycle Victoria and the Society for Responsible Design. www.ecospecifier.com.au
USA reference : A developing resource with case histories, links and materials catalogue. www.greenbuildingpages.com/main.html
Further topics include: Technological Strategies, Renewable Energy/Co-generation, Energy smart appliances, Lighting technologies, Water technologies of conservation and reuse, Integrated Heating/Cooling Systems. (Links to follow soon)
Assessing green design
Materials assessment: CSIRO Built Environment http://www.dbce.csiro.au
Life Cycle Assessment. See web & The Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society www.alcas.asn.au
Latest Awards for Sustainable Construction www.holcimfoundation.org/Awards
Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) on sustainability www.architecture.com.au/architecture/national/sustainability
AIA Sustainable Design Strategies www.architecture.com.au/docs/default-source/edg/sustainable-design-strategies-for-architects.pdf?sfvrsn=0
Energy modelling tools from the Rocky Mountain Institute www.rmi.org/ModelingTools
Thanks to Ingrid Pearson and Josephine Vaughan for their original contributions for above and later editors, researchers, assistants for the balance.(06dec10)
Rating schemes: INTERNATIONAL
BRE UK Environmental assessment of buildings http://projects.bre.co.uk/default.htm#anchor-23240,
LEED USA : Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19
Rating schemes: AUSTRALIAN
AccuRate (software) :: The use of simulation software to rate residential buildings in Australia began in the early 1990s with the the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) - a joint Federal, State and Territory Government initiative. A CSIRO team, led by now retired researcher, Dr Angelo Delsante, was asked to develop software that could calculate annual totals of hourly heating and cooling energy requirements for residential buildings. AccuRate is the second generation of residential energy rating software for Australia from CSIRO, and overcomes many limitations of previous software. www.csiro.au/science/AccuRate.html
BASIX for the state of NSW, ensures new homes are designed and built to use less potable water and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. An online tool where users select from a range of options in order to meet the energy and water reduction targets for residential dwellings, villas, townhouses and low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise developments. www.basix.nsw.gov.au/information/about.jsp
SEDA Green Building Rating Scheme http://www.abgr.com.au/
Building Commission, Victoria : Building Energy Measures. Proposed energy-efficiency measures for commercial and public buildings are expected to be introduced into the Building Code of Australia (BCA) 2006, from 1 May 2006. see www.buildingcommission.com.au/www/default.asp?casid=2776 and Download the Fact Sheet
Tilted, zero energy house. In a continued effort to produce ecologically conscious structures, the research center on zero emission buildings and design office Snohetta developed this pilot house. The dwelling also serves as a platform for assisting knowledge of 'plus houses', which produce more energy than they use. via designboom web :: Norway / Global relevance.
The coolest buildings arenít green | Bryn Davidson | TEDx talk Consider the location along with the before and after aspects of your building design to better reflect and reduce greenhouse gas emissions impact. web :: Vancouver, Canada with Global relevance. Nov 2014
Illawarra Flame retrofit wins, Internationally! Transforming a 'fibro' into a sustainable 21st C net-zero energy home. With aims to to inspire Australian homeowners and the local and national building industry, and to accelerate the development and adoption of advanced building energy technology in new and existing homes. This is a great start web :: Wollongong, Australia 2013
Recent Green Awards and Articles ::
Australian green building Finalists for 2012 BPN Sustainability Awards www.bpn.com.au/bpn-sustainability-awards/past-awards pics and articles at BPN
Several great examples in architecture and design for the built environment here www.bpn.com.au/bpn-sustainability-awards/past-awards pics and articles.
ARTICLES / SUSTAINABILITY Latest products, people, projects and news on sustainable design and architecture practice ... www.indesignlive.com/articles/sustainability
Fires again. Time for an overdue rethink on building standards ...
With forest fires regularly threatening many homes around Los Angeles, and larger areas experiencing longer droughts, alternative models for housing are looking to be better alternatives. Professors Don and Ann Cottrell for thirty years have lived in the earth-integrated, zero-energy house that they designed and built into a hillside near San Diego State University. Inspired by ... 2009 Source story Metropolis Really Integrated Design By Julia Galef http://www.metropolismag.com/pov/20090914/really-integrated-design : USA
More good links
:: DESIGN TECHNICAL MANUAL : Australian guide to environmentally sustainable homes : www.yourhome.gov.au/technical/index.html
:: YOUR BUILDING : A portal to advice on greening the performance of commercial property for building investors, designers, managers and occupants plus ideas and 'know how'. www.yourbuilding.org/
:: LOW IMPACT HOUSING Database of low energy, low environmental impact housing, particularly high performance homes at northern latitudes relevant to Canadian climates : http://lowimpacthousing.com/housing/intro.htm
:: GREEN BUILDING INFORMATION http://www.greenerbuildings.com/ a resource center developed by GreenBiz.com and the US Green Building Council launched in 2004.
:: US GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL and LEED : http://www.usgbc.org/ American resource promoting buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.
:: IISBE - International Initiative for Sustainable Built Environment : http://www.sbis.info/
:: SBIS - The Sustainable Building Information System : https://www.sbis.info:443/database/index_db.jsp
:: A great source of RELIEF and CRISIS DESIGN in building / architecture is at Architecture for Humanity with links at http://architectureforhumanity.org/support/like
:: Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota has a good selection of information in several research topic including. *Guidelines & Ratings Systems *Housing * LCA * Design for Community Resilience *Building Evaluation www.csbr.umn.edu/research.html