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Module 1 Defining an Ecology of Construction A QUESTION OF DESIGN A QUESTION OF DESIGN DIALOGUE A QUESTION OF DESIGN DELIBERATIVE DIALOGUE RECONCILIATION RECONNECTION REGENERATION RESILIENCE DIALOGUE RECONNECTION DELIBERATIVE DIALOGUE ECOLOGICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPERATIVES

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module 1

Module 1

Defining an Ecology of Construction

slide2

A QUESTION OFDESIGN

A QUESTION OFDESIGN

DIALOGUE

slide3

A QUESTION OFDESIGN

DELIBERATIVEDIALOGUE

RECONCILIATION

RECONNECTION

REGENERATION

RESILIENCE

DIALOGUE

slide4

RECONNECTION

DELIBERATIVEDIALOGUE

ECOLOGICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPERATIVES

DELIBERATIVE DESIGN

SPACE

PLACE

ZERO WASTE

RECONCILIATION

slide5

RECONNECTION

REGENERATION

DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE

COMPASSION

DIVERSITY

ZERO WASTE

slide6

RESILIENCE

REGENERATION

COMPASSION

MAINTENANCE

REDUNDANCY

RECIPROCITY

SCALE

slide7

RESILIENCE

RECONCILIATION

MAINTENANCE

DIVERSITY

LIMITS

SCALE

PLACE

slide8

SUSTAINABLECOMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

COMMONUnitySENSE

RECONCILIATION

DELIBERATIVEDIALOGUE

DIVERSITY

slide9

SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

COMMONUnitySENSE

A VISION FOR THE FUTURE

DR. ANN DALECANADA RESEARCH CHAIRROYAL ROADS UNIVERSITY

overview
Overview
  • Introduction to concepts
  • Environmental systems
  • Industrial ecology
  • Political and economic environment
  • Green design
  • Summary and Conclusions
sustainable construction
Sustainable Construction

“Creating a healthy built environment based on ecologically sound principles”

  • Built Environment
    • Life cycle (planning, design, construction, operation, renovation/retrofit, demolition/deconstruction)
    • Resources (materials, land, energy, water)
    • Principles: Reduce, reuse, recycle, protect nature, eliminate toxics, life cycle costing
  • Principles of Ecology
    • Ecosystems are: cyclic, resilient, diversified, efficient, complex
    • Function and interdependence at multiple scales
applications of the ecological metaphor to human systems
Applications of the Ecological Metaphor to Human Systems

Urban Ecology

Social Ecology

Political Ecology

Industrial Ecology

industrial ecology
Industrial Ecology
  • Material Basis: choice of material, product design, product recovery
  • Institutional Forces: market structure, financial considerations, regulatory environment
  • Regional Strategies: geographic, economic and political issues; “industrial symbiosis”
construction ecology
Construction Ecology

Can be viewed as a subset of industrial ecology, but with characteristics that link it back to social, political, urban systems.

Major subset: 8% of GDP, 40% of materials consumption and 30% of energy resources.

Potential “Factor 10” reduction

construction ecology15
Construction Ecology

Goals:

  • Closed-loop material system
  • Dependence on renewable resources
  • Preservation of / integration with natural systems
  • Accomplishment of these goals at all scales
construction ecology would create a built environment that
Construction EcologyWould Create a Built Environment That:
  • Is deconstructable
  • Has easily replaceable components
  • Uses recycled products
  • Uses recyclable products
  • Has a very slow metabolism
  • Promotes the health of occupants / users
  • Promotes a symbiotic relationship with the natural environment
forging a new view

Forging a New View

Some ancient societies have persevered for many centuries by living in equilibrium, and in a sense of harmony, with the environment.

More technologically advanced societies have committed ecological suicide.

Technology may not offer the best answers.

We may wish to pursue an understanding of:

ecosystem components
Ecosystem Components:
  • Inorganic substances (carbon, nitrogen)
  • Organic compounds (proteins, etc…)
  • Climate regime (temperature, rainfall)
  • Autotrophic organisms (producers)
  • Heterotrophic organisms (consumers)
  • Herbivores (primary consumers)
  • Carnivores (secondary consumers)
  • Tertiary consumers
  • Decomposers

(Yeang 7,8)

slide19

Lessons From Natural Systems:Ecosystems maintain resilience through diversifiedfunctions. Separate niches provide non-competitivelifestyles among different species.

  • Fundamental Niche-that which is available to a species
  • Realized Niche-that which is being used by a species
lessons from natural systems
Lessons From Natural Systems:
  • Mature ecosystems are efficient by using a cooperative web.
  • Mature ecosystems are complex enough to change with the external environment.
  • Mature ecosystems are cyclic and operate with solar flux and organic storage(Odum and Brown).
lessons from natural systems21
Lessons From Natural Systems:
  • Natural systems are not sustainable over long

periods of time.

  • Constant change shapes their existence, and

their existence begins and ends as a part of a

larger system.

  • By studying natural systems we can expect to

improve the effectiveness of our design process and

products.

  • James Kay (will be covered later in the course)
slide22
A brief history of life on earth:
  • Stage one: fermentation based, anabolic, carbon dioxide producing, and anaerobic
  • Stage two: photosynthetic, carbon consuming, and oxygen producing (oxygen as toxic substance)
  • Stage three: oxygen consuming, and capable of metabolizing multiple molecules
industrial system
Industrial System:
  • Our current industrial systems are equivalent to Stage One of life on Earth-- Carbon consuming and carbon dioxide emitting.
  • Our current industrial systems are consuming solar produced resources (fossil fuels) at 10,000 times the rate of regeneration.
industrial system24
Industrial System:
  • The creation of the built environment generates 0.4 to 0.5 tons of waste per capita per year. (Based on projections of 2000 census data, this is somewhere between 120 million tons and 150 million tons per year in U.S.).
  • Construction industry provides 8% of GDP while using 40% of materials and 30% of energy resources in U.S.
  • Our built environment currently stores as much as 90% of extracted materials
the ecology of systems
The Ecology of Systems
  • H.T. Odum’s “Systems Ecology” deals with the transformation of energy as it moves through various systems.
  • It all begins with sunlight.
  • The energy in sunlight is transformed by natural processes (e.g. photosynthesis, tidal flows), building biomass or yielding energy in other forms.
  • ALL other forms of energy are quantifiable in terms of sunlight – thus a “common currency” for evaluating the impacts and efficiency of systems.
slide26
Five General Building Components of

Built Environment:

  • Manufactured, site installed components

(windows, doors, etc…)

five general building components of built environment
Five General Building Components ofBuilt Environment:
  • Engineered, off-site fabricated, site assembled

(Structural trusses, etc…)

five general building components of built environment28
Five General Building Components ofBuilt Environment:
  • Off-site processed, site finished products

(Concrete, asphalt, etc…)

five general building components of built environment29
Five General Building Components ofBuilt Environment:
  • Manufactured, site processed

(Lumber, drywall, wiring, etc…)

five general building components of built environment30
Five General Building Components ofBuilt Environment:
  • Manufactured, site-installed, low mass

Products (Paints, glues, etc…)

managing the five components of the built environment
Managing the Five Components of the Built Environment
  • Designing for cyclical patterns of use
  • Dematerialization
  • Closed loop material cycles
designing for cyclical pattern of use
Designing For Cyclical Pattern of Use:
  • The energy and material cost of recovery
  • The ecosystem impacts of dismantling and recovery
  • The emissions and outputs of recovery process
  • The form, type, and mass of materials used in the built system

(Yeang 136)

designing for cyclical pattern of use33
Designing For Cyclical Pattern of Use:
  • The forms of construction
  • The manner of demolition or dismantling
  • The existence of a use or a need for the recovered product
  • Choice of servicing system

(Yeang 138)

dematerialization
Dematerialization:
  • Definition: The reduction of quantities of materials needed to serve economic functions or the decline over time in the weight of materials used in industrial end-products.
  • Dematerialization serves to reduce resource consumption and reduce weight of the built environment.
  • Dematerialization and a cyclic pattern of use can help close material cycles
closed loop material cycles
Closed Loop Material Cycles:
  • Buildings are not currently designed or built to be disassembled
  • Products constituting the built environment are not designed for disassembly
  • The material constituting building products are often composite and difficult to recycle
  • These difficulties increase resource consumption, cost, and waste
difficulties with dematerialization
Difficulties with Dematerialization:
  • Does not take into consideration the by-products of materials extraction and processing
  • Encourages use of light weight composite materials that are difficult if not impossible to recycle
  • Currently struggles against free market system that promotes diversity and availability
  • Lacks emphasis on recycling and reuse, detoxification, decarbonization, and deenergization
  • Lack of coordination between economic, industrial, and governmental systems to encourage or enforce dematerialization
political economic environment
Political / Economic Environment
  • Federal Initiatives

EPA Energy Star Program; US Government Buildings Construction Guidelines

  • Market Conditions and Strategies

USGBC LEED; Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

political economic environment38
Political / Economic Environment
  • National Organizations

US Green Building Council; National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

  • State and Local Ordinances

Florida Green Building Coalition

  • Local Green Building Enterprises

Austin, TX; Seattle, WA

market conditions and strategies
Market Conditions and Strategies
  • US Green Building Council

State and Local Green Building Initiatives Committee

15 local and state entities, developing tools to disseminate information and help governing bodies create mandates and incentives for green building.

  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Primary implementation is in Europe; aim is to shift costs and physical obligations of production of goods from municipalities and individuals to producers themselves. Focus is on assigning responsibility to producers for mitigating / minimizing environmental impacts, with an emphasis on “upstream effects.”

federal initiatives
Federal Initiatives
  • EPA Energy Star Program

Partnering system between government and business, aimed at reducing energy consumption of facilities through upgrades of building components, systems, and appliances.

  • US Government Buildings

Federal Energy Management Program: Greening Federal Facilities, Second Edition

Buildings must conform to “a project-specific point system that accounts for factors such as local fuel costs, climate, and construction costs for energy efficiency measures”

national organizations
National Organizations
  • US Green Building Council – LEED Rating System

“Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design: Voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven initiative based on existing, proven technology. Whole building, entire life cycle, performance-oriented. Definitive standard for “green” building in US.

  • National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

200,000 members in 800 local chapters. Pamphlet “Building Greener, Building Better” gives an overview of green design strategies and energy consumption improvements in residential construction. Fact sheets on environmental issues published for contractor education.

state and local ordinances
State and Local Ordinances
  • Maryland Green Building Council

Energy-conservation orientation, promotes efficiency upgrades rather than construction-oriented initiatives.

  • Boulder, CO Green Points Building Program

Green Points New Home Program: requires selection among acceptable options for receipt of a building permit for new construction and additions over 500sf.

Green Points Remodeling Program: voluntary program encouraging homeowners with small projects to seek green solutions.

local green building initiatives
Local Green Building Initiatives
  • Austin, TX Green Building Program

“…the first comprehensive program to encourage using sustainable building techniques in residential, multifamily, commercial and municipal construction.”

Provides technical assistance, program membership for building professionals, rating system, education and outreach.

  • Seattle, WA

“Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) partners with other government agencies, businesses, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations to promote sustainable design and construction practices and technology in the building and landscaping industries.”

green design
Green Design
  • Ecological Design
  • Historical Advocates
  • Goals of Green Design
  • Sustainable Example: Thurgoona Campus
  • Green Home Improvement
ecological design
Ecological Design
  • Also termed Green Design
  • Definition: (as stated by Van der Ryn and Cowen, 1996)
    • Any form of design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by integrating itself with living processes.
  • Sustainable construction: (as stated by Kibert, 1994)
    • The creation and maintenance of a healthy built environment using ecologically sound principles.
    • Specifically materials that are natural, renewable and native, with low embodied E. Is this true?
historical advocates
Historical Advocates
  • Architects:
    • Frank Lloyd Wright
    • Richard Neutra
    • Malcolm Wells
  • Urban Planners:
    • Lewis Mumford
    • John Tillman Lyle
frank lloyd wright architect
Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect
  • Lived 1869 - 1959
  • Inspired by his mentor, Louis Sullivan, whose slogan was ‘form follows function’
  • Coined the term ‘organic architecture’ meaning to reinterpret nature’s principles.
  • Wright believed that a buildings design should be influenced by its site and function.
frank lloyd wright architect48
Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect
  • Guggenheim Museum in New York City, 1959
  • Ziggurat allows people to descend a continuous ramp at their own pace.
  • Nautilus shape allows for free space.
  • Design fuses the paintings and building into a symphony of art.
  • Considered ‘refreshing’ architecture
frank lloyd wright architect49
Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect
  • 1935’s FallingWater, where forest, rock, stream and all the elements of structure come together
  • Experience nature as the habitat that formed us, find spiritual awakening
  • The walls are made of the native Pottsville sandstone
richard neutra architect51
Richard Neutra, Architect
  • Lovell House, 1929
richard neutra architect52
Richard Neutra, Architect
  • Lived 1892-1970. Began US career in Los Angeles, 1923.
  • Known for flat-surfaced, industrialized residential buildings that contrast against nature
  • Favorite materials: steel, stucco, concrete, wood and glass
  • Biophilia: close connections between living spaces and nature
richard neutra architect53
Richard Neutra, Architect
  • “As an architect, my life has been governed by the goals of building environmental harmony, functional efficiency and human enhancement into the experience of everyday life.”
  • He placed special provisions, such as built in furniture and flat roof gardens, into buildings for the purpose of functionality
malcolm wells architect
Malcolm Wells, Architect
  • Believes that man should leave nature alone.
  • Build underground on ruined sites and allow nature to eventually return
  • Laments that time is running out for land-killing projects, and he happily awaits their certain demise
lewis mumford urban planner
Lewis Mumford, Urban Planner
  • Lived 1895 - 1990
  • Stringent opponent to large-scale public works in New York City
  • “I would die happy if I knew that on my tombstone could be written these words, ‘This man was an absolute fool. None of the disastrous things that he reluctantly predicted ever came to pass!’”
lewis mumford urban planner56
Lewis Mumford, Urban Planner
  • In 1964, The City in History. Documentaries concerning his concerns with a technological city:
    • The role of the city in magnifying the opposing creative and destructive potentials of Man
    • Technology breeds boredom
    • Commercial values and factory regimentation undermined human values and variety
    • Urges that suburban areas be provided with more points of pedestrian scale for vital human congregation, as found in city centers, and that the urban centers be given some of the spaciousness found in suburbia
lewis mumford urban planner57
Lewis Mumford, Urban Planner
  • Believed in Ecotechnics: An early form of bioregionalism and biourbanism. Promotes technologies that rely on local sources of energy and indigenous materials
  • Noted that infrastructure should be built to maximize the ‘free work’ that nature provides.
john tillman lyle landscape architect urban planner
John Tillman Lyle, Landscape Architect / Urban Planner
  • Began career around the 1980s, which was cut short in 1998 due to an untimely death.
  • One of the most renowned ecological designers of our time.
  • Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development
  • Proven regenerative practices for water use, land use, energy use and building design.
ecological building60
Ecological Building
  • What can be learnt from history?
  • In the past, human beings lived in harmony with their environment
    • Comfort requirements were different
    • Small population meant ample space, modest requirements, low energy needs and emissions
    • Waste products mostly recyclable & bio-degradable
    • Mobile communities
    • Low threat to the environment

Nomadic life & sparse requirements drove the architecture of the past and made it sustainable

ecological building61
Ecological Building
  • Buildings in cold climates characterized by:
    • Small windows that allowed little light into spaces resulting in minimal heat gains/loss and cooling/heating loads
    • Building mass with high thermal storage capacities
    • Low standards for heating and sanitary systems

These castles in Europe use small fenestrations to minimize heat loss

ecological building62
Ecological Building
  • Buildings in temperate zones characterized by:
    • Tendency to locate living areas underground to utilize coolness of the earth and create ventilation through buoyancy
    • Small window & roof elements minimizing heat transfer
    • Use of narrow courtyards to promote ventilation
    • Fine grained cities that cause mutual shading
    • Use of water as an architectural element
ecological building63
Ecological Building
  • The Industrial Age is characterized by:
    • Migration of ever increasing population from rural to urban areas
    • Extremely poor living conditions for most people
    • Industrialization & rapid advances in technology
    • Increased demands for energy met through use of coal & gas
    • Sharp increase in emissions; indiscriminate dumping of wastes
    • No efforts to protect environment, conserve natural reserves
    • BEGINNING OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL CALAMITY

Alarming number of industries, poor living conditions, deteriorating environment mark the industrial era

ecological building64
Ecological Building

The early & mid 20th century is characterized by:

  • Urbanization, technological development, industrialization, concentration of labor in cities at a frantic pace
  • Concentration of workplaces in small areas
  • Shortening of distances for communication & information
  • Maximized utilization of available spaces
  • An architecture & technology that pays no respect to the environment & energy consumption
  • A false sense of ‘Man has overcome nature’
  • Skyscrapers, fully automated climate control

New York the city of skyscrapers

ecological building65
Ecological Building
  • Late 20th century architecture characterized by:
    • Renewed search for elegant architectural solution with respect to energy use, environment & ventilation
    • Facades designed for natural ventilation
    • Creation of climate buffer zones (halls and atria)
    • Improved heat insulation & sun protection
    • Implementation of energy recovery & waste treatment systems
    • Major energy crisis in 1973
    • Architects, engineers & clients turn to ECOLOGICAL BUILDING DESIGN

Commerzbank headquarters in Germany by Architect Norman Foster uses garden terraces every 12 floors

‘Menara Mesiniaga’ by Ken Yeang in Malaysia is a revolutionary high-rise building design using sustainable principles

chief seattle

All things are connected like the blood that unites us,  We did not weave the web of life.  We are merely a strand in it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. 

-Chief Seattle

goals of green design

Goals of Green Design

Methods to Achieve Sustainability

methods of sustainability
Methods of Sustainability
  • Reduce resource consumption
  • Reuse of resources/use recycled materials
  • Recycle built environment at end of life
  • Switch to materials with low E processing
  • Eliminate toxic materials and by-products in all phases of the built environment
methods of sustainability69
Methods of Sustainability
  • Protect natural systems and their function in all activities
  • Incorporate ‘full-cost’ accounting in all economic decisions
  • Incorporate Ecotechnics, Bioregionalism and Biourbanism:
    • local E sources, indigenous materials
    • vary craftsmanship, beauty and aesthetics
methods of sustainability70
Methods of Sustainability
  • Conservation, regeneration and stewardship of the natural environment
  • ‘Front-loaded’ design
  • Disassembly and remanufacturing
  • Increase of energy and material efficiency
  • No such term as waste, return beneficial nutrients back to environment
sustainable example

Sustainable Example

Thurgoona Campus at Charles Sturt University in Australia. Consists of the School of Environmental and Information Sciences, a herbarium, computer network center, and accommodation cottages.

thurgoona campus
Thurgoona Campus
  • Winner of the 1996, 1999, and 2000 RiverCare 2000 Award by the New South Wales Government.
  • One of nine winners at the International Design Resource Awards 2000 in Belfast, Ireland for the incorporation of recycled materials.
  • In 2000, Marci Webster-Mannison and her team won the National Resource Efficiency Award and National Energy Efficiency Award presented by the Master Builders Association of Australia.
site selection and eco design
Site Selection and Eco Design
  • Old abandoned land bought in 1993
  • Set up with a natural water management system involving wetlands, retention basins, composting toilets, windmills and solar energy.
design of built environment
Design of Built Environment
  • Building and road locations follow the contours of the hills to minimize the loss of soil due to erosion.
building materials
Building Materials
  • Buildings are constructed of rammed earth walls and concrete floors
  • Large, shaded windows with recycled timber frames allow the sun to provide 85% of total lighting energy
building materials cont
Recycled timber, and plantation wood

Used/recycled library shelving from a donor

Structural steel and glass

Minimal use of PVC piping in plumbing and may use ‘plumbing seconds’

Wool roof insulation

Wool and linoleum flooring

Non toxic paints and timber finishes

Mesh guards on vents provides protection from termites

Building Materials Cont.
heating and cooling systems

Heating and Cooling Systems

Through the methods and materials used at Thurgoona Campus, energy consumption is reduced by 61%

heating systems
Heating Systems
  • Heating and cooling system consists of solar panels and water pipes
  • Wool insulation above ceiling
  • Rammed earth walls
ventilation system
Ventilation System
  • Small and large vents
  • Open windows and ceiling fans that will reverse in winter to circulate heat
  • Thermal chimneys
summary and conclusions
Summary and Conclusions
  • The construction industry (as an industrial system) can and should be understood through an analogy with natural systems – thus, “Construction Ecology”
  • Such a comparison can be used to rethink and redesign the built environment to cause less damage to and work in harmony with the natural environment
summary and conclusions83
Summary and Conclusions
  • Construction ecology deals with all aspects of the construction process:
    • Material cycles
    • Energy use
    • Water consumption
    • Emissions
    • Construction management
    • Post-occupancy operations