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Table of contents

Its charge is to promote the orderly, integrated, and comprehensive development, use, and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes Basin. Image courtesy of the Great Lakes Commission. The sustainability threats to the Great Lakes in the twentieth century include the eutrophication and ecological collapse of Lake Erie, the introduction of invasive species, and the ecological and public health threats of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals.

We drew on the response to each of these threats to identify critical lessons learned from Great Lakes governance. IJC commissioned a number of prominent U. The models were the basis for discharge limits, for a decision by the U. Thus, IJC led to scientific knowledge that resulted in the Clean Water Act, sewage treatment, and discharge limits for water pollutants such as phosphorus.

Without the facilitating and convening role of the IJC, it is not clear what the national trajectory of water quality management of nutrient point sources might have been. The stakeholder community, including NGOs, is generally well known, visible, and historically very active. For example, activism by this community resulted in a Canadian ban of phosphorus in detergents and the adoption of bans in the United States to reduce levels of the nutrient in water. The existence of the Boundary Waters Treaty and the international Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement has led to other successful institutional arrangements that use science as a foundation for management and policy.

For example, the International Association of Great Lakes Research consists of interdisciplinary researchers with a place-based focus. This group includes physical limnologists, fisheries biologists, aquatic biologists, aquatic chemists, ecological and human toxicologists, public health professionals, economists, sociologists, and decision scientists. It also publishes a highly cited journal. Both the U. Another collective effort, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, is currently underway with significant Congressional funding.

Cameron Davis, EPA, explained at the second committee meeting in February that the initiative is based on groundwork laid by an interagency task force of the federal agencies in the Basin Davis, This task force was very effective because it already had considerable interagency cooperation and solid relationships in place. According to Pebbles at the February second committee meeting, yet another example of institutional arrangements facilitating the use of science for decision making is the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission Pebbles, , which coordinates fisheries management in a successful partnership with the states and provinces.

These partners, who hold ultimate decision-making authority, developed a Joint Strategic Plan for fisheries management based on consensus decision making informed by science, regular monitoring, and accountability. Strong relationships among the Commission, the U. The Great Lakes case reveals the important role the federal government can play in managing sustainability challenges by establishing and supporting institutions that are sustaining yet adaptable; generating scientific, social, and economic knowledge; and proactively engaging stakeholders regularly and often.

The Great Lakes examples confirm that linkages in the form of federal and international agreements can enable government entities and other organizations with multiple responsibilities at multiple scales to manage, lead, and govern sustainably. Image created with J. Dettmers, M. Gaden, and J. Wingfield, Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The nearly century-long history of dams on the Columbia River system—with their implications for energy production, water management, agriculture, forestry, recreation, and fish habitat—illustrates many crosscutting challenges in resource use, economics, and human well-being.

Exploitation of the Columbia River system for hydroelectric power and irrigation dates to the s. To promote rural electrification, the Pacific Northwest Regional Planning Commission, with representatives from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, was formed in Electrification was seen as an economic development strategy, as a means of advancing equity between urban and rural communities, and as a path to human well-being. A newly formed interstate compact agency, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, was tasked with a regional energy planning; b fish and wildlife protection planning; and c engagement of states, local governments, customers, federal and state fish and wildlife agencies, Indian tribes, and the public.

The Council has also been successful at integrating decision making across diverse sectors—energy, habitat restoration, irrigation, and cultural practices—and at engaging diverse publics. In its annual reports to Congress, the Council uses a range of scientific metrics of progress, another successful practice. BPA and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council represent one of the earliest examples of shared governance with a mission and function beyond a single resource or ecological dimension.

A collaborative initiative with very broad participation, the Puget Sound Partnership PSP is an agency established under an executive order of the Governor of Washington. PSP is a state agency and as a result has a line item budget from the state legislature. PSP includes citizens, tribes, governments, business, and scientists working together with the objective of protecting and restoring the Sound. The primary focus of the partnership, as seen in its goals and objectives, appears to be the ecological health of the Sound and only indirectly the economic, social, and health dimensions of a sustainable region.

Of the 21 indicators, PSP found that two showed clear progress, five showed mixed results, seven demonstrated no progress, and seven were considered incomplete because there were no data or because the targets had not been adopted or were still in development PSP, A report by the State of Washington Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee JLARC, stated that in a previous review of the Partnership, the Action Agenda lacked critical accountability tools, which are fundamental to determining whether the funding spent on clean-up efforts is restoring Puget Sound.

Specifically, the review notes that the Action Agenda does not link actions to the amount of progress they will make toward long-term restoration goals. Sufficient mechanisms are not in place to monitor actions in order to understand which ones are working JLARC, In addition, PSP has inadequate representation and participation by land-use authorities.

Because land use is such a critical factor affecting ecological, economic, and social health, involving local land-use authorities presents a significant opportunity for collaboration. While the examples reviewed by the committee varied in their details, they provide some common themes and insights on ways to enhance sustainability linkages in federal decision making. These lessons address issues of governance, decision-making processes, and science. Iterative improvements: Enhancing governance linkages to address sustainability does not need to occur through disruptive change, and in fact is generally more successful through iterative change with incremental steps.

Positive benefits from incremental changes, if documented properly and articulated, can lead to broader and ultimately comprehensive change without the paralysis that can sometimes be associated with proposals for disruptive change. Although the challenges of integrating decision making across domains and among agencies at various levels of government are significant, the examples we examined demonstrate innovations to integrate decisions that vary from modest and iterative steps to more substantial governance redesign. The former initiatives should not be discounted merely because they are smaller, for they can often lead to significant accomplishments.

For example, DMG in the Mojave, a pioneering effort to better coordinate information and enhance dialogue among multiple federal, state, and local agencies, did not involve any agency restructuring or any enhanced or new decisionmaking authorities. The primary purpose was to improve dialogue among agencies with responsibilities within a single geographic area, within existing structures and authorities.

Similarly, the success of the effort in Platte River Basin arose largely from the enforcement of an existing regulation implementing the ESA. FWS was willing to be part of a neutral authority that brought together the stakeholders; this neutral authority obtained agreement on common goals and on monitoring to test some potential actions, thus employing adaptive management approaches.

Multiple levels of government: Several of the fact-finding examples illustrate that change agents engaged in innovations to strengthen sustainability linkages in decisionmaking arise at all levels of government. Many examples the committee reviewed were initiated at the local or field level bottom-up , as multiple federal, state, and local agencies strived to grapple with linked issues. Project in the northeast. In both of these cases, federal agencies are critical partners, but the motivation for action started at a grassroots level.

At the same time, the committee also reviewed examples in which national and even international agencies or forums initiated collaborative, interconnecting actions. In some instances, federal laws may have prompted the need for regulatory compliance, which in turn motivated creative local action to integrate decisions across interconnected agencies and issues. The high costs of traditional compliance tools prompted the city to explore nonstructural alternatives, including extensive expansion of permeable surfacing. The extent of transformation needed to meet the stormwater regulations motivated the city to work across multiple agencies and examine co-benefits in other domains.

In the Great Lakes, a longstanding international treaty provided a forum that helped spark action at international, state, and local levels to address water quality needs in the region. Even within the Great Lakes context, however, some actions have been largely locally motivated. In addition, it is important to note that local and statewide policy efforts can also play a major role in sustainability efforts. Network governance: Several of the examples examined by the committee illustrate the emergence of network governance models to enhance coordinated decision making and address sustainability linkages.

The concept of network governance surfaced first in the private sector as corporations working together on joint projects developed horizontal, or shared, governance structures. Applications of network governance models are also appearing in the public sector Goldsmith and Eggers, Such governance is characterized by a polycentric multi-participant, multi-agency approach, often operating with self-constituted decision rules determined through negotiation and cooperative agreements among participants.

These governance structures provide a fabric for cross-domain, interagency, and public-private coordination without restructuring existing agencies or reallocating statutory authorities. Numerous other examples vary along a continuum from loosely knit confederations to congressionally authorized, formal, interagency coordinating structures. Stakeholders at the table: The importance of having a full and adequate representation of all affected stakeholders in partnerships and other forms of collaborative governance structures is well understood.

In addition, the necessity of reaching consensus on goals, roles, responsibilities, and accountability is well documented NRC, b. Also, the committee recognizes the importance of having an agreed-upon process for decisionmaking that allows for a balanced evaluation of different development scenarios under the sustainability lens. Examination of the more successful collaborative governance efforts—the Bonneville Power Authority, the Platte River Recovery Program, and the Mojave DMG—highlighted the importance of full participation by parties that repre-.

In each of these cases, the organizations responsible for activities with the greatest influence on regional sustainability Bonneville Power on the Columbia River, the states of Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska on the Platte River, and federal land agencies in the Mojave were central to the collaborative effort. Their support of consensus goals and implementation was critical. Conversely, within Puget Sound, the parties responsible for land use, a very important driver affecting the economy, human well-being, and environmental quality, are not included in the Puget Sound Partnership.

Land-use authorities in some other locales do participate in collaborative governance efforts, however. One example in the literature is the Boston Harbor Island National Recreation Area, a network governance structure that plans and manages a mosaic of state, local, and nonprofit lands; the group includes federal, state, and local agencies with land management responsibilities Boston Harbor Islands Partnership Charter, Mutual learning, interdisciplinary partnering, and trust: A strong science base with open dialogue and partnering among scientists, decision makers, and stakeholders is a hallmark of successful sustainability efforts.

Joint research efforts on the Great Lakes that involve academic and government laboratories in both the United States and Canada led to federal standards in both countries to improve water quality and to sustain commercial and recreational fisheries. Similarly, open sharing of data, research findings, and ecosystem maps among stakeholders was critical to finding a path forward for the DMG of the Mojave. Partnerships between fisheries experts from government laboratories and academia, as well as between decision makers and other stakeholders, played a key role in protecting salmon at the Bonneville dam.

These examples demonstrate that interdisciplinary, place-based research is often a vital part of addressing sustainability linkages. For example, increased temperatures disproportionally affect vulnerable populations in urban area heat islands. Predictive models of climate change indicate that temperatures will increase in Phoenix by mid-century to potentially dangerous levels heat waves with durations of up to 52 days with temperatures above degrees F.

More broadly, changes in climate will im-. Adaptive management: Many sustainability challenges that involve interconnections among domains—for example, transportation, energy, water, health, and species protection—are complex and dynamic, resulting in uncertainties about current interactions among variables, cause-effect relationships, and projected future conditions. As a consequence of this complexity and uncertainty, participants in a number of the examples we examined are using an adaptive management approach, as described in the decision framework see Chapter 4.

Adaptive management enables participants to set goals, undertake actions, monitor the effects of those actions on outcomes, and, most importantly, make adjustments as needed. In the Platte River Recovery Implementation Plan, adaptive management processes help managers address uncertainties regarding what water management regimes will best meet the needs of endangered species while, at the same time, sustaining sufficient water for agriculture, energy, and other uses.

To date, application of adaptive management has had limited implementation success in changing management actions based on experimentation and monitoring Murray and Marmorek, ; Kimberly et al. However, recent assessments of adaptive management indicate that effectiveness in using the approach can be enhanced by: 1 starting with a simple plan and adding complexity over time; and 2 engaging researchers at all stages of the process Kimberly et al.

Creative approaches to problem-solving can add value and provide multiple benefits or co-benefits to participants: Innovative thinking that crosses domains can result in sustainability solutions that increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness and that create win-win scenarios. For example, Philadelphia dealt with the treatment of storm water by providing a cost-effective solution that resulted in multiple benefits. Working with decision makers at EPA, the city was able to reduce the need for additional costly infrastructure improvements by utilizing a variety of approaches to reduce the volume of water run-off and to take advantage of natural ameliorative processes in soils and subsurface environments.

At the same time, this green infrastructure approach was shown by the city to achieve co-benefits for outdoor recreation, public health, education, and the local economy. Communications: Sustainability solutions need to be communicated in a way that clearly identifies both the costs and benefits of action and inaction.

For example, Philadelphia got an enormous boost for its approach when sustainability became a plank in the mayoral campaign. An effective communications strategy is important not only at the outset to engage major and important constituencies, but also throughout the process in keeping key stakeholders and the public generally aware of the progress being made and the work that still needs to be done.

Effective communications and stakeholder participation also promotes transparency and accountability. Alberti, M. Hepinstall, S. Coe, R. Coburn, M. Russo and Y. Accessed August 31, American Public Transportation Association. Sep-tainable: The Route to Regional Sustainability. Sep-tainable: Going Beyond Green. Accessed September 28, Becker, A. Inoue, M.

Fischer, and B. Climate change impacts on international seaports: knowledge perceptions, and planning efforts among port administrators. Climatic Change Public Health Issues and Sustainability. June 12, Branas, C. Cheney, J. MacDonald, V. Tam, T. Jackson, and T. Ten Have. A difference-in-differences analysis of health, safety, and greening vacant urban space. American Journal of Epidemiology 11 Brunner, P. Materials flow analysis: Reshaping urban metabolism. Journal of Industrial Ecology 11 2 Byron, C. Bengtson, B. Costa-Pierce, and J.

Integrating science into management: Ecological carrying capacity of bivalve shellfish aquaculture. Marine Policy Fish and Wildlife Service. Center for the Future of Arizona. The Arizona We Want. Ciborowski, J. Niemi, V. Brady, S. Doka, L. Johnson, J. Keough, S. Mackey, and D. Ecosystem responses to regulation-based water level changes in the Upper Great Lakes. White paper Greenworks Philadelphia. Crockett, C. Water Resources and Sustainability in Philadelphia. Cuo, L. Beyene, N. Voisin, F. Su, D. Lettenmaier, M.

Albert, and J. Effects of mid-twenty-first century climate and land cover change on the hydrology of the Puget Sound basin, Washington. Hydrological Processes Davis, C. February 8, Delaware Valley Green Building Council. Dinse, K. Read, and D. Accessed February 28, DOI U. Department of Interior. DOI and State of California. Elsner, M. Cuo, N. Voisin, J. Deems, A. Hamlet, J. Vano, K. Mickelson, S. Lee, and D.

Implications of 21st century climate change for the hydrology of Washington State. EPA U. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada. Accessed September 4, Feely, R. Alin, J. Newton, C. Sabine, M. Warner, A. Devol, C. Krembs, and C. The combined effects of ocean acidification, mixing, and respiration on pH and carbonate saturation in an urbanized estuary.

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science Fraser, D. Gaydos, E. Karlsen, and M. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Freeman, D. Colorado: University of Colorado Press. April 12, Glicksman, R. Huang, W. Andreen, R. Craig, V. Flatt, W. Funk, D. Goble, A. Kaswan, and R. Accessed November 9, Good, T.

June, M. Etnier, and G. Derelict fishing nets in Puget Sound and the Northwest Straits: Patterns and threats to marine fauna. Marine Pollution Bulletin Grimm, N. Approaches to the study of urban ecosystems: the case of Central Arizona—Phoenix. Urban Ecosystems Hall, N. Toward a new horizontal federalism: interstate water management in the Great Lakes region.

University of Colorado Law Review Harlan, S. Accessed February 26, Brazel, L. Prashad, W. Stefanov, and L. Whereas most authors proceed as if our ecological problems can be fixed by implementing recommendations which stem from physical, biological, economic etc. Deep ecology establishes principles for the well-being of all life on Earth and the richness and diversity of life forms. This is only compatible with a substantial decrease of the human population and the end of human interference with the nonhuman world. To achieve this, deep ecologists advocate policies for basic economic, technological, and ideological structures that will improve the quality of life rather than the standard of living.

Those who subscribe to these principles are obliged to make the necessary change happen. Reduce dependence upon fossil fuels, underground metals, and minerals 2. Reduce dependence upon synthetic chemicals and other unnatural substances 3. Reduce encroachment upon nature 4.

One approach to sustainable living, exemplified by small-scale urban transition towns and rural ecovillages, seeks to create self-reliant communities based on principles of simple living, which maximise self-sufficiency particularly in food production. These principles, on a broader scale, underpin the concept of a bioregional economy. Residents in compact urban neighbourhoods drive fewer miles, and have significantly lower environmental impacts across a range of measures, compared with those living in sprawling suburbs.

Ultimately, the degree of human progress towards sustainability will depend on large scale social movements which influence both community choices and the built environment. Eco-municipalities may be one such movement. The eco-municipality movement is participatory, involving community members in a bottom-up approach. In Sweden, more than 70 cities and towns — 25 per cent of all municipalities in the country — have adopted a common set of "Sustainability Principles" and implemented these systematically throughout their municipal operations.

There are now twelve eco-municipalities in the United States and the American Planning Association has adopted sustainability objectives based on the same principles. There is a wealth of advice available to individuals wishing to reduce their personal impact on the environment through small, cheap and easily achievable steps. Home What is Sustainability? Sustainability Sustainability is the capacity to endure.

In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which in turn depends on the maintenance of the natural world and natural resources.

CSA in the broader development agenda

Main article: History of sustainability. Main article: Sustainability measurement. Graph showing human population growth from 10, BC — AD , illustrating current exponential growth. Further information: Carrying capacity. Further information: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Main article: Sustainability and environmental management. Main articles: Sustainable energy , Renewable energy , and Efficient energy use. Further information: Water resources. As global population and affluence has increased, so has the use of various materials increased in volume, diversity and distance transported.

Included here are raw materials, minerals, synthetic chemicals including hazardous substances , manufactured products, food, living organisms and waste. On one account, sustainability "concerns the specification of a set of actions to be taken by present persons that will not diminish the prospects of future persons to enjoy levels of consumption, wealth, utility, or welfare comparable to those enjoyed by present persons. The developed world population is only increasing slightly but consumption levels are unsustainable. The challenge for sustainability is to curb and manage Western consumption while raising the standard of living of the developing world without increasing its resource use and environmental impact.

This must be done by using strategies and technology that break the link between, on the one hand, economic growth and on the other, environmental damage and resource depletion. Further information: Ecological economics. Further information: Ecosystem services. Further information: Social sustainability. Social disruptions like war, crime and corruption divert resources from areas of greatest human need, damage the capacity of societies to plan for the future, and generally threaten human well-being and the environment. Sustainability principles 1. Retrieved on: Thapa eds. Greifswald: Steinbecker Verlag Ulrich Rose.

ISBN The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. United Nations General Assembly. Retrieved 1 March What is Sustainable Development? Capitalism as if the world mattered. London: Earthscan. Organization 13 6 : Retrieved on Understanding Sustainable Development. February 24, A Short History of Progress. Toronto: Anansi. Stories from the Stone Age. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Bayliss-Smith, T. Feachem eds. London: Academic Press, pp. Environmental Health: Ecological Perspectives. Meadows, J. Randers, and W. Behrens III. The Limits to Growth. New York: Universe Books. Living Planet Report Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Biodiversity Synthesis. Department of Commerce. Carbon Cycle Science. In depth: "Climate Change. Clark, Nancy M. Chapter 5. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Retrieved Sustainability Appraisal.

Island Press, London. Sustainability Indicators. Measuring the Immeasurable? BBC News. January 12, London: Island Press, pp. ISSN March "Stern attacks politicians over climate 'devastation'". The Guardian. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. October Retrieved June 17, World Resources — Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Environmental Project No. Summary for Policymakers. One of many carbon calculators readily accessible on the web. A New Appraisal and Assessment for the 21st century. Agriculture and Human Values 19 2 : 99— June, Journal of the American Dietetic Association 6 : — American Public Health Association.

September Lancet : February Journal of Animal Science. March Vital waste graphics 2. Ecological Economics 24 : — Leave the most pristine areas untouched, and look for areas that have been previously damaged to build on. Seek to restore damaged ecosystems. In arid areas, rooftop water catchment systems should be considered for collecting rainwater and using it for landscape irrigation. Hedge rows and shrubbery can block cold winter winds or help channel cool summer breezes into buildings.

Avoid foam insulation made with HCFCs. Reclaim CFCs when servicing or disposing of equipment. Durable products also contribute less to our solid waste problems. As long as durability and performance will not be sacrificed, choose low-embodied-energy materials. Look for locally produced materials. Local hardwoods, for example, are preferable to tropical woods. Make sure these materials are safe test for lead paint and asbestos , and don't sacrifice energy efficiency or water efficiency by reusing old windows or toilets.

Avoid lumber products produced from old- growth timber unless they are certified. Engineered wood can be substituted for old-growth Douglas fir, for example. Don't buy tropical hardwoods unless the seller can document that the wood comes from well- managed forests. These chemicals can affect workers' and occupants' health as well as contribute to smog and ground-level ozone pollution outside. Where possible, use alternatives such as recycled plastic lumber.

Take measures to protect workers when cutting and handling pressure-treated wood. Scraps should never be incinerated. Tell your supplier why you are avoiding over-packaged products. Keep in mind, however, that some products must be carefully packaged to prevent damage--and resulting waste. Install equipment with minimal risk of combustion gas spillage, such as sealed-combustion appliances. High- efficiency appliances offer both economic and environmental advantages over their conventional counterparts. Reducing hot water use also saves energy.

Heat recovery ventilators should be considered in cold climates because of energy savings, but simpler, less expensive exhaust-only ventilation systems are also adequate. When backfilling a foundation or grading around a house, do not bury any construction debris. Set up clearly marked bins for different types of usable waste wood scraps for kindling, sawdust for compost, etc. Find out where different materials can be taken for recycling, and educate your crew about recycling procedures.

Donate salvaged materials to low-income housing projects, theater groups, etc. In your office, purchase recycled office paper and supplies, recycle office paper, use coffee mugs instead of disposable cups. On the job, recycle beverage containers. The page you requested has changed, moved, or is no longer available. From the home page, you can access a selection of EERE Web sites, or you can browse from here to find the page you are looking for.

In addition, you can use the search feature in the upper right corner of the home page to locate your requested page. Data Sets This Environmental Assessment Guide is a tool to be used by public Send this to a friend Bibliography housing authorities to identify and rank environmental hazards that may endanger the health and safety of their residents. Not included in the Guide are building-related issues Calendar of Events addressed by other programs, such as lead-based paint and asbestos in individual dwelling units, radon or public safety. It does not address economic liability issues; its purpose is to help public housing authorities to identify State of the Cities unique and potent environmental issues affecting their residents.

MapStats This Guide was designed for use by a wide range of public housing authorities. The nation's 1. Units and projects vary widely in age, density, location, design, construction and upkeep. Public housing authorities vary enormously from rural authorities with as few as six units to urban authorities with thousands of units and large, complex organizations. Currently, public housing authorities have multiple responsibilities, often with limited funding and increasing workloads.

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This generates millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases, toxic air emissions, water pollutants, and solid wastes. No other sector has a greater impact on the global environment or faces a greater obligation to improve its environmental performance. With so much of the world's resources consumed in the building sector, learning how to build with the environment in mind will make a big difference for the global environment. Please contact us. Although these guidelines focus on the durability, adaptability and energy conservation issues of building design, they should be considered as part of a comprehensive approach to preserving and creating the built environment for sustainable development.

This is the main objective which underpins the guidelines. Buildings that are durable, adaptable and contribute to the energy conservation have a positive impact on environmental, social and economic systems, and thus contribute to more sustainable development. Aim, approach and target audience Top of Page The aim of these guidelines is to provide advice on a strategic approach to resolving the conflicts among durability, adaptability and energy conservation requirements in building design.

The guidelines are an outcome of a research project which focused on identifying such conflicts in higher education buildings. However, they are applicable to other types of buildings as well. It is not possible to provide prescriptive guidelines for the reconciliation of the conflicts among the durability, adaptability and energy conservation requirements because of the combination of variable factors in building design such as buildings function s initial and future , required service life, required level of adaptability and energy requirements.

Prescriptive guidelines may carry too many qualifications and limitations which are not applicable in all cases. Understanding the principles behind the conflicts in building design allows designers to apply their own ideas in solving the problem. Defining durability, adaptability and energy conservation Top of Page Defining durability, adaptability and energy conservation Durability is defined as service life, i.

In the construction industry, energy is used for the extraction and manufacture of building materials and components, their transportation to the building site, the construction process, the running of building, maintenance, adaptations, deconstruction and disposal. Energy conservation of buildings pertains to all these phases of building life. Teamwork approach Top of Page It has often been emphasised that an integrated team design approach is crucial for a good building design. Clients, architects, structural and services engineers, and quantity surveyors need to work together from the start of a project on the development of design strategies and the assessment of whole life costs.

Early involvement of contractors contributes to the examination of buildability and costs. Experienced building managers can draw attention to common faults in building design, maintenance problems, and difficulties or advantages in management and operation of different services systems. Design team members need to agree that, throughout the design process from inception to detailed design , they will try to identify the conflicts between the design strategies and solutions, and aim to resolve them. Consideration of whole life cycle impact of buildings Top of Page The main principle of building design for sustainable development is to consider the impact of buildings on the natural, social and economic systems throughout their life cycle.

The main consequence of this approach to building design is that buildings should not be designed as expendable and disposable products, but that the use of natural, social and economic resources invested in their creation should be maximised and any negative impacts minimised. Opportunities for achieving this goal arise from the moment when the decision is made whether to re-use an existing building or to build a new one, through all stages of building design, procurement, construction, use operation, maintenance, adaptations , dismantling, recycling and disposal.


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This approach needs to be adopted by both the clients and design team. The objective of the design philosophy is to emphasise that the main principles and objectives of a building design should be harmonised. This means that in the pursuit of energy conservation, durability, adaptability or cost effectiveness, it is necessary to remember the Vitruvian principles of commodity, firmness and delight. Buildings that are functional and comfortable, durable and look well have always been appreciated and rarely became obsolete. The main objective of building design should be to provide a building which meets the requirements for functionality, durability, adaptability, energy conservation, cost-effectiveness and aesthetics in a balanced way.

This means that the pursuit of one goal should not compromise the possibilities of achieving the other goals of the building design. Defining functional requirements, and design objectives and targets Top of Page design brief Both in adapting an existing building and designing a new one, building function, required service life, required level of adaptability, and energy requirements, which include the targets for energy conservation, need to be defined at the design brief stage. Together with the available budget, these achievement goals and performance targets outline the main design objectives and constraints.

Re-using an existing building or building a new one Top of Page feasibility studies When the functional requirements, design objectives and targets are defined, clients and designers need to consider whether to adapt an existing building or build a new one. This is the first step towards the energy conservation and preservation of natural resources. An assessment of the environmental impact of the new building will enable planners to decide whether the new use is compatible with the existing environment.


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Architects, structural and services engineers will examine and assess the above listed issues. If the assessment shows that the existing building is durable, adaptable, and contributes to energy conservation, then it should be re-used. However, financial considerations will have a significant role if some of the listed requirements are not met. Since the costs will be higher if the requirements of new use cannot be easily met, it is advisable to look for an existing building with design features which meet most of the requirements of the new use.

In order to avoid early obsolescence, one of the main strategies for achieving the durability of buildings is to design adaptable buildings. Apart from designing for the adaptability of the whole building, design for re-use means that building elements and components should be designed for re-use in the same or other buildings. This goal also contributes to energy conservation and has a positive impact on the preservation of natural resources. Energy used throughout the building life comprises the embodied energy of building materials and components, energy used in the construction process, during the lifetime of the building, and for dismantling.

Since the amount of energy used during the building life still represents the major part of the total energy used by buildings, energy efficiency of buildings during their lifetime and the type of energy sources non-renewable or renewable play the most important role in the total energy conservation and environmental impact of energy. The main strategic goal regarding energy conservation is to minimise the use of fossil energy and maximise the use of renewable energy resources, daylighting and natural ventilation.

Conceptual design - main spatial, structural and energy conservation Top of Page strategies Main principles of the design strategy are first expressed in the conceptual design which outlines spatial, structural and environmental concepts of the building design.

At this stage designers have the first opportunity to propose design strategies and examine their compatibility. In conceptual design, the following issues need to be examined with regard to the re-use durability and adaptability and energy conservation of buildings: Spatial issues: flexible planning of the layout. Planning of the layout means placing the activities in particular positions in a building whilst taking into account interrelationship of the activities, main communication routes and environmental requirements for specific activities.

Planning for adaptability of the layout means that activities and their relationship may change, as well as the complete use of building. Thus, the initial layout needs to be considered as only one of various possible layouts within a building plan. Both the plan surface and floor-to-floor height need to be considered.

The plan depth and.. The plant should be spacious and easily accessible for both people and.. If possible, it should be located at the ground level or in a separate building. Structural issues: wide structural spans and strong, 'robust' structure. Wide structural spans will allow a flexible layout, but then the structure needs to be robust and to be designed for extra loads. Robust structure is also designed to cope with known hazards considering both risk and consequence.

It is not unduly sensitive to marginal departures from the design assumptions, local defects or movement and environmental change. The structure should not deflect or vibrate to an extent that alarms the occupants or disturbs their function. Energy conservation issues. Maximising daylighting, natural ventilation and use of renewable resources. This is achieved by avoiding the need for air-conditioning through the use of shallow plans which permit natural ventilation and daylighting. Solar gains in summer are avoided by shading and correct orientation. Passive solar gains, particularly for ventilation preheat, and night ventilation for cooling, are also considered.

Thermal mass of the structure or building envelope as regulator of thermal behaviour of a building. While a heavyweight building does not have advantages over a lightweight building with good insulation during the warming up period, thermal mass brings an energy benefit in its effects on the usefulness of solar and casual gains. This means that lightweight buildings will overheat quickly, while heavyweight buildings are able to absorb the sudden input of solar gain.

The energy stored in heavyweight walls helps delay a demand for heating as the outside temperature drops, which has an important role in minimising temperature swings in unheated spaces such as conservatoires and atria. In hot weather, the thermal mass can be cooled by the fall of night, providing the building is not occupied by night. Design team will consider how building thermal mass can contribute to the energy conservation.

Flexibility and capacity of services. If the initial building use requires complex and 'intelligent' services, they need to be flexible. Flexibility of the layout also requires flexible services which have extra capacity, or the possibility of increasing the capacity. Flexibility of electrical, heating and cooling services is particularly important in order to provide adequate environmental conditions and servicing of the equipment.

Concerning the HVAC systems, this means that they may be decentralised to allow the differential use in the building. Independence of services in relation to the building fabric. The design and ducting of services should aim to achieve independence in relation to the building fabric to allow ease of change and maintenance, and avoid changes or damage to the building fabric. Design of the building envelope for durability, adaptability and energy Top of Page conservation In the process of defining main spatial, structural and services parameters, the building envelope also needs to be considered.

Apart from robustness, good detailing.. For example, water.. This can be prevented by good.. Special care is needed in designing the joints between building.. In addition, building components which have mechanical parts for example,.. Poor exterior appearance of a building may decrease the building value and.. Modular elements which allow changing of.. Extensions to the building may be easier if the building envelope or..

Adequate U-values, shading against.. Identifying conflicts between the strategies at the stage of conceptual Top of Page design The design team should aim to identify any conflicts between the proposed strategies and means for achieving them. Apart from the conflicts which may arise among durability, adaptability and energy conservation issues, possible effects of the proposed strategies on functionality, appearance etc.

If conflicts are identified, designers should aim to propose design solutions which meet the strategic requirements in a balanced way. Creating a building performance profile as a guide to a detailed design Top of Page When the main strategies have been agreed in the conceptual design, detailed performance requirements can be defined in the form of a building performance profile. The DAEC Tool is based on a method which can be used to define a performance profile for a building in relation to durability, adaptability and energy conservation.

Performance requirements should be defined in consultation with the client and revised when the whole life costs are provided. Durability performance profile. Durability performance profile will define the required service life of all building elements and components. For example, the performance profile of higher education buildings examined the following building elements and components: foundations, structure, roof and covering, building envelope, partitions, floor finishes, ceiling finishes, wall finishes, stairs, windows, doors internal and external, fittings, HVAC system, lighting, water plumbing, sewage system, lifts.

The list may be amended for other building types. Adaptability performance profile will define the requirements for building design features which affect adaptability. The adaptability profile needs to be defined in relation to the required level of adaptability. The list of building design features which need to be assessed may be amended for other building types. Energy conservation performance profile.

Energy conservation performance profile defines requirements for the building design features that affect energy conservation, and performance targets related to energy consumption and the environmental impact of energy-in-use. The above list may be amended, if needed, for other building types.

Detailed design Top of Page The detailed design will follow the requirements defined in the performance profile. It will consider the following issues with regard to the durability, adaptability and energy conservation: Durability issues. Specifying for durability. Specification of building materials, components and finishes which are suitable for the environmental conditions and can be protected from damaging agents in soil, water and air, and which meet or exceed required service life.

These specifications will also be based on the environmental impact of building materials and components. Designing for buildability. A design needs to be readily buildable and not dependent upon perfect workmanship and compliance with the specification. Advice on good workmanship and quality control. Good workmanship on site and the assembly of complex components off site will contribute to the durability of buildings. The level of quality assurance selected throughout the whole process should ensure satisfactory reliability. Specifications can include this advice, especially regarding new and untested design solutions.

A design identifies and provides good access for all items requiring maintenance and inspection. It should incorporate early warning signs of serious defects. It should allow easy maintenance of building elements and finishes. Adaptability issues. Design for dismantling and re-use.

A detailed design of building elements and components should aim to provide the possibility of easy dismantling. Design for accessibility and ease of use by all occupant. A detailed design of access routes, communications, services, etc. Avoiding conflicts between different environmental requirements. The strategies for low energy buildings comprise careful consideration of building design and management in other to avoid the conflicts between the means for achieving natural lighting, ventilation, heating and cooling.

This implies an understanding of different environmental conditions which occur in buildings during 24 hours and in different seasons, and how the strategies for achieving desired environmental conditions may come into conflict. There is a range of strategic Baker, and more detailed technical guides, e.

Adequate and energy efficient services. Services engineers will consider the use of condensing boilers, heat recovery and heat pumps reduce the heating demand, low energy light sources to reduce electricity demand, and combined heat and power CHP for larger buildings. Where mechanical cooling is unavoidable, they will minimise the load by adopting passive means e.

Modelling for energy conservation. A range of tools are helpful in planning and designing for energy conservation, and in predicting the energy consumption of buildings. Design for manageability and occupant control. Designers should aim to provide simple interfaces for operation of building environmental systems. Commissioning, handover and feedback Top of Page Since many modern buildings are very complex, and may comprise 'intelligent' systems or specific operation regimes to benefit from its design features, it is necessary to provide the documentation with operating and maintenance manuals for building managers.

References Burns, J. Chapman, J. Preiser, W. Rodin, J. Rookwood, R. Stillman, J. Cole, R. Natural Resources Canada Ottawa, Canada. Clements-Croome, T. Crawley, D. Dekker, K. Grammenos, F.


  • Modelling of powder die compaction.
  • Devils Game: The Civil War Intrigues of Charles A. Dunham.
  • CSA in the broader development agenda.

Kohler, N. Vischer, J. The site is maintained by the Florida Design Initiative and is organized around the individual technical guidelines that will comprise the complete set of Guidelines for Total Building Commissioning. Guideline Modules 1. General Principles and Procedures 2. Mechanical and Energy Systems 3.

Structural Systems 4. Exterior Envelope Systems 5. Roofing Systems 6. Interior Systems 7. Elevator Systems 8. Plumbing Systems 9. Lighting Systems Electrical Systems Fire Protection Systems DDC upcoming and future projects. In October , DDC published a companion piece for infrastructure, the High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines, one of the first of its kind in the world. As of December , about 30 pilot projects incorporating sustainable strategies have been built or are in design or construction under the Children's Center management of DDC.

Both Guidelines and the Implementation piece were made possible through the generous funding and guidance provided by the Design Trust for Public Space. Four of the projects are completed, with six now in construction, 16 in design and five in pre-design. Energy saving strategies adopted by most of these projects include: significantly greater use of natural lighting, low-e glazing, energy saving lighting controls, improved insulation, light colored roofing, and high Local Law efficiency heating and cooling systems. Nearly all projects use a palette of low-toxicity, renewable, Ultra-Low Sulfur and high-recycled content materials, such as newsprint insulation, plastic toilet partitions, fly-ash Diesel Manual PDF concrete, bamboo, and linoleum or rubber flooring.

Several projects have adopted more innovative strategies such as geothermal heating and cooling, photovoltaic panels, fuel cells, planted roofs, porous paving and gray-water recycling systems. Fifteen projects, three of which are scheduled to open in , are targeting various ratings, from certified to platinum, as defined by the U.

One of those projects, the Queens Botanical Garden Administration Building, is expected to receive a platinum rating -- the highest level -- achieved to date by just a handful of buildings worldwide. All new DDC projects are now required to start with an environmental meeting, to use construction materials with recycled content and low toxicity, and to develop a waste management plan, among other measures. Many new projects will be required to achieve rigorous levels of sustainability as per Local Law 86 for The powerpoints from these training sessions are posted here.

The Guidelines are being supplemented with a series on in-depth manuals to inform the high performance process. Since sustainable design is such a rapidly evolving technical discipline, by locating this information on the Web in downloadable format, the Office of Sustainable Design OSD seeks to ease the transition to sustainable building at DDC. The Specifications section includes recommended specification language on topics such as environmentally preferable materials and construction and demolition waste management.

Written as performance specifications in Microsoft Word, they are easy to download and incorporate into a project specification. University Ave. These materials may be freely copied for educational purposes. Income vs. Traditionally, we measure Gross National Product GNP , which favors any economic activities and production, regardless of their true benefits and effect on long-term societal well-being. Even consumption, demolition, and waste that require further production are credited to a higher GNP.