GreenBRIDGE

12 November 2009, 12:00 - 14:00

CRASSH 17 Mill Lane

Sustainable built environments: Building design, building performance and building occupants.  

 

Session Co-ordinator: Matthew French 

This seminar brings together current graduate researchers from the Department of Architecture to question the influence of building design and occupants on achieving sustainable built environments. While the speakers’ research contexts and building typologies vary, the work is unified by an interrogation of the role of the occupant in the sustainability agenda and the occupants’ subjective assessment of their built environments. Across all building typologies, built environments can be designed to so-called sustainable standards, however the people who eventually occupy such environments have a significant influence on its performance. Drawing from the diverse research approaches, the seminar questions the narrow technological focus that has dominated the debate of what is ‘sustainable architecture’ in an effort to highlight the complexity of the sustainability agenda, the possibility of ‘sustainable architectures’, and reclaim some ground where sustainability is viewed holistically within specific socio-cultural contexts.

Speakers:

PhD Architecture Students, Research presentations (TBC)

Kam Shing Lueng
Morphological variations in high-density tropical housing and their implications for the radiant environment

Aoífe Anne-Marie Houlihan Wiberg
Carbon certification in hotel sector: lessons learnt and future opportunities

Juan José Sarralde
Impact of users’ behaviour on the energy performance of low-carbon housing

Matthew Anthony French
The complexity of comfort in self-built ‘slum’ and government housing: a case study from Argentina 


Format:
12:00            Introduction (5 mins)
12:05            20 minutes for each speaker (80 minutes total)
13:20            Speaker over-run (5 minutes contingency time)
13:30            Panel discussion with audience questions/ (30 minutes)
14:00            Close

Open to all.  No registration required

 

Abstracts:

Kam Shing Lueng
Morphological variations in high-density tropical housing and their implications for the radiant environment

The research aims to investigate how variations in urban form influence the thermal environment within high-density tropical housing.  High-density cities emerge in the tropical region to accommodate population growth partly due to rapid urbanisation.  Their urban forms have been continuously shaped by multiple forces such as social, aesthetic and economic considerations. The resulting urban form is expected to create a microclimate that is distinct from the ambient condition. Such effect is particularly complex for high-density housing since closely-packed buildings substantially influence each other and multiple dwelling units exist in the same building.  A better understanding of this phenomenon is expected to facilitate more informed decisions on the way high-density urban form should be shaped in the tropics.

The research first identifies common morphological variations in high-density housing by using Singaporean public housing as a case study and tracing its evolution from 1960 to now.  Generic urban forms are then constructed to represent these morphological variations while holding other factors constant.  For each generic form, computer simulations are performed to estimate the amount and distribution of solar irradiation on building facades – a major source of heat gain in tropical buildings.  A survey is also conducted to understand the significance of the effect of urban geometry to the ultimate thermal comfort and electricity consumptions of households in reality. 

Aoífe Anne-Marie Houlihan Wiberg
Carbon certification in hotel sector: lessons learnt and future opportunities

T.b.c

Juan José Sarralde
Impact of Users’ Behaviour on the Energy Performance of Low-Carbon Housing

The British government has set the target of reducing CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050. In order to reach this target, different institutions are developing guidelines for energy efficient designs to be incorporated in the building industry of housing. However, despite all the efforts that can be put in the design phases of new low-carbon houses, there is proved evidence that the occupants’ behaviour might drastically change the energy performance intended by design. By means of computational dynamic simulation, this research explores the causes of users’ sub-optimal behaviour, presenting a quantitative and comparative analysis of the impact that different actions might have on the energy performance of a prototypical low-carbon dwelling.

Matthew Anthony French
The complexity of comfort in self-built ‘slum’ and government housing: a case study from Argentina 

This study compares informal, self-built incipient (timber and iron ‘shacks’) and consolidated (reinforced concrete and brick) houses with formally developed and contractor-built government housing in terms of thermal performance and occupant comfort.  The research has a longitudinal, case study, fieldwork methodology underpinned by adaptive thermal comfort theory.  The case study comprises three adjoining neighbourhoods located in Buenos Aires.

Dwelling performance is found to strongly relate to bio-climatic design influences, primarily construction materials and quality. The study finds that while the typologies are easily ordered according to objective temperatures, residents’ responses to such conditions are much more complex. Thermal comfort is achieved at a much wider range of temperatures than reported in previous studies, challenging previaling stereotypes of comfort and satisfaction  in informal settlements and Western notions of thermal comfort.  The findings challenge the general assumption that formally procured, architecturally designed, and contractor-built housing provides significantly higher standards of thermal performance than irregular self-built dwellings. The findings support the theoretical argument that conceptualizes thermal comfort as a social phenomenon rather than a purely physiological response to certain environmental conditions. This argument challenges the prevailing standards, which are based on the physiological model, that are extremely resource intensive to maintain 

 

For more information about the group please visit the link on the right hand side of this page