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Environmental technology in architecture is the new demand of the millennium. The relationship between buildings and the consistent mishandlings of the environment has led to designs derived from considered responses to climate, technology, culture, politics and site.
This essay will discuss by studio project example, the conditions strategic and analytical measures in which the proposed aims to contribute positively to an environmentally stable and acceptable scheme. The aim is examine the 'As found site' identifying the potential qualities, materials and ecological impacts, in addition to the design programme and the environmental connections in the design approach
The proposed site is located on the former Middlesex hospital site in central London within the boundary of Westminster and border of Camden council, lying north of Soho, Marylebone and Bloomsbury in Fitzrovia. The 1.2 hectare site was occupied by a collection of hospital buildings internally interlinked dating from the 19th century to 1980's, which has since been demolished leaving a vacant site. As found the site contains two listed buildings including the Former Middlesex hospital church and Facade facing Nassau Street.
The proposed re-uses the currently vacant site the revised scheme will provide a high quality, sustainable development comprising of an informal flexible events space for short anecdotes hearings and gallery with public realm open space and integrated with landscaping.
Site potentials for reduced energy consumption
Environmentally conscious design should be inherent in creative process from the beginning, looking at the existing site there is potential to minimise energy consumption leading to a sustainable construction and scheme, starting with recycling reusable material onsite and mixing clay waste from the area with compost waste to create a nutrient rich fertilizer which can be use in the landscaping stage of the development.
(image and soil Report)
Site investigations show, the geology underlying the site is Made ground, underlain by the river terrace deposits with a minor aquifer which in turn is underlain by London clay, Thanet sand and chalk group. Beneath these strata's lies the Victoria line underground.
(Image of site plan showing Tube line )
These as found existing site conditions contain potential to reduce energy consumption by using ground source energy an increasingly used technology, which can be used for heating the proposed and existing church on site. This form of energy generation can be exploited the whole year round, significant reducing in carbon dioxide emission, heating and cooling costs. This works as the ground acts as a 'heat source' Note the heat source on site is slightly higher due to the urban density of the site location and position of the underground tube lines. In addition the ground can also be used as a 'heat sink' for heat extracted from a building in summer in order to provide cooling. This in term could assist the Transport for London (TfL) who has been struggling for two years to find ways to reduce the intense heat on the underground. By trigeneration using surplus power from the site to cool the underground although the technology is in its embryonic stage.
(Image of solids in the area and site) (Idea jpeg)
Site investigations and topological studies also show evidence of underground water sources which could be harvested and used to mix aggregates onsite and post construction used as grey water for cleaning, services and flushing toilets, which actively exercises resourceful conservation giving the site great passive potential,
reducing the potential for unnecessary energy loss through the engineering of the building and building systems.
Materiality and construction
Materiality is essential to efficient construction process as it has significant impacts on the building performance and surrounding environment.
The proposed scheme will aim to use materials that are resourced from unexpected sources i.e mobile phones, plant herbal fibres, minimizing waste and providing a responsive alternative to industry standards, Benefiting economically and environmentally. Equally the construction process is largely important, with this development intended construction process will follow a modular system of construction, ideally creating no waste either during construction or use, minimising the impact on the local ecology and immediate environment. Considered materials should minimise energy consumption and may improve bio diversity onsite.
There are other factors that effect materiality and construction process including climate, site orientation and surrounding environment. Such factors impacted on the Former Middlesex hospital site effect material selection.
Analysis using sun path and thermal performance shows heat gains from the building although this varies according to the orientation and position of the proposed scheme. Results show summer gains occur around midnight. This is mainly due because the sun rises earlier in the summer and spends longer heating up the east section of the site, suggesting that should the development be located or orientated in the easterly direction, materiality should be carefully considered as summer shading maybe required should the façade be glazing or concrete fully recessed construction.
Similarly shadow analysis shows
Mainly materiality is in this example is namely determined by its lifetime, durability, adaptability and reuse. Considering
Primary structure when comparing concrete requires less energy than and a lower net environmental impact than steel.
Statement of intend
Overall the design programmes incorporates environmental initiatives throughout the life cycle of the development. Form recycling raw materials to waste management. Improving the densely of the populated surrounding area by improving natural light and solar values by reducing the building mass on Mortimer street, Cleveland street and Riding house street and setting the development away from the site boundaries. In addition shadowing by the proposed site is negligible as scheme is subterranean.
Environmental improvements include an open public realm space creating a new public green space serving locals and visitors; the scheme reduces parking encouraging use of public transport. Increasing pedestrian access to the site and surrounding areas benefiting the local economy. The scheme will introduce bird boxes and wild landscaping bringing diverse ecological improvements to the site which previously had a low ecological value. Besides reducing the need for soak ways and extreme surface run off.
Internally the design aims to achieve thermal comfort for all users in enclosed spaces onsite, by controlling the internal environmental factors including air temperature, humidity.
Other internal treatments may consist of using NUTSHELL* Nano emulsion. A technologically developed Membrane based on nano technology, which insulates walls from heat transfer resulting in reduced heat loss, making internal spaces warmer and reducing heating costs. This membrane also reduces cooling costs and inhibits mould accumulation and bacteria growth which is essential in a recessed construction.
Other programmed requirements consist of Greywater and rainwater harvesting in addition to low
Led light emitiing diode
Design Approach and key environmental potentials