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I have been employed as a services and environmental management consultant to advise the client of design issues regarding the new inner city brewery next to the Kennet and Avon Canal in Reading, the issues that I shall be advising on are;
The health and safety on site.
The provision of primary services and potential alternatives.
The environmental impact of design choices.
The global warming and climate change - CO2 emission, the company are very concerned about the increase of global warming and climate change.
The client already owns the industrial unit, which is a high use of energy, particularly natural gas, to drive the huge steam turbines. The company have reduced their energy consumption by 25% in recent years through innovation and commitment. The village is to house their key workers, who at present have to travel great distances to get to work. The land where the village is to be built is a Brownfield site and has a few disused outbuildings in a state of disrepair.
Health and Safety
As with any construction project health and safety will be a big factor regarding any issues that are involved on and around the site. So therefore the three main pieces of legislation will have to be followed these are as follows.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was put into place to make sure that the health, safety and welfare of employer, employees and the general public is protected against the risks which has the potential to cause harm. The HSWA 1974 contains four main parts that are in the interest of the employer and employees and they are set in 9 schedules.
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Under the management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, it has a legal requirement that a risk assessment should be undertaken and that there is a written record to go with it. This is so that you can see what could cause harm to the employer, employee and to the general public in the workplace and that there is satisfactory precautions in place to reduce the risk towards health and safety. There are also a number of documents to comply with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 they are as follows;
A pre - accident risk assessment.
A post - accident re - assessment.
An accident investigation report.
Health surveillance records in appropriate cases.
Information provided to employees.
Documents relating to the employees health and safety training.
Construction Design and Management regulations 2007
The CDM Regulations set out a number of key requirements and are supported by the ACoP (Approved Code of Practice), with several guidance notes and is divided into five parts. These are as follows;
1) The notification of the project by the form F10.
2) A health and safety plan.
3) A health and safety file.
4) Information and training records.
5) Records of advice/views of persons at work.
I would advise that the contractor on site should make sure that all sub - contractors are fully competent with their job and that if they are not then they are paired with a buddy who is competent.
Understanding the influence of environmental and climatic changes on the design process
Construction and the built environment currently accounts for around half of the national carbon emissions, to tackle this problem it involves creating sustainable places. The designs of new buildings must show how the building minimises emissions towards the environmental, social and economic sustainability. The steps which are taken in design to minimise carbon emissions and to increase sustainability are as follows
Using locally sourced materials
Eco friendly sources of energy
Using high levels of insulation
Global warming and climate change
Global warming and climate change fall under part L of the building regulations which is the conservation of fuel and power. These regulations were revised in 2006 to come into line with the current climate change; they state that by 2015 all new buildings should be self sufficient, to reduce carbon emissions this means that the new built buildings should be able to create their own hot water and electricity. They also outline that to minimize emissions to air, land and water to increase sustainability by using eco friendly materials such as rammed earth and timber frames instead of using the traditional method of bricks and cement and using recycled car tyres which look like roofing tiles for the roof or by using green roofing instead of normal slates, the impact of this means that the materials can be sourced locally which also cuts down carbon emissions as it cuts the need for travelling. Another option is to limit the number of car parking spaces to try and encourage people to walk to their destination or to use public transport.
Regulations/ Code for sustainable homes
There are no real regulations in construction stating that buildings are to be eco friendly and be self sufficient, however with carbon emissions increasing Energy performance Certificates (EPC) have been introduced across England to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings and is required by law, this is when a building is constructed, sold or rented. The EPC`s are valid for three years. The certificate provides ratings for the building which range from A to G with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least energy efficient, with the average being a D. These certificates also come with a report stating suggestions on how to make the building more energy efficient however you do not have to act on the recommendations made.
The Code for Sustainable Homes is an environmental impact rating system for housing in England, setting new standards for energy efficiency and sustainability. The code works by having a star rating ranging from 1 to 6 with 6 stars being the highest possible of efficiency and 1 star being the entry level. To get these codes there is an overall assessment which looks at the environmental impact of the build the criteria for this assessment is as follows;
Energy and CO2 emissions
Water H20 and surface water run off
Health and well being
Heat Energy Transfer in Buildings including U Values
Heat transfer in a building should be considered very carefully when being designed and built because heat can be lost simply, but can also be gained by a building. The inside environmental or comfort temperature should be maintained between 18oC and 21oC. The table as follows will show you how easily heat is lost and gained.
Gained heat in a building
Lost heat in a building
Difference between the inside and outside temperatures
Every piece of material used in the building will have a U value. The U value shows how well a building heat`s, for example;
Temperature Difference (OC)
Rate of heat loss (W)
35 - 2.6
Total rate of fabric heat loss
The environmental impact of design choices.
The environmental impact of design choices is a big factor when coming to design a new building because of the factors as follows;
Raw materials consumption
This is a big factor because if you are using materials from other countries then you are creating then you are creating more transportation so there is more greenhouses gases polluting the air however if you used locally sourced materials it cuts out the need of transportation and therefore you are not polluting the air.
This has to be considered in two ways as you have to look at how much energy you are using to build the building and then you have to look at how much of its own energy the building produces to make it self sufficient.
It is virtually impossible to cut out waste during construction however we can limit the amount being produced by calculating the right amount of materials actually needed for the project and if waste is left over then it is gotten rid of in the correct manor.
Health and safety risks
Health and safety is always a big factor and the regulations covering health and safety should always be followed.
Agriculture and Animal loss
This is important because on any site you build there will be agriculture that you take down which means that you will be destroying animals habitats which will eventually kill them, so it is important that if tress or bushes are taken down that they are replaced somewhere where they are not going to get taken down on the site.
These factors all play a big part when coming to design and build the new building because if your building is not up to a suitable standard which where it does not fall into the new sustainable code system then your design will not be built. These design choices will have a bigger impact on the overall building as well as having an impact when not part of the building.
Eco friendly sources of energy
As modern buildings are being designed and built to be self sufficient, we are going to try and make this new build to the highest code possible in creating its own energy which will also have very little environmental impact as possible, this can be done by the use of eco - friendly sources, such as;
Hot Water solar panels
Hot water solar panels work by collecting the suns energy to warm the water running through the solar panels pipes and when the water is hot enough it is then transferred to the hot water cylinder in the building. The benefits of using hot water solar panels is that they are low maintenance and that they have long component lifetimes
I would advise that these are installed on the building as they will provide most of your hot water if not all. Also I advise you that the larger solar panels should be installed as they can also provide energy to heat up the building.
Photovoltaic solar panels
Photovoltaic solar panels work by gathering the suns energy and converting the energy into electricity, these solar panels do not need direct sunlight so they can work on cloudy days, however the stronger the sunshine the more energy is produced, which can be used to run house hold appliances and lighting the benefits of using photovoltaic panels are that it will cut your carbon footprint and electricity bills however if these are installed there the roof will have to be strong enough to hold the weight as these are not light bits of material.
I advise that photovoltaic solar panels are also installed with the hot water panels as these will account for most of your electricity, which will run your everyday household appliances such as lighting and cooking appliances.
Ground source heat pumps
Ground source heat pumps extract heat from the ground, which can be used to heat radiators or under floor heating. Ground source heat pumps work by circulating a mixture of water and anti freeze around a pipe buried underneath the ground, the mixture will get heated as it travels around the pipe.
The pipes can be stored to a depth of one hundred metres and because the heat underneath the ground stays at the same temperature all year round, they can be used in the winter without any loss of power
I would advise that these are installed as they can be used all year round with out fail, they will help heat your home cutting your carbon footprint.
Trombe walls are south facing walls that are usually made out of stone or masonry which have a thermal mass and are usually a dark colour to absorb the suns heat and are spaced behind a glass wall to generate heat, Trombe walls often take several hours to pass the heat through.
Passivhaus works by compacting the shape of the building to reduce the surface area where possible and having the windows face south towards the equator to maximize solar gain. These buildings can be constructed by lightweight or dense materials which have some thermal gain to help keep the building cool in the summer months.
There are two types of wind turbines; horizontal axis and vertical axis, both types do the similar job in creating electricity. However the horizontal axis wind turbines need to be directly aimed at the wind to generate electricity, and the vertical axis wind turbines will work in either direction of the wind to create electricity.
I would advise that the wind turbines are not installed as the building is on a low and flat area so you will not get the full effect as if they were on a higher area.
Triple glazing windows
Triple glazed windows are similar to double glazed however they have an extra pane of glass in the window which creates two air spaces within the window, this creates thermal insulation which will help keep the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS)
Sustainable Drainage Systems provide a natural approach in sustaining drainage in and around developments; SUDS do this by slowing down surface water run off to help reduce the chances of flooding and reduces the risk of sewer flooding during heavy rain. The best surfaces for this to work are; green roofs, permeable surfaces and filter drains.
LED are very eco friendly unlike your normal light bulb as the LED`s and provide more light with the use of less energy and uses less than a quarter of the electricity generated
The provision of primary services and potential alternatives
The provision of some primary services is necessary and is reflected in the structure plan and local plan policies. Primary services are allowed to be used up to code 5 of being self sufficient buildings as code six has to be fully self sufficient. Code 5 also has to be pretty much self sufficient with limited primary services being allowed.
Types of primary services are as follows;
For this project it will be fairly hard to cut out the primary services due to the scale of the building as we do not get the right whether to power enough energy for this type of building but they can be limited to the amount of energy that they give to the brewery, however potential alternatives could be;
Rain water harvesting
Ventilation with heat recovery
Micro combined heat and power systems
However as the development is being built beside a river, then there could be a possibility of using a water mill to help generate some of the running water and pumping it back out and going through a cycle system.
It is important to use the right materials for eco friendly sustainable builds but also to reduce carbon emissions such as using locally/regional produced materials. Buying locally can help create a good local partnership with the suppliers, reduce transportation and help with the regional economy however the materials being bought may not be of good enough quality. The best materials to use on a new building are materials that hold a lot of thermal properties as this help to keep the building warm in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Insulation is very important in a building as a well-insulated building will provide year-round comfort, will reduce heat loss in the winter and will also reduce the amount of heat gain in the summer which means it will cost less to heat and cool. Insulation also helps to reduce noise levels and condensation. Methods of insulation are as follows;
Insulation also comes in different forms such as;
I advise that fibreglass blankets are to be put into the loft space; this is because fibreglass improves your energy conservation but it is also fireproof, lightweight and will last the same lifetime of the building.
I would also advise that sheep's wool are to be used for the wall insulation this is because it is a natural product and it absorbs and releases moisture and has a life span of fifty years or more.
Plans for the Brewery
The plans for the basement show that there are enough car parking spaces for although the manager of the brewery is trying to persuade the use of public transport or walking to the brewery. The waste disposal area, beer cellar, dry storage room, plant room and services have also been placed in the basement for hygiene reasons.
The ground floor consists of a separate family lounge area which includes an enclosed play area for children and a café area with a fully fitted kitchen and bar.
The first floor consists of the main apartment for the owner of the brewery with a fully fitted kitchen and bathroom facilities. There is a small balcony coming off the restaurant and bar.
Overall view including the river
There are toilets on the ground and first floors, the lift and stairs run through all three floors there is also two fire exits on each floor for health and safety reasons.