The Green Design Performance Construction Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Recently, the issue of climate change has been worldwide discussed much attention is paid on energy consumption. These problems inspired new strategic documents which argue the importance of understanding that buildings refurbishment not only decreases energy consumption but also improves whole condition of the building "Sustainable design is an integral part of good design. No building, space or place can be considered well designed if it does not contribute to environmental, social and economic sustainability. Conversely, no building, space or place can be considered sustainable if it is not well designed." CABE (2008).

The concept of Sustainable Development first appeared in the 1970s and early 1980s where it was defined as "…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The concept of sustainability has been growing in importance over the past two decades and currently forms a cornerstone of most developments and socio-economic activities in the built and natural environments. Peter Graham (2000).

Sustainable development integrates various issues: environmental quality, economic constraints, technical quality, and social equity and cultural issues. In construction context: can be defined as: reduction of environmental impact, minimization of cost, maximization of technical performance and improvement of social and cultural quality throughout the whole life of the building. Emma (2007).

There are many terms in the building industry that are used to describe the consideration of sustainability aspects in the design of buildings. These include 'sustainable design', 'green design', 'eco-design', 'design for the environment', 'high performance green design' and 'integrated design'. These terms can be equated with 'good design'. Good design is an appropriately holistic process that is sensitive to sustainability principles. Danielle (2007)


There is a necessity to investigate this area concentrate upon the inputs and outputs of refurbishment projects. Sustainable refurbishment is much more difficult to implement than sustainable new building considerably less research has been directed at sustainability methods and techniques for refurbishment. Council of Europe Brussels (2003).

Much debate has been sparked over the benefits and disadvantages of refurbishment over demolition and new build. Older buildings can be draughty and inefficient, but retaining and refurbishing these houses is potentially amore sustainable option than demolition and new building. Eco-refurbishment of older buildings gives savings in embodied energy, and can also achieve home energy ratings at least as good as new build housing. Jan Blomstrand (2008). According to Yates (2006) more than 4 million homes in the UK were constructed pre-1919, so the ability to reuse and refurbish these properties to modern standards represents a positive step towards sustainable construction. However, there is the premise that changing economic and social conditions has turned this legacy into a liability because of the high costs of refurbishment, the financial attraction of redevelopment and thus the increased housing demand threatens historic interest. Therefore the first research question is:

To what extent refurbishment projects are sustainable?

However, design process not easy to manage, in refurbishment projects the complexity increase by project uncertainty due to the lake of information available during the initial stage of design process.(Egbu,1994; Rahmat,1997;Hashim,2004 ).

One Sources of major impact in the design process that can potentially have a significant impact on sustainability performance is a lack of understanding of the design process required to achieve sustainable outcomes. Danielle (2007).

Sustainable refurbishment project may be affected by variables of the project itself such as lake of information about building is required to improve the environmental performance. Final communiqué from the third European ministers conference on sustainable housing (2005). Isabel (2007) reported that the characteristics of buildings that might affect sustainability performance. Azlan (2007) concluded that the availability of design information in refurbishment projects was significantly correlated with three performance variables which they are complete of design before work started on site, change of design during construction stage and time variance. Therefore, the second research question is:

What are project variables at design phase in refurbishment projects that seen to be value toward sustainability?

More support for sustainable refurbishment is needed through guidance and standards, requirements and regulations, fiscal incentive, awareness raising and training Isabel (2007). Inefficiency of current regulation and standards regarding of sustainable refurbishment, building design and construction appears to have little role to play in tackling sustainability. Tyndall center (2003). Therefore, the third research question is:

What the different challenges that confront the designer in addressing sustainability criteria in different refurbishment projects?

The sustainable design process as an inability to make design decisions based on environmental considerations according to Fullbrook the implementing a sustainable building is more complicated and need more attention on the initial design phase particularly during the development of design brief and encouraging an integrated and co-operative design approach.

Steve Sorrell (2003) mentioned that there is lack of integration in current practices and changing this culture is fundamental to increasing efficiency and quality in construction. The integration of the three dimensions of sustainability are still rear. Stefan (2008).

Cecodhas (2007) Mentioned that the energy efficiency is an issue of increasing importance for social housing organizations. Particularly in the field of energy refurbishment, new skills and know-how are necessary to respond to this challenge.

Fullbrook (2006) also found that there is inadequate education and skills, also due to increasing demand for sustainable building and limited range of practitioners the marked has to some extent been limited by the available expertise and skills of consultants, architects, and engineers etc. The lack of relevant skills and knowledge in sustainability is one barrier caused slowing implementation of sustainability in construction industry Hawa (2005). One Sources of major impact in the design process that can potentially have a significant impact on sustainability performance is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the design process required to achieve sustainable outcomes. Danielle, (2007).

Jeroen (2007) recommended that in order to generate the perfect environment for facilitating the sustainable refurbishment further research should be focused upon the participation in design. Sustainability in the build environment facing many difficulties, to overcome these difficulties it is potential of applying passive procurement concept. Lei Therefore, the forth research question is:

What are the devices (mechanisms) to be used during design process that useful toward sustainability in refurbishment projects? And what the measures will apply during design process to ensure sustainability criteria effectively introduced?

Dr. Azlan (2012) the main problem with refurbishment of buildings in Malaysia is the limited amount of information available. The uncertainty of information for design works depends on the condition of the existing building structure. Frequently, there are cases where structural information for buildings in archive documents such as reports, as-built drawings and manuals are not properly documented, incomplete or missing. Some of the available data is inaccurate because of modifications made throughout the life cycle of the building which were not recorded. This situation induces the designers to issue inaccurate designs because much of the information is based on their 'gut feeling'. As a result, many modifications of design need to be made by the contractor during the construction stage.

As information communication technology (ICT) has became so advanced, this often necessitates complete refurbishment of the existing building to install features such as new workstations and infinite access floors related to ICT stations.

Dr Syahrul (2012) the principal reason for refurbishment is to maximize income or asset value (Gold & Martin, 1999). The alternative to refurbishment is to demolish an existing building and build a brand new one. This, however, is costly in monetary and sustainability terms as planning permission will have to be sought, particularly if a change of use is involved. Not all refurbishment work will be financially viable and every case requires individual assessment.

Elizabeth Tinoco (2012) many jops which are green in principle are not green in practice because of the environmental damage.


Is the process of refurbishment projects produce green building actually?

To what extent the project properties to be refurbishment building affect the quality of green design?

To which extend refurbishment project variable affect green design performance of refurbishment project

To establish to what extent the design team was integrated green design aspects during brief stage of refurbishment building project

To establish to what extend using integration design team concept influence green design performance during brief stage of refurbishment building projects

Study of the relationship and influence between the variables and the main factors for refurbishment building of this the research.


The study aims to develop an appropriate set of mechanisms to certify sustainability criteria effectively established during design process of refurbishment projects?

Therefore, The specific objectives of the study:-

To undertake a thorough review of literature allowing a critical review of the different implementation of sustainability requirements in refurbishment projects to be investigated and documented.

To investigate the project variables at design phase in refurbishment projects that seen to be value toward sustainability

To ascertain and document the different challenges (including regulatory, policies) that confront the designer in addressing and accommodating sustainability criteria in different type's refurbishment projects.

To ascertain and document the critical success factors associated with accommodating and effecting sustainability in refurbishment project - from a design phase perspective.

To consider appropriate mechanisms (devices) to be used during design process that valuable toward sustainability in refurbishment projects.


The study will focus on investigate influence of refurbishment characteristics on sustainability performance and implement design process as tool to achieve sustainable refurbishment. It will concern with the integrity of sustainability principles from early design stage.

To determine degree of collaboration among design team design process the scope of study will cover architects as design team leader. The design aspects of refurbishment are not part of the study. Even though, the one of the design process mechanisms will use of the study is key players participation, the research will not cover suppliers, contractors, subcontractors local authorities. The investigation will concentrate upon building refurbishment projects medium and large size (above RM500.000) and was built during last five years.


The number of new buildings constructed annually in developed countries barely corresponds to 1.5- 2 percent of the existing building stock and concluded that the current construction rate, it would take from 50 to 100 years to replace the current stock of existing buildings entirely with new buildings. Since the existing building stock will remain with us for decades, the importance raises of the building stock as economic, social and cultural capital that should not be wasted. CABE( 2008)

In the 1990s the refurbishment sector is important in the United States, up to 50 % of the construction budget was spent in the form of refurbishment, remodeling and reutilizing existing buildings and the average spending of US national was 25% of the new construction spending .US Census Bureau (1998).Refurbishment in the UK expected to increase during the next decades due to the fact that demand for using the existing assets is more efficient. CCCIS reported that the refurbishment projects had increased from 22% to 42% of the total UK construction out put from year 1981 to 1996. Egbu (1997) observed that the demand for refurbishment projects had increase significantly over the past twenty years in the UK.

Refurbishment sector in Malaysia grows rapidly .The CIDB (2007) reported that refurbishment increased from 2% to 16% of the total Malaysian construction industry output from year 2002 to 2006. The growth of refurbishment activities since 2002 indicates that refurbishment sectors in Malaysia is growing and becoming one of the important sectors in the Malaysian construction industry .Azlan (2007).

Aiste (2008) mentioned that the building sector accounts for 40% of the final energy consumption in EU countries. Eurostat (2007). Housing, working and leisure places lightening, heating, cooling and water heating energy consumption is higher than in transport or even industrial sectors. Furthermore, this consumption continues to grow as well as buildings energy proportion in final consumption and CO2 emission to environment increase.

Marina (2005) found that while international organizations may look at refurbishment and renovation from different perspectives and with different interests, many of the documents published by these organizations agree as to the importance of the refurbishment and renovation of buildings in sustainable development .writer also reported that many research projects provide information that can support a sustainable approach to both new building and refurbishment, but, unfortunately, such information is not often implemented in real projects, especially in refurbishment . A few research projects are specifically concerned with the existing built environment or with refurbishment projects aiming at sustainable development.

Final communiqué from the Third European Ministers Conference on Sustainable Housing (2005) estimated that existing housing stock in the EU will provide the greater part of housing for at least the next fifty years, the existing stock generally receives little attention in national sustainable housing policies, which focus more on new buildings. Existing buildings need to be maintained, repaired, refurbished and sometimes restructured to serve new functions.

Isabel (2007) Found that the Current fiscal incentives for sustainable refurbishment are relatively limited increased fiscal incentives such as stamp duty allowances for purchasers or business rates reductions for occupiers of green buildings would generate rapid change in the market.

Steve (2003) reported that the fact that green buildings require an integrated design team, combining a wide range of different specialists, is well established. It is only through in-depth collaboration that the complexity of trade-offs between architectural features, building services and other factors can be achieved. Also he mentioned that Green buildings are possible if an integrated design team is appointed at the beginning and correct instructions are given. But it is hard to find such teams. Architects are rarely willing to compromise their design integrity and defer to M&E13 requirements at an early stage.

Larissa (2005) Studied performance indicators of sustainable design she found that there is still lack of case studies about sustainability indicators for building. Mohd Nordin (2000) investigated Indicators of sustainable development and he found that there is a need to provide a solid base for decision making at all levels of government, inform the public and for monitoring progress towards the ultimate objective of self-regulating sustainability. This in turn must be based on the application of a tool that enables integrated environment and development decision-making. The sustainable development indicator is one such tool.

Marina (2005) found that the research and the legal requirement of care in refurbishment are very important, but still have not been sufficient to support a careful approach. there is a lake of concern for exiting building qualities of the site, a lack of architectural competence in many projects and shortage of skillful craftsmen, the lack of training in preservation issues has meant that many architects and building workers do not have the specific skills that are necessary, limited economic resources and economic interests also present a high risk for inappropriate solution and inefficient participation by key actors.

The energy efficiency is an issue of increasing importance for social housing organizations. Particularly in the field of energy refurbishment, new skills and know-how are necessary to respond to this challenge Cecodhas (2007). In refurbishment projects the clients are very depended on the knowledge and skills of the project team Smith (1999).

Sustainable refurbishment requirements should be included in Building regulations and planning policy. The majority of emphasis to date in terms of policy and Building Regulations has been on new buildings. Consequently, there is relatively little obligation for the construction and property industry to deliver sustainable refurbishments, unless client requirements are to do so. Isabel (2007).

Earthscan (2009) The environmental impact of refurbishment will almost always be less than demolition and new build. This is because all the materials carry embodied energy - to replace them causes new carbon emissions. Furthermore, the demolition process and waste disposal creates carbon emission as well as other waste disposal impacts. It is often argued that a new building will operate at higher energy performance than a refurbished one, and that during its lifetime, may have less environmental impact. Two important effects should be considered - that new build is only the lowest emitter after the break-even time period, and that this period can be extended by improved performance of the refurbished option.

International labour organization sectoral Activities Department report (2010) The choice between renovating existing and constructing new buildings depends largely on individual cases in different regions. However, supporting evidence points to a huge potential in energy savings by renovating or refurbishing existing buildings rather than constructing new ones. As already noted, in the near to medium future (at least up to 2020) new build will only comprise 15 per cent of total housing stock.

Dr Syahrul (2012) the main reasons for refurbishment are as follows:

1. To meet modern standards, or to meet changing demands of buildings such as hotels, offices, airport terminals, retail premises, leisure and entertainment facilities and educational and health care buildings.

2. The upgrading in standards or conversion to new uses, of the whole or parts of industrial buildings, with production continuing in the area or adjacent areas.

3. Rearrangement of public services facilities with stringent operational safety requirements, such as railway stations (both surface and underground), where the provision of the services must be continued during refurbishment.

4. The conversion of buildings of extant use such as warehouses, mills, abandoned railway stations, large residential properties to new uses such as hotels, offices, exhibition halls and residential apartments.



The methodology describes how the research will be undertaken, in general, discusses research process, and the sample will involve in the study, the method will use to collect data, the data collection procedure and the analysis of the data.

The most common research methods employed by researchers' namely quantitative and qualitative methods, there are distinct differences between the two, quantitative method produce numerical data whereas the qualitative method produces result in the form of information which described in words. Combination of abovementioned methods can use both methods to obtain advantages and avoid disadvantages of methods, Fellow &Liu (1997). A combined research approach will be used, multiple method measures (quantitative and qualitative). Similar approach have been successfully adopted and implemented by Egbu (1994), Rahmat (1997), Hashim (2004) and Azlan (2007), Elforjne (2011) who investigated in the area of refurbishment.

Research Process

The methodology will be divided into three main stages; first stage is comprehensive literature review throughout two ways, secondary and primary data. Secondary data which include searching textbooks, journals, magazines seminars proceedings, thesis and internet sources. In this stage will focus on the area of buildings refurbishment, sustainability principles in general and sustainability in refurbishment, institutional governance systems which related to sustainability, integration and involvement of design team during design process .on the other hand, for primary data will use preliminary questionnaire to validate the theoretical framework and identify problems and results of the preliminary questionnaire.

Thesis writing &VIVA

Research proposal

Simi Structured Interviews

Preliminary Questionnaire

Comprehensive Literature

Data Analysis

Final Questionnaire Survey


Review previous studies and documents related to buildings refurbishment and sustainability

Comprehensive review previous studies and documents related to buildings refurbishment, sustainability,

& design process

To test validity of the theoretical framework, and to get clear information about company & respondent profiles

Statistical Analysis by using SPSS software

Insure final questionnaire

is clear and feasible

Writing and discussing research findings



Insure preliminary questionnaire is clear and acceptable to respondents


Pilot final question--naire to5 experts

Final postal question--naire survey

Identify research problem objectives & Hypothesis

Test hypothesis determined in early stage of study


results and recommendations


Validate preliminary Questionnaire

To confirm variables of theoretical framework, problems & results in preliminary survey


Governance Systems

Sustainability in construction

Skills & knowledge

Proactive design

Overall understanding

Integration & constructability

The research approach will be adopted for this study requiring the development and distribution of a questionnaire survey. A sample survey will be conducted through a randomly selected. The questionnaire is to be properly designed and structured; the factors and variables to be outlined and put into questions in way that enable the quantitative and Qualitative data collect later will then be able to test according to pre-determined research objectives. The method of data collection to be adopted includes: mailing questionnaire and semi-structured interviews.

The second stage of the study will involve in semi-structured interviews to clarify and confirm variables of theoretical framework, and indentify problems and results of preliminary questionnaire and verify the questionnaire will be acceptable to respondents. Before distributing final questionnaire survey to gather required data, final questionnaire to five experts will be piloted to confirm it is clear and feasible.

Finally, the data collected will be properly organized prior to data analysis process. Statistical analysis will be carried out on the data collected via descriptive statistic and conclusion statistic, the significant of the outline factor and variables to be analysis against the research problem statement, SPSS software (statistical tool) will be utilized to analysis the data collected from Architects who are practicing in refurbishment projects by mailing the questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.

Sample Data Collection

While the study will focus in design stage process of refurbishment projects, the appropriate profession would be architects as design team leaders in Malaysia. Sample data will collect from Architects who are practicing in medium and large size refurbishment projects. This data will help to determine the feasibility of the research framework developed. The purpose of sample data collection is to determine whether the data about the identified variables can be actually obtained and to confirm whether the questionnaire is comprehensible.


Findings of the study expected in macro scale to support creating high environmental quality and enhancing sustainable refurbishment by reducing chance of refurbishment environmental impact, resourcing materials and energy efficiency. In micro scale it will benefit designer, developers, educators and policy makers. The study will provide guidelines to best practices for architects in achieving sustainable refurbishment. It could contribute to academic organizations, professional bodies design organization government bodies by integrating the findings into the body of knowledge for delivering a sustainable refurbishment projects.