Sustainable Sites | Site Selection | Alison
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Sustainable ArchitectureProf. Avlokita AgrawalDepartment of Architecture and PlanningIndian Institute of Technology, RoorkeeLecture – 21Sustainable Sites - IGood morning. Welcome to this new week where we are studying about SustainableArchitecture, this online course on Sustainable Architecture. From this week, we willstart looking at the strategies and the technical details of how to design sustainablebuildings. In the previous week, we have seen how to understand the climate of a placewhat are the tools that we can use, what are the passive design strategies which can beemployed in buildings. They were largely the passive design strategies that we werefocusing on which we were discussing.From today’s lecture onwards, we will be talking about the design strategies andconstruction strategies which will be employed in design and construction of sustainablebuildings. Today we are looking at how a site development should take place forsustainable architecture.(Refer Slide Time: 01:31)So, while talking about sustainable site development for any building project we have tolook at few aspects which are common. The first one being site selection, where the siteshould be located, what all amenities should be around it, how much, what should be the distance and all that is covered within the site selection, what kind of land should bethere which would be selected?The next is the design, development and management of the site. So, how are thedifferent features on site going to be, where will the building be, how will in how atimely manner or phase wise manner, how the construction would go on and how willthe construction materials? And all other activities will be managed are covered in thissite design, development and management.Next we have transportation, because for any site the transportation to and from the sitebecomes very very important. So, what are the options available, what are the otherstrategies which can be provided while we are developing and hence the options thepossibilities opportunities will have to be provided right in the beginning when the site isbeing designed developed. And we have stormwater management. So, all these aspectswill be looked at in detail when we are talking about the sustainable development ofsight. Let us look at each one of these individually.(Refer Slide Time: 03:14)So, we are here looking at the site selection goals. What is it that we should look whileselecting a site for a sustainable project? The first one is its location, where is it located.So, when we talking about location we are looking at its proximity to the transport hubs.For example, railway station, bus terminus, the local transport, that is one aspect of location. We are also looking at its location with respect to the natural features which arepresent.For example, are we within the flood line, the within the flood plain of a water body, arewe coming in way of the catchment area of the water body, are we building, are wedeveloping our construction on an area which is a natural habitat for some species or itcontains some endangered plants and animals. So, all that is considered while we areselecting the site.So, we are looking at its location with respect to the development which is already therethe infrastructure. We are looking at the natural areas, how we can avoid the destructionof these natural areas, how we can protect the natural areas. In addition to that when weare developing we are looking at encouraging density and diversity.In the initial lectures, when we were establishing the need for sustainable architecture wehave seen how the world is growing. So, urbanization is a trend which is on a rise thesedays across the world not just in India. So, more and more people are rushing towardscities and our cities becoming bigger. Instead of the city is becoming bigger it isnecessary that the development be contained in smaller areas and the density beincreased. So, to encourage the increase of density and along with that the diversity,diversity through use of land for different purposes. And then we also have to restorenatural areas wherever possible through the site selection.(Refer Slide Time: 05:29) So, what are the strategies that we would employ when we are looking at the siteselection? First of all we will be looking at increasing the density. So, we construct in anarea which is already developed, which is already constructed. So, adding anotherbuilding to that reduces, not reduces, but does not increase the load on infrastructure.Suppose for example, we have to come up with a new housing scheme. So, instead ofdeveloping the housing scheme come on a green field little far away from the city it is aadvisable that the pockets be found closer to the city. So, that no additionaltransportation will have to be planned, no additional water pipelines, sewer lines andelectricity everything all that infrastructure in addition to what is existing will not beneeded if we were building it closed.Other amenities for example, which will grow organically, suppose there is a residentialhousing coming up in a new area then a lot of amenities will automatically start to growup organically, banks will can come up shopping areas will come up, crush a lot of theseamenities will come up. Now, that is an additional infrastructure. So, we try to build inareas which are already dense, which are already developed and hence we preferredevelopment. Instead of development we will prefer redevelopment. So, areas wherethe buildings are very old or have completed their life will need to be redeveloped. Whiledoing that we are ensuring that the habitat for animals, plants, the natural habitat isprotected at any point of time.(Refer Slide Time: 07:16) So, when we are looking at site selection besides the broad thing we have to see that thedevelopment plan or the master plan is confirming with the UDPFI guidelines, the localbylaws or any local law which governs the development of a site. It has to confirm tothat.We have to keep in mind and we have to adhere to the eco sensitive zone regulation andcoastal zone regulations. So, all the government regulations and local by laws; local lawswhich are governing must be fulfilled we should also keep in mind whether we arebuilding in proximity to the heritage areas. So, there are laws governing the distancebetween the new development and the heritage site which is already there and all that.So, we have to keep into my in mind the heritage areas and the laws associated withthem.We have to understand we have to know the water body zones. So, no constructionshould be done where within the hundred year flood line level. Also no constructionshould be done in the catchment area of a water body. So, if you remember there wasthere is usually an uproar when the catchment areas of rivers and lakes are beingencroached upon. So, a lot of projects you might be able to recall through media, throughnewspapers which keep coming up in the limelight, the impact of such haphazarddevelopment if we are not taking into account all of that is it will impact the naturalresources and some all the other way.There are a lot of water bodies where because a lot of catchment area was developedcovered because of boundary walls the water did not reach the surface aquifer and thewater body has died. It has a direct impact on further systems for example, the groundwater table will deplete, it will decrease. There is no surface aquifer which will help itrecharge. It will reduce the amount of greenery which is their vegetation because theground water table the there is not enough moisture and the land we eventually movedtowards desertification. So, all these are subsequent effects if we do not do take intoaccount, keep in mind all these different guidelines and regulations. (Refer Slide Time: 09:59)We have to give preference to Brownfield development. We have already discussedabout what a Brownfield is, versus a Greenfield. Here for a sustainable site developmentwe would prefer that a Brownfield is chosen it is often difficult to develop Brownfieldbecause there is already an existing contamination or a building structure which needs tobe demolished. So, often an extra cost has to be added for clearing the site and making itready for the new construction, new site development.However, we ignore the cost of natural resource consumption in all such cases. Simplybecause it is not going out of our pocket, we totally omit it, we just do not think about it.But for any sustainable site development the preference should be a Brownfield not aGreenfield. (Refer Slide Time: 10:57)Here we will have the opportunity to restore the degraded urban land and to it will helpto promote the infill and it will reduce the sprawl. In today’s times when urbanization isincreasing at such a fast pace, we are witnessing the sprawl, urban sprawl. The citieshave increased multiple times if we look at their areas, if you look at Delhi, Mumbai, anyother metro city not just within India, but across the world. The cities have gone at leastmany many times from what they originally were. So, the aim of sustainable sitedevelopment is to reduce sprawl and which can happen if we select Brownfield sites forthe development and redevelopment.(Refer Slide Time: 11:52) Besides the selection strategies we also have the location and planning strategies. Herethe things which we have just discussed for example, the protection of natural areas,these become very very important. So, this is planning strategy. We have to avoid thesensitive sites, building on sensitive sides and the flood plains.Now, these are the recharge, these are the lungs for the nature and they help in sustainingthe natural resources and the regular systems of nature. So, we have to avoid anysensitive site, development in any sensitive side and floodplain. We have to limit or notbuild on any of the steep slopes. Unfortunately, if we look at all the hill towns these daysbecause of this increase in migration people move to the city areas more and more thesteep slopes are being constructed.Thankfully, fortunately a lot of new technological advances are also there to support thekind of construction we are looking at, construction on extremely steep slopes. However,nature is unpredictable these constructions are so prone to hazard specially in hilly areas,so there are earthquakes, there are landslides, now all these slopes steep slopes andconstruction on them will then become extremely prone to these hazards, highlyvulnerable. That is what we have to do when we are deciding upon the strategy forplanning and selecting this site for its location.(Refer Slide Time: 13:43)For floodplains we have to see that the site does not come within the level of a 100 yearflood line. This particular image is for the city of Surat and when they mapped the last 100 year flood line they found that a lot of development a lot of these areas which weredeveloped were actually the floodplain areas, and they that is what was causing theproblem because all these areas have been developed.Now, this is not the only city which is witnessing such problems. This particular imagesis of Chennai, Gurgaon, New Delhi wherever come on soon and we find the media thenewspapers flooded with the news of some low lying areas in the city is beingsubmerged, this is simply because we have ignored the total concept of this flood plain.So, each city and this is where we are also ignoring the fact that there was a water body,the lakes have been eaten up, now there is no place for the water to accumulate.In large cities, earlier if we would see there were a number of water bodies surfaceaquifers which would shrink during summers and they were they had enough volume tohold a lot of rain water. Though the rains have decreased and the water bodies havealmost vanished that is why we see a lot of flooding in the cities in the urbanized areas.We have to ensure that we are not constructing in any of the sites which is coming withinthe 100 year flood line.(Refer Slide Time: 15:31)Now, coming to water bodies which I was just mentioning, we have to ensure that weprovide buffers for bodies of water. This is a water body a lake, in Bangalore which isbeing encroached by addition, the infill. A lot of lakes in cities have already been eatenup and this site a couple of years later will be used for constructing new buildings which is what we have to avoid at any cost. So, the development around water bodies should beat a minimum distance which is specified in different local as per local bylaws, laws andalso in national governing laws.It is approximately it way varies ranges between 50 feet to 100 feet or it may be moredepending upon the scale of water body depending upon the type of water body. But wehave to ensure that we do not construct adjacent two water bodies.(Refer Slide Time: 16:32)Then we come back to location and planning and we have to ensure and all the greenbuilding rating systems which are voluntary inlay nature and also change vary from placeto place. They also mention is that such sites should be chosen for developmentconstructing buildings which have access to transportation, housing, employment andservices around them.Now, this we are talking about a commercial building development where we arelooking that they should be housing in the proximity, there should be other opportunitiesfor employment, the services infrastructure should be available, there should be enoughof transportation. So, that we reduce the load on privately owned vehicles and thetransport public transportation is used maximized. To do that what we do is we look atthe development density. (Refer Slide Time: 17:25)So, there are two-three concepts which we understand here. First is of developmentdensity. Now, what we do is from the building under questions, for this is the buildingwhich is being developed from the centre of it and this radius also varies from differentrating programs, but it is at times 400 meters, 500 meters, sometimes more, half a mile, 1mile is also there and in this entire circle we try to see what is the development density.(Refer Slide Time: 17:56)We can calculate the total building square footage. So, total square foot of air which isthere, we look at the total area total site area and then calculate the project development density. And we see that how and for different rating programs this development densityis also prescribed. The ultimate objective is to increase this development density, higheris the development density lesser is the additional load on infrastructure which is themain intent of this calculating this development density. Another concept when we aretalking about selecting the site is community connectivity.(Refer Slide Time: 18:35)Now, we are looking at development of such sites redevelopment maybe which areconnected to the community. Now, within this radius which we were talking in theprevious slide, we would calculate, we would count the number of amenities which arethere. So, these different amenities which are present around it.Now, there is a list of these amenities which are considered when we are talking aboutcommunity connectivity. So, how many such amenities are present within this area orthere is another concept where what is the distance from the site in question to thisamenity. Now, it may not be a linear path it may be a staggered path. So, what is thattotal distance which one has to travel from the site in question to the amenity?So, a total distance has travelled is also considered in some of the rating programs, insome many others only the presence of amenities within a given radius within a givendistance of the site is considered. But again, the intent here is that as many communityamenities are present within the proximity of the site which is under development. Now, that will happen when we are developing and already developed area, so that the load ontransportation on services everything is minimized. No new infrastructure is developed.(Refer Slide Time: 20:11)So, here when I was talking there, this is the concept where either we are developing on apreviously developed site or we are developed developing within 500 meters of aresidential area. Now, this is for commercial buildings or we are developing within the 5,within 500 meters of at least ten basic services and there is a pedestrian access betweenthe building and the services. If these are present then the site is considered to be good asustainable site. (Refer Slide Time: 20:40)To show the compliance there are multiple options which are available, one verycommon is this where we identify where is our site and we also identify the differentamenities which are located around the site and we properly list them. So, a lot ofamenities are listed. Some of them we can see here, banks, worship centres, convenientstore or grocery store, fire station, post office, pharmacy, restaurant, fitness centre. Now,this is the one which is already present there is an exhaustive list. So, a lot of otheramenities are also counted within this.(Refer Slide Time: 21:21) The next is diversity of uses and diversity of housing types. Now, any developmentwhich has a mix of different land uses commercial, residential, institutional, officebuildings, a lot of these different land uses reduces the requirement of a person to travellarge distances, the requirement for transportation. So, no additional transportation willbe required if mix of land uses is present within the close proximity of the site.Also diversity of housing types that helps a good mix of people brings in the diversitywhich is where we are talking about the social aspect of sustainability. So, often in greenbuilding rating programs we might not find that, but when we are talking aboutsustainable site development this becomes very important where a mix of housing typeshas to be provided. Now, also different classes within a community are interdependenton each other for various purposes for various services. This is this diversity of uses andhousing types fulfils that.(Refer Slide Time: 22:40)Then, when we are talking about location and planning, we are talking basically abouttaking advantage of the existing infrastructure, and that will happen when we develop inthe already developed areas. (Refer Slide Time: 22:52)The dense and diverse sites and we promote compact development. A not just a city, butalmost a country in itself Hong Kong is developing in such a manner that it is highlydense. Yet if you ever visit Hong Kong you would see that all the basic amenities andinfrastructure is being provided to each building. Now, that is managed because for thesame amount of built up area they have reduced the sprawl, they have reduced its thecoverage on ground, they have shrunk it they have gone vertical and so, the requirementfor infrastructure is less. So, less length of our transportation line is required.We will need to apply more metro trains, but the line metro line will remain limited, itwill be contained. The same for many other infrastructure or and services. For example,sewer line. The total overall length of sewer line is reduced, it is contained, though thevolume that it carries may be increased. So, this is what we have to aim at and achievewhen we talking about sustainable site development. (Refer Slide Time: 24:17)One very important thing which we will look at it, look at in detail in further lectures isaccess to public transportation. Many large cities in the world are facing a problembecause they never paid attention to how public transportation should be developed.People started using their own, privately owned transportation more like their cars andtwo wheelers and all, and there was not enough emphasis on public transportation, one itis very very energy intensive, because each one travels in his own car, instead of a buswhich can carry 50, 60, 70 or passengers all at the same time, and consumes less amountof resources.Besides that there are a lot of other problems which we see, traffic jams are there inmetro cities, all that can be avoided if we develop in such a manner that the sites haveaccess to public transportation and from policy side the government pays a lot ofattention to development of public transportation.So, while we are selecting the site and it automatically is reflected in the economic in theeconomy, where the site which are closer to the mass transit always get paid higher, butwe have to consciously select sites which are located near the mass transit. (Refer Slide Time: 25:50)We have to limit the parking, so that people are encouraged to use public transportationmore. We have to encourage carpooling. So, policies and apps can be developed wherepeople are encouraged to use carpooling, promote alternative fuel vehicles by providingopportunities for people to do so, for example, charging stations. So, if there are chargingstations people will be motivated to use electricity driven vehicles and like that.Incentivizing all these activities, so that people use public transportation and quite usingprivate vehicles. And we have the support alternative transportation through design,through planning, through policy planning and we have to encourage last mileconnectivity.Now, you might have seen across many cities within India and world is anywayspromoting it that bikes are available for share and ride. So, you hire a bike, bicycle andyou move from one place to other way are you are able to commute in using publictransportation and only the last mile connectivity problem is resolved. So, transportationstrategies are a very important area of concern when we are talking about sustainable sitedevelopment.Now, through this lecture we have broadly covered all the aspects which will go whenwe are talking about site development, the broad areas of site selection, how to developthese sites. In the next lecture, we will specifically be talking about the qualitativeaspects of how site should be developed. Here we have selected the site based upon all these parameters, next we will talk about how the site should be designed and developed,so that it continues to remain a sustainable site.Thank you very much for being with us. See you in the next lecture.

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