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Established Needs for Sustainability in Building Sector

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Sustainable ArchitectureProf. Avlokita AgrawalDepartment of Architecture and PlanningIndian Institute of Technology, RoorkeeLecture – 10Established needs for Sustainability in Building SectorGood morning. Welcome back to the course on Sustainable Architecture. This is the lastlecture of week 2. In the previous lectures we have seen the impacts of built environmenton natural environment on elements like water, land, air. And, then we discussed theAgenda 21 and how the United Nations, the world’s together placed the emphasisthrough various agendas which will help us to move towards sustainable development.Unfortunately, despite such a strong robust agenda being in place for 3 decades not muchprogress was made towards sustainable development as was anticipated.(Refer Slide Time: 01:30)So, here we have to understand how the built environment, buildings architecture willhelp us in achieving the agenda. (Refer Slide Time: 01:41)Now, before we move onon, we would look at the goals, sustainable development goalswhich were refrained, concised to form very crisp 17 goals for sustainable development.And, then we will see how we can achieve or how architecture, built environmentcontributes to each of these goals. These 17 goals are poverty, food, health and wellbeing of quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation. Access toaffordable and clean energy, economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure,reduction in inequality, sustainable cities and communities.Responsible consumption and production, climate action, aquatic ecosystems, terrestrialecosystems, peace, justice and strong institutions and partnership for goals. If you look atthese 17 goals; sustainable development goals, we see architecture helps in mitigating orachieving many of these goals. First of allall, poverty, we have seen how urbanization,concentration of population in urban areas leads towards poverty. Thus, developing,designing our cities not just cities, but are settlements in a sustainable manner willaddress the goal 1.We can also address the goal 3 partly which is of health and well being by designingproper settlements which provide for access to green open areas, healthimmunitiesamenities which help people to distress, remain stress free which are safe. So,that people are not stressed about the safety of elderly, women and children. All thesewould lead towards the achievement of goal of health and well being. Another goal which can be addressed partly through sustainable built environment is ofgender equality. When we create spaces where we allow community to come together,we address the goal. Clean water and sanitation, sanitation requires intervention of builtenvironment, how the settlements are designed, affordable and clean energy. Now,buildings have a greater role in this particular goal which is goal 7 where buildings aremajor guzzlers of energy.So, through the consumption pattern which is also the goal 12, through the consumptionof resources both energy and other material resources, through judicious use an efficientconsumption we can address these goals. The goal 11 which is of sustainable cities andcommunities is addressed only through sustainable architecture, sustainable builtenvironment which is how we design, construct and develop our settlements. Climateaction because, buildings consume a major amount of energy and resources it has a directimpact on the environment as we have seen in previous lectures.So, this goal is also impacted. AgainAgain, the aquatic ecosystem and terrestrialecosystem both are impacted by how our cities, how our settlements perform. Theamount of waste which is generated, how it is disposed, how it is treated, how the wastewater is being treated will impact goal 14 and goal 15. So, in all many goals can directlyor indirectly be achieved through sustainable architecture, sustainable built environment.Now, why are we so concerned about shaping our built environment, shaping ourbuildings in a sustainable manner? It is simply because we spent 90 percent of our totaltime of a lifetime indoors, right from the birth till our death 90 percent of the timeswhich is an unfortunate situation. (Refer Slide Time: 06:36)But,But yesyes, we are spending all the time indoors whether we are studying, we areinside our homes, we are engaging ourselves in recreational activities; majority of themthey take place indoors.(Refer Slide Time: 06:56)That is why more and more buildings are being built for a population which isincreasing. And what do these buildings consume? They are responsible for 40 percentof energy consumption worldwide and around 36 percent of carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide emissions which is leading to climate change which is leading to an adverseimpact on global climate.(Refer Slide Time: 07:35)So, this is at the global level that buildings are consuming. Now, as the population isincreasing as and as the world becomes more and more urbanized, more buildings areneeded, more buildings are being added in the world. AlsoAlso, as our lifestyle ischangingchanging, we are becoming relatively distant from the natural environment.We are more confined indoors and also because of the global warming as a temperatureis increasing, the energy use in buildings is increasing. It is also anticipated that thisenergy use is going to increase for few more years to come, if we do not mend our ways. (Refer Slide Time: 08:24)If we look at the situation of energy consumption in building sector in India, we see thatbuildings, the use of energy in buildings is continuously increasing and large portion ofthat energy is electricity which is required. In India as on date electricity is still producedusing the conventional fuel which is coal. So, majority of our electricity comes from thethermal power plants. Thus, emphasizing the point that the fuel, the energy that we areusing in buildings causes huge emissions to the environment.(Refer Slide Time: 09:15) If we look at the global final energy use per unit of floor area, if we develop all ourbuildings, the built environment in a sustainable manner that is when by 2030 which isthe year by which sustainable development goals need to be achieved. That is how wewill be able to reduce our per unit of floor area energy consumption, that implies that arebuildings are entire built environment which is going to come up has to be developed ina sustainable manner.(Refer Slide Time: 09:58)If you also look at the global share of building and construction final energy andemissions, we see that around 35 to 40 percent of energy consumption and emissions arebecause of the construction industry and the buildings which is a significantly largeamount. And, also the fact that it is low hanging food because we can manage thedemand side.We can reduce the consumption by virtue of the design and construction of thesebuildings and bring in a substantial reduction in the energy consumption as well asemissions through these buildings. Buildings and construction sector industry areresponsible for larger share of this air pollution. (Refer Slide Time: 10:51)Because, of the suspended particles which to a large extent cannot be controlled; ifsustainable practices are not adopted, it is a major cause of air pollution. Buildingsconsume high amount of material and resource.(Refer Slide Time: 11:12) (Refer Slide Time: 11:15)If we look at the kind of resource that goes into the building, we would also see thatmajority of the resources materials which are being consumed in buildings are alsohighly energy intensive; for example, cement and steel. Unfortunately, the practices forusing locally available indigenous materials has substantially gone down.More and more of our buildings because of their the need for a global look, because ofthe need for global aesthetics and also the usage, the need for going vertical atconsuming materials like cement and steel. Both these materials and many others whichare used in buildings today are highly energy intensive. They use, they consume a lot ofenergy in the process of their production. And, the use, the consumption of cement andsteel has been increasing year after year as the graph very clearly represents. (Refer Slide Time: 12:29)If we look at the use of different materials in residential building structure that isconcrete, masonry, steel, wood and composite; we see that the share of concrete issubstantially large. Majority of the buildings consume concrete for their constructionwhich as I just said is highly energy intensive and puts tremendous pressure on the globalresources.(Refer Slide Time: 13:02)If we look at the use of fuel in residential buildings and we focus on how the world hasaccess to electricity; looking particularly at the case of India we see that more number of residences now have an access to electricity which implies that for a developing countrylike us, as the access to electricity increases, the consumption overall consumption ofelectricity in residential buildings increases. And, that puts an increased pressure on theresources, our demand is increasing.As the access to the electricity increases, the lifestyle changes; instead of using manualmachines, manually operated machines we are depending more and more on electricityoperated machines and there a dependence on electricity as a fuel and our overalllifestyle that is changing. So, buildings the share of energy consumption is increasing.(Refer Slide Time: 14:26)Another very important area is the use of water in buildings, buildings by virtue of thefact that they house people that they provide shelter to the people and people need wateressentially to survive are major consumers of water. Now, unfortunately besides theconsumption of water by human beings, human population; major portion of the waterturns into waste water and it is not properly treated, that is what needs to be checked.So, besides consumption which is actually been consumed by the human beings, thewater is been converted in to waste as a waste water and also there is wastage of waterthrough leakage and a lot of other such means. This particular picture on screen is for USwhere because of the household leaks 1 trillion gallons are wasted every year which aresufficient enough to be used in 11 million homes within US. Now, that is the situationalmost across the world, that is one of the reasonreason that besides energy; since buildings are a major consumer of water, buildings need to be designed in a sustainablemanner.(Refer Slide Time: 16:07)This is a grave situation in one of the cities in India, where people have to stand inqueues for hours to wait for portable water supply in to their areas, homes.(Refer Slide Time: 16:17)Another reason is that more and more of the urban areas, developed areas are becominghard, impervious that leads to runoff, increased surface runoff and thereby reducing thegroundwater recharge, percolation to the ground and reducing the overall moisture content which is required to support greenery. And, that is a cycle which we have seen inyesterday’s lecture, how it impacts the overall ecosystem and cities after cities areeventually turning barren.There are several classic examples of cities becoming defunct simply because there wasno water which was available. Detroit is one such example where because ofoverexploitation of water resource, the entire city was abundant. At one point of timeDetroit was a very flourishing, it was economically a very flourishing city wheremajority of the car companies had established their industries.But, because of inefficient use of water resource there was no ground water available forpeople to drink, to survive and people fled the city. The city was abundant for severalyears, decades before the nature took its own course and recharged the ground water andthe entire ecosystems sprang back and now people are moving back to the city.(Refer Slide Time: 18:12)So, we need to sustainably manage our buildings to design our buildings to use theresources like energy and water through mechanisms like sewage treatment plants. (Refer Slide Time: 18:21)Besides managing the resources, the planning has a major role to play. This is the pictureof flooding in Chennai city. Chennai is a coastal city, ideally there should be no floodingbecause it is right next to the sea and the water should go to the sea, recede. And, the sealevel since it does not rise there was no point how a city like Chennai be flooded;unfortunatelyunfortunately, the natural drains have been encroached because of wrongplanning. Because, of a planning which was not thoughtful, not efficient which was notresponsive to the natural elements to the nature around us; such problems are commonand on the rise across the world, not just within country.Every monsoonsmonsoons, every time the rains are there we hear about these news andreports were some or the other city at least few areas of the city get flooded; simplybecause the planning has not been done properly. Areas, low lying areas which wereactually used to collect the rain water and that rain water be percolated to the groundhave been encroached upon for construction, for building construction. And, that is whyno water percolates to the ground, the ground water is receding, it is going down and thecity gets flooded in every monsoon and rains. (Refer Slide Time: 20:06)Another major reason why we should be talking about sustainability in architecture andbuildings is this which is waste generation. Because, of improperly managed solid wasteour cities urban areas are becoming dumping grounds; we have more and more of wastewhich is been dumped. So, almost the same amount of land is required to handle thewaste which is being generated in cities as the city area itself.The problem is so serious and grave that besides the environmental problems, it isleading to a lot of social problems, health problems. People are picking up more andmore of sicknesses, illnesses. (Refer Slide Time: 21:01)And, we see that Indian cities are generating very high amount of municipal wastebecause, it is not been treated sustainably.(Refer Slide Time: 21:07)Another as we have also discussed earlier is the problem of urban heat island. We werediscussing that if you move in to a city like Delhi from the surrounding suburban areaswe can immediately feel the difference in temperature, which is because of the highconcentration of hard surfaces in the city and impervious surfaces. We are also looking atthe social aspects where we are talking about neighborhoods and sustainability. (Refer Slide Time: 21:37)So, we are not just looking at the environmental aspects or the operational aspects ofbuilding, but we are looking at the quality of life and standard of living through asustainably planned neighborhood or settlement. We are also looking at inclusiveness,we are talking about urban transportation which needs to be managed in a sustainablemanner. This is required for ensuring the quality of life for all citizens.(Refer Slide Time: 22:14)Everybody needneed to have an access to open green areas to a minimum standard ofquality of life. (Refer Slide Time: 22:23)Besides these we also need to protect the culture and identity of a place that can only bedone through sustainable development of built environment. We are not just looking atthe technological aspects of managing water, managing energy, managing waste; we aretalking about the socio culturalsocio-cultural identity, continuation of the identity of aplace that can be responsibly done if we develop buildings in a sustainable manner.(Refer Slide Time: 23:05)As identified by global alliance for buildings and construction, there are many strategiesfor reducing the energy and climate impact of buildings and construction. And, the key priority areas which have been identified by Global ABC are urban planning, newbuildings, existing building retrofitting, existing building operations, systems, materials,resiliency and clean energy. And, all these are encompassed within the larger domain ofsustainable architecture, sustainable built environment; that is why we need to developall our new upcoming buildings and convert our existing stock into sustainable buildings.Starting from week 3, we would come to the specific understanding of what sustainablearchitecture is and how do we design and construct sustainable buildings. See you then.Thank you.

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