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Describe the systems used to provide disposal systems for a variety of buildings and describe their characteristics, with particular reference to sustainable principles.

Evaluate the problems associated with the integration, accommodation and access for the maintenance of mechanical and electrical services in a variety of buildings.

Application of Sustainable Principles for Refurbishment Project

 Sustainable development principles are being applied to all new building projects and even to refurbished building projects. The concern for scarce environmental resources is increasing every day and thus the need for sustainable development has increased. The purpose of this report is to understand the importance sustainable principles and its implementation on the proposed refurbishment of an old primary school building at Edleston Road into residential flats. This report contains an elaboration on the application of sustainable drainage and waste disposal, methods for providing smooth access to mechanical as well as electrical maintenance personnel and the importance of low carbon focussed technologies and energy efficient building operations.

The limitations to the drainage system that is currently in use at the old Victorian buildings are as follows:

  • The existing drainage system of the area disposes all the sewage into the nearest water bodies such as Valley Brook. This sewage is mostly untreated and contains harmful toxic chemical substances that harm the ecosystem of the water bodies (Hung et al. 2015). The pollutants even seep into the soil and affect the groundwater resource. Groundwater is the primary source of drinkable water in many areas and thus its pollution will be affecting the population living in and around Edleston Road.
  • The existing drainage system does not provide any collection and utilization of rainwater. It is a well-known fact that rainwater seeps into the ground to recharge the water table. However due to urbanization, the soil was covered with cement to support civilization and the storm drains dispose all the collected rainwater into various water bodies (Davis 2014). The groundwater is not replenished and water scarcity is observed in different places.

Figure 1: Old Drainage System

(Source: Department of Environmental Conservation 2018)

The following are the limitations to the waste disposal system that is currently in use at the old Victorian buildings:

  • Landfill is the most common of type of waste disposal (Crawford and Smith 2016). The waste is generally collected from the waste disposal units present at different curbs of the roads and then transported to the landfills using trucks. The waste is never segregated. Biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes are dumped together into the landfill. This causes many waste materials to deal with. With the increase in population and an advanced lifestyle, more waste is generated every year.
  • Organic waste materials are sometimes incinerated to reduce the volume of solid waste. Open-air incineration produces harmful gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) (Kim et al., 2016). These gases not only have a direct effect on the human, animal and plant life; they also have some indirect effects like acid rain that causes water body pollution and structural damage. These gases cause breathing problems and even lung and skin cancer among the people who burn these wastes to earn a living.

These steps can help to provide sustainable drainage solutions:

  • Sewage can be collected, stored and treated before releasing them into the water bodies (Haghighi and Bakhshipour 2014). This would remove the toxic substances from the sewage and would not harm the aquatic ecosystem of the water bodies. Direct sewage collection channels connected to the households can be used and then the sewage can be directed to a sewage treatment plant. The treated sewage is harmless as it contains mostly water and very little amount of organic material that is beneficial for the ecosystem.

Figure 2: Improved Drainage System

(Source: Department of Environmental Conservation 2018)

  • Impervious surfaces do not allow the flow of rainwater into the ground to recharge the water table (Ramamurthy and Bou‐Zeid 2014). Thus to increase the absorption, the rainwater can be collected and stored with the help of rainwater basins and then absorbed into the ground through a pervious surface. These would efficiently recharge the ground water source. Since only rainwater is infiltrated into the water table, the quality and volume of ground water will definitely increase.

Waste disposal can also be made sustainable with the help of the following methods:

  • The building manager and the residents must take steps to segregate waste materials  into different categories such as recyclable and non-recyclable. Wastes like paper, glass and metal can be recycled (Higashida and Managi 2014). Non-recyclable wastes can be further sub-categorized into biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. The biodegradable waste would include organic wastes whereas the non-biodegradable wastes would include wastes that cannot be recycled. The wastes must be thoroughly separated and then sent to landfill.
  • It is seen money is the fundamental motivational source for achieving most targets. Here, a particular system can be generated where the incentive structure can be generated for those households who generate the least amount of wastes. This scheme will definitely help reduce the amount of waste generated. A penalty system can also be developed to for those households, which generate huge amount of wastes. This penalty structure will also definitely help to reduce the generated waste.

The following problems are faced with providing the previously mentioned maintenance services in residential buildings:

  • Maintenance services are primarily outsourced to other companies as it is cost efficient and the quality of service is ensured. Generally, the details of the electrical and mechanical services are provided in the blueprint of the building. However, in the case of old buildings tracing all the services is difficult, as most of the blueprints generally get lost. The on-call personnel thus have to learn about the building first before applying any maintenance procedures.
  • Refurbished buildings often create serious maintenance risks, as the buildings might be too old for any implementation of new electrical or mechanical services. It may also happen that the existing services are dangerous to work on and that might result into a fatal accident.
  • Residential buildings are prime targets for different criminal activities like theft and robbery. These services are outsourced as mentioned in the earlier part of the report. Thus, every time a different person comes for the maintenance. There has been a large number of incidents where either the maintenance service personnel or criminals disguised as them have been involved in criminal activities (Linn 2015). This creates a huge security problem for the residents as well as the building mangers.
  • The company to whom the maintenance services are outsourced to need to understand that the security of the residents is of utmost importance. Thus, they must execute high-level background checks before recruiting personnel in their company. They can even keep dedicated personnel for the residential project at Edleston Road. The person would be in charge of that project only. This means that time and work efficiency would be achieved as he would not have to spend time on learning about the building every time he visits it for maintenance.
  • eMaint designed byeMaint Enterprises is a cloud-based Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) can be implemented that helps to develop high level maintenance operations at the a cheap cost (Software 2018). This software can be used to save time and money by accurately creating plans, organizing them and thus providing efficient maintenance services to the building. It is very easy to use and provides multiple language support so that most people can easily use it. Unplanned downtime can even be reduced with good plan creating practices by using this software. It is also well known that a better planning phase also means that better decision-making.

Emission of Green House Gases has been a matter of concern for the environmentalists for a long time. Technological aspects are being upgraded every year that tends to the reduction of these gases. Building materials and utilities like electricity consumption emit a huge amount greenhouse gases from every residential buildings and commercial buildings alike. The methods that can be used to make the building efficient in energy and significantly lower the carbon emissions are as follows:

  • Using large glass windows will increase the amount of natural light that enters the building during daytime. This would decrease the amount of electricity used for lighting purposes during the day.
  • Fossil fuels are usually used to generate energy for building heat generation and water heating for general residential purposes. This heat can instead be generated using solar water heaters. The hot water can be run through the building using pipes. This would keeping the building warm during the cold seasons.
  • Solar cell panels can be installed on the building rooftops that would help to generate electricity for use. This can significantly reduce the amount of electricity drawn from the grid. The electricity flowing in the grid is produced by burning fossil fuels. Thus by using solar technology the residential project will be indirectly participating in low carbon emissions.

Conclusion

Thus, it can be concluded that the refurbishment project can be delivered incorporating the sustainable techniques for sewage and waste disposal. The problems with maintenance of utility services are also discussed where some definite solutions were provided. Recommendations for reducing carbon emissions and at the same time making the building energy efficient is quite a challenge but if implemented in a planned manner can make the building to a great extent self-sufficient.

Reference List

Crawford, J.F. and Smith, P.G., 2016. Landfill technology. Elsevier.

Davis, B.M., 2014. Contemporary Stormwater without the Green (Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University).

Department of Environmental Conservation. 2018. [online] Available at: https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/90315.html [Accessed 12 Jan. 2018].

Haghighi, A. and Bakhshipour, A.E., 2014. Deterministic integrated optimization model for sewage collection networks using tabu search. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 141(1), p.04014045.

Higashida, K. and Managi, S., 2014. Determinants of trade in recyclable wastes: evidence from commodity-based trade of waste and scrap. Environment and Development Economics, 19(2), pp.250-270.

Hung, C.V., Cam, B.D., Mai, P.T.N. and Dzung, B.Q., 2015. Heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in municipal sewage sludge from a river in highly urbanized metropolitan area in Hanoi, Vietnam: levels, accumulation pattern and assessment of land application. Environmental geochemistry and health, 37(1), pp.133-146.

Kim, S., Kang, S., Lee, J., Lee, S., Kim, K.H. and Jeon, E.C., 2016. The comparison of fossil carbon fraction and greenhouse gas emissions through an analysis of exhaust gases from urban solid waste incineration facilities. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 66(10), pp.978-987.

Linn, G., 2015. The Building as a Place of Work for Maintenance and Service Personnel: from Interviews to Guidelines. NA, 9(1).

Ramamurthy, P. and Bou‐Zeid, E., 2014. Contribution of impervious surfaces to urban evaporation. Water Resources Research, 50(4), pp.2889-2902.

Software, B. 2018. Building Maintenance Management Software. [online] eMaint. Available at: https://www.emaint.com/capterra-ppc-building/?directory=capterra [Accessed 12 Jan. 2018].

Cite This Work

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My Assignment Help. (2020). Providing Sustainable Disposal And Maintenance Solutions For Buildings. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/aurh446-building-services.

"Providing Sustainable Disposal And Maintenance Solutions For Buildings." My Assignment Help, 2020, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/aurh446-building-services.

My Assignment Help (2020) Providing Sustainable Disposal And Maintenance Solutions For Buildings [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/aurh446-building-services
[Accessed 24 February 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Providing Sustainable Disposal And Maintenance Solutions For Buildings' (My Assignment Help, 2020) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/aurh446-building-services> accessed 24 February 2024.

My Assignment Help. Providing Sustainable Disposal And Maintenance Solutions For Buildings [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2020 [cited 24 February 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/aurh446-building-services.

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