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In this assessment, you are required to write a report which critically analyses the conceptual design phase of a systems engineering project. Projects might include designing a light rail network for a Brisbane city, more environmentally-conscious buildings or a mine facility. You may not have been involved in the project personally, but some connection with the project would make the analysis more meaningful. Note that Assignment 2 extends this assignment, so bear this in mind when you choose your case study.

The report is to analyse the following:
(1) Needs definition
(2) Conceptual system design

Introduction to the Report

It is termed a two-billion-dollar development on the southern edge of the Central Business District in Sydney. The development targets the residential market and the site location is Chippendale where the Carlton and United Breweries was formerly located. This is the best-case study for architectural sustainability as there are social and environmental initiatives that underlie its uniqueness and creative designs. It is endowed with spectacular vertical gardens and sits on a landscaped area of about 15 hectares. There are several social and environmental initiatives in this development and as a result it is deemed the best implementation of the sustainable architecture (Anon, 2017).

Sustainability seeks to ensure that the future is safe and that the present is enough and can sufficiently meet the needs of the human beings. According to the Brundtland Report during the world commission on Environment and Development, sustainability was denoted as the advancement that met the requirements of the contemporary age without compromising the ability of future cohorts to meet their own requirements (Villano, et al.). The human age has transition from the stone age to barter trade to industrialization, and later in service delivery. During the industrialization age, a lot of factories were put up and as a result pollution occurred. Pollution affects the environment negatively via the air, water, and soil pollution. These industries tend to produce a lot of wastes and these wastes are incorrectly disposed. The release of these waste materials largely affects the environment in the present age and in the future especially if the wastes are toxic. Several organizations have been formed to address the issue of pollution, waste management, climatic effect, and soil and agricultural impact of the human activities on land. From an architectural perspective, the sustainable designs integrate the incorporation of capitals and energy efficacy, healthy buildings, and the use of materials, environmentally and socially subtle land utilization. This should be done alongside developing favorable aesthetic that inspires and reassures of creativity in the architectural sphere (WCED, 1987).

An unsustainable system does destructive extraction of raw materials, manufacturing and processing of harmful by-products, consumer’s take-in these products and the system recycles the same and does the production afresh. The nations have discovered that the industrial revolution may cause more harm than good if not monitored to ensure that the ecology is not affected negatively. Several world summits have been held. One phenomenal summit was held on June, the 13th of 1992 on the Development of “Agenda 21”. The summit discussed on the eminence of life on earth, the well-organized use of the earth’s materials, the fortification of our global commons, the supervision of human settlements, the chemicals and management of waste, and the sustainable economic growth (Ozlem, 2013). Most problems are easily solved in the modern age by the provision of relevant services. These services can only be provided where energy is used. For instance, in providing comfort, illumination, power, or transportation. For an architecture, the major challenge involved is to ensure that the energy services are delivered in a sustainable manner. Sustainability for an architectural design or service means maximum efficiency utilizing the minimal environmental impact. Looking at a construction and its impact on the environment, it is possible to see that a large percentage of the raw materials are extracted from the earth’s surface and crust, another huge chunk affects the greenhouse gases, and the rest of the percentage is the production of waste matter during the construction (Elali, 2008). 

One Central Park, Sydney - Best Case Study for Sustainable Architecture

Many private and governmental housing projects are built following a specific procedure. The stakeholders find the source of funding and raw materials. These raw materials are extracted from the earth and the given section is not restored for future use. Both the human resource and materials are used up in the project. Unfortunately, the residential projects done hardly consider the need for ecological balance in the project implementation. The result of such a disregard is the construction of the concrete jungle. The concrete jungle interferes with the environment and the climatic patterns. The air, soil and water bodies surrounding the construction sites are adversely affected by the waste production.

There is dire need to strike a balance in creating the concrete structures and still maintaining a large enough amount of the plant jungle. The one central park seeks to solve the ecological imbalance introduced over the decades one construction after another. Sometimes the landscape allocated for construction is not enough to put up the desired towers and still have enough room for ambient plant and environmental conservation and balance. The designers and planners need to come up with a design that utilizes the environment and still does not cause too much waste to be released into the environment. There is a need to seek an architectural design that is more receptive to climate and the human requirements on periodic basis. 

Some of the products used in this project despite the constraint in budget and land space are (Hager, 2014),

  • Meter panels such as MCB, RCBO, Kilowatt hour meters, MCCB, and current transformer.
  • Tee off boxes such as the tee-off enclosures and fuses
  • Distribution Boards such as Performa range with split chassis, and extension boxes.
  • House boards such as golf load centers and isolators. 

The design team comprised of consultants and design managers who defined the actions for running of the design and the certification process, they outlined the tasks of the design team affiliates, developed the minimum necessities to ensure valuable control of documentation, and to ensure that the design is safe for construction.

When the stakeholders started the project charter, a number of this were put into consideration such as the scope, the source of funding, the utilization of resources, quality of the outcome, safety, as well as the environmental and sustainability techniques of the project. The scope of the work was scheduled as shown below in two stages:

  • Construction of the East and West Towers
  • Construction of the Park Land and The Mark

These two construction phases catered for about 33 buildings and 16 buildings in the east and west towers respectively. There was an extra construction item which is the basement car packing that was meant to house about 1200 automobiles. The facility housed a public amenity with parkland and landscaped area in the middle section of the complex. The second phase of the construction sought to construct three residential buildings with a total of 393 apartments in the Park Lane and 413 apartments in The Mark sections. Alongside these magnificent apartments is a five-green star design for multi-residential and retail tools. The construction was keen on the safety of the workers and the stakeholders in the surrounding. The project has been termed as one of the greenest urban developments in Europe. It was a challenging undertaking for the project team who needed to ensure that the maintained a detailed record database, ensured a stringent monthly reporting strategy, conduct on and off site audits, manage subcontractor engagement and commitment, as well as engaging a reputable and experienced sustainability consultant. Some of the initiatives that were introduced in the project include the on-site trigeneration plant. This plant supplies chilled and hot water as well as green energy to all the buildings in a bid to reduce the carbon emission. The houses use recycled water from the Blackwater system for non-human contact activities such as flushing the toilet, mechanical factory water supply, or washing machine water. Such a system minimizes the demand on the main supply system. The entire project gives an impression of a system that is self-sufficient and can sustain itself. The buildings have well-structured gutters to collect rain water from the roof structures. More water is harvested from the impermeable surfaces and plater box drainage which collect the storm water. Another source of water is the ground water that is harvested from the basement drainage sections. The sewage is drained to an oxidation pond for refining (Central Park: One Central PArk, Park Lane, and The Mark Technical Paper, 2013).

Sustainability in Architecture

The project outcome in line with the environmental conservation includes an array of water and electricity metering. The location of the building would determine a lot in environmental conservation. The project utilized the appropriate building fabric as shown in the appendix. The building material is intended to enable good lighting and shade for the residents. It is able to collect, store, and distribute the solar thermal energy as well as the daylight into the building. This saves the property manager a lot of expenses with regards to the lighting during the day especially on the corridors and the stairways. The lifts may need a constant supply of electricity from solar, nuclear, or hydropower. It may also incorporate the LED technology in the lifts. The elevator may depend on the daylight brought into the building owing to the good setting to capture the sun rays into the building. One Central Park is an energy-optimized building design that has healthy indoor environments that exhibit high standards of thermal and visual comfort. The smart energy design and the use of materials and energy from sustainable sources (Lewis, 2007). 

The project used sustainable construction material. Usually, most construction projects use materials extracted from the earth’s crust which leave the earth void and desolate in a manner that it can no longer be used even for agricultural purposes. The project sustainability team identified sustainable sources of extraction, processing, and manufacture for the mechanical plant in the vicinity. The transportation and assembly of materials was done conservatively as to maintain the life cycle of all the plants and soil excavation processes. Waste materials are inevitable in such an environment. The project team came up with sustainable strategies to recycle and correctly dispose any materials that were not recyclable.   

Conclusion

In a nutshell, there is a lot of effort being put in ensuring sustainable systems are used in this current age. The developers and architects have to be very creative and innovative to achieve an eco-friendly structure. The designers need to work with a team of sustainability experts who give them great insights into the ecological conservation techniques and strategies. Such innovations and implementations are costly when implementing but quite affordable in the long run. The residents in the One Central Park enjoy a lot of benefits and cost reduction. They do not use a lot of energy during the day as the rooms are well set to absorb sunlight. The project encountered several challenges in terms of resources and the speed at the beginning of the project. There were about 360 major changes in terms of variation and direction that were mostly issued while undertaking the design element of the building.

  • Improvement on the energy optimization plan by implementing better innovations in the lighting of the building at night.
  • Include more water harvesting methods to ensure that almost 0% water is lost during the whole water transmission and use process. Recycling and Reuse should be well implemented as to ensure the safety of the residents.
  • Implementation of the new technologies such as heliostat. The heliostat as shown in the appendix is unique in its implementation and execution. It is a sophisticated light reflecting feature in Australia that incorporates the architectural design of the luxurious residential tower.
  • The use of Green wall allows the implementation of the sit-on planter boxes that contain the hundreds of species of plants. The Watpac team had to come up with an innovative way to have plants on the walls and still uphold the aesthetics of the building.  

References

Alternative Construction Systems: Contemporary Natural Building Methods edited by Lynne Elizabeth and Cassandra Adams (New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2000. ISBN: 0-471-24951-3)

Architecture and building services. (n.d.). Sustainable Building Services. doi:10.11129/detail.9783955531690.8 

(n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2017, from https://www.related.com/our-company/properties/10/ONE-CENTRAL-PARK

Behind the green door: a critical look at sustainable architecture through 600 objects. (2014). Oslo, Norway: Oslo Architecture Triennale. 

Green Building: A Primer for Builders, Consumers, and Realtors (5th ed.) (Edgewater, MD: Building Environmental Science and Technology (B.E.S.T.), 2000 -- online at https://www.energybuilder.com/greenbld.htm)

Hydes, K., & Fosket, J. (2013). Sustainable Sustainable Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning sustainability/sustainable heating ventilation and air conditioning. Sustainable Built Environments, 653-665. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-5828-9_900

Services. (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2017, from https://www.liro.com/services/architecture_sustainable_design.htm 

Özlem, %. (2013). Sustainable Buildings with Their Sustainable Facades. International Journal of Engineering and Technology, 725-730. doi:10.7763/ijet.2013.v5.651

(2013). Central Park: One Central Park, Park Lane, and The Mark Technical Paper. Sydney: Watpac Construction Pty Ltd. 

Elali, Z. (2008, May 30). Engineering for Climate Change: An Overview. OACETT AGM, pp. 1-60. 

Hager. (2014). One Central Park Sydney, NSW. Energy Distribution & Wiring Accessories Commercial, 5-6. 

Lewis, P. J. (2007, June). Energy Efficiency-an Architect's Perspective. UCD Energy Research Group, pp. 1-25. 

National Green Building Conference https://www.nahbrc.org/conferencesseminarsgreen.asp? TrackID=&CategoryID=1676 Sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders. 

The Art of Natural Building: Design, Construction, Technology by Joseph F. Kennedy (Kingston, NM : NetWorks Productions, 1999 -- online at https://www.networkearth.org/naturalbuilding/colloquium.html)

Understanding Sustainable Architecture. (2002). doi:10.4324/9780203217290 

Sustainable Landscape Construction: A Guide to Green Building Outdoors by J. William Thompson, Kim Sorvig, and Craig D. Farnsworth (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2000. ISBN: 1-55963-646-7) 

Villano, I., Bernadi, A., Viotto, M., Cela, G., Kaptijn, N., & Keuning, E. (n.d.). Sustainable Architecture.

WCED. (1987). The Brundtland Report. World Commission on Environment and Development.

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