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Critically analyses the Conceptual Design phase of a Systems Engineering Project. Projects might include designing a light rail Network for a City.


There is an increasingly high demand for green buildings particularly for the commercial and residential constructions and this kind of need calls for a more thoughtful universal consciousness geared towards the environmental sustainability. The green structures despite having a shorter lifetime as compared to the traditional buildings, they significantly offer a greater reduction in the utility costs and bills.   Hence, the economic condition will certainly favour this kind of need.

In 1998, the United States green building council designed a rating system known as LEED which is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design that basically provides regulations for attaining a sustainable green structure (Norimoto Kashino, 2008, p. 747).

Among other features comprising the regulations are construction materials selection, energy sources and site selection. Thus, the aim of this project is to come up with a design that takes into account various environmentally conscious methods as defined by the LEED standard. The building is an assumed one-story home having seven rooms, two full bathrooms, and a two-car garage and employs new technology and practices to meet the minimum certification by LEED standards for green design (Buch, 2006, p. 868).

A fire protection system will also be developed and implemented within the design.  In 2007, there were 399,000 house structure fires in the United States.  The fires caused 2,865 deaths and $7.4 billion in property damage.  Due to these high statistics of fire losses, the International Code Council members unanimously passed a motion of implementing residential fire sprinkler requirements for all new homes. Thus, this project will not only entail the design of a safer home by providing sprinklers but also prove its sustainability in any type of building (Thomas, 2006, p. 985).

The need for constructing environmentally conscious building has resulted in the change of various design and construction aspects to favour the compliance of sustainability.  For instance, a green design incorporates the environmental impacts generated by construction materials, the lifetime of the products, and the waste that is generated during the whole process of construction. The basis for the construction of the green buildings is the layout, framing and the cost (Santamouris, 2013, p. 635). 

The main goal of this project is to come up with an environmentally conscious building that is more sustainable and cost effective than the conventional traditional one. Additionally, there is need to make the earth more sustainable by avoiding the disruptions of the natural resources within it (Graham, 2009, p. 342).


Moreover, an aim of this project is to reduce the overall expense of energy usage and creation of a positive impact on the environment.

The scope of this project is to design an environmentally conscious building that is sustainable as compared to the traditional buildings. It also includes a fire protection gadget that lowers the risks of accidents arising from fire faults (Goncalves, 2010, p. 322). 

With the rise in the universal environmental and economic standards, there is a need for coming up with structures which are environmentally conscious. Sooner, the earth will be unsustainable such that over the years, certain resources that normally occur naturally and required by the human for survival shall get depleted hence there is need to make the earth more sustainable by avoiding the disruptions of the natural resources within it. Disruption of natural resources results in the overall impacts on both the environment and the wildlife.

Below are some of the factors which will be taken care of when environmentally conscious buildings are put into place (Moubray, 2009, p. 535).

Environmental Benefits:

  • Reduction in wastage of water  
  • Conservation  natural resources i.e. water, air
  • Improved quality of natural resources i.e.   air, water
  • Safeguarding  of plant and animal life

Economic Benefits:

  • Minimized  operating costs
  • Improved human output and health
  • Creation of market for green products and services

Social Benefits:

  • Improved quality of human life
  • Reduced  stress on indigenous infrastructure
  • Improved human health and productivity

This is a pre-life cycle activity which is potentially projected to address a suitable solution to a specific problem identified. It involves the design of a system which offers a prior basis and also introducing the primary planning and assessment of various high-tech methodologies with the aim of proper implementation the system. A system is designed with various sub-systems, components and attributes that are technically integrated to provide a sustainable and an environmentally conscious state (Alexander Kossiakoff, 2012, p. 532).

The materials required for the construction of a green building can be manmade or obtained naturally. They include tiles, pipe, glass windows, wood studs, polyvinyl chloride and sheets of plywood (Wolter J. Fabrycky, 2008, p. 552).

Timber is renewable and available naturally and most preferred due to its strength and reduced cost. There are various wood types such as girders, plywood, joists and studs .wood can be made into structural insulated panels SIPs which are best suited for the green building since they are very versatile thus providing room for expansion and the presence of the insulating material in between the wooden boards which provide greater thermal protection. In the end, they help to reduce the rate of energy consumption (Benjamin S. Blanchard, 2013, p. 524). 

Protection of various elements is aided by roofing’s, windows, framings, insulation and the doors. The windows are made of double paned glass to allow natural light and air to pass through thereby promoting environmental conscious. This is dictated by the insulating glass material, solar orientation, frame and the glass spacers.  The double paned windows mean that there are two panes of glasses separated by air which acts as a buffer by keeping the house cooler during summer and warmer in winter seasons. The air used is inert which provides a lower thermal conductivity.


Concrete is a mixture of water, cement and aggregate and is used during the setting up of foundations, paved surfaces and the columns. However, for the green building, a coal fly ash is used instead of the cement since the later requires a high amount of energy to produce. Additionally, the coal fly ash provides an environmental advantage by preventing landslides hence environmental conscious (Fred K. Geitner, 2008, p. 522).

Electrical systems

Most home appliances generally rely on electricity for their operation. Conventionally, the main way of generating electricity is by burning coal which lowers the level of fossil fuel and also emits carbon into the atmosphere thereby promoting …. The green building will utilize carbon free means of electricity generation and specifically the solar energy which involves the tapping of the solar radiation by means of solar panels and converting them into electrical energy.

The energy is taped in a direct current form and then converted into an ac form by the aid of inverters which makes them possible to be used by the appliances.  Since solar energy may sometimes fluctuate, there is a provision for storage of the direct current electricity by the help of batteries (Frank A. Tillman, 2012, p. 323).

Fire protection system

The risk of fire accidents is common in every part of the states and according to NFPA, in 2007, residential fires took place after every 79 seconds.  Thus a need to suppress these accidents before spreading further is of great significance. Thus a residential fire sprinkler systems will be connected to the green building. This system has a deflector which has the potential of spraying water to large distances.  These fire sprinkler systems are ideal for green structures since they detect the possibility of fire outbreaks earlier thereby preventing the emission of carbon into the atmosphere and thus promoting environmental conscious.  Below is the diagram for the sprinkler

Plumbing systems

The plumbing systems are geared towards conserving both water and money. A grey water system that involves a connection from the sinks, showers, washing machines and dishwashers is utilized in the flushing system or irrigation. According to American Water Works Association, toilets consume 44% of the residential water annually, hence installing the grey water will help conserve the amount of water usage.

Nonetheless, the application of a polypropylene pipe which does not emit toxins into the water will greatly promote environmental conscious (Oliver, 2011, p. 161).

Problem Definition and Need Identification

There is also the installation of the solar water heater which utilizes the solar radiation to heat up water and not relying on the electrical heating. It is comparatively cheaper and requires little maintenance. Below is its configuration                                             

The project is intended to operate in any kind of environment both commercially and residentially by providing a safe and effective work atmosphere acquiescent with all significant and relevant safety standards and regulations and also focuses on conservation of the ecosystem.

Any product or system requires maintenance so as to prolong its lifetime and ensure sustainability. The various maintenance practices that may be included for the green building includes regular painting and replacement of worn out items such as washers.

These refer to the quantitative processes which define the various measures of a system. They may include reliability and maintainability technical measures which also determines the correct attributes of a system. The above technical measures influence the conceptual design of a project.  (Buch, 2006, p. 854). 

The preliminary design has a direct influence on the final developed project. It is a prototype which undergoes various tests to ensure that it saves time and also correct various faults that may arise with the main design project. Various computational tools and software’s are applied to ensure there is reduced risks of failures with the final system (Fred K. Geitner, 2008, p. 775).

The documentation of this project is dependent on the software which assures appropriate quality control checks and is created in Adobe Acrobat Professional and availed electronically. Various tools and software including Microsoft Word, Project, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Achi-CAD. Achi-CAD PID and Adobe Acrobat Professional are used to develop the reports and the presentations. These software’s provide a 3-dimensional outlook of the design (Frank A. Tillman, 2012, p. 976).

The evaluation of the design process is key to every project. This evaluation process is aided by certain models and methodologies.  For instance, the evaluation of the green building is made possible through the use of mathematical and analytical methods and tools which are compilable with a macro-CAD OBJECTIVE. These mathematical models provide major advantages. Several considerations are made based on the system application. For instance operational considerations, support and logistical considerations, and finally recycling and disposal considerations. Further, they compare and contrast various possibilities which help to obtain the relationship between dissimilar structures (Alexander Kossiakoff, 2012, p. 853). 

A design review and feedback is necessary for any corrections that may arise due to inaccuracies or alterations .the review process will greatly give a reflection on the performance of the design. At this particular stage, the commencing of the project is determined and initiated.

Conceptual System Design

Recommendation and Conclusion

The designing of a system and its practical implementation requires different aspects and phases which it has to pass through for it to be successful. An organized planning and thorough analysis of various components and their characteristics at the initial stages will thus help to alleviate any impulsive modification in the future. Similarly, the efficiency and performance are only optimized when a dedicated teamwork that entails a majority of personnel, technicians, stakeholders and effective communication is ensured. 

In conclusion, the project is highly designed and its execution is practical and sophisticated. The need to protect the environment and its constituents in a cheaper and sustainable way is of great significance and should be of priority otherwise the earth will soon be unsustainable (Graham, 2009, p. 554)


Alexander Kossiakoff, W. N. S. S. J. S. S. M. B., 2012. Systems Engineering Principles and Practice. 2nd ed. New York John Wiley & Sons,

Benjamin S. Blanchard, W. J. F., 2013. Systems Engineering and Analysis. 2nd ed. Westminister: Pearson Education, Limited.

Buch, M. N., 2006. Environmental Consciousness and Urban Planning. 2nd ed. Carlisle: Orient Blackswan.

Columbia., B., 2011. Guide to Environmentally Friendly Building and Renovating in the Southern Gulf Islands. 4th ed. Columbia: Islands Trust,

Frank A. Tillman, D. T. C., 2012. A Professional's Guide to Decision Science and Problem Solving:. 4th ed. Chicago: FT Press.

Fred K. Geitner, H. P. B., 2008. Maximizing machinery uptime. 3rd ed. Carlisle: Elsevier Gulf Professional Pub.

Goncalves, J. C. S., 2010. The Environmental Performance of Tall Buildings. 4th ed. Carlisle: Routledge,

Graham, P., 2009. Building Ecology: First Principles For A Sustainable Built Environment. 3rd ed. Chicago: John Wiley & Sons.

Maldonado, E., 2014. Environmentally Friendly Cities. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

Moubray, J., 2009. Reliability-centered Maintenance. 3rd ed. New York Industrial Press Inc.

Norimoto Kashino, Y. O., 2008. International RILEM Symposium on Environment-Conscious Materials and Systems for Sustainable Development. 3rd ed. Melbourne: RILEM Publications.

Oliver, D. W., 2011. Engineering Complex Systems with Models and Objects. 1st ed. New York McGraw-Hill,

Santamouris, M., 2013. Environmental Design of Urban Buildings: An Integrated Approach. 2nd ed. Chicago: Earthscan.

Thomas, R., 2006. Environmental Design: An Introduction for Architects and Engineers. 1st ed. Leicester: Taylor & Francis.

Wolter J. Fabrycky, B. S. B., 2008. Life-cycle cost and economic analysis. 2nd ed. Chicago: Prentice Hall.

Zeiher, L. C., 2008. The ecology of architecture: a complete guide to creating the environmentally conscious building. 2nd ed. Chicago: Whitney Library of Design.

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