Green design brings nature into the urban jungle

By Catherine

Written by Catherine Bolgar*

Dense RainforestA jungle is green and leafy, and the urban jungle should be the same, right?

Since 2010, more people live in cities than in the countryside for the first time in human history. The trend is expected to speed up in developing countries, with more than 60% of the world’s population living in urban areas by mid-century, the United Nations predicts.

Bringing nature into cities can make urban environments more sustainable as well as more aesthetic, more comfortable and healthier.

“Many architects today already claim to do green design, some to a greater level of authenticity than others. I contend that in the next five to 10 years just about every architect and student will do green design as second nature in their work,” says Ken Yeang, a principal with T.R. Hamzah and Yeang, a Malaysian architectural firm focusing on ecoarchitecture, and of Ken Yeang Design International in the U.K. “Green design is just one of the criteria for good design.”

Architects often see green design as a matter of certification, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes, or the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) in the U.K. Beyond aiming for certification, “I take the holistic view of an ecologist,” he says. “I see green design as bio-integrating everything that we as humans make and do on the planet with the natural environment in a benign and seamless way.”

That requires integrating flora and fauna, water, humans and the built environment in a holistic way. “We start design by looking at the ecology of the land and see how we can bring more nature back to a location and bio-integrate nature with the physical built environment,” Mr. Yeang says.

The Solaris

The Solaris, designed by Mr. Yeang and part of the Fusionopolis research and development park in Singapore, has more than 8,000 square meters (9,567 square yards) of landscaping—13% more than the original site—thanks to roof gardens, planted terraces and a 1.5-kilometer (0.9-mile) ramp of continuous vegetation that spirals up the 15-story building’s facade, helping to insulate as well as offering a range of habitats that enhances the locality’s biodiversity.

I design buildings as ‘living systems’ and as ‘constructed ecosystems,’” Mr. Yeang says. “It’s not just about green walls. I bring back the native fauna that are not hazardous to humans and match these with the native flora selected to attract the fauna, now set as ‘biodiversity targets’ in a matrix. With this, I create the local landscape conditions to enable flora and fauna to survive over the four seasons of the year.”

The idea is spreading. A primary school and gymnasium in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, now under construction, was designed by architects Chartier-Dalix to be covered with a living shell and house local flora and fauna.

BLG 18 classrooms school and sporthall

Argentine architect Emilio Ambasz built a multi-use government office building in Fukuoka, Japan, with 14 one-story terraces that make the one-million-square-foot building look like a green hill rising from the park in front of it. Mr. Ambasz also renovated the headquarters of ENI in Rome with curtains of vegetation.

Basel, Switzerland, has required since 2002 that flat roofs be covered with vegetation, in part to save energy and in part to protect biodiversity. While the peregrine falcon, one of the first species on the U.S. endangered species list in 1974, reboundedin part through urban nesting programs to nearly 100,000 birds world-wide today, less-glamorous endangered species, from spiders to beetles, also benefit fromthe increase in habitat. In the U.K., the Bat Conservation Trust has published a landscape and urban design guide for bats and biodiversity.

A green exterior is nice, but what goes inside—the design and materials—are important, too. “The building and products sector are seeing that environmental issues are moving up the agenda,” says Martin Charter, professor of innovation and sustainability at the Centre for Sustainable Design at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, U.K. “Construction, buildings and building products are associated with high carbon dioxide emissions on a macro level and big end-of-life waste issues. The sector does have a big-life cycle impact, not just in extractive phase but at other stages of life cycle as well.”

Concrete produces as much as a tenth of industry-generated greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers studying the molecular structure of cement found that changing the recipe to 1.5 parts calcium for each part of silica wouldcut cement’s carbon emissions up to 60% while making the resulting material stronger.

Simple design considerations can make a building greener. The shape and the orientation can affect heating and cooling needs. Natural ventilation with mixed mode systems can alleviate the need for air conditioning even in tropical climates. Mr. Yeang designed the Menara Mesiniaga office building in Selangor, Malaysia, so even elevator lobbies, restrooms and stairwells in the 15-story building get natural ventilation and natural daylight.

Green design includes water management in rainfall harvesting and storing water, so potable water doesn’t have to be used to irrigate the vegetation. Design must close the water cycle within the site, combining water management, water reuse and recycling with sustainable drainage and constructed wetlands for blackwater treatment, he says.

In nature, the only energy is from the sun. If we want to imitate nature, we should use only the sun,” Mr. Yeang says. “In nature, everything is recycled. Waste from one organism becomes the food for another. In human society, we have a throughput system where we use things and throw them away, but in fact, there is no ‘away’ in the biosphere—it just goes somewhere and pollutes the environment. If we imitate nature, we should have a closed system. As a design strategy, we need to study the attributes and properties of ecosystems as the basis for designing our built environment. When this becomes mainstream, there will be a stasis of nature with our built environment.”

*For more from Catherine, contributors from the Economist Intelligence Unit along with industry experts, join The Future Realities discussion.

Adapting Manufacturing Industry Best Practices to Improve AEC Outcomes

By Marty R

The following is an excerpt from End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices.

Download the full paper here.


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Industry Best Practices to Improve #AEC Outcomes”

Extended Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3

An Extended Collaboration model synchronizes productive interactions between designers, suppliers, and builders.

Extended Collaboration proactively addresses errors and omissions, reduces rework, enables predictive process simulations to reduce risk, resolves issues in real-time to drastically reduce RFIs (Request For Information), and improves quality and safety.

Extended Collaboration improves project outcomes.

Innovative projects delivered by industry-leading design and construction teams have shown that collaboratively planning a building’s structural, façade, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), electric, and interior systems can provide significant productivity gains over siloed processes, which depend on RFIs to reconcile issues.

A full-spectrum collaborative workflow ties all parties together (owners, designers, contractors, suppliers), such that each discipline can provide relevant data in the context of other disciplines’ data.

Extended Collaboration in design, construction, and operations is made possible by BIM (Building Information Modelling) Level 3, where liberated data is transactable among authorized project contributors during each design, construction, and operations phase.

BIM Level 3 creates an environment where Extended Collaboration is possible.

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where Extended Collaboration is possible.”

Extended Collaboration Model for Design, Construction, and Operations

BIM Level 3 Benefits Are Realized throughout the Building Lifecycle

Extended-Collab-venn-diagram

High performance teams apply efficient processes proven in Manufacturing
industries, leveraging integrated data to support the entire building lifecycle.

The following processes make up the Extended Collaboration model, based on proven Manufacturing industry best practices:

Digital Mock-Up

More than: 3D Models, BIM Models
Contributors: Owner, Design Team

The Digital Mock-Up (DMU) process takes a data-rich, model-based approach and produces a representation of all systems within a building. A DMU sets the stage for a clear manufacturing context in which the team can make better design decisions based on the overall project.

Design Review

More than: Shop Drawing Review
Contributors: Design Team, Supply Team

In a Design Review, parties use the DMU to compare detailed, coordinated BIM data on a single platform. For example, a BIM model from the architect, a BIM model from the structural fabricator, a piping model from the systems designer, and so on, are checked to ensure they fit together. This is an integrated system review that is more than a shop drawing review.

The most complicated systems—those that tend to cause errors—are coordinated using Design Review at the beginning of an Extended Collaboration process and continuously resolved throughout. This approach reduces the number of issues that must be formally clarified by RFIs and submittals during project delivery.

Design Review is an iterative process and establishes a Single Source of Truth as the baseline for comparing and managing changes across multidisciplinary teams.

Process Simulation

More than: 4D Animations, Top-down Schedules
Contributors: Supply Team, Construction Team

Construction is a process. Much of what happens in construction happens around the building itself, for example, logistics, equipment, crew optimization, truck queuing, etc. Process Simulation enables project teams to make knowledgeable construction means and methods decisions, and helps produce an optimized work breakdown for construction.

Such bottom-up simulations can reveal even minor integration errors, illustrate which processes are the most cost- and time-effective, demonstrate how prefabrication will affect a project, and generate highly accurate sequence data.

Project Management

More than: Scheduling, Project Coordination, Document Management
Contributors: Construction Team, Operations Team

In the Project Management phase, the DMU containing the source BIM data is tied to resources, tasks, issues, and documentation needed to complete the project. More than just scheduling and site coordination, Project Management synchronizes BIM data with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to accurately monitor the project status versus the detailed plan, issue invoices based on milestones, track labor costs, and manage purchased materials.

The current, as-built data model used to deliver the facility is shared with the Operations team.

Facility Management

More than: Operations Manuals, Equipment Lists, As-Built Drawings
Contributors: Operations Team

Facility managers and owners benefit from having a virtual building for streamlining maintenance and operations. BIM data is synchronized with facility management systems to create a living data set with a history.

The integration helps ensure that equipment is maintained and operated for maximum energy efficiency and optimal performance, to reduce time spent searching for key facility information, and to simulate scenarios for facility reuse and alterations (moves, adds, and changes). Compounding, long-term benefits of BLM (Building Lifecycle Management)-enabled processes are often reaped in the Facility Management stage.

Summary

When BIM data is unlocked from a proprietary system, it becomes available for use in the five Extended Collaboration processes: Digital Mock-Up, Design Review, Process Simulation, Project Management, and Facility Management.

A BLM system (using BIM data within a PLM system) manages information and formalizes Extended Collaboration with built-in governance, traceability, electronic approvals, and version control, holding all parties accountable.

The key to solving the Construction industry’s productivity crisis is BLM.

 

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Related Resources

END-TO-END-COLLABORATION-ENABLED-BY-BIM-LEVEL-3
End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices

Contact Dassault Systèmes for a consultation: Our experts can help you design the most effective BIM Level 3 deployment strategy for your organization

Robotics is MEGA-Trending

By Tony

Robotics Mega TrendingAll around the world there is a huge interest in robotics. Schools everywhere and at every level are involved in some type of robotics competition. Some compete in Lego challenges, some compete in government or corporate-sponsored competitions, while others create and host their own challenges. Before I entered college, my father was concerned that the education I chose needed to be sustainable. He studied electronics and had a very successful career in computers. He always said to me, “Computers are the future, you best be prepared for the wave of computers.” I did take his advice, although not in the traditional sense as I decided to study robotics. Fast forward to today when robotics is a hot topic across the globe, from the classroom to the boardroom. Companies and students everywhere are realizing the power of automation and the value that it brings at so many levels. And their timing could not be more impeccable; robotics is definitely mega-trending.

Robotics and Automation Make Economic Sense

The off-shoring of factories and suppler bases due to low-wage competition are on a heavy decline. In an effort to localize supply chains, manufacturers are turning to robotics and implementing automated robotic systems on-site to achieve flexible, smart systems that extend across their enterprise to meet the global demands of their customers and markets. The latest trends in manufacturing are forcing companies to focus on technology. This focus is necessary to remain competitive. This is a global trend, so getting left behind is not an option. Today’s technologies are making manufacturing more fast paced than ever, and this is evident in the staggering wave of robotics coming on-shore.

Robots sharply improve quality as well as productivity to the point where they offset regional differences in labor costs and availability. In today’s economic climate, they have a major impact on the competitiveness of companies and countries alike. This means countries with greater robotic infrastructure (robots and supporting professionals) could become more attractive to manufacturers than countries with cheap labor. These types of changes will drive the competitive dynamics of the global economy.

The Wave of Robotics Adoption

According to the Boston Consulting Group, “The size of this coming wave of robotics is staggering: spending on robots worldwide is expected to jump from just over $15 billion in 2010 to about $67 billion by 2025. Driving this growth is a convergence of falling prices and performance improvements. The cost of high-quality robots and components is dropping rapidly, while CPUs are getting faster, and application programming is getting easier. As robots become cheaper, smaller, and more energy efficient, they gain flexibility and finesse, increasing the breadth of potential applications.” Let’s put these figures in perspective. According to this report, the estimated growth of the robotics market is going to more than double in the next 10 years (From an estimated $26.9B in 2015 to $66.9B in 2025). This puts the adoption rate of robots in the stratosphere.

This wave of robotics adoption is due to several factors, one of which is the pricing. The costs associated with implementing robots and automation have been on the decline. The reduced cost, along with the gains in production, makes for a very attractive proposition to companies of all sizes and industries.

Another key factor of this explosion in robotics is the robots ability to affect different industries. Technology is a key differentiator in all industries and robots have made profound impacts throughout. This contributes to the overall adoption rate across an industry. Adoption of robots within an industry creates a shift in power between competitors, where the leaders pull away and the competition either adopts similar strategies or their growth will stagnate, so the greater the impact, the wider the adoption.

Reasons for This Mega-Trend

Perhaps the most compelling reason for this mega-trend in robotics is the wide variety of applications that robots are being used in. Robots are used in everything from industrial and military applications to handling nuclear fuels to removing dangerous land mines, and filling customer orders. The robots of today are exploring the ocean floor, cleaning your house, and even cutting the grass outside. Robots are irreplaceable when it comes to delicate surgeries and help with the rehabilitation of the patient afterwards. Robots deliver medication, and can be a comforting companion. They can drive cars, fly airplanes, and work a 24 hour shift building cars without a break. Robots can perform many tasks that humans do, at a fraction of the cost, often with more accuracy.

The possibilities for these mega-trends are endless. Emerging applications will further grow the robotics market.  Newer industries such as mining and warehousing will be key robotics markets, as well as the personal service domain, where robots will take the roles of housekeeper, security guard, and personal valet. Agriculture and food processing robots are being created to reduce the cost of farming and deliver the freshest product at the lowest cost. Even the automobile will play a major role in the robotics market. Cars that can drive themselves are currently being tested, but driving the car is only the start. Today the car has a key role in households across the globe, and driving people to their destination is only one single aspect of our lives that a robot car can assist us with.

To see how companies are keeping up with technology and trends in robotics, visit our community at:

https://swym.3ds.com/#community:179

To see the report The Rise of Robotics by the Boston Consulting Group, visit:

https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/business_unit_strategy_innovation_rise_of_robotics/



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