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thumb sustainabledesign_appelbySustainable design aims to improve building efficiency. It includes both individual buildings and  neighbourhoods. Urban planning, architecture and spatial design are key aspects of sustainable design and energy plays a major role. This book looks into United Kingdom and international experiences, building discussion upon case study examples taking through planning, construction, operations and maintenance phases of sustainable design. Environmental, social and economic considerations are included in the discussion and presentations. 


Integrated Sustainable Design of Buildings


Paul Appleby

ISBN: 978-1-84971-327-6
440 pages – Published: 2011


Review by Jeff Thurston

Sustainable design aims to improve energy efficiency. This is accomplished through the consideration of the entire building lifecycle including design, planning, construction, operation and maintenance. It also can include decommissioning of buildings and their demolition and the land upon which they are built. While each building can be considered in terms of efficiency, attention is also applied to whole neighbourhoods or collections of buildings within areas. 

‘Integrated Sustainable Design of Buildings’  by Paul Appleby includes information and knowledge by the author acquired over 40 years of service while acting as Director Building Sustainability at URS Corporation Ltd. He has also published many papers and performed education related teaching and research on the topic. 

The book is intended as a ‘how to’ resource and acts as a fundamental resource for those unfamiliar with sustainable, but also serves as a valuable resource for professionals involved in all aspects of infrastructure lifecycle. The author asks, “how do we in the developed countries live sustainably whilst maintaining the quality of life and standard of living that we are used to?” While the tendency is to consider new buildings when considering carbon reduction and greater efficiency, the author addresses the fact that existing buildings and their renovation and updating are a key challenge going for when energy efficiency is considered. In the UK several Framework Indicators are provided for considering improved efficiency and the book describes policy, legislation and planning factors involved in energy efficiency. 

Assessment methodologies, such as Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREAM), Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH), Civil Engineering Quality Assessment and Award Scheme (CEEQUAL), Arup’s Sustainable Project Appraisal Routine (SpEAR), Green Star (Australia), Mexico Green Building Council (MGBC), Estidama (Abu Dhabi), Green Globes and others are all discussed.

Environmental Impact Assessment is presented, dating back from the first instances in 1969. The author writes about the transition from legislation to sustainable communities, and how the concepts of sustainability came to be associated with modern building and architectural design. Compositions for sustainable design are included and itemized. The understanding of land use and urban planning is usually associated with buiilding codes and design for structures. Appleby writes about the UK situation, where, UK Planning Policy Statement1: Sustainable Development PPSI 2005 specifically requires authorities to consider to “set a clear vision for the future pattern of development.”

Wind, overshadowing, flight paths, floor areas, noise and air quality are also considered in planning. Today we find that new mapping and analysis tools are providing information about wind analysis in design, and that software can also provide details about shading, pathways for airline flights, noise and air pollution and the mapping and presentation of these kinds of information.  

Masterplans are described and the author includes discussion about energy strategy and infrastructures. CO2 related information is including as the drive toward increased building intelligence and information is provided. This includes information about local generation of electricity and fulfilling the energy requirements for structures in more efficient manner. Appleby veers into the generation of electricity more deeply, describing how different forms of energy are created including solar, wind, thermal types and biomass based on European examples. The strategies section is interesting because it also provides information about the relationships between sources and considerations in their choices. 

Transportation systems are included but the bulk of the book is about buildings and sustainable design. The City of London is given considerable attention from several design perspectives and provides valuable information due to the history, legislation and investment within the city surrounding sustainable design. Structural information about materials, insulation and asociated tables and values are included. The ventilation systems for structures are also considered and the author describes operaitonal efficiency in terms of design, hygiene and air quality. New technologies involving computer simulation for building environments are based on examples such as the Scottish Natural Heritage Offices. 

Interesting information about noise and how it is evaluated and considerations involved for building design are provided. Water conservation and analysis looks into the possibilities for saving water, wastewater, recycling and filtering. Cyclists will appreciate information about cycling and building design. 

In summary, this book is comprehensive and a valuable resource for students and those interested in sustainable design involving buildings. The author builds on a wealth of personal experience and knowledge, writing in an easy-to-understand manner that cuts through the confusion that acronyms often bring. Through all phases of building lifecycle the discussions and presentations are oriented toward environment, social and economic factors. 

When sustainable design and buildings are mentioned together, this book would serve as a primary resource for those topics due to it’s completeness. It has particular benefits for those in the UK, but it is very applicable to any sustainable design situation internationally. Educators ought to consider this book for classroom use. 

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