Week 11 Post – Session


Week 11 Lecture

Week 11 Lecture 10/10/16 by Brett Pollard (Hassell)

Sustainability: A Perspective

Some examples of buildings and their facade choice as a means to reduce internal heat load.

123 Albert Street, Brisbane

Double light scoop louvres used on northern facade, with a singlr light scoop system used on the western facade.

SA Water

Building faces due west.

Northern facade has large sun shades as standard. Fins on the side of the building reduce the low angle sun

Western facade has a hybrid double skin which is open at the top and the bottom which heats the space which can then circulate through the top space. The walkway systems also provde a degree of hading. Fritting patterns used throughout the composition of the facade.

ANZ Centre

Western facade double skin; east and western facades also have vertical fins to prevent the low angled sun. Southern facade also has thse large fins to reduce heeat load.

One40 William, Perth

Minimising east and west facing facade. Maximise north and south. Taller buildings to the north shade each of the smaller buildings to the south. Vast majority ofthe floorplate has excellent natural lighting and views.

Primary issue is internal load so night purging is used as the climate allows, as for many hours of the day the outside temperature will be cooler than the outside. Single glazing was used and shaded very well, to allow the excess heat to move to the outside.

Vertical lourves and perforated panels are used on the western facades.

Living Building Challenge

Sustainability tools are set up to reduce their impact. Sustainable means that you’re “100% less bad”. Therefore, newer tools look towards restorative and regenerative systems to be “good”, rather than just “less bad. A living system” approach.

Global Change Institute: Target of Living Building Challenge

  • thermal wind chimney
  • operable facade
  • 88% of the year the building is designed to run naturally- no mechanical AC use etc
  • chilled beams and cooling coils in slabs
  • labyrinth AC system
  • solar thermal heat wheel for humidity removal
  • green wall: biofiltration
  • underfloor air distribution grills
  • goepolimer concrete use

Proven health benefit of interaction with nature: Anjali Joseph (2006)

Further Resources:

  • Living Building Challenge <http://living-future.org/lbc&gt;
  • Anjali, Joseph 2006, “Healthcare Design Insights| Daylightin: The Impact of Light on Outcomes in Healthcare Settings”
  • Dan Airlie “Predictably Irrational”


Week 11 Pre – Session

“All-Glass Facades Won’t Exist in Sustainable Cities”

David Baggs

Source <https://sourceable.net/all-glass-facades-wont-exist-in-sustainable-cities/>


Advantages of glass use in facades:

– sunlight

– views

– protection from wind and rain

Disadvatages of glass use in facades:

– temperature control

– embodied energy

– solar radiation


Glass is best used where appropriate external shading is available for protection from the harsher summer sun, whilst still emitting the lower winter sun to enter the space. Without this shading tool, the internal spaces require much air conditioning to maintain a comfortable internal environment.

The use of smart and low e-glass does make a move to reducing this problem, by reducing the amount of solar radiation emitted through the glass  by reflecting it. With this comes its own problems, as a high degree of reflection can cause accidents outside the building and has been known to actually melt cars.

The problem with tinted glass is similar to the properties of thermal mass, where radiant heat is absorbed and then acts as a large radiator to the internal space which can then make it extremely uncomfortable.

As humans are extremely sensitive to radiant heat, it therefore becomes extremely important to do high level modelling of internal spaces not just for HVAC requirements, but for occupant comfort.

Week 10 Post – Session

— Continue working on assignments 2 & 3 —

Week 10 Lecture

— No Lecture —

Week 10 Pre – Session

— Continue working on assignments 2 & 3 —

Week 9 Post – Session

Read two news items below (two faces of ‘energy’ from two worlds) published within a week from each other:

Five year energy time bomb threatens the UK

“this trend will only continue unless decisive action is taken.”

I believe this quote to be the most important from the article as is essentially sums up the problem. It is estimated that countries such as France, Italy and the UK have less than 5 years left of their own resources of gas, coal and oil but I do wonder whether these estimations take into account the changing needs of the population; although it is unlikely that this will have any significant impact in under 5 years.

Considering currently levels of internal consumption, countries such as Russia may have up to 500 years of these resources left will will reduce significantly if they export these to external countries as trends are showing would be required. There is also the greater economic problem of only a handful of countries controlling these major resources for the rest of the world and, at a minimum, prices are sure to inflate.

It is suggested that this problem is to be solved at a political level, and that the change to renewable energy, of which each country will be able to obtain, store and use their own, will be necessary and I wholeheartedly agree with this claim, and also that we need to be doing more so as to replenish these natural resources back to the Earth.

Global health: Deadly dinners

“Results from a global health study released earlier this year project that household air pollution from such fires causes more than four million premature deaths annually”

This quite clearly shows how large this issue is as well as how dangerous, and the terrible impacts it has on millions of lives.

“It is the greatest health risk in the world after high blood pressure, tobacco and alcohol4, with more people dying from the incremental, ongoing inhalation of smoke from fires they ignite in their own homes than from malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined.”

This, to me, shows how shocking and truely terrible this issue is, and the need we have to provide solutions that are actually effective and really make an effort to prevent to problem from escalating further, as well as to lower these rates considerably, as fast a possible. This is where the issue moves beyond just being an issue of environmental and energy concern, to an issue of society and health.

This also shows that it is a cultural, and community issue that needs to be dealt with an all fronts to ensure the habits do not continue, and that healthy alternatives are used by everyone so as to not diminish the health benefits that others may be enjoying through the change of cooking technique.

The biggest issue here is creating an alternative, with the help of locals, that truely competes with traditional methods making them a viable alternative, as well as providing them at a competetive price. With this also comes the need for cheap and local service opportunities for the new devices.

Week 9 Lecture

In week-9 the lecture will introduce the topic of balancing sustainability through three key components of energy, moisture and indoor-air quality (with health implications).

Lecture Week 9 19/9/16 by Krishna Munsami (Building Scans)

Energy, moisture and IAQ: the vital triangle

See Krishna’s earlier presentation here

Empowering the principles of sustainable buildings:

  • Moisture ingress (damp house syndrome)
  • indoor air quality (sick house syndrome)
  • energy efficient building envelope (thermal comfort)

It’s time to consider sustainability on a micro level, instead of just a macro level. Think of your home, your car and your office.


Achieving a sustainable balance:

  • moisture control
  • thermal performance
  • indoor air quality


Moisture dynamics: vapour (moves from high pressure to low pressure), liquid (waterproofing membranes are key here) and solid (ice – not a big issue in most of Australia).

Transport mechanisms: liquid flow, capillary suction, air movement and vapour diffusion.

Moisture will ALWAYS move from a high concentrated area, to a low concentrated area, resulting in dampness and mould.

Implications of moisture:

  • economic loss
  • increases in energy (Thermal performance and HVAC)
  • increased asthma/respiratory disease
  • lung infection
  • moisture is the most common cause of IAQ problems

Effective moisture control

  • control of liquid water
  • control on indoor humidity levels
  • control of humidity in sub floor areas
  • surface condensation
  • interstitial condensation
  • materials and hygrothermal assembly and design


 Symptoms of CO2 poisoning:

  • fatigue,
  • dizziness
  • possible sudden chest pains in people with angina
  • headaches
  • large amounts can be fatal


  • formaldehyde is now known to be a cancer causing agent by leading research organisations and been upgraded to Group 1 from Group 2 known to cause cancer to humans.
  • formaldehyde is found in the resins and glues used in furniture: most carpets, timber floor boards and timber furniture therefore has high levels of formaldehyde

Symptoms of Formaldehyde poisoning:

  • may cause burning or tingling sensations in eyes, nose and throat
  • can cause tightness in the chest and wheezing
  • can cause serious illness due to increased levels and long term exposure

Those who design, provide, build, maintain and occupy indoor environments have a duty to do no harm to indoor air quality in that environment. Ignorance about indoor air quality matters is not an excuse for causing harm. The facts on indoor air quality must therefore be readily available to, and used by, all the parties concerned.

-WHO, 2000

Further References


Week 9 Pre – Session

Read expert findings (6 pages) from World Health Organisation: Health Indicators of Sustainable Energy

Health is a universal indicator of progress in the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

“Improving access to low-emission, renewable, and modern energy technologies both in the home and the community can benefit health and contribute to long term goals of sustainability.” This is due to this type of energy being harnessed not only more efficiently, but by transferring energy loads less, which reduces energy loss, through harmful or otherwise methods. There is less (or no) off-gassing as such which is typical of using gas or kerosene within the home.

This is also a method to improve equity, as the operating costs os using a renewable energy source are considerably lower than using other energy sources, and are generally not reliant on others to allow their operation. This means that hospitals and other community spaces can have better access to electricity, and therefore share in the health benefits that this provides.

By measuring indicators of access to energy, the idea that people need to have sufficient access to energy to ensure basic conditions of health and livelihoods is highlighted.

Renewable energy has less pollution as a by product, either by manufacturing, storing, or moving the energy, as compared to renewable energy sources. This improves overall outdoor air quality, and reduces city smog.

Week 8 Post – Session

UniRate Scorecard


Week 8 Lecture

— No Lecture —

Week 8 Pre – Session

UniRate Presentation

Week 7 Post – Session

Read the article on Climate Spectator by Mat Hope “How much of China’s emissions is the rest of the world responsible for?

“China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, by far. The country produces more than a quarter of the planet’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.”

Much of the worlds goods: televisions, phones etc. are manufactured in China, for a variety of reasons (not the least of which is cost). Increasing consumerism and therefore good production not only causes China’s emissions to rise, but as they take manufacturing away from other countries it causes other countries’ emissions to lower in comparison.

The simplest way of measuring a country’s emissions is to look at how much pollution is released within its borders, called territorial emissions.

However, is this fair? Seeing as so much of the manufactured good are then exported for use all around the world? We can perhaps instead measure “consumption emissions” – emissions of only the good consumed within the countries territory – but then how do we account for emissions for goods used outside the countries territory? (Not to mention to emission costs for the transfer of goods).

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 11.50.41 AM.png

This issue then becomes more difficult to measure when we consider:

Hong Kong’s contribution is artificially inflated, because it’s a big stop-off point for lots of China’s shipments before they get sold elsewhere.

An alternative method of looking at emission is as a per capita value, where:

China has almost 20 per cent of the world’s population, so when the country’s emissions are broken down per person, each Chinese citizen emits much less than their counterparts in the more developed world

The entire problem is then summed up as: “So it’s really the pace of China’s development combined with the scale of the country that makes it the world’s number one emitter.”

From this, we can take away that it is generally a culture of consumerism that affects emissions, and that it should really be treated as a global issue, rather than trying to either place blame, or to find a way to “equally” share the blame. What we really need, or at least, what we need that would at least make ME feel like the issue is on its way to being solved, is unity amongst nations and a tangible goal that is can be achieved in a way that appropriately addresses the root problem, solves it as well as providing a positive output to compensate for years of negative affects, and that doesn’t have a negative affect on either the economic or social capacities of the people. Having said this, I understand that it’s a difficult problem to solve and I understand the gravity of what I’m suggestion but I believe that through education and understanding, we can at least make sure that people understand what the problem is, and WHY it’s even a problem in the first place. I believe this is the first step in arming people with the tools they need to fix what is a globally intense and consuming problem.

Week 7 Lecture

— No Lecture —

Week 7 Pre – Session


^So this video is only around 3 minutes long, and narrated by Morgan Freeman so I highly recommend.

I like this video because it’s very clear and concise in presenting such a delicate and extremely difficult topic. It’s a great way to take a step back and remember why this subject and this type of education is important, and the real world impact the decisions that we make can have on others; whether we see them or not.

It’s a great little video to introduce the need for sustainability and start a discussion which makes it ideal for the layman, and those who may not either consider the issue of sustainability to be important, or achievable, or relevant to them. The most important part of video’s like this is the discussion that it ignites and the knowledge that is then able to be shared.

Week 6 Post – Session



UniRate specifically applies to new university buildings within Australia and scores will be applied across a range of circumstances and consider the project through design, construction and predicted operation phases. Ratings on new buildings last for 5 years before the building is required to be assessed against actual performance to maintain a rating.

As thought leaders in society, universities and tertiary institutions have a unique position and opportunity to become industry leaders in this area and should be held to a higher standard. It will be introduced as a mandatory tool for new construction in Higher Education campuses, assisting in the identification of ethical and sustainable practises and standards within each institution.

Older buildings may be submitted for operational rating on a voluntary basis, although this will be considered best practise as a campus rating will be made available once 75% of buildings on a particular campus have been rated. This will be an evenly distributed average of each buildings’ rating ‘report card’.

Rating Structure:

Each category is not worth equal points, and the categories are placed on a hierarchy as follows:

Category Total Achievable Points
1. Energy Use 20
2. Flexibility/ Adaptability (Sustainable Sites) 18
3. IEQ 18
4. Materiality and Resources 15
5. Location and Transportation 10
6. Regional Priority/Social Sustainability 10
7. Water 9
8. Innovation + 20

This tool will rate projects across 7 categories, each with subcategories; not unlike LEED, Green Star or Living Building Challenge, that will total 100 points for one of 5 levels of certification: 50-59 (D), 60-69 (C), 70-79 (B), 80-89 (A), and 90-100 (A+). The top rank (A+) is considered to be industry excellence.

Week 6

— Green Star Foundation Course —

Week 6 Pre – Session

Read: Jeroen van der Heijden. Benchmarking building performance: what can we learn from LEED?, The Fifth Estate, April 2014.

Has Green Star caused the building revolution that the Green Council claims? van der Heijden claims that any revolution that is occurring, is within the vacuum of the high end office buildings in Australia’s CBD’s.

The equivalent of Green Star in the US is LEED; Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design. It was originally introduced in 1993, 20 years before Green Star.

“LEED is applied in 135 countries and regions. Around the globe 20,000 projects have been LEED certified, which reflects close to 900 million sq m of LEED certified space in the United States only. LEED may be considered the world’s most influential best-of-class benchmarking tool.”

“The close to 900 million sq m of built-up space LEED has achieved in the United States is mind-boggling. But what does this number mean in relative terms? The current built-up space in the United States was, by the end of 2013, assumed to be close to 32 billion sq m. This implies that it took LEED about 20 years to now cover at best three per cent of all built-up space in the United States. Again, this is, I feel, not all too revolutionary”

  • This comment above is one I disagree with; seeing as how on average, new building stock is only around 2% of existing buildings, to go beyond that at say that 3% of existing building are LEED rated is somewhat “revolutionary” in my opinion.

“It may be assumed that in the United States the total built-up space has grown by about two per cent a year over the last two decades, or about 110 billion sq m. With only half of LEED certificates awarded to new (predominantly commercial) built-up space this implies that LEED has, at best, influenced close to four per cent of this new built-up space developed since 1993.”

  • This comment also leads me to believe that LEED is adaptable, and that there is clearly a market for it as it can ~often~ be easier to build brand new rather than undertake what might be an enormous renovation which can be extremely costly and time consuming, as well as having an effect on the building occupants.

“Finally, while the administrators of these tools should be proud of what has been achieved, society more broadly may start thinking a bit harder about how to speed up and scale of this performance.”

  • Here’s where I absolutely agree. Whilst these tools are widely respected in industry, incredibly valuable and their creators should feel proud; there is still along way to go and it’s important to think of these as “tools”, and ever changing to keep up to date with the improving market and technology. They should be fluid and well designed to ensure there’s potential for evolving the tools as time passes.


Week 5 Post – Session

BEYOND CARBON NEUTRALITY reflectionRead: Baggs, David. Beyond Carbon Neutrality: Strategies for Reductive and Restorative Sustainability, Environment Design Guide, No. 64, Sep 2010.

by Hannah Ryan – Tuesday, 23 August 2016, 4:22 PM


The article begins by reflecting on the importance of reducing and minimising any carbon emissions during construction phases, but then introduces the need to reduce carbon earlier in projects, through reducing the embodied energy of building materials.

We then look at the process of restorative sustainability, whereby the focus is on enhancing nature as opposed to reductive sustainability initiatives that look at past wastes and putting them into new products or using resources more efficiently.

The paper discusses holistic approaches to achieving sustainability by making progress in the following 3 areas:

1. A values-based decline in consumerism

2. A dematerialisation of product and services

3. Closing the loop in industrial ecology

A major issue currently facing society is energy use within buildings, which accounts for 21% of total emissions. Unfortunately, this figure ignores the embodies energy. “The energy embodied within materials, products and technologies are a result of their raw materials procurement, manufacturing and packaging”.

We can reduce and minimise this impact through the use of alternative materials, design for disassembly (DfD) where products can be efficiently and effectively reused without diminishing or down-cycling the quality of the material. We can also look at solutions to problems that occur naturally within the environment through biomimicry. My favourite, is to Design for Climate (DfC) which can be viewed as “passive design”, whereby we look at considering factors such as building orientation, size, location etc to build the building in an effective way and minimise materials and the energy use within the building.



Baggs, David. Beyond Carbon Neutrality: Strategies for Reductive and Restorative Sustainability [online]. Environment Design Guide, No. 64, Sep 2010: 1-9. Availability:<http://search.informit.com.au.wwwproxy0.library.unsw.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=858328802157342;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 1442-5017. [cited 23 Aug 16]

Week 5 Lecture

Lecture Week 5 on 22/8/16 by Alistair  Coulstock at Cundall

Carbon emission research comes from Joseph Fourier in the 1820’s whereby he studied the impact that the atmosphere had on trapping gases. Despite this, the Green Building Revolution has only occurred in the last 20  years or so and only governmentally mandated (r.e. NABERS, Green Star etc) in the last 10-12 years (in Australia).

Energy efficient assessment:

There is the Deemed-To-Satisfy (DTS) Energy Efficiency Building Solution. To achieve compliance through a DTS assessment, all separate elements of the building must comply with the National Construction Code Section J (Energy Efficiency). An alternative assessment method is the Verification Method (JV3) to find a Building Solution, which is more complex.

The 2030 problem:

Approximately 20% of all energy use currently occurs in/around buildings. We need to solve this problem efficiently, effectively and quickly  before we are faced with the looming 2030 problem. The population of Sydney alone will have increased by 40% by 2030 and we’ll use up our annual resources in 6 months. The greenhouse gas output also contributes to heating up the external temperature by 2 degrees (celsius), and rainfall will have fallen by 5%.

Therefore, why do we have energy modelling? If you can’t measure it, you can’t reduce it.

What’s involved?


Setting the target

based on building type, market, client knowledge, potential marketing

Energy modelling process

develop 3D form of building (as shown above)

apply to location with associated weather conditions (Tri file data excludes anomalies which is generally ideal)

ensure building orientation is correct (correct between northern/southern hemisphere where required)

assign thermal attributes to the building’s construction (infiltration, convection, conduction, radiation)

input heat generating features: people, equipment, lights etc

determine total heating and cooling load to achieve comfort conditions

apply heating, ventilation and AC system to the building (as shown below)

determine energy consumption, carbon emissions and operating costs of HVAC equipment

determine energy generation from on-site sources


Benefits of JV3 Modelling

cost savings can be made in comparison to DTS

Trade offs in facade orientations can be made

Complex shading elements can be incorporated

Infiltration rates can be incorporated into calculations

Areas for improvement then get broken down into simple/short-term goals, medium term goals and long-term options; which may or may not be taken on board by the client as there may be substantial upfront cost, despite the long term savings that can be achieved.

Further Resources

WELL Building Standard <https://www.wellcertified.com/standard&gt;

Commercial Building Disclosure Program <http://www.cbd.gov.au/&gt;

BCA Section J (National Construction Code)

BASIX Rating Tool <https://www.basix.nsw.gov.au/iframe/about-basix/basix-assessment/basix-certificates.html&gt;

Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA) <http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/business/upgrade-agreements.htm&gt;


Week 5 Pre-Session

Energy Modelling Reflection
by Hannah Ryan – Monday, 22 August 2016, 5:26 PM

“For the biggest energy and cost savings, model early in design and model often, say the experts.”
I say this to everyone I know who asks me anything about architecture/design/construction. It seems like such a straight forward, obvious statement to make but apparently isn’t that well-known of a concept outside the industry, which is disappointing to say the least.

For any project, major components such as sustainability need to be discovered early on in the scoping process, sustainability is particularly an issue that needs to be revisited often, at every meeting if possibly because it is something that has so many alternatives and options that it just makes more sense to have all the information available at all stages so the best decisions can be made.

An energy model can also be particularly helpful for home owners/ clients that may need to visually understand concepts, or who may previously be unaware as to how their choices – in building type, size, materiality etc. – can affect energy use within the space. It can become a very clear way to demonstrate options, and to give comparably, discrete data which is necessary when looking at different possible options. This can also assist where priorities and sacrifices need to be made (mostly due to either available time or available capital funds)

Week 4 Post-Session

Group Proposal:Sustainability Rating Tool for Higher Educational Facilities
by Xiaowen Dai – Monday, 22 August 2016, 5:07 PM


We will develop a framework for a new tool through the analysis of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) framework in the US, to create something that can be specifically used for higher educational facilities in NSW, such as UNSW. This will involve extensive analysis of the LEED tool , particularly in relation to sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and materiality; these will be key factors in analysing higher educational facilities.


“LEED is a framework for identifying, implementing, and measuring green building and neighborhood design, construction, operations, and maintenance…LEED seeks to optimize the use of natural resources, promote regenerative and restorative strategies, maximize the positive and minimize the negative environmental and human health consequences of the construction industry, and provide high-quality indoor environments for building occupants.” (USGBC, 2013). Currently, the LEED categories are integrative process, location and transport, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation and regional priority. These categories provide a holistic response that can be applicable to a wide range of sites for a holistic view of the sites sustainability.

We intend to improve on this by creating a tool that is more specifically suited to higher education facilities and sites, that will have slightly different categories than LEED and will more appropriately consider the specific considerations that occur within such a site. Consideration of the difference between America and Australia will also be included.


LEED framework, being one of the most popular rating systems, has been used worldwide. It is voluntary and market-driven and it seeks to promote green buildings. LEED has the principle approach of first select site appropriately to reduce demands, then apply passive design, increase energy efficiency, use recycled materials and purchase green power. We will follow a similar principle and apply it to tertiary education buildings.


To create a framework tool that will rate higher educational facilities and sites across a range of categories, to obtain a rating that reflects its sustainability.

Week 4 Lecture

Lecture Week 4 15/8/16 by Jeff D Oatman (GBCA)

What is a rating system? Makes things comparable across a range of targets.

What is a green building? We have to look at it in 3 stages; design, construction and operation as buildings can perform differently to the way they’ve been designed or operated etc. so our definition of green building can be very broad, or extremely narrow depending on who we are and what we’re trying to answer.

Why are rating tools required? Why can’t it be done through regulations? Regulations set minimum standards, whereas a rating tool allows differentiation and drives best practice outcomes. Self regulation can be exercised through use of voluntary rating tools.

Why do we need rating tools? Establish a common language to allow clarity, reference and demonstration of skills. Rating tools can also be used to identify a set of impacts and to promote a specific outcome. Also importantly, rating tools provide an independent verification.

Rating tools differ between construction stages and different requirements therefore need to be met.

Holistic Rating Tools

Looks across a range of categories, at a range of building stages. Holistic rating tools cover a wider scope than more specific rating tools.

e.g. LEEDS, Green Star etc.

Levels of achievement: good practice, best practice, leading practice, beyond practice.

Methods of assessment: third-party independent assessment, commissioned assessment, self assessment which all obviously differ primarily through their level of independence.

Weighting of issues – what’s ultimately more important? Where do you draw the line and determine an ultimatum. GBCA uses academic and industry informants, as well as considering effort vs achievement considerations.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 7.03.07 PM.png

Examples of rating tools

World Green Building Council

GreenStar (Australia)


WELL Building Standard (International)


DGNB (Germany)

Green Mark (Singapore)

Living Building Challenge


Further References








Week 4 Pre-Session

by Hannah Ryan – Sunday, 14 August 2016, 5:32 PM

I like that Prasad is clear in his definitions, which in turn clarifies his contention . He also discusses  embodied energy; which can be a difficult concept to grasp but one that I believe is absolutely crucial to understand in order to not just understand sustainability and achieving sustainability, to effectively, efficiently and smartly be working towards total sustainability.

Prasad then also cleverly compares to application of Carbon positive, rather than simply carbon neutral, and uses a real life example to display how achievable this can be even in a climate as difficult as that of Perth’s which is an impressive way of shutting down naysayers and those who don’t believe these kinds of applications can be possible.

To further show application to the real world, Prasad gives the example of policy reform in the UK, where it has gotten “stuck in the mud”. This again is a clever way to show that despite these objectives being theoretically possible, and practically possible in the small-scale, large-scale application still eludes us due to “economics and attitude”.

Despite this, the overall tone of the article is positive; “We will persevere and working together on an international as well as local level is all part of the process… Rome was not built in a day”.

Week 3 Post-Session

My Case Study is now going to be CH2 and I propose to look at how the material choices in the material envelope have impacted energy use within the building.

This will involve looking at how to treat different facades to  create different results within the internal environment.

It will be presented as a sort of “what to do/what not to do” document providing alternatives where options in CH2 have failed, and also showing options that weren’t used in CH2 that might be a valuable choice in a different building type. Essentially, I will be looking at the pro’s and con’s of these material choices.

This might include the following information:


What building type they’re suited for


payback period

Other options; cheaper, aesthetically similar etc

maintenance/ refurbishment considerations; timeframe, costing etc

operational costs vs capital costs and therefore lifetime costing

policy related considerations

environmental effects of material choice

thermal/acoustic performance

Effects of material choice on energy requirements

Embodied energy of materials

Week 3 In Session

Lecture Week 3 8/8/16 by PC Thomas from Team Catalyst

Green building – “provide a comfortable and productive internal environment with minimal greenhouse impact”

-Team Catalyst

Regulatory regimes in Australia:

Section J, Building Code of Australia (BCA)

Green Star, Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA)

National Australian Building Environmental Rating System (NABERS)

commercial Building Disclosure Act, 2010

Living Building Challenge, Living Future

WELL buildings, International WELL Building Institute

Building Loads

loads that create heat within a building:

solar radiation

temperature difference driven heat transfer

internal heat generation

air change/s: ventilation/infiltration

How do we therefore measure heating and cooling loads, i.e. the size of air conditioners and heater particularly in the residential and commercial sectors?

In Melbourne (being a temperate climate) there is no question; heaters and air conditioners are no required at all where good design has been employed. Sydney is a little different so here’s some of the things we can think about:

windows: size, placement, type, frames

ventilation: location/sizes

building orientation

external shading as a priority over internal shading (also consider operable vs fixed)

building envelope material choice

thermal mass consideration

smart insulation choice in terms of type and placement

air movement capture: analysing and effectively using external air flow

humidity control

construction quality

Further References


Week 3 Pre-Session

by Hannah Ryan – Thursday, 18 August 2016, 9:59 AM

Cool roofs are a good alternative to a green roof where minimising the internal cooling load is requested, without the larger expenditure, maintenance or installation costs and activities.

This process has been adopted by ASHRAE 90.1, the International Energy Conservation Code, and California’s Title 24 and LEED. Despite this, there is debate among professionals as to the total capacity to reduce heating load that is achievable through a cool roof.  This issues revolves around not the benefits in the summer term, but whether these benefits outweigh the negatives attributed to the cool roof over the inter term; more of an issue the further north and south you go.

Week 2 Post-Session

Beheading the duck
by Hannah Ryan – Sunday, 7 August 2016, 11:18 AM

The most important part of this article is the language used: the author considers quite large numbers without having to mention them, instead equating them to amounts of lights, fans, or television which makes the information more palatable and relatable to the layman reading the article. 

The author also provides solutions for the problem that are within the reach of most households, without having to expend either a great deal of money or effort. Generating interest in the article by approach this as an economic problem rather than a social or environmental problem – which can be understood as requiring a moral response – can make more people engaged in the topic and it can feel relevant to a wider group of the community.

Week 2 In Session

Week 2 Lecture by Alexander Hespe (Arup) 1/8/16

What is energy? The work done by a body or system.

Define the difference between energy and power? Energy involves a time element (such as an hour), as opposed to the power used in a particular space of time.

Embodied energy – the energy within a product, that includes the full production cycle. For example, a brick’s embodied energy includes the raw products, the firing of combining them, storing the products, transport of the product etc. That is, that static energy of a product even though the final product may not use energy or output energy. It is energy already “stuck” within the product.

1.1kg of CO2 is produced for each kWh of energy used (in Victoria, AUS. It’s about 0.2kg of CO2 in Tasmania, AUS). That means, that running your toaster for 1 hour (1 kWh) produces 1.1kg of CO2, which is quite significant.

For comparison, natural gas is around 0.27 kg of CO2 per kWh.

Carbon emissions are ranked as Scope 1, (personally e.g. using your own diesel fuel) Scope 2 (provided to you e.g. power station)) and Scope 3 (external e.g. transport of Scope 2). These scopes are required as a means of context for any figures produced.

On site power energy generation

photovoltaics (solar panels)

wind power

solar thermal (for DHW, HHW etc)

fuel cells (ideal for base load energy requirements)

Co- (or tri) generation (combined heat plant CHP)

Energy storage

mechanical (e.g. pumped hydro, flywheel, compressed air)

electrical (e.g. electrochemical, capacitor)

thermal (e.g. ground source heat pump, ice storage, chilled water tank)

chemical (


Net Energy

Total energy, including energy gains and losses. Net energy definition and classification: Site, Source, Cost, Emissions.

How do we apply this information and technology?

Energy approach framework (from best option to last case options):

reduce (e.g. shading)

passive (e.g. natural ventilation, heat chimney)

efficiency (e.g. hydronic system)

re-use (e.g. heat recovery wheel)

renewable (e.g. wind turbines, BIPV)


It is important to consider WHEN in the design process these ideas are integrated. The earlier in the design ( i.e. scope and concept stages) will be the cheapest and generally more effective than at later stages.


Rocky Mountain Institute (2016), “Reinventing Fire”, <http://www.rmi.org/reinventingfire&gt;

The Telegraph (2003), “World’s biggest battery switched on in Alaska”

Beddington Zero Energy Development <http://bioregional.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/BedZEDCaseStudyReport_Dec02.pdf&gt;

Bioregional (2002), “Beddington Zero Energy Development case study report”,

Druk White Lotus School <http://www.arupassociates.com/en/case-studies/druk-white-lotus-school/&gt;


Week 2 Pre-Session

“A 40 Year Plan For Energy: Reinventing Fire” – Armory Lovins

(about 25 minutes long and very valuable)

This video describes the need for renewable energy and how to go about this, as well as the problems of continuing to use oil, coal or nuclear energy. Without any act of Congress, we can be oil and coal free, saving US$3Trillion. Technology, policy, design and business strategy are required as 4 parts.

2/5 of energy required to move a car it due to its weight. Cars weigh so much due to steel, which can be replaced with carbon fibre which is far lighter, requiring less force to move them, This results in smaller engines and can therefore be far more efficient to fuel through electricity. (230 miles per gallon – Voltswagon)

This principle can then be applied to large vehicle i.e. trucks and airplanes.

As efficiency is then increased (through various means), the need for other fuels (such as electric) will also decrease resulting in ever greater savings of both energy and cost over time.

Smarter design – on windows, motors, pumps etc – can result in smaller technology requirements, such as a decreased cooling load in the case of “super” windows which are far more efficient than standard windows, which will therefore require less energy to manage and can have payback times of less than 5 years.

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 5.26.38 PM.png


Reflection – 40 yr energy plan
by Hannah Ryan – Monday, 1 August 2016, 5:32 PM

This is a very clever speech on the problems with coal, nuclear and oil energy and the need to move to more sustainable answers: renewable energy. What is so clever about this speech, is Lovins’ ability to appeal to big business and government, in particular, by presenting the opportunities related to transitioning between fuel sources, rather than just labelling the costs associated with it. He describes this as an economic response, not just en environmental or a societal response, and that this transition will have business benefits and therefore is a “business opportunity”, rather than merely a moral response to the larger issue.

I think this is a very clever way to appeal to the larger groups in society who may have had doubts about the need to switch energy supply, or who may have not been able to see the positive affects this switch will have for them and their business.

Week 1 Post-Session

Term Project Proposal
by Hannah Ryan – Sunday, 31 July 2016, 8:52 PM

Something I’m interested in is energy use in temperate climates. I believe that heaters and air conditioners should be next to redundant in these type of environments.

Therefore I’d like to look at material use, particularly in facades, and how these impact on the internal built environment. I’d like to look at different options and compare them across a range of criteria including cost, building type suited for, embodied energy, thermal and acoustic capacities, capital vs operational costs etc.

Ideally this will assist people in choosing facade materials to produce the best and most efficient internal environments that are able to maintain a steady and comfortable internal environment. It will also include the best ways to maximise the opportunities presented through nature, such as sunlight and wind.

The case study for this project will be a house located in Ocean Grove, which was renovated to utilise these passive building principles to produce a household that doesn’t contain an air conditioner or heater, but more importantly it doesn’t even need these.

Week 1 In Session

Back to uni!

Mostly excited, but there is always that sort of feeling behind everything that I’d rather be sitting on a beach reading some nonsense fiction somewhere getting obscenely sunburnt by accident.
So, first class for the semester is a nice bit of an intro to the course (Energy and the Built Environment), and not too heavy ensuring that my brain’s not exploding with info after a weeks away. We were giving a nice little overview of the course content and assignments which I always enjoy because I feel like I have a bit of a destination, and with only 12/13 weeks to learn everything this is quite key.

As always, let’s get into the right head space by remembering how to define sustainability:

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

– ‘Our Common Future’, 1987

However, remember that the concept of sustainability and sustainable development can have very different meanings to different people and that the definition should be fluid and open to interpretation. The one given above should also be critiqued, ad understanding this core concept, in our own ways, can be greatly helpful in driving us to achieve our sometimes impossible goals. We can also look at “why” we consider sustainability. What is our ultimate goal? This, of course, will also differ between people. (Please also keep asking yourself – how? for whom? where? when?)

It then becomes important to consider that generally, sustainability is (arguably) not and achievable goal, and that it is necessary to discriminate and look to “the greater good” and that perhaps “the ends justifies the means”. Even looking at the classic circular intersections of demographics, diversity and density where density, or economics, generally overpowers demographics (society) and diversity (environment). Increasing the size of the societal and environmental circle, while creating “equality”, will, by default, decrease the size of the economic bubble which will cause some level of detriment to some people (whether or not you consider this to be a good thing, I’ll leave up to you).

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 10.37.41 PM

The graph below shows how the burning on Carbon Dioxide affects various components of our life, showing that we need to consider sustainability for not just a range of people or places, but also for a range of species.


Here below we consider the cost of refurbishment to achieve sustainability, please note that the “negative” costs on the left of the graph sows the investment making money, rather than costing money and is therefore an example of “low hanging fruit”, many examples of which can be introduced at a residential level.


The Nexus Between Energy and Water

Water usage at major stages of the coal life cycle:


Other concepts discussed in the lecture that I’ve covered in previous posts:

Building envelope design


Ecological footprints

Urban heat island

Impact on biodiversity

The impact of food on the planet

Thermal components of households

Further Resources

ArchiBlox (2016), “Carbon Positive House”, <http://www.archiblox.com.au/projects/carbon-positive-house/&gt;

Green Peace Australia (2016), “Green Pece Pacific Blog”, <https://www.greenpeace.org.au/blog/&gt;

Green Peace (2016), “The Great Water Grab: How the Coal Industry is Deepening the Global Water Effect”, <http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/climate/2016/The-Great-Water-Grab.pdf&gt;

Green Roofs (2015), “Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH)” <

Tree Hugger (2012), “Infographic explains “terrifying math of global warming” “, <

Week 1 Pre-Session

Self Intro
by Hannah Ryan – Saturday, 23 July 2016, 11:18 PM

Hello All,

I’m Hannah and I’m from Melbourne; I’ve only been living in Sydney for close to 6 months now so I’m definitely still pretty good at getting quite lost and not understanding why rugby is being called footy.

I completed my bachelor degrees at Deakin University in Geelong: Bachelor of Design (Architecture) / Bachelor or Construction Management (Honours).

I enrolled in this course (Master of Sustainable Built Environment) as my Undergraduate really focused on design and constructing in sustainable ways but this was not carried through into the Masters program so I decided on the big move to Sydney so I could keep studying what I believe to be a key component of the construction industry.

I guess what I’m hoping to get out of this class, and course, is not just greater knowledge but a renewed and sustainable interest in sustainability. I’ve got my own blog where I write about my experiences in university and the courses I’m undertaking and I’m hoping that through this as well I can increase awareness and understanding of sustainable practices in all areas of life.

Have a read if you feel like following in my ramblings: https://sustainablebuiltenvironmentblog.wordpress.com/

Thanks! smile


Re: Self Intro
by Chenguang Fu – Sunday, 24 July 2016, 4:25 PM

Hi Hannah: I am Collin Fu (Chenguang Fu), major mate of sustainable built environment. Time is burning, the last semester made me acquire much knowledge about sustainable. However, sometimes, I am confused about this major because it is not quite easy to combine with the reality. In addition, many conceptions are still at the  theoretical status. I really expect this semester we could get much progress. NEW BEGIN, good luck !