[Sbse] Climatic design in Arab world and the questions you posed

Nina Baird, PhD nbaird at cmu.edu
Wed Apr 7 06:33:47 PDT 2021


Sue --and other SBSE listserv readers--

I'd welcome a copy of your

* Closing the Loop: benchmarks for Sustainable Buildings.  *

Related to the questions you posed and, to some extent, to Mark's original
request, here are a couple of related questions:

How much does climate drive comfort within a building?  One of my students
studying urban heat island in 100+ cities in India and the US said that the
most dense city in India has a population density 16x that of New York
City.  And there's a comparison of FAR or FSI in Manhattan and Mumbai
<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/As-maximum-as-it-gets/article12677704.ece__;!!JYXjzlvb!339iogjtL1kzwbYcvwNJdXgfVJpN8fSGzBR2Hmb__-fINTlwgiw6wOoHOfOwIw$ >
that shows that even if floor area ratio may look similar or even higher in
Manhattan, the floor area per person is far greater in Mumbai.  This
suggests that in Mumbai and other locations with high urban and floor area
density, design opportunities and strategies to support comfort indoors are
likely to be different than those in far less densely populated locations*.*

If we set a building lifespan for operating energy measurement, how might
it influence or be related to lifespan designed to preserve embodied energy
and carbon?  One of my students from Jakarta told me that a 10-yr lifespan
would not be unusual there since rapid growth makes land values skyrocket
so building owners/developers demolish existing buildings to create
something taller/with more floor area.  He said this in reaction to the
60-year lifespan assumed in a LEED credi*t *for lifecycle assessment.  Maybe
we should label the operating energy evaluation period something other than
"lifespan?"   To follow the global rating system thread I mentioned
earlier, there are some rating systems that attempt to preserve embodied
energy where development is rapid, e.g., Abu Dhabi's Pearl rating system
provides a credit that encourages a structure that would allow more stories
to be added and dimensional characteristics that would allow the building
to be adapted to new uses, and another credit that encourages design for
disassembly.  Hong Kong's Beam Plus contains similar ideas.  Recently and
for different reasons, the NYTimes recently promoted similar considerations
<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/23/business/as-buildings-life-spans-shrink-developers-try-to-adjust.html?smid=em-share__;!!JYXjzlvb!339iogjtL1kzwbYcvwNJdXgfVJpN8fSGzBR2Hmb__-fINTlwgiw6wOqlYbLoOw$ >.
I think both strategies--evaluating  the persistence of effective operating
energy performance and promoting preservation of embodied
energy/carbon--are important for overall sustainable design.

Hope to see others' ideas.

Nina


Message: 2
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2021 12:25:40 +0100 (BST)
From: Susan Roaf <s.roaf at btinternet.com>
To: "Nina Baird, PhD" <nbaird at cmu.edu>, mdekay at utk.edu,
        sbse at uidaho.edu
Subject: Re: [Sbse] Climatic design in Arab world
Message-ID: <45d4e0bb.8d93.178a6ee567c.Webtop.89 at btinternet.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"; Format="flowed"


Nina,

Excellent trail here. It begs the question of what is / are:

a) a thermally good building - the thermal performance is related to the
amount of energy it needs to keep people acceptably comfortable indoors

b) the limits being set in each rating system for thermally comfortable
conditions indoors?

c) An acceptable lifespan for a building? If you are measuring the
energy performance over time - can we agree a time over which it should
be measured so we can compare outputs.

d) Can we include a factor in such rating systems for the 'Pandemic
Preparedness' of a buildings - and how might one measure that? - is we
are really trying to define the vulnerability of structures to
environmental change - their 'sustainability' - or durability - as
investments for owners and users?

If anyone wants a pdf of my Closing the Loop: benchmarks for Sustainable
Buildings - email me - I maintain there that one cannot compare apples
and pears in a black box system in which the assumptions of the box
creator are not clear.   One might end up with solutions that push less
sustainable alternatives for instance - Heaven Forbid.

I would welcome any insights into the above questions.....  genuinely
interested in the answers from SBSE - as aye...

Sue

-- 
Nina J. Baird, PhD, MSPH
Assistant Professor
Academic Chair, CMU Green Practices
Center for Building Performance & Diagnostics
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Ave, MMCH 415
Pittsburgh, PA  15213
412-268-5975
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