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

Susan Roaf s.roaf at btinternet.com
Wed Apr 7 06:40:01 PDT 2021


Numbers of people in a building will change over its life - surely what 
matters is the quality of the basic building = not the ephemeral things 
about it like numbers of people or HVAC systems?


------ Original Message ------
From: "Nina Baird, PhD" <nbaird at cmu.edu>
To: s.roaf at btinternet.com; sbse at uidaho.edu
Cc: mdekay at utk.edu
Sent: Wednesday, 7 Apr, 21 At 14:33
Subject: Re: [Sbse] Climatic design in Arab world and the questions you 

Sue --and other SBSE listserv readers--

I'd welcome a copy of your   Closing the Loop: benchmarks for 

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!yA5MJk37oMEBwaPY1BeFpdKWmRh_FKAAXorVF1TRZBeQ40bprDog9qAbJ-W4qA$ > 
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 credit 
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!yA5MJk37oMEBwaPY1BeFpdKWmRh_FKAAXorVF1TRZBeQ40bprDog9qDGHl20rA$ > 
.  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.


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


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

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

  b) the limits being set in each rating system for thermally 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  sustainable alternatives for instance - Heaven Forbid.

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


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


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