A mission for the new millennium

A decade of environmental research on a series of projects ranging from the New Parliamentary Building at Westminster (see Figure 14.1) to a new Conference Facility at the Earth Centre, Doncaster (see Figure 14.2) has generated a strategy capable of producing a wide range of carbon-neutral buildings able to survive in both polluted inner city sites and high occupation densities in more suburban locations.

A carbon-neutral building produces no overall CO2 emissions to the atmosphere when energy flows are analysed over a typical year. Fossil fuel use is offset by renewable energy harvested by the building envelope -often using the national grid as a storage device enabling excess electrical

Figure 14.2

Aerial view of the new Conference Building at the Earth Centre, Doncaster (Architect: Bill Dunster Architects)

Figure 14.2

Aerial view of the new Conference Building at the Earth Centre, Doncaster (Architect: Bill Dunster Architects)

power to be exported to other sites. It is important that design teams try to achieve an overall carbon-neutral brief for each new project - as the UK building fabric is replaced at around 1.5% per annum, it is technically possible to achieve near carbon-neutral UK cities by the end of the next century using existing technology.

This work suggested that it is important to integrate a number of different renewable energy harvesting techniques, carefully reconciling the often conflicting parameters of daylight, passive solar gain, heat loss through the building skin, ventilation, and of course contact with the outside world. Photovoltaics are an important new technology enabling clean solar electricity to be generated in urban areas, but their use can only be justified if it is fully integrated with all the other climate modifying devices that are all competing for the same rays of sunlight. This study shows how some of these devices have been incorporated in buildings I have worked on, and tries to define the key design tools available to an architect wishing to realise a zero emissions urban workplace.

Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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