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Environmentally Conscious Building Assignment


Task:This assessment requires you critically analyse the system design process of a project using the theory and principles studied during the course. This assessment item relates to the course learning outcomes 1 to 5.

Details: In this group assessment, you are required to write a report which critically analyses the conceptual design phase of a systems engineering project. Projects might include designing a bridge, a dam, an environmentally-conscious building or a mechatronic system. You might not have been involved in the project personally, but some connection with the project would make the analysis more meaningful. Choose your project carefully because in assignment 2, your group will need to analyse the preliminary design and detailed design phases of the project. If you are unsure as to whether your chosen project has sufficient depth/detail, consult with your tutor. You will also have the opportunity to work on the assignment in the tutorials for the unit. Every group must do a different project. Also, projects from previous years can not be reused.

The report is to analyse the following phases of the project:

  • Needs definition
  • Conceptual system design

To demonstrate your research skills and understanding, the report must draw upon relevant sources like journals, books or reputable trade publications in analysing the project. You must also present the case study in terms of the above two lifecycle phases and evaluate the proposed conceptual design against the identified needs / requirements.


Executive Summary:Energy efficiency inside buildings requires a broad design approach to easily balance the use of bioclimatic strategies with very active systems. Climate and environmental awareness and responsive building are designed to mediate outside factors to decrease climate load and to create a comfortable and healthy indoor environment. Comfort-sensitive methods now have more opportunities to implement passive strategies, especially for natural ventilation. The following research aims to contribute to how to efficiently apply bioclimatic structures to achieve optimal energy performance in residential buildings and to construct environmentally conscious buildings through several parameters and by leveraging currently accessible processing models. Residential areas in Madrid use a master plan designed in accordance with sustainable principles. Environmentally conscious buildings have been planned according to some general rules. According to some new energy rules or regulations after the European Energy presentation directive, building energy efficiency requirements have been increasing over the years. This study identified the preliminary design of Madrid houses by analyzing various parameters, materials, and structures. This study will provide an effective architectural approach by providing improved conditions.

Introduction:This project described in this study aims to decrease the consumption of energy and to create an environment-friendly building save energy for cooling and heating. Bioclimatic strategies and passive control techniques are applicable to external spaces and buildings. They include firm solar radiation control system, heavy heat and insulation, building orientation, and indoor space layout according to direction moreover natural ventilation at night. The structure consists of load-bearing brick walls plus wooden ventilated roofs; the material is selected in line with the LCA. Solar panels will be utilized to heat domestic water. The heating system consists of a low temperature radiant heated floor and a high efficiency condensing boiler. Due to the bioclimatic strategy, floor bright panels can also be utilized for cooling, even if it is not a real need. Buildings are responsible for a significant part of energy use. In Spain, buildings use about half of the overall energy used, and the building also reflects cultural characteristics for example climatic and geographical surroundings of Madrid. Bioclimatic buildings aim to achieve the functional purpose of the climate and a healthy environment and provide environmentally conscious building settings. Madrid has a mild climate and is also named as the Mediterranean climate. The coastal area is affected by the ocean, resulting in a comfortable temperature, while the inner part experiences higher thermal amplitude. The average temperature in Madrid in June is about 26°C (80°F) during the day and 22°C (69°F) in the evening. Therefore, it has experienced a hot and cold climate. Hence strategy of the environment-friendly residential buildings should emphasize the adequate role of building levels and the physical structure of a building to reduce energy demand to attain green environment.

linear house system building design

Fig 1: Exploded view of a linear house

building design Ground floor

Fig.2: Ground floor: distribution and use of spaces.

Bioclimatic Building design assignment

Fig 3: Bioclimatic Building Image Source:

Problem Definition: The main site characteristics and needs should be identified and should be considered prior to the preliminary design process, such as climate, vegetation type, and topography and soil geography. Bioclimatic buildings focus on minimizing the energy needs of buildings and helping create a comfortable environment with simple hydrothermal, natural light and insulation. In addition, the landscape should be prioritized and how the integration of environmentally conscious building should be completed. Natural ventilation is one of the important factors that may help create a bioclimatic design environment. This process uses a shaded surface that provides for the inhalation of cold air and then treats it after it has become hot using the vents placed above the height (Albatici and Passerini, 2011).

Mission Definition: The mission of this research is to design energy-efficient or environment-friendly buildings as part of Madrid’s environment and designs them to survey their relationship to climate, to achieve thermal comfort conditions, and also to maximize internal comfort environments with the support of design elements or bioclimatic building. Its mission is to apply bioclimatic architectural design in order to select effective pre-design strategies to utilize natural energy from specific climates and environments in conceptual building design to generate energy-efficient and locally processed buildings. Identify the tools and requirements that will help create the first approach to building design through information about key metrics that will reflect the completion of passive thermal behaviour and its performance (Alcázar and Chávez, 2014).

Performance and Physical Parameters: Madrid houses are made up of natural cross-ventilation in order to maintain indoor temperatures. The glass surface of the house faces south, providing a steady source of natural lighting and capturing solar radiation. The rear of the house faces north and is opaque with a door and with a very small window. The north must be insulated, with the vents in the southwest, usually around the shadow planting. To decrease the demand for more mechanical ventilation, the naturally adapted interior space moreover the quality of the enclosure should be utilized. Shading equipment should be oriented towards the east and should be combined with extra solar energy through a multi-level atrium that radiates heat during the winter. The outer part of the environment-friendly building must be prepared by keeping in mind the sun movement, the surrounding environment, and wind’s direction. This can be achieved through openings, various shaded facades, irregular floor patterns and sloping surfaces, which assists to increase usage of photovoltaic panels (Ayyad and Gabr, 2013).

Utilization Requirement: According to the principles of bioclimatology, houses are considered to be open institutions that interact freely with climate and provide maximum benefits and shelter for negative factors: the sun-air impact affects major architectural features such as direction and shape. As a result, the rooms will be arranged and the interior distribution follows the three-zone plan: the main space (living room, kitchen, and bedroom) faces south, with horizontal as well as vertical connecting channels in middle, while auxiliary spaces, such as garages and storage rooms, look north. This layout is ideal for maximizing energy performance and health (Bajcinovci and Jerliu, 2016). Several different solutions should be implemented to take advantage of the sun's air impact: transparent surfaces and overhangs, balconies and roof projections, using 3D models and solar views to give full shielding of summer sunlight while maximizing free heat gain during the heating season. The overall layout is characterized by a single sloping ventilated roof that slopes north, thus minimizing the north wall area and expanding the south facade: for the similar reason, the difference in size also affects the window.

Environmental Factors: Prioritize environmentally friendly materials, evaluate through LCA, and like the entire project, the best solution is through pre-analysis, in this case, dynamic and multi-zone thermal simulation tools (Bourrelle, Andresen, and Gustavsen, 2013). Good environmental practices are often closely related to appropriate economic practices. Measures to decrease the energy or water consumption not only benefit the Madrid’s environment by conserving resources and reducing emissions but will also save significant financial costs over the life of the environmentally conscious building. Similarly, the environment is expected to be filled with permanent private and public structures that might limit material delivery along with it building space. To maintain the environmental factors the technical designing team must conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that selected design matches available space without the need for additional sidewalks to enter the bridge from both ends.

Conceptual design
Location of the Bioclimatic architecture of environmentally conscious buildings
The selected location is Madrid which is a city of Spain. The residential building is three separate townhouses (Cho, Soster and Burton, 2017). The building consists of a door pillar architecture consisting of columns, beams, and plates made of unbreakable concrete, in which slab floor covered by a bottom plate of maximum 4 cm and a cover plate of about 10 cm is installed in an air chamber which is completely ventilated. The exterior of a building is masonry of about 20 cm and covers approximately 8cm of polystyrene system (Dryvit). The isolated walls are solid, which helps to increase inertia and sound the building. The windows do not have any color, the double glazing consists of a wooden frame and internal blinds to give shade and add to the building in order to provide better shadows in the summer, the opening of the building has a lower level of structural sunshade and the outer canvas awning upper layer (Danilovic-Hristic, 2012).

System requirements: Solar geometry, natural ventilation, sun location and on-site identification of prevailing winds are some significant factors in considering thermal comfort as well as maintaining environmental health. System requirements for bioclimatic design:

According to the Madrid case study, the most appropriate space for collecting solar radiation in winter is the southward direction.

Minimizing exposed exterior walls helps defend them from winter winds (Desogus, Felice Cannas, and Sanna, 2016).

Natural ventilation building design

Fig 4: Natural ventilation Image source:

Solar Radiation is the total of direct normal, sky diffused and reflected radiation. The position of sun also affects the quantity and intensity of radiation on the building. However, in winter and summer, the total intensity of the sun's rays is the same. Building shape and height is also needed to be considered. The rectangular shape is sufficient for architectural design that extends to the south-west axis. Environments conscious building selected for Madrid is rectangular with dimensions of 30 m x 12 m for bioclimatic designs, a small increase in the height of the building (Gaitani, Mihalakakou, and Santamouris, 2007).

Operational Requirements
User Behaviour: User behaviour must be considered a significant factor in ensuring the full operation of the bioclimatic residential building interior design. Planning, total volume, heat load or window size is the main factors affecting thermal comfort (Guimaraes, 2012).

Internal space positioning within the building envelope: The functional layout of the building is programmed. Hence, proper programming, based on energy demand and direction placement capabilities, will help reduce energy requirements in bioclimatic buildings.

Construction equipment for example elevators and automatic doors are best for the building. Applying the latest technologies and innovations, for example, the door to generate energy and help provide energy (Khambadkone and Jain, 2017).

Project feasibility: The architecture, orientation, overall dimensions, thermal isolation as well as component quality are used to calculate approximately the feasibility or viability of the conceptual design. It furthermore involves identifying parameters that are important to the thermal performance of the building.

Design Alternatives
Strategic design option 2: Solar Windows - South-facing windows provide good structural performance because it captures more sunlight during the winter, and concrete floors help absorb more heat. In the summer they can be turned off to avoid overheating. Solar walls can be used with open blinds, which help keep cold air flowing outside and warm it up. At night, the surface of the exterior wall cools to warm the building. Warm air hits the upper wall opening and cools.

Strategic design option 1: This strategy gives specific flexibility in terms of energy savings due to unused space. However, adjusting the ventilation rate in this type of space is very difficult because the exit and inlet systems are complex. In addition, if part of the system is turned off, it will also affect the ventilation rate of other spaces. However, this plan has limitations in energy performance due to the absence of heat recovery. In addition, the shape of the building is not sufficient to integrate natural ventilation concept and orientation and position of the atrium do not help save energy. In the terms of construction, the natural ventilation planning has a high impact on the facade due to the entrance and exit openings (Marques and Baptista, 2013).

Strategic option 3: In order to maximize energy savings, passive systems are widely implemented: this reduces the need for active systems, thereby reducing the cost of the building. For example, bioclimatic strategies such as solar control, thermal mass and night time ventilation have made the use of air conditioners very cumbersome: this result, as expected by dynamic thermal simulations, has recently been confirmed by residents (Poerschke and Gampfer, 2013). In addition to sensible solar air impact management, the building's outer shell, combined with a suitable plant system, produces an effective damp heat response to climate change throughout the year and provides substantial benefits in terms of health and energy efficiency (Naveen Kishore and Rekha, 2018).

summer control building design assignment

Fig 6: Sun air impact summer control.

Solar radiation protection, heat storage, roof ventilation during the day; radiative cooling and natural ventilation to cool down thermal mass at night.

The Madrid project represents a balanced compromise between the impulse to sustain development on the one hand and the relationship between the market and regulations on the other. It is the highest attainable quality level at a specific location and time and in the opinion of the author, it represents a very successful experience in which sustainable and environmentally conscious building principles have been applied to the common Private initiative. Therefore, this proves that the fight against pollution and natural resource conservation cannot only solve extraordinary solutions: the biggest opportunity to win this challenge is to be able to apply simple but reasonable solutions in everyday practice.

The best method, also recognized in the local architectural tradition, has been determined to use a bearing brick structure that provides insulation and inertia as well as good breathability. Depending on the direction, the walls are different: a huge wall featuring diffusing insulation to the south, utilizing and regulating solar radiation; instead, the North Wall building package also includes a purely insulating layer, as it is preferred to reduce heat loss (Zhang and Lian, 2015). They demonstrate that the quality of the walls and floors provides a more stable climate and continues to reduce energy requirements during the winter, but most importantly during the summer, particularly when combined with all other passive cooling technologies for example night ventilation, at external temperatures it is advantageous to cool the stored heat down (Figure 5). Residential distribution is considered to allow for easy cross ventilation, which is more efficient than single side ventilation. The roof structure has a low heat transmission and is well ventilated to avoid heat loss in the winter season and overheating in summer. ?

Albatici, R. and Passerini, F. (2011). Bioclimatic design of buildings considering heating requirements in Italian climatic conditions. A simplified approach. Building and Environment, 46(8), pp.1624-1631.

Alcázar, M. and Chávez, J. (2014). Educational Program for Promoting the Application of Bioclimatic and Sustainable Architecture in Elementary Schools. Energy Procedia, 57, pp.999-1004.

Ayyad, K. and Gabr, M. (2013). The Role of Environmentally Conscious Architecture and Planning As Components of Future National Development Plans in Egypt. Buildings, 3(4), pp.713-727.

Bajcinovci, B. and Jerliu, F. (2016). Achieving Energy Efficiency in Accordance with Bioclimatic Architecture Principles. Environmental and Climate Technologies, 18(1), pp.54-63.

Bourrelle, J., Andresen, I. and Gustavsen, A. (2013). Energy payback: An attributional and environmentally focused approach to energy balance in net zero energy buildings. Energy and Buildings, 65, pp.84-92.

Cho, Y., Soster, R. and Burton, S. (2017). Enhancing Environmentally Conscious Consumption through Standardized Sustainability Information. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 52(2), pp.393-414.

Danilovic-Hristic, N. (2012). Adjustment of the architecture to the bioclimatic conditions of the environment on case study of the monsoon modernism of architect Geoffrey Bawa. Arhitektura i urbanizam, (35), pp.34-41.

Desogus, G., Felice Cannas, L. and Sanna, A. (2016). Bioclimatic lessons from Mediterranean vernacular architecture: The Sardinian case study. Energy and Buildings, 129, pp.574-588.

Gaitani, N., Mihalakakou, G. and Santamouris, M. (2007). On the use of bioclimatic architecture principles in order to improve thermal comfort conditions in outdoor spaces. Building and Environment, 42(1), pp.317-324.


Khambadkone, N. and Jain, R. (2017). A bioclimatic analysis tool for investigation of the potential of passive cooling and heating strategies in a composite Indian climate. Building and Environment, 123, pp.469-493.

Marques, B. and Baptista, L. (2013). Automation of Passive Processes–A Methodology Adapted to a Bioclimatic Architecture. International Journal of Engineering and Technology, pp.173-176.

Naveen Kishore, K. and Rekha, J. (2018). A bioclimatic approach to develop spatial zoning maps for comfort, passive heating and cooling strategies within a composite zone of India. Building and Environment, 128, pp.190-215.

Nganya, T., Ladevie, B., Kemajou, A. and Mba, L. (2012). Elaboration of a bioclimatic house in the humid tropical region: Case of the town of Douala-Cameroon. Energy and Buildings, 54, pp.105-110.

Poerschke, U. and Gampfer, S. (2013). Environmentally Conscious Architecture: Local–Global, Traditional–Innovative, and Cultural Challenges. Buildings, 3(4), pp.766-770.

Zhang, X. and Lian, Z. (2015). The Bioclimatic Design Approach to Plateau Region Buildings: Case of the Lhasa. Procedia Engineering, 121, pp.2044-2051.


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