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Technological Innovation Sustainable Design (Lecture) G#13393

By 28 October 2016August 5th, 2018CPD, Design Patterns, Encyclopaedia, Files, Lectures, Topical
technological innovation sustainable design lecture

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Technological Innovation Sustainable Design Lecture

Technological Innovation Sustainable Design Lecture

Philosophy and practice

So called low and intermediate technologies

History of Building

  • Historic methods of construction have responded to the materials that were readily available locally

–Sometimes if the client is the church, rich, powerful, respected: from further afield

  • Local stone, local trees, local earth, Cob
  • Through a process of trial and error
  • Techniques and materials were discovered, repeated, improved and refined

–Lime mortar, lime plaster, horse hair, horse manure, straw thatch, turf roof, hedge bank walls

–Lime paint, mineral dyes, insect dyes, egg, milk

  • Traditional Techniques
  • Are those that have been successful over many repetitions
  • Work for the climate and required internal conditions
  • They have been adopted and skills developed around them

–Livelihoods build around them, reputations gained,

–Skills passed down father to son, master craftsmen to apprentice, and survived

–Craft based, Artisan, Labour intensive

Master Builders

  • Today’s Architect (minus building skills)
  • Significantly more wide ranging and appropriate knowledge and skills than today
  • Designed and worked with the artisan craftsmen tradesmen to get stuff built
  • Durable materials, natural materials, slow techniques, labour intensive

–Ropes, block and tackle,

–needing skilled and knowledgeable craftsmen

  • Created Cathedrals that last forever

–(with repairs and maintenance)

Master builders no longer

  • Over the centuries buildings got more sophisticated
  • Needed to be more complex, bigger, wider or taller
  • Needed to go beyond the limits of local and traditional materials and methods
  • Moving from Trial and Error,

–to Rule of thumb

–towards Calculations and modelling

General Contractors

  • With tradesmen employees
  • Full responsibility for the whole job
  • Joined up responsibility
  • Joined up thinking
  • Skills and Care
  • 1850 Industrial Revolution
  • Coal Combustion Engines


–Mass production

  • Global distribution

–To and from Commonwealth

–British Empire

  • Global sourcing

–(uncontrolled abuses of everyone and everything)

  • Growing populations
    and mobile workforce
  • Building needed to be built faster

–Still labour intensive

–Progressively labour becomes expensive compared to materials

–Need to develop faster techniques and faster materials

  • Cheaper, faster
  • Historic > 1919 > Modern (UK)
  • Solid wall construction moisture vapour and water permeable

–Ventilated by air leaky sliding sash windows and air bricks

–Lime mortar flexible mass masonry

  • Cavity wall construction separation and damp proofing

–No insulation requirement yet

–Ventilated cavity

–Cement Mortar rigid thin masonry

  • 1950’s Oil Production
  • By-product of oil refining

–Hydro-carbon plastics

  • High oil consumption

–High by-product production

–Needs high by-product consumption

  • Design education:

–All about short life products

–Disposable consumer goods

  • Story of Stuff’ (Video)
  • 1950’s Treaty of Rome
  • The beginning of European Law
  • Case law “Or Similar
  • 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
  • Bomb shelters at city and family levels
  • Autonomy (from mains services)

Water supply




  • Food not so easy underground

Bottled, canned and dried  

  • 1960’s Insulation requirements started
  • 1962 Building Regulations replace bylaws (Except London)

–U values start to be required (Except London 1980’s)

  • Inner leaf of cavity masonry

–Brick > Block

–Breeze block (Air permeable)

–Concrete Block (Dense aggregate)

–Later AAC (autoclaved aerated)

  • 1960’s Housing programme
  • Call for Fast Construction Methods
  • Clear felling whole communities
  • Sky and ground scrapers in their place
  • Precast concrete sector responded
  • Uninsulated (or inadequately insulated)

–Thermal bridges at edges > Condensation > Mould or corrosion

  • Unskilled labour force
  • Rushed construction
  • Poor jointing of panels, condensation corrosion and catastrophic failures
  • 1960’s Environmental consciousness
  • Remote wars

–environmental and human damaging

–radioactivity and chemicals

  • Student battles with establishment

–Civil Disobedience (done effectively)

  • Anti-apartite
  • Greenpeace against

–nuclear bomb testing in the ocean

–nuclear power,



  • 1968 Apollo 8
  • Moon circumnavigation

–Apollo 8

  • First time an astronaut looked back at the earth
  • Saw it as a spacecraft carrying billions of humans
  • We need to be autonomous on our only planet, long term
  • 1970’s Oil Crisis
  • 2 price rises for oil by OPEC

–Protect the oil reserves

–Stop us squandering energy

  • China asked everybody to do everything possible to reduce demand
  • Australia insulated its houses
  • UK and USA complained again about the 2nd price increase
  • China and Aus. “Crisis? What Crisis?”
  • 1980’s Passive Design
  • Enthusiasm for low energy demand houses across EU and World

Solar gain

Thermal mass

Trombe walls

Solar trap glass houses

  • UK Energy World at Milton Keynes

Demonstrations of energy efficiency

Passive design

  • A passing phase

(gas discovered in the N Sea)

Back to business as usual

  • New materials and new methods
  • Less natural and more chemical
  • More synthetic and petro-chemical
  • More inventive and innovative

–CFCs in blowing agents in plastics for greater thermal resistivity

–Less healthy

–(in many cases not knowingly so, but not always)

  • Less sympathetic to existing context:

–local materials, local trades

  • Manufacturer focus on cheap method of mass production
  • Many are worse for humans, nature and environment
  • Violet materials
  • Subdivision of training and professions into silos
  • Needed more professions to subdivide the design skills and develop them in more complex ways

–Constructor, Tradesmen

–Architect, Technicians, Structural Engineer, Services Engineers, Acoustic Engineers, Civil Engineers

–Quantity Surveyors

–Interior Designers, Furniture Designers, Signage Consultants

–Façade Consultants, Cleaning Consultants, Risk Assessors

–Later Environmental Assessors

  • Risk that nobody has the knowledge anymore rely on specialists
  • Silo mentality

–Nobody likes anybody else

–But everybody hates the Architect

  • Quantity v Quality
  • Quantity Surveyors

care about the cost of everything

and the value of nothing

  • Building Price Books

CAPEX Capital Expenditure

No interest in OPEX Operational Expenditure

Violet Construction Violet prices

  • With Encouragement and Fiduciary Rules

Client use QS to control costs

QS only understand Cost Cutting

Later: Value Engineering posh for cost cutting

  • Contractors replace Constructors
  • Biggest contractors
  • Run by Quantity Surveyors
  • Bean counters and cost controllers
  • Less interested in building quality?
  • Substitute quality with inferior products N#778
  • Procurement Methods proliferate
  • Clients want or are encouraged to demand faster programs
  • Different procurement methods experimented with

to overlap design time with construction time

–D&B Design and Build

–MC Management Contracting

–CM Construction Management

–DMC Design Manage Construct

  • Permutation just to be different

–GMP Guaranteed Maximum Price

  • Passing on responsibility?
  • Only with clients explicit permission
  • D&B Design and Build

(D&B&R Design and Build and Redesign)

  • A Brief not a Specification

Employers Requirements

  • Contractors and Constructors are not designers

But now they are expected to have the skills

  • Fiduciary Rules take over

–Substitution and Surreptitious Substitution

–Specification quality not controlled by Architect anymore

–Novation messes that up

  • Prescriptive > Performance Specification
  • Prescriptive:

–use these materials in this way

  • Performance:

–Wall must perform to these standards

–Make the wall out of what you want

  • Subdivision of responsibility
  • Contractors have not got the skills of Constructors
  • Nor do they have the continuity of responsibility, less joined up thinking
  • New Skills:

–Employers Agent, Project manager, Risk assessors, Package manager, Design managers

  • New Skills developed:

–Cover Your Arse letter writing,

–Claims making

  • Skills training but no time to care
  • Preoccupation with thinness
  • The industry remains preoccupied by thinness of construction
  • Building owners and developers

–To minimize thickness of walls

–To maximize floor areas

–To charge more for buildings

  • Results in encouraging manufacturers of plastic insulation

–to use ozone destroying CFC

–Later replace with HCFC, HFC, HFA

–To keep ahead of legislation

  • 1980’s Environmental
    consciousness reaches
  • Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species Of Wild Fauna And Flora, (CITES)

–Tree species to be avoided in construction (ignored by many)

  • Red List
  • IUCN List
  • FoE Friends of the Earth: Good Wood Guide

–Discouraged use of endangered species trees

–Encourage Equivalent Performance Species timber

  • WWF World Wide Fund for Nature
  • Global warming down to man made Carbon Dioxide
  • Ozone layer destruction by chemicals

–Needs to exclude them from insulation, refrigeration and fire fighting installations

  • ‘Global Warming’ replaced by ‘Climate Change’
  • Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE)

–Don’t make more heat than you need

–Don’t pump air conditioning heat to the atmosphere

  • Consumer/Specifier choices
  • FairTrade
  • Rug mark
  • FSC Forest Stewardship Council

–Challenged by PEFC as too onerous

–Lobbied and UK Gov. downgraded FSC to = PEFC

–EUTR Legal and Sustainable

  • ETI Ethical Trading Initiative

–Fair stone Paving (Private scheme)

  • ISO 26000 (Social Responsibility)
  • Low VOC paints

–(until they all have to comply in 2012)

  • 1992 EU Standards Prevail
  • Construction Product Directive (EU)

–Construction Product Regulations (UK)

–No technical barriers

–Building Regulations: Regulation 7

–CEN: EN & EC replace BSI: BS and CP

  • Proper Materials

–BSI Kitemark, BBA Certificate,

–ETA European Technical Approval

  • Essential Requirements

–CE Mark

  • (minimum legal requirement to sell in EU)
  • Maximum permitted to specify in public procurement

–Later add LCA (basis for green claims)

  • Or Equivalent replaces Or Similar
  • Later: Green Public Procurement
  • Substitution: Or Equivalent
  • Public Procurement

–No Technical barriers permitted

–Must permit ‘Or Equivalent’

–Not permitted to require more than CE mark (legal minimum)

  • EU banned Reverse Engineering

–Copying an industry standard (eg. IBM PCs)

–Every company copied and exceeded std.

–But no evidence of policing

  • Health and Safety
    reaction to fails I
  • Health & Safety at work
  • Controlled Waste Regulations

–After deaths at landfill sites

  • CHIP transporting hazardous materials

–Tanker discharges at landfill

–Tanker accidents/fires on the road

–FR Identification of content on vehicle

  • CDM Construction Design & Management Regulations

–Less hazardous construction and maintenance of buildings

–Architects design responsibility is growing

  • Health and Safety
    reaction to fails II
  • Environmental Protection Acts 1990s

–Duty of Care

  • ODS Ozone Depleting Substances

–Long and slow (still ongoing) process of stopping production

–Blending gasses to keep it going longer

–Excluded from developed countries

–Permitted in developing countries

–Becomes a second problem at demolition stage

  • Health and Safety
    reaction to fails III
  • COSHH Control of Substances Hazardous to Health

–Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

–Often incomplete

  • Hazardous Waste Regulations

–240 materials reclassified

–Hazardous landfill sites reduced from 240 to 10

–Requires ‘treatment’ before landfill

  • REACH Registration Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals

–Because MSDS not always complete

–Reconsider recipes and ingredients

–Substitute It Now List (SIN)

–Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC)

  • Financing methods
  • Government decided they did not want to maintain an estate of building

–It wanted to provide Public services in buildings maintained by others

  • PPP Public Private Partnerships

Shared expenses and profits

  • PFI Private Finance Initiative

Upfront Expenses (£1m bid)

With rear end rewards (charge what you like for services)

10 x the true costs for alterations

  • BOOT Build Own Operate Transfer

25 year contract servicing the buildings

25 year warranties for short life materials

Pay Insurance premiums for life

Instead of paying for durable materials

  • Contractors gave up construction to be Facilities Management

Some did both

  • Growing housing crisis
  • Developers will not build unless they can make 30% profit
  • Deliver slowly to keep market hungry
  • To ensure high sales price
  • But failing to close the ‘performance gap’
  • ZCH project to get competent buildings to help meet UK Carbon targets
  • Innovative Methods of Construction IMC
  • IMC is a term that covers a range of technologies and types of prefabrication and/or off-site assembly – it is also referred to as MMC,

–Off-site Manufacturing (OSM),

–Off-site Production,

–Off-site Fabrication,

–Modular Construction,




  • The two basic forms of off-site manufacture are:

–volumetric construction, in which complete, fitted units like kitchens and bathrooms are prefabricated and transported to site in the form of ‘pods’.

–panellised construction, where elements like walls and floors are transported in flat packs and assembled.

  • Modern Methods of Construction
  • Though to be the solution to housing crisis
  • Mass Factory Production

–Off-site Prefabrication: Modules, Pods, Panels

  • Some (less waste in factory)

–On site assembly

  • Little waste on site
  • Fears of repeats to 1960’s sky and ground scraper problems

–Not normally concrete this time

–Panel and jointing issues:

  • Coordination Tolerance Accuracy
  • Air and Wind tightness
  • Thermal break
  • Thin panel construction

–Wrong insulation and overheating potential

  • BRE Green Guide to Specification (GGtS) (Book)
  • Uses Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to rank methods of construction

–1200 > 1600 elemental assemblies included

  • Greenwich Millennium Village

–(none applied to proposals therefore in the bin)

  • Based on environmental Impacts

–lots of theory and number crunching (expensive)

  • ABC banding A being lowest impacts

–ABC needed to be rebadged DEF and ABC were missing

–The least violet of the violet methods of construction

–PVC windows A rated (but none better than C)

  • Not Green and not about specification

–Biased towards Business as Usual materials

  • Industry sector data and averaging at every step

–Generic materials Ratings

–Company can hide behind sector averages or sector ratings

–No incentive to improve

  • Effective barrier to green construction materials and methods
  • Specfiers adopt it for the easy answer to violet choices
  • Green specifiers in the know do not trust it
  • Green/Healthy/Social labels
  • Are always about one manufacturer and one product

–(not sector averages)

  • Usually limited to one issue (not always)
  • Natureplus (German)




  • Highlights the best in class

–(Natureplus only the top 10% could achieve pass levels)

  • Incentive to improve
  • Specifiers choose product for their properties
  • Recycled Content Building Products and Materials
  • Driven by landfill legislation changes

–Landfill gate charges

–Aggregate Levy on virgin aggregate encouraging recycled

–Landfill taxes

–Escalating price differential between inert and hazardous waste

–Landfill capacity shrinking fast

  • WRAP drove program to reduce waste and divert waste from landfill

–Primarily focused on recycling in preference to reclaim and reuse

–Adding synthetic adhesives to bind recyclate to make new products

–More unhealthy materials in the market place

–Inadvertently shrank the architectural salvage and construction reclaim and reuse sectors

  • Improving Airtightness and Energy performance
  • Slowly increasing requirements for improved U values and reduced air leakage

–Requires competent vapour checks and Breather membranes in vapour-closed construction or

–Requires competent vapour permeable, air and wind tightness membranes in vapour-open construction

  • Improved airtightness lead to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) issues

–caused by off-gassing of materials and adhesives

–making building unhealthy places to be

  • Solutions include using:

–hygroscopic plant based insulation in vapour-open construction

–Plant- and tree-based (low solvent, no chemical) materials

–Mineral based paints with mineral pigments

  • Overheating
  • ZCH Zero Carbon Hub

–never really understood overheating after 10 years of research and publications

  • Building Regulation drives thermal conductivity and resistance

–Good to keep winter and summer heat in

  • Decrement delay ignored by regulations:

–time for solar radiant heat to pass through materials

–Good to keep summer heat out

  • Dense wood fibre, cork, cellulose fibre, cellular glass now available in the market
  • Particularly important in thin-walled plastic-insulated MMC and IMC construction
  • Low & Sequestered Carbon Materials
  • Timber sector large disjointed

–took decades to join together in common thread marketing

–Finally have low carbon and sequestered carbon as good stories for all to tell

  • Off the back of LCA

–embodied and sequestered carbon datasets are building

And tools, ICE databse

–Embodied and sequestered carbon calculators enable accurate claims to be made

–T&CP Precedents have been made to compete with RE obligation % (Merton Rule)

  • Solid Wood Solutions (SWS)

–very prevalent in EU become popular in UK

–Cross laminated timber panels (CTLP) are popular

–Kier Construction Substitute it into projects for speed of construction

  • Adhesives in CLTP are not healthy

–Stacked plank and doweled (brettstapel) offers glue-free healthy solutions

  • Mineral Materials
  • The industry remains preoccupied by thinness of construction

–forcing plastics to destroy ozone.

  • Silica in solution minus water makes Aerogel

–conduction thermal insulation developed by NASA

Used to minimize the effect of thermal bridges at door and window openings

High performance (only beaten by VIPs)

  • Aluminium sheathed mineral balls evacuated air

–to make Vacuum Insulated Panels (VIP)

Best conductivity performance

but useless against solar radiation heat

  • 65% lower carbon blended cement for concrete
  • Carbon sequestered manufactured aggregate for concrete
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Increasing airtightness, poor materials choices and deteriorating indoor air quality

–Ill health due to IAQ and numerous wellbeing issues drive change

–Health and Wellbeing standards appearing in

–strength, toughness, durability and thinness

  • Has potential to revolutionize most materials and most sectors
  • Innovative materials probably has many applications, yet to find out
  • It is taking time to work out how
  • Graphene Revolution on the horizon
  • Product are starting to arrive
  • Lime paints with grapheme added to recipe
  • Many great properties
  • Many Green Labels
  • USB stick with literature

–and virus file on board

–Its having a growth spurt in the design world

  • Recent Developments are accessible to many of us and have the potential to make a big difference
  • Many technologies are becoming more accessible to designers than ever before

–I can CAD, CAD can, So I do

–local innovation centres making prototypes is easy

  • Interreg project:

‘Makers, Fixers and Hackers’

  • Furniture design

–No craft skills needed

–resource efficient design

–cutting parts from single sheets with minimal waste

  • Buildings can be made like this

Wiki House

  • 3D Printing +ve techniques
  • Lazar light rays in 3 plains project into liquid

–at point of light crossing the liquid solidifies

  • Scanning planned to work from bottom and middle

–working outwards and upwards until whole design complete

  • Liquid drained off away until the object revealed
  • Conran’s son had WCs prototyped in this way
  • 3D Printing +ve techniques
  • Printing with dry powder in a thin layer over an area

–then scan by lazar light to fuse the powder in the layer in specific places,

–working like photocopiers;

–repeat layer upon layer with a different design in each layer until an object is created within the block of powder.

  • Like archeology the powder brushed away until the object revealed.
  • 3D Printing
  • Machine head driven by computer
  • Scanning following pattern in computer model
  • Depositing material (endless supply)

–Plastic strip (unhealthy off gassing)

  • Bio-plastic (healthier) PLA PolyLactic Acid

–Metal (made molten at delivery head)

–Concrete (un reinforced)

–Clay > Ceramic

–timber based board, metals, plastics

  • CNC Milling heads driven by CADCAM computer
  • Most interesting when cutting through surfaces with multiple layers of contrasting colour
  • Cut part way through to contrasting colour

–make signs with contrasting coloured letter in plain sheet

  • Cut landscape model where contours shown by contrasting layers
  • Laser Cutting
  • Usually of flat sheet
  • timber based board, metal, plastics
  • Any pattern you like

but must maintain integrity

Hold itself together

  • The challenge is to be resource efficient and waste close to nothing

Iteration software to optimize layout of components

  • Water Jet cutting
  • Fine water jet (not too destructive)
  • High Pressure (cut through materials)
  • Stone

–Cut through

–Surface relief

  • Contrasting layers: Mix and match

–+ve and –ve contrasting pairs

–Used at Bluewater Shopping & Leisure

  • Mall floors
  • Leaf patterns
  • River Thames cut in stone floor
  • New engineering services systems
  • Hydro electric power
  • Wave power
  • Wind Power
  • Rain Water harvesting (RWH) for reuse
  • RWH with Water Source Heat Recovery
  • Solar Thermal (ST)
  • Photo Voltaic (PV)
  • Photo Voltaic Thermal (PVT)
  • Passive Ventilation
  • Passive Ventilation with Heat Recovery (PVHR)
  • Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR)
  • Heat Pumps (HP)
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) or coolth
  • Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP)
  • Water Source Heat Pump (WSHP)
  • Geo thermal heating (GT)
  • Air source Condensing Heat recovery (night and day)

Technological Innovation Sustainable Design Lecture G#13393

Brian Murphy BSc Dip Arch (Hons+Dist)

–Architect by Training

–Specification Writer by Choice

–Environmentalist by Actions

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka BrianMurphy
25th October 2016 – 5th August 2018

Technological Innovation Sustainable Design Lecture

technological innovation sustainable design lecture

technological innovation sustainable design lecture

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25th October 2016 – 5th August 2018

Technological Innovation In Sustainable Design Lecture
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Technological Innovation In Sustainable Design Lecture

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25th October 2016 – 5th August 2018

Technological Innovation Sustainable Design Lecture G#13393

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