In his keynote speech on the "Infrastructures of Integration" at the 5th International LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction, Ricky... Show moreIn his keynote speech on the "Infrastructures of Integration" at the 5th International LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction, Ricky Burdett, Professor of Urban Studies at the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), said “…you can actually invest in better infrastructure to do things better.” However, the population grows at the rate of almost one billion per decade. With about four fifths of it happening in urban areas, the challenge for sustainability is huge and the key for the future.Urban fabrics are expanding both vertically as well as horizontally to accommodate the population growth. With the scale of expansion happening, challenges such deforestation, resource depletion, habitat destruction, energy production and consumption are some of the major challenges that need to be focused on ecologically. It is also important to note that ecological solutions are very highly dependent on social and economic progress of the society.
Energy efficient design is one which does zero or minimal damage to the environment while meeting the energy needs of the society. This thesis will discuss the concept of developing energy efficient designs as well as net zero designs in urban settings. With the help of three projects, this thesis aims to discover the challenges along with the obvious advantages of such designs.
The first experiment is to look at the reduction of energy consumption in the city of Chicago with multiple neighborhoods set up in an iron grid. It was observed that taller buildings are much more energy efficient due to the reduction of surface area exposed to the external environment. This observation was used to develop a climate specific energy efficient urban fabric design in the city of Shenzhen. The design of the off-shore tower involves tackling larger issues such as the pandemic while having energy production as a bi-product of the same. Thus, the thesis argues that investment in infrastructure to build a better infrastructure should be done to solve social and economic challenges which will, in turn make it easier to produce energy efficient designs. Show less