My Design for The Virtual Book Station
THE RIVER BELONGS TO ALL
(my design opened up the restricted access to the river for all to enjoy)
This is my first design project for Huddersfield University. The idea was to transform a tarmac car park into the
"VIRTUAL BOOK STORE".
Permaculture principles were used to evaluate and design the existing site into a thriving hub which grew food on site, recycled waste and created an economic model for a sustainable business with community involvement
Virtual Book Store: Environmental Strategy & Business Innovation
A truly sustainable design would mean that the building would be able to operate off grid, unplugged. However the limitations of this site will consider the building as ‘approaching’ sustainability. Life cycle analysis of a building considers energy use in products/materials specified for the construction, energy required in the buildings occupancy state and its decommissioning costs, plus any waste produced during the construction phase. As a general rule over the lifetime of a building, it will use more energy than the embodied energy of the construction material. Therefore the design aim of the building is to reduce energy demand at source and then consider ant appropriate on site energy generation.
Design of the building
The building envelope is crucial to the function of the building in terms of its energy use. If a building is designed to lose minimal heat then it will therefore require less energy to heat. High insulation levels, reduction of thermal bridging and reducing air infiltration can achieve this.
Embodied energy is the energy required to manufacture the component/material plus its transportation from source to site. If the materials specified can have a lower embodied energy and still perform the same task, to a similar standard then this will be chosen over a product, which has a high-embodied energy value. Due to its circular design and requirement for high insulation values and air-tightness, the ICF will be the MMC used.
This system is affectionately known as GIANT LEGO. Insulated concrete form is a system, which requires the pouring of concrete on site into preformed insulated hollow bricks. This has many advantages:
· High Insulation values can be achieved: 0.24 in this case
· Monolithic construction provides thermal mass for energy storage
· Air tightness can be achieved reducing air leakages to a minimum
· Zero maintenance which over the life cycle of the building reduces costs and resource usage
· Build anytime, any season (apart from freezing conditions which affect concrete)
· This system is inert so does not create any off gassing, so it’s a healthy environment
· Noise reduction is a required quality on this development due to traffic noise
The walls will be constructed in this manner, whereas the roof disc will be formed in situ using reinforced steel as detailed using the ‘quad lock system’.
The floor will also be concrete with a polished finished to preserve its nature of thermal mass and provide a hygienic finished floor surface.
Generate use/ natural energy on site
All buildings are suitable for capturing, storing and generating energy. The design of the building needs to maximize the use of resident energy so that imported non-renewable sources are minimised.
Solar gain: siting the building to maximize the solar gain will reduce the need for space heating and artificial lighting.
Solar radiation: can be transformed into electricity via photovoltaic cells, and used to power computers and lighting for example. Install a visual panel so that, the occupants can see energy usage, providing some opportunities for learning.
Day lighting: Increasing the amount of daylight into the building significantly reduces artificial lighting costs. In commercial buildings, lighting is a major expense and resource drain.
Wind: can also be utilized to create natural ventilation using the stack effect principles of rising air. This will negate the need for any mechanical air conditioning, which uses large amounts of energy. On this particular site it is not envisaged that there is enough wind power for either a mechanical or electrical installation.
However the fresh air created by evaporate cooling can be used to ventilate the building, forcing a ‘stack effect’. This can be achieved by installing vents from the river stonewall, through ducting to enter the building at a low level.
Water: is a valuable asset, and drinking water uses energy to transform it into drinking water. Therefore by using rainwater to flush toilets via a gravity feed system this is saving energy at the primary source.
There is a reed bed installed to recycle water from the sink in the toilet. This cleans the water which otherwise would need fossil fuel to recycle through the standard sewage system. The reeds clean the water and then it can be safely discharged into the river.
This cannot be achieved for the general sink waste as more area of beds would be needed. Collected rainwater will also be used to water plants and clean outdoor areas. This contributes to less reliance on fossil fuels and carbon dioxide emissions are reduced
River: it could be on this site that a mini hydro station could be used to produce power, but on further investigation the weir is not strong enough to warrant the financial investment.
Reduction of waste: Any waste has embodied energy stored in it. Therefore recycling this waste relinquishes this energy at some point in its life. It could be composting, incineration or re-manufacture. An aim of VBS is to be a zero waste producer.
This would take into account the two principles of ‘cradle to cradle’ philosophies.
There are two aspects to recycling
1. To recycle biological nutrients, such as organic matter, so tea bags and coffee granules can be composted for example.
2. To recycle technologically, which means plastic cups could be used if they were able to be up-cycled or re-used
Wormery: This safely uses worms to recycle cooked food, producing a liquid feed, which, may be used on salad crops for the café.
Recycling bins: Bins will be provided so that students and staff can effectively recycle.
Cars: On site there is vehicle space for 2 disabled vehicles only and provision for deliveries. The reason is that public transport in the area is good, with bus stops from the city centre on Firth Road. There is also plenty of car parking in the area. It is envisaged that at the site has high visibility in regards to students, then it is proposed that the parking lots will become an electric vehicle recharging station. This reduces overall community carbon dioxide emissions and educates
Bike Storage: Plenty of secure bike racks will be provided on site, there is a fantastic cycle-route which, runs along the canal. Signage will show routes into and out of the city. The storage of bikes are in full view to aid security, whilst being under cover. There will also be a number of bikes for hire to tie in with a campus wide scheme to encourage bike use. It is hoped that through consultation with the council a ‘greenway will be built which passes the Book Exchange’. Deliveries: There will be a loading bay, which will double up as 2 parking spaces for disabled users.
There are ways which energy demand during the use of the building can be reduced. Reducing energy demand at source is economically preferable and reduces carbon dioxide emissions. A key principle of sustainability is to NOT use the resource in the first instance.
High efficiency electrical items: Lighting when required will be specified as low wattage, and some would even be LED’s. Lighting will need to have various functions such as overall lighting, task lighting, light for reading and security lighting.
Items required in this building will be specified as AA rated, which means their energy consumption is minimised. These will be food preparation items such as kettles, fridges, hot plates etc.
Automatic devices: These ensure that items are left in ‘standby mode’ overnight such as computers. Lighting can also be set to come on only when required, such as in the toilet.
The heating system will be thermostatically controlled so that it only operates below a set temperature and is switched off at reaching its pre-determined level.
Water reduction devices: Low flush toilets, waterless urinals and low flow taps are simple to specify and fit. Water will be metered on the premises and therefore usage will be charged for, as this is a commercial new build store. To enable financial sustainability then running costs need to be kept in check.
Water run off: The existing tarmac on site will be replaced by permeable paving solutions to reduce water run off into the river.
People usage: An often over looked energy saving is the training of staff in the correct use of appliances, and also relearning standard behaviours. For example, to be a successful composter requires knowledge and skill.
To be aware of energy usage and the folly of leaving windows open whilst heating the premises. To not wash under a running tap can be just as effective as installing a low flow tap, putting these two together is where the real reductions happen.
The site is blessed with a river view and wildlife corridor.
Planting trees, shrubs, can enhance this and provide increased habitats required in an urban setting.
Growing food organically also reduces energy use by negating food miles and petrochemical use. It would be great to plant fruit trees, grow salad crops for the café and position bird boxes for the kingfishers.
There is a party wall on site, which can be recreated as a living wall. This gives beauty, habitat whilst reducing the Urban heat Island effect.
The Book Exchange: Innovative book sale/exchange scheme
To further reduce resources students will be encouraged to participate in an ‘amazon’ type of selling and buying scheme.
Inside the café there will be positioned ‘IPAD’ type terminals that can be accessed whilst siting, eating, drinking. It is envisaged that the default page will be Amazon UK, which are split into various categories. Each page will directly relate to each course on offer at the university, e.g. BSc Architectural Technology or MSc Sustainable Architecture. Students and tutors will be encouraged to place their ‘MUST READS’ onto their specific page. Plus ESSENTIAL books required for the course. It could also be linked into the university library as a ‘TRY BEFORE YOU BUY’ approach. Randomly the IPAD, which will be linked to an overhead screen, will randomly display books with its accompanying review. The price will be clearly visible and each student will have an account set up in his or her name to facilitate ease of purchase.The books will be delivered to the Café encouraging loyal and repeat custom. There will also be opportunities for students and the community to use the café facilities after hours. These will be authors presenting new books and student providing resumes of books for fellow students, plus student delivered learning experiences. The after hours club will be book related. The following measures/features will be investigated/implemented as an energy reduction strategy for the Virtual Book Store, Huddersfield. Designs to reduce energy use in the VBS:
· Triple glazed windows to reduce heat loss
· ICF insulated concrete form construction to reduce heat loss.
· Faced with FSC wood panels in designer dark grey
· Natural ventilation to reduce electrical/energy used plus mechanical as backup source
· Revolving entrance door to create airtight seal to reduce heat loss and increase thermal comfort.
· Maximise airtightness through details to reduce heat loss and maximise thermal comfort.
· Photovoltaic panels on green living wall, generating electricity,
· Mechanically operable windows for ventilation
· Heating system used only as a back up source 3kw is required
· Natural ventilation using ‘stack effect’ from air vents in river wall
· Thermal Solar mounted on south facing facade
· Automatic switch off at nighttime of electricity supply
· Led lighting where appropriate
· Air flush urinal
· Low flush toilet
· Rainwater collection for toilet flushing
· Rainwater for cleaning outdoor areas and watering salad crop
· Maximise natural lighting to minimise artificial lighting
· Kitchen heat used as a source of heating for the VBS
· Recycle bins
· Café to use only ceramic crockery and fair trade products
· Low energy equipment specified throughout
· Cycle stands
· Living wall on party wall
· Reed bed filtration system for sink waste only
· Plant up fruit trees, shrubs and salad plants
· Build nesting boxes for kingfishers
· Innovative book buying & selling scheme