Structurally Sustainable Solutions
Whole Life Carbon Footprinting - takes account of all stages of a buildings life; design, material choices, construction stage, operational stage and deconstruction stage
Embodied Energy - Choice of Material and Structure - the energy that goes into the abstraction, process, manufacture and delivery of the material to site
Flexibility – a sustainable building solution should allow the layout and use of the building to change with relative ease over time
Off-site Construction Techniques – the use of pre-fabrication of both individual site elements such as precast slabs and larger elements such as bathroom pods has increased rapidly over the past decade. Less error and co-ordination time on site produces a shorter construction programme and thus less carbon emissions from site
GGBS – the use of recycled material such as ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) as a replacement to ordinary Portland cement. The benefits of using GGBS can be demonstrated by considering an example using 5,000m3 ready-mix concrete; when 50% of the Portland cement in the mix is replaced by GGBS cement (a replacement level that is commonly used in practice), the following dramatic environmental savings are achieved:
Type of Saving
Taking 173 cars off the road for 1 year
2.8 x 106 MJ
Saving 143 years electricity in average home.
50 fully-laden trucks
Post-tensioned Concrete – reduction in the structural depth and volume of concrete by as much as 25% and in turn reducing the associated carbon emissions.
‘Bubbledeck’ Concrete - alternative methods of introducing voids into the slab
Re-Use and Recycle - generally reinforced concrete can be easily recycled and reused (including the reinforcement).
Re-use and recycle - approximately 94% of structural steel is recoverable for re-use and recycling
A lightweight structure leading to reduced foundations and any transfer structures required
Reduction in construction programme – less time on site equals less emissions