Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Peter Clegg and low energy design

Last night the Cascadia Region Green Building Council sponsored a talk by Peter Clegg of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios . Peter dicussed a number of low energy design projects his firm has worked on.

The first one he discussed in depth was the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The building design took into account natural light and air flows into its design. One of my favorite aspects was the use of natural light which allows the building to be lit at times without using artificial lights.

One of the other projects he discussed was the Headquarters of the National Trust in Swindon. The building is located in a highly industrialized area. It is designed to take advantage of light and wind ventilation as much as possible. The shape of the building attempts to reflect this history of the site while allowing for sustainable features. Read more about the design and construction of the building here.

The Headquarters of the Woodland Trust were also discussed. The project aim was to create a highly innovative and sustainable building within a market rate budget, and to achieve a BREEAM (the LEED-like standard in the UK) Excellent rating with the hope that the building will strengthen the Woodland Trust core cultural values.

One of the interesting facts that was brought out in the lecture is that 5-7% of CO2 emssions worldwide come from the concrete industry. By using wood in the construction, 9 years of operation emssion were saved in the construction of the building. This emphasizes why it is important to think about materials when designing sustainable structures.

Another great feature of this buildin is its spiral design to represent shapes that appear in nature. 

Peter then went on to talk about some of the residences he has worked on including Accordia, which won the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2008 and One Brighton Housing. In Accordia, one of the amazing features was that the typical "English garden" was changed to fit on 3 stories of house thus allowing more public space in the development. What I loved about One Brighton was that for 140 units, the development included only 10 car spaces which are reserved for share cars - including 2 electric cars.

At the end of the lecture, Peter brought up the One Planet Principles of design which include 10 principles of sustainable living.  These principles have been developed by BioRegional - an entrepreneurial charity, which initiates practical sustainability solutions, and then delivers them by setting up new enterprises and partnerships around the world.

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