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Sustainable and Innovative Construction, Research Paper Example

Pages: 12

Words: 3237

Research Paper

Executive Summary

The report presents solutions for raising the rating of the project on multi-residential building according to BREEAM standard. The use of ceramic granite for facade cladding and green roof technology are proposed. It is assumed that both solutions providing an increase in the level of thermal insulation and noise insulation, as well as having specific unique properties, when used together, will give an integral effect. In addition, the economic benefits of such solutions include significant savings due to reduced energy and water consumption during building operations, increased capitalization of the facility, low financial and insurance costs.

Introduction. Green Construction and BREEAM

In construction technologies, there is no consensus regarding specific criteria for the “environmental friendliness” of the material; they include a safe manufacturing method, and a service life, as well as the absence of toxic components. However, developers and designers have an interest in improving the performance of buildings provided by the BREEAM system. A feature of the assessment system is the methodology for awarding points in several sections related to various aspects of life safety, environmental impact, and comfort (Pitt et al. 2009). BREEAM evaluates and emphasizes building value and efficient allocation of eco-resources and eco-materials, makes certification more attractive for investments and creates a sustainable and safe environment. The facade and roof of a building are among the most important components of a BREEAM Integrated Building Sustainability Assessment.

Ventilated Facade

A ventilated facade is a special building cladding technology, in which the material is not attached to the walls, but to an aluminum or steel frame. Insulation is laid in the voids between the wall and the facing material (Fig. 1.)

Ventilated facade layout

Figure 1. Ventilated facade layout.

Source: Yang, P. P. 2019, Cases on green energy and sustainable development. IGI Global, Hershey.

The ventilation facade system protects the building from the formation of destructive condensation, negative environmental influences, retains heat, and provides good sound insulation. At the same time, the air in the building does not stagnate and it continues to “breathe.” Ceramic granite does not deteriorate over time and does not fade in the sun. The guaranteed lifespan of a ceramic granite facade, subject to the installation technology, is 50 years (Zhang et al. 2020).

Ventilated facades certainly help to reduce external heat loads during the middle and summer seasons. It is very important that the part of the structure behind the ventilation gap is well insulated and that the cladding material is not too heavy. Moreover, fire safety in the design process should be paid due attention: in this regard, some serious cases were associated precisely with improper design or even a lack of fire-prevention solutions. In general, it is necessary to install fire cutoffs over the entire thickness of the air gap, choose the insulation correctly, as well as the outer cladding, preferably from non-combustible material (MacNaughton et al. 2016). Here, again ceramic granite appears to be the optimal variant: it does not ignite, does not burn, does not collapse under the influence of fire or other sources of heat.

The ventilated facade system allows the application of various of cladding materials from vinyl siding to metal cassettes. One of the modern “green” materials, which can often be found on the facades of buildings, is namely ceramic granite. Facing facade concrete belongs to the group of artificial finishing materials. As raw materials, for the production of ceramic granite tiles are used: clay, sand (quartz), feldspar. The use of natural dyes makes it possible to obtain slabs of different colors or stylized “like granite.”

Ceramic granite is a hygienic and healthy material as it does not contain toxic organic substances – “volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, PVC and other petroleum products” (Roth et al., 2021). It is odorless, and natural inertness makes it hypoallergenic: it does not contribute to the appearance and growth of bacteria, harmful to health, mold, dust. Ceramic granite does not contain volatile organic compounds that are potentially toxic to humans and the environment, since prolonged firing at temperatures above 1200°C removes any organic residues from the material (Yeatts et al. 2017). In addition, ceramics are free of formaldehyde, one of the most common indoor air pollutants and potential risk factors for respiratory distress; they are free of PVC, plastic materials, petroleum products (Liu et al. 2020). During the production of porcelain stoneware, it is envisaged to reuse waste water and unbaked ceramic waste, which can significantly reduce the impact on the environment. The so-called closed production cycle has been developed, which is practically waste-free. This is possible because the waste generated at one stage or another in the process can be reused as raw materials (Lordsleem and Faro 2017). Ceramic granite exceeds the strength of natural stone. The developers of the technology managed to select the composition of the components that allowed the material to obtain the ultimate wear resistance and shock resistance. Ceramic granite does not change color at all and is resistant to acids and alkalis.

Among the advantages of ceramic granite, there is low water absorption, the coefficient of which is only 0.05% (Yang, 2019). This provides ceramic granite with resistance to temperature extremes with freeze-thaw cycles. In open air conditions, porcelain stoneware tiles serve no worse than natural granite. The hardness of this material makes it resistant to abrasion. It even surpasses natural stone in hardness: on the Mohs scale, stone has a hardness of 6 units, and good quality ceramic granite has 8 (Yang, 2019).

Such technologies make it possible to expand and rethink the very concept of “environmentally friendly building material,” and to assess its environmental friendliness not only by its physical properties, but also by the environmental impact that occurs during the production of the material and during the operation of buildings where it is used. At the same time, even according to such strict criteria, ceramic granite will be among materials considered the most environmentally friendly, if, of course, it is produced on modern equipment using closed-loop technology.

In addition, ceramic granite tiles have a dense, non-porous, impermeable surface on which mites, bacteria, fungi, mold and other pathogens do not accumulate. Ceramic granite is one of the most hygienic materials, it is absolutely moisture-free and it prevents the accumulation of any bacteria. Therefore, it is recommended for the decoration of premises, which are subject to increased requirements in terms of hygiene.

In order for the ceramic granite ventilation facade to effectively perform its functions, one needs to correctly approach the choice of material, namely, pay attention to the following (Kruger 2018):

  • Multiplicity of tiles. To avoid unnecessary seams, the facade cladding must be designed so that only whole tiles are used. The calculation is based on the thickness of the seam;
  • The size of the tiles. The finer the tiles, the more seams there will be, the more they “ripple” in the eyes;
  • The greater the difference in the size of the tiles, the more difficult its installation will be and the lower the aesthetics of the cladding;
  • Color, texture. It is important both from the standpoint of the identity of the tiles among themselves, and from the point of view of compatibility with the rest of the elements of the facade;
  • Operational parameters (wear resistance, frost resistance)

The structure of the facade on the prepared wall is attached to brackets for the frame, to which the entire load will subsequently be distributed. While the frame has not yet been mounted, plates of heat-insulating material are laid between the brackets and the entire structure is covered with a vapor-permeable film. After that, the installation of the frame begins. It can be made of timber or metal profiles, depending on the weight of the facing material. For porcelain stoneware, an aluminum or corrugated galvanized profile is usually chosen (Kruger, 2018). Slabs of facing material are hung on the finished frame.

Green Roofs

Green roofs are evolving from an elite and inaccessible technology to a more common practice in urban space. A green roof is a green space that is created by adding additional layers of soil and various plants on top of a traditional roof.

There are a number of advantages to using vegetation instead of traditional roofing material. One of the excellent possibilities about these systems is that the drainage is also a vapor barrier. The most important advantage is based on the fact that the membrane protects against factors that destroy most such structures, such as heat, cold, ultraviolet radiation and external mechanical damage. A fully enclosed membrane layer will serve as roof insulation (Shishegar 2012). In this case, it will never be exposed to direct sunlight and destruction with a sharp temperature drop throughout its entire service life. It is clear that such a membrane will last a very long time. On green roofs, mechanical damage is most often caused by people working on the roof (gardeners, etc.), and the cost of repairing leaks is much higher than for other roofs, therefore, membrane protection is extremely important. Thus, PMR is ideal for green roofs.

The engineering and economic advantages of a green roof are as follows (Kruger 2018; MacNaughton et al. 2017; Mersal 2017): Nevertheless,

  1. A significant increase in the service life of the structure: that is, plants on the roof are a natural protection against temperature fluctuations, mechanical damage, exposure to ultraviolet radiation;
  2. Passive heat saving ‑ guaranteed by the excellent heat-insulating qualities of the green roof. That is, the energy is saved during the winter periods, and the roof does not overheat during the hot season;
  3. Water saving ‑ carried out through the absorption of rainwater, preventing waste. During heavy rains, rainwater flows from the sloping roof, overflowing the sewers. The green roof prevents this by slowing down the speed and volume of the flowing water. The researchers also found that the nitrogen and phosphorus content of rainwater is reduced thanks to the green roof (Shishegar, 2012).
  4. Excellent sound insulation: plants on the roof reduce the degree of reflection of sound waves from the roof surface and significantly increase the level of sound insulation;
  5. There is no need to create special operating conditions, as well as additional investments;
  6. Additional recreation area;
  7. The possibility of rapid spread of fire during a fire on the roofing surface is excluded;
  8. Possibility of placing various types of communications both during installation and after;
  9. Ease of installation work;
  10. . Prevents soil slipping;
  11. Local availability of waterproofing;
  12. An airborne measles layer is created to protect the waterproofing from the roots.

The main environmental benefits are as follows (Rajni and Sanjeev 2017):

  1. An additional source of oxygen;
  2. Neutralizes dust and harmful gases in the environment by absorbing them;
  3. Creates a natural green space;
  4. Regulates air humidity;
  5. The possibility of obtaining new spaces for the life of flora and fauna:
  6. Completely universal, it can be arranged in any corner of the planet where there is a vegetative soil cover.

Among the advantages of green roofs, one should mention extending the life of the roof. Plants that are planted in the ground create a barrier that prevents negative factors such as moisture, sun and others from affecting the roof of the house. Greening the roof improves its heat-shielding qualities all year round, which allows reducing fuel costs for heating the premises up to 21 liters per square meter annually (Cascone, 2019).

The use of green roof technology in construction guarantees a high rating during the certification for compliance with green standards (Andreas 2020). Green roofs meet the environmental challenges of our time ‑not only decorating the city, but also significantly reducing energy costs. In hot weather, they keep the room cool, and in winter they are good heat insulators. In addition, the greenery on the roofs purifies the air and absorbs rainfall, thus relieving the urban drainage system. The green roof structure looks like the following scheme (Fig. 2):

Green roof conceptual scheme

Fig. 2. Green roof conceptual scheme.

Any green roof consists of several layers. The “pie” of the green roof includes the following layers (Chou and Bakar 2018; MacNaughton 2016):

  1. Foundation. This is the first layer, which is the supporting structure of the roof. These can be concrete floor slabs (for a flat roof), a solid lathing (for a pitched roof). If the slab is flat, a slight slope is recommended.
  2. Waterproofing layer. All plants, without exception, need watering. But this effect is very harmful for the materials from which the roof is made. In this case, waterproofing is used that encloses the soil from the roof. Polymer membranes or polyethylene film are used. Liquid rubber is perfect fit. Waterproofing can be placed directly on the roof covering.
  3. Thermal insulation. Basically, the insulating layer is made of slabs made of cork. Either extruded polystyrene foam or polyurethane foam is also used. Plates must be laid more tightly. When insufficient pressure is created by the upper layers, you can connect them using special glue.
  4. Root barrier. It is necessary to protect the roof from damage that can be caused by roots growing deeper. It is an ordinary polymer film or foil. A film with a metal coating is suitable option. It is laid on the waterproofing layer.
  5. Drainage layer. It retains a certain amount of water required for plant life. At the same time, water should move freely towards the roof drain.
  6. Filtration layer. It is needed for the retention of unnecessary precipitation. Geotextiles are excellent filters. Moreover, geotextile prevents mixing of soil and drainage layer.
  7. Lathing. If one wants to green a shallow roof, then a geogrid should be used use. It is made of plastic cells, and relatively lightweight.
  8. Fertile soil. Soils used on the roof should be lightweight, warm, porous and moisture-absorbing. It is recommended to use a light soil mixture consisting of neutral peat, fine expanded clay and perlite. One can add clay, shale, sand.
  9. Plants. After all the layers have been laid, the plants can be planted. That is, a green roof can be made also with own hands.

A distinctive feature of such objects is the strength of the roof, which can withstand heavy weight and high humidity. The soil layer, which is lined with intensive type of landscaping, reaches two meters. Trees and garden objects are of considerable weight. The task of modern specialists is to reduce the total weight of the roof structure. With this technology, it appeared necessary to preserve its decorative appearance. The main problem was the creation of a durable waterproofing layer. It had to be dense enough not to allow moisture and plant roots to pass through, and lightweight so as not to put a serious load on the roof structure. The first layer is the load-bearing flooring. The material in this case is unimportant. These can be boards or sheets of pressed shavings. Lining is also suitable, but then the cost of building materials increases slightly. The next layer is insulation. This part of the roof structure must protect the under-roof premises from the penetration of rain and melt water. In addition, namely it prevents the germination of plant roots.

A properly laid green roof is stronger and more reliable than a gravel-filled roof. All the features of a certain roof are taken into account at the design stage. Due to the large area of greenery, roofing vegetation absorbs 10-20% of dust from the air. It also traps and assimilates nitrates and other substances in the air and precipitation. Moreover, for the production of the drainage system, rubber, polyethylene and expanded polystyrene are widely used, which contributes to reducing waste.

A properly laid green roof is stronger and more reliable than a gravel-filled roof. All the features of a certain roof are considered at the design stage.

The current state and forecast of the USA green roof market are depicted below.

The USA green roof market size, by type, 2016-2027

Fig. 3. The USA green roof market size, by type, 2016-2027 (USD Milion).

Source: Andreas, F. 2020, Green building technology guide: Emerging technologies. Academic Press.

Conclusion

The environmental problem has become relevant today in all spheres of human life. Humanity began to worry about the conservation of natural resources and environmental problems. There is a need to find new ways to solve these problems. Landscaping alone is not enough for this ‑ it is important to develop architecture using modern trends in the design of “green architecture.” Architecture must take into account the ecological reality of our time and at the same time be able to maintain its development. Green (sustainable) construction can represent the way of solving a range of environmental problems. This is the practice of environmentally responsible creating of structures and using of processes, as well as adherence to the principle of resource-efficiency throughout the whole life cycle of a building from design and construction to operation and maintenance, as well as renovation and deconstruction in case of necessity. This practice enables expanding and complementing the classic problems of building design, economics, durability, utility, and comfort. In houses belonging to the category of green buildings, including “passive,” heat conservation and minimal use of energy for heating is achieved primarily through architectural and planning solutions such as sustainable facades and green roofs, which helps to achieve the best balance of energy efficiency and environmental friendliness, which is explained above.

References

Andreas, F. 2020, Green building technology guide: Emerging technologies. Academic Press, London. https://www.amazon.com/Green-Building-Technology-Guide-Technologies/dp/0124079113

Cascone, S. 2019. ‘Green Roof Design: State of the Art on Technology and Materials,’ Sustainability, vol. 8, doi:10.3390/su11113020

Chou, M. and Bakar, M. 2018, Environmental benefits of green roof to the Sustainable Urban Development: A review,’ Project: Moisture content behaviour of green roofs: Influence of native plant species and substrate types.

Kruger, A. 2018, Green building: principles and practices in residential construction. Cengage Learning, https://www.amazon.com/Green-Building-Principles-Residential-Construction/dp/1111135959

Liu, Z., Pyplacz, P., Ermakova, M., & Konev, P. 2020, ‘Sustainable construction as a competitive advantage,’ Sustainability, 12, ; doi:10.3390/su12155946

Lordsleem, A. C. and Faro, H. 2017, ‘Building facade cladding detachment: A case study,’ Revista ALCONPAT, vol.7, issue 2, pp. 138-159.

MacNaughton, P.; Spengler, J.; Vallarino, J.; Santanam, S.; Satish, U.; Allen, J. 2016, ‘Environmental perceptions and health before and after relocation to a green building, Building and Environment, 104, pp. 138–144

Mersal, A. 2017, ‘Green building: Energy efficiency strategy. International Journal of Architecture, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 46–60.

Rajni, R., and Sanjeev, B. 2017, ‘A study of Green Building prospects on management decision making with reference to Delhi NCR region’, International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology, vol. 8, no. 12, pp. 986–999.

Roth, H., Lewis, M., & Hancock, L. (2021). The green building materials manual: A reference to environmentally sustainable initiatives and evaluation methods. Springer.

Park, G., and Hawkins, T.W. 2015, ‘An examination of the effect of building compactness and green roofs on indoor temperature through the use of physical models,’ Geographical Bulletin, vol. 56, pp. 93–101.

Pitt, M., Tucker, M., Riley, M. Longden, J. 2009, ‘Towards sustainable construction: Promotion and best practices.’ Construction Innovation, Information, Process, Management, 9, 201–224.

Shishegar, N. 2012, ‘Green roofs: Enhancing energy and environmental International Conference on Clean Energy, September 10-12, 2012, Quebec, Canada.

Yang, P. P. 2019, Cases on green energy and sustainable development. IGI Global, Hershey.

Yeatts, D.E.; Auden, D.; Cooksey, C.; Chen, C.F. 2017, ‘A systematic review of strategies for overcoming the barriers to energy-efficient technologies in buildings.’ Energy Research & Social Science, 32, 76–85

Zhang, Y. et al. 2020, ‘A survey of the status and challenges of Green Building development in various countries,’ Sustainability, vol. 11, 5385; doi:10.3390/su11195385.

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