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Measuring the ecological and economic impact of transformable building

Merwe, Tjark van de (2011) Measuring the ecological and economic impact of transformable building.

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Abstract:The main report is written in Dutch, hereby an English summary. For more information or to download the tool you can visit http://www.utwente.nl/ctw/gtbcenter/Projects/ Introduction Transformable building is making a structure adapt to the changing needs of the user. Small adaptations like temporary protection against the summer sun and large building overhauls both belong in the domain of transformable building. Transformable building not only gives more freedom to the user, but it is also more environmentally friendly and cheaper. This however is hard to measure, and it is even more difficult to predict. The theory of dr. Elma Durmisevic provides a framework for scientific modeling of transformable buildings. A tool has been developed allowing users to easily measure and predict the transformation potential within building concepts. This tool should have the possibility to analyze the transformability of a building and the benefits concerning costs and ecological impact. Initial costs and eco impact The costs of a traditional non-transformable building are complex, yet it is clear that all materials, energy and effort must be paid. The sums of these costs are the total initial building costs. Materials, energy and effort also impact the ecology at the building site, material extraction sites and to certain extend even the coffee cup of the builder impacts the environment on behalf of the building. When one studies the above inventory of activities long enough, one will find the total initial costs and eco impact of creating a building. This impact can be fully allocated to the building. Every investment, every brick will be used only for this building until it is destroyed. When one builds a flexible building, this differs. Every investment can possibly be reused and therefore have a longer lifespan. The total initial impact remains the same, but only a part should be allocated to the first building. To predict how to allocate the materials, energy and effort to a flexible building, a new tool has been developed. Tool setup The main purpose of the tool is to generate a value that indicates for how long a certain part of a structure, for instance a roof element, will be used in a specific building. The roof element can be first used for a housing system, but after five years the building will be reconfigured into an office block. Because it is a transformable building, the roof element can be reused in this office block. The costs of this roof element must be split between the house and the office block depending on the functional life of the roof element after the transformation. Technical life: indicates how long a building element will be able to fulfill its function under the projects circumstances. Project duration: answers the question how long the element needs to fulfill its function in the project. Interface type: allows users to differentiate between a fixed and a demountable interface Damage type – Disassembly effort: all indicate how much effort successful replacing the element will cost Disassembly sequence: the flexibility of the subject depends on relations between other building components and their flexibility, this is assessed in ‘disassembly sequence’ In the end the reuse and disassembly potential is estimated. Reuse potential describes the technical and functional use of the object after it has been used in the project. For instance, will the roof element still be useable after it has been on top of the housing system for five years? If so, then the element will receive a positive reuse potential score. Disassembly potential describes the ease of transformation of a given element. These two parameters combined generate the Transformation Capacity of the element, indicating how much of the element will be used in future projects. This way the costs and ecological impact of the element can be allocated to the current building. The future of the tool The building industry evolves and so does the knowledge concerning transformable building. The measuring tool is completely written in MS Excel and can be adapted to new insights, expanded to provide more detailed information or readjusted to fit specific purposes. As more projects will use the tool, the final result will become more accurate and clear, but it remains a simulation tool. It only gives abstract and theoretical information about possibilities. This data can be used as a design guideline or frame of reference, but never as a model for the true outcome of a system. However every step in the direction of transformable building is worthwhile.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:51 materials science
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/72129
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