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According to Adams et al. (2014), systems design refers to process that leads to the identification of system elements, like that of components, interfaces, elements, etc, such that specific requirements of business organization (or a project) are met through a coherent engineering process.
The Green Square North Tower, located in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, is one of the most well known commercial complexes of Queensland that has been designed in environment - conscious manner (Gbca.org.au 2016). This particular report is aimed at shedding some light on this particular project, in the context of systems design.
The following sections of the report provide an insight into the constructional designs that have been utilized in developing this building, which has already been awarded with the prestigious certifications like 6 Star Green Star - Office As Built v2 and 6 Star Green Star - Office Design v2. The utilities of these designs would be discussed, besides recommending strategies that can be utilized to enhance the manner in which the building uses natural resources. A discussion on the relevant theories, as available from the scholarly papers that have been reviewed, would also be made so as to support the discussions made in the sections mentioned above.
Researcher Kibert (2016) is of the opinion that buildings that are constructed with the help of green technologies ( that are more conscious towards the sustainable use of natural resources), are considered as environmentally-conscious buildings. The author has also pointed out the fact that the use of green technologies not only ensure that the buildings have long lives but also aimed at reducing the adverse effects that these buildings have on the environment.
The Green Square North Tower, as indicated by the information available at the official w website of the Green Building Council of Australia (www.gbca.org.au), was designed with the aim of developing an industrial complex having the minimum rate of green house gas emission, along with the optimum usage of natural resources and significant reduction in power consumption.
The Green Square North Tower, as developed by Leighton Properties ( the construction work was conducted by the Leighton Contractors), was designed primarily with the aim of reducing the power consumption and making an optimal usage of the ground water consumed by the building (Gbca.org.au 2016). These system requirements were taken into consideration while developing the project management plan, based on which the technical requirements and the engineering systems requirements of the project were being designed (Buyle, Braet and Audenaert 2013). The systems engineering management plan, as developed by Floth and Lincohe Scott, lead to the identification of the system specification of the entire project.
Figure: Early system design phase of the project
The final architectural design, based on which the building was constructed, included the following elements:
Researchers Sharma and Gupta (2016) are of the opinion that the cogeneration plant has been of much help in reducing the total energy consumption of the building. The authors are of the opinion that the said system reduces the pressure on the power station to quite an extent, minimizing the power loss that occurs during the transmission process (Buyle, Braet and Audenaert 2013).
Besides this, the installation of intelligent power meters on all the major electrical systems of the building facilitates the process of monitoring and recording the performance of the said systems, thus encouraging their optimized usage (Kobayashi et al. 2014).
Besides this, the following green technological systems have been installed in the Green Square North Tower:
Materials: Researchers Hosseinijou, Mansour and Shirazi (2014) are of the opinion that the materials used for developing and furnishing buildings act as some of the major sources of environmental pollution. However, the architectural designs of the Green Square North Tower have encouraged the use of recycled steel and recycled concrete to a significant extent (60 percent and 40 percent respectively). The building also utilizes at least 60 per cent less PVC materials as compared to other structures of same size, thus reducing the total amount of VOC emissions (Wang, Toppinen and Juslin 2014).
In order to understand the basic factors of the environmentally-conscious buildings technologies and the existing projects developed by using the technology, several previous research articles or literatures have been reviewed. The examples of buildings constructed by using this technology and the potential impact of the technology are reviewed in the papers.
The new Research and Development building of NTT Facilities was constructed using the environmentally-conscious building technologies, which was inaugurated in the year of 2014. This building can be taken as one of the best examples of the eco-friendly buildings developed using this technology. The different types of facilities available in the rooms of the building can be controlled according to the presence of people in the rooms (Cabeza et al. 2013). The monitoring facilities, lighting facilities and the air conditioning systems of the building are able to save almost 35 percent of the total energy used for the general systems (Kibert 2016).
The building has a server room, which uses the maximum amount of energies and produces the maximum heat in the building. This heat is used for heating the cool rooms of the building by exhausting the heat form the server room and cool energy is extracted from the ground level room for cooling the server room (Cabeza et al. 2013). This technique is helping to save the total amount of energy required for marinating the temperature of the whole building.
The similar types of using of the technology were found in many buildings in the Michigan City. This was reported in the review article published by the Urban City Associates. The energy saving facilities of the buildings is almost same as the previous one. Some of these buildings are also using the recycling of the raw materials used in various purposes. In some buildings, the use of VOC free raw materials also found (Buyle, Braet and Audenaert 2013). This is helping to reduce the environmental damage caused to general household activities besides keeping the energy consumptions at the lower level.
As mentioned by Madurwar, Ralegaonkar and Mandavgane (2013), the environmentally-conscious building technology is very efficient for managing all the facilities available in the general buildings. The internal environments of the buildings developed by using this technology are healthier than the general buildings. The main facility provided by the buildings constructed by using this technology is to reduce the amount of energy required for providing the modern facilities in the indoor environment of the building.
The preceding sections of the report provide detailed discussion on one of the most well known environmentally-conscious buildings of Queensland, the Green Square North Tower. The preliminary system requirements of the project, as identified in the conceptual designing phase have been discussed in section 2.1 of the report, whereas the detailed architectural plan used for developing the building has been discussed in section 2.2 of the report. A discussion on some of some of the literary articles that had been reviewed for developing this report has also been provided in section 3 of the report.
In the light of the discussions made in the report, the following recommendation is being provided to the owners of the Green Square North Tower:
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Cabeza, L.F., Barreneche, C., Miró, L., Morera, J.M., Bartolí, E. and Fernández, A.I., 2013. Low carbon and low embodied energy materials in buildings: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 23, pp.536-542.
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Gbca.org.au,. 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2016, from https://www.gbca.org.au/resources/green-square-north-tower
Hosseinijou, S.A., Mansour, S. and Shirazi, M.A., 2014. Social life cycle assessment for material selection: a case study of building materials. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 19(3), pp.620-645.
Kibert, C.J., 2016. Sustainable construction: green building design and delivery. John Wiley & Sons.
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Madurwar, M.V., Ralegaonkar, R.V. and Mandavgane, S.A., 2013. Application of agro-waste for sustainable construction materials: A review. Construction and Building Materials, 38, pp.872-878.
Namkung, Y. and Jang, S.S., 2013. Effects of restaurant green practices on brand equity formation: Do green practices really matter?. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 33, pp.85-95.
Sharma, B. and Gupta, V., 2016. Construction for Sustainable Development–A Research and Educational Agenda. Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 2(7).
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Wang, L., Toppinen, A. and Juslin, H., 2014. Use of wood in green building: a study of expert perspectives from the UK. Journal of cleaner production, 65, pp.350-361.
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Yumino, S., Uchida, T., Sasaki, K., Kobayashi, H. and Mochida, A., 2015. Total assessment for various environmentally conscious techniques from three perspectives: Mitigation of global warming, mitigation of UHIs, and adaptation to urban warming. Sustainable Cities and Society, 19, pp.236-249.
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