Research Paper: Coed Darcy the Urban Village

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[. . .] This is being considered as a sustainability agenda that helps define the company the behavior of their clients. Needless to say, carbon forms the main constituent of the greenhouse gases that are considered responsible for the changes in the climate. 77% of the greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide. Other gases that contain carbon and constitute the greenhouse gases are methane, which constitutes 14%, CFCs/HFCs, which form 1% and nitrous oxide that forms 8% of the greenhouse gases.

Over the years, the greenhouse gases are getting accumulated in the atmosphere and the greenhouse effect is becoming stronger over the time. This is resulting in the Earth getting hotter at an increased rate. If these gases are allowed to accumulate even more, an estimate has been made according to which there will be a rise in the world temperatures of about 2 to 5 degree Celsius in the following century.

According to some reports, 7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide is emitted into the environment every year because of the use of fossil fuel. There is an addition amount of 1.6 billion tonnes that is emitted because of the use of land mainly as a result of deforestation. The levels of these gases in the environment have now reached levels that were not expected to be reached in even thousands of years. According to the statistics obtained from the government of UK, 20% of the global rise in temperature and greenhouse gases is caused by the construction operations. 12% of this 20% is because of the heating and cooling spaces, 3% because of the lighting and other electrical appliances and 5% because of the water heating systems.

Leaders and governments all over the world are now working together to devise strategies and work out ways so that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere can be decreased in the environment. In the United Kingdom, there is a new statutory legislation regarding the reduction of emission of carbon dioxide per year, to a level that is going to be 60% less than the figure that was recorded in 1990s. This level is anticipated to be reached before the year 2050. Nonetheless, some people in the government are of the view that this level might not be significant in reversing the conditions of the environment and so the reduction needs to go as low as 80%.

It should be noted that Coed Darcy is a real project and therefore for Atkins the Carbon Critical design is a real issue that it needs to deal with in collaboration with its clients.

An Approach to Address Carbon Criticality

The meaning of the Carbon Critical Design, in simple words is to ensure that the building is being constructed in a way that carbon footprint is the least. It should be noted that carbon can be in embedded as well in operational form. Embedded carbon is the carbon that is formed by the total emissions of carbon and that is quantified tons of carbon and related with the production and manufacture of particular materials. For example, the total amount of carbon that is produced when 1m3 of reinforced concrete is being manufactured. On the other hand, operational carbon is the carbon that is emitted and quantified in tons and is related to the operations of a plant (or a process). For example, the amount of carbon that is emitted by the lighting and heating systems of buildings is operational carbon.

It is also possible for the planners and developers to place a monetary value on the production of carbon that be considered during the process of decision making. Therefore, the meaning of the carbon critical design is the understanding of the production of carbon in a project; whether it is operational carbon or embedded. Also, it helps to understand the critical component of the production of carbon and what can be done to recycle the carbon that is being produced or emitted into the environment. Moreover, it can also help to come up with a design and plan in which the production of carbon, as a green house, can be reduced to a minimum.

The action plan that has been devised to make sure that the carbon emissions are minimized focuses on the following:

• Construction on the site as well the accommodation (equipment and plant)

• Removal of waste and delivery materials and their associated transport

• Business travel

• Corporate offices

Cost-Benefit Analysis

The action to reduce carbon emissions that has the greatest potential to do so is to specify in the contract (as proper documentation) the sites for accommodation that would prove to be most energy efficient. It is indeed the most effective action that could be implemented to reduce carbon emissions and at the same time does not have any associated costs.

Moreover, in the contract documents, it should be specified that an energy advisor would be appointed who would be responsible for analyzing and reporting on the performance of energy. Even though this action might include the cost of hiring an energy advisor, its potential to reduce carbon emissions is also high. Therefore, when we do the cost-benefit analysis, the effectiveness exceeds the cost associated.

Another action that also has very high potential of reducing carbon emissions if implemented is the freight driving that is fuel efficient and the usage of renewable transport fuels. Yet again for the effective implementation of this action, it is important that it should be stated in the tender document that when transport providers would be appointed for the construction of Coed Darcy, the ones that would be able to demonstrate the systems that are efficient in the management of logistics and those that have greater levels of fuel efficient training would be favored. This means that at least half of the drivers who are appointed should have received training in the aforementioned areas in the last five years. The implementation of this action might result in an increased cost as the trained and efficient transport providers might as for more money than the rest, but since the potential it has for reducing the emission of carbon is very high, it will be preferable to go for it.

Benchmark for Proposals

The only way that the benchmark can be achieved for the performance of the proposals mentioned above is to present a detailed study and examination of the actions that are proposed to be implemented and their potential to decrease the emission of carbon. Once the statistics and the anticipated results are in hand, it becomes very easy to convince the client. Moreover, it also important for us to compare the proposals devised by us and by St. Modwen to get a better understanding of the performance that can be expected from both. Not just this, there is a need for us to involve all the stakeholder as well as St. Modwen as we identify the key problem areas, devise strategies to improve them and then compare them with the proposals that were being presented before. Once the actions are being implemented, we need to make sure that they are being monitored so that the best results are achieved. The most important way to provide a benchmark for the proposals is to provide the client with the comparative analysis and the expected results.

The validation and Environmental report that was presented before the construction of Coed Darcy was started shows that the proposals that were presented were all acceptable. If everything goes as it has been planned by the architects, designers, developers and builders then this urban village will not pose any threat to the environment. It will be a community that would be energy efficient because the materials that will used are energy and efficient and at the same time do not pose a threat to the environment. Also there have been plans about the recycling of the energy supplies that makes the whole project even more sustainable and energy efficient. Just like any other extensive project, Coed Darcy has also been subjected to controversies pertaining to swallowing up of the two villages that are present in the neighborhood of the site where Coed Darcy is being constructed. The completion of Coed Darcy is anticipated by many groups and it is hoped that the construction will be complete in the given time frame of about 20 years.

References:

"Brownfield renewal in the South West and Wales region" (2008). Investor Site Visit - 1st October 2007. St. Modwen Properties PLC.

"Coed Darcy gets outline planning permission" (2007). WalesOnline.

"Coed Darcy Name Revealed at Llandarcy Development Exhibition" (2008). Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council.

"Coed Darcy Urban Village" (2008). The Prince's Foundation.

"Land being cleared for Prince's 'eco village'" (2008). WalesOnline.

"New Village Rises" (2008).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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