Sustainable Design
physics of the built environment
Hi all,
Concepts like sustainable design, green architecture etc., are in lime light from past few decades.
After going through quite a few issues, designs, solutions, papers etc. regarding the above mentioned, im struck with a question if there is root to all these and what could be the foundation to live in harmony with the nature.
I finally rationalized that may the study of nature could be of some help.
Not that any body have not studied on this topic before, i've taken up this as my dissertation topic.
I have titled it THE LIVING BUILT ENVIRONMENT - the study of the interaction between the built environment with the surrounding ecosystem. The major aspects I'm looking at are radiation( visible and invisible spectrum), fluid state ( air and water )
The objective of the study is to study the underlining scientific or physical principles in regard to the built environment.
The aim of the study is not to conclude any specific solutions to any particular problem , but to study the basics from which different solutions can emerge depending on the problems context.
So, i request the members of the community to share their knowledge about different key physical principles regarding the above mentioned aspects.
Sriraj Gokarakonda
physics of the built environment
I know a bit about radiation, air and water (liquid and vapour) in relation to buildings, however this is generally from a occupant comfort and building durability perspective and less on sustainability. Obviously, if a building's materials last longer, it is more sustainable as you have less waste and use less energy. Are there any other ways you see fluid state and radiation being advantageous to sustainability?
Nathan Bishop
physics of the built environment
Hi Nathan,
for sure sustainability is inter-connected with so many things. Due to various limitations I'm restricting my dissertation to do an extensive study about these three topics in relation to built environment aiming human comfort as a goal and not giving much stress on materials or any specific techniques.
I think you got what i've meant. The study is mainly to study the problems and some physics principles to counter them rather than finding specific solutions. By doing this once can become clear about the problem and can defend it with ones' available technology, instead of resorting to some ready made technology.
e.g. radiation is a problem for people near the equator but, a boon for those living near the poles. So when principles about radiation are clear it can be used as per requirement in any context.
This is a very basic example.
I hope I made my self clear and i really wish u could help me with some leads regarding the human comfort part u are familiar with.
Sriraj Gokarakonda
physics of the built environment
Srarij, Physics of the built environment starts with recognising and understanding the two main urban elements:- the static and the dynamic.

The static is the things which do not move (ie builidngs) and the dynamic are those things which do move (ie people, vehicles, etc. So there is always interaction and competetion between these two elements for space.

The fun starts when the orginal layout of an urban area has been overlaid through time by multiple and diverse cultural shifts which then creates a complexity that can defy logic. :)))
Frank John Snelling
physics of the built environment
Your thoughts and questions are very much in place and you will need to go back to your school text books for the physics. The methods and modes of heat transfer that influnce our material selections accroding to the climates, issues of exposed surface areas and distribution of glazed areas, solar gain for passive heating... the list is endless.... It would be good to do prelimainary study of a broad spectrum of elements involved and focus on one or two related ones.

for starters there are three broad domains, thermal( heat energy), light, and materials. these compose our systems and you could look at any of these. Hav you thoght of using any simulation programs. there quite a few available for free to start you off.
Minu Agarwal


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