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Buildings 2012, 2, 126-152; doi:10.3390/buildings2020126
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buildings
ISSN 2075-5309 www.mdpi.com/journal/buildings/ Article

Design of A Sustainable Building: A Conceptual Framework for Implementing Sustainability in the Building Sector Peter O. Akadiri 1,*, Ezekiel A. Chinyio 1 and Paul O. Olomolaiye 2 1

School of Technology, University of Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton,

2

WV1 1LY, UK; E-Mail: E.Chinyio@wlv.ac.uk Faculty of Environment and Technology, University of West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK; E-Mail: paul.olomolaiye@uwe.ac.uk

* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: p.o.akadiri@wlv.ac.uk; Tel: +44-0-1902828127. Received: 6 March 2012; in revised form: 11 April 2012 / Accepted: 30 April 2012 / Published: 4 May 2012

Abstract: This paper presents a conceptual framework aimed at implementing sustainability principles in the building industry. The proposed framework based on the sustainable triple bottom line principle, includes resource conservation, cost efficiency and design for human adaptation. Following a thorough literature review, each principle involving strategies and methods to be applied during the life cycle of building projects is explained and a few case studies are presented for clarity on the methods. The framework will allow design teams to have an appropriate balance between economic, social and environmental issues, changing the way construction practitioners think about the information they use when assessing building projects, thereby facilitating the sustainability of building industry. Keywords: sustainable building; conceptual framework; resource conservation; cost efficiency; human adaptation

1. Introduction The building industry is a vital element of any economy but has a significant impact on the environment. By virtue of its size, construction is one of the largest users of energy, material resources, and water, and it is a formidable polluter. In response to these impacts, there is growing consensus

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among organizations committed to environmental performance targets that appropriate strategies and actions are needed to make building activities more sustainable [1–3]. With respect to such significant influence of the building industry, the sustainable building approach has a high potential to make a valuable contribution to sustainable development. Sustainability is a broad and complex concept, which has grown to be one of the major issues in the building industry. The idea of sustainability involves enhancing the quality of life, thus allowing people to live in a healthy environment, with improved social, economic and environmental conditions [4]. A sustainable project is designed, built, renovated, operated or reused in an ecological and resource efficient manner [5]. It should meet a number of certain objectives: resource and energy efficiency; CO2 and GHG emissions reduction; pollution prevention; mitigation of noise; improved indoor air quality; harmonization with the environment [6]. An ideal project should be inexpensive to build, last forever with modest maintenance, but return completely to the earth when abandoned [7]. Building industry practitioners have begun to pay attention to controlling and correcting the environmental damage due to their activities. Architects, designers, engineers and others involved in the building process have a unique opportunity to reduce environmental impact through the implementation of sustainability objectives at the design development stage of a building project. While current sustainability initiatives, strategies and processes focus on wider global aspirations and strategic objectives, they are noticeably weak in addressing micro-level (project specific level) integrated decision-making [8]. Paradoxically, it is precisely at the micro-levels that sustainability objectives have to be translated into concrete practical actions,...
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