Environment & Technology;

Assignment 1: Environmental Evaluation Report

The aim of this assignment is to advance your knowledge, critical evaluation and personal perspective on matters of environmental architecture.  Your report should identify, analyse and critically compare the key environmental design strategies of two relevant architectural case studies.

The report should be presented in two sections:

1.)    Environmental evaluation and critical comparative analysis of case study buildings. 70%
2.)    Personal Position Statement. 20%

A further 10% will be allocated for clear and logical presentation of your studies.

1) Environmental evaluation and critical comparative analysis of case study buildings

You should begin by researching a range of environmentally exemplar case study buildings of a similar building use and type;  from this you should choose two, small to medium scale, non-domestic buildings to compare, contrast and analyse in detail. You must ensure that sufficient information is available to undertake a thorough analysis.  Therefore, ideally you should aim to obtain the following information: floor plans, cross sections, elevations and details of construction and building services for both buildings.  However, information can also be gleaned via a range of investigative methods such as observations, photographs, time-lapse videos, manufacturer’s details/products and post occupancy evaluation (via published research and/or visiting the buildings and speaking with occupants).   A list of suggested research resources can be found in the AED3 ‘Assignment 1’ folder on Blackboard.

Your research should investigate, identify and compare the environmental design ambitions and strategies of the two buildings including:

•    A site analysis, identifying ‘site specific’ environmental design opportunities and constraints
•    Passive design strategies
•    Energy systems
•    Materials specification
•    Waste and water systems
•    Ecology and ecological impact
•    Occupant health and satisfaction
•    Lifecycle analysis
•    Environmental performance ratings (Carbon and/or sustainability ratings if awarded).

The above list is included as an aide-memoir and is neither intended to be exhaustive or prescriptive. It is intended that you define and test your own criteria for environmental performance and design intervention, which can include ethical and philosophical criteria.  Fully annotated schematic drawings, self-produced diagrams, technical details, plans and photographs should be used to support your analysis.  These must be clearly labelled and referenced. This section should conclude with a critical comparative summary of the environmental qualities of the two buildings.

Please note: This report aims to help you identify strategies for effective environmental design and avoid bad practice. Therefore, it is essential that you focus on comparing the environmental strategies of each building against each other. (Not just analysing each building individually).

2) Personal Position Statement.

The second section of your report should present a personal position statement which evaluates and compares the environmental qualities of the two buildings from your own personal point of view (Personal position).  You may comment on the differences and/or similarities of the buildings, expressing in your own opinion why certain environmental design aspects succeed and others fail; reflecting on the relative qualities of the buildings in relation to their location, purpose and context, with a view to understanding the complexities and challenges of putting design ideas into practice. The reflection should be written in the 1st person to express your own personal point of view and should include an explanation of which aspects of design you will consider taking forward into your design studio project in semester 2 and potential future design projects, these aspects may include materials, construction and design features, energy technologies, ethical principles, etc.

IMPORTANT: When choosing case studies it is essential that you meet all the criteria on the check list (Without exception). You must not use buildings on the ‘exemption list’ or consider any building choices that do not fully meet the criteria, as this may impact upon the assessment process.  (The check list is provided for your own personal use and does not form part of the assessment hand-in).  If you are in doubt about the suitability of your case study buildings, then please contact the module leader.

Indicative Assessment Criteria

•    Scope of analysis of environmental design strategies of case studies. 30%
•    Critical analysis of environmental design strategies of case studies. 40%
•    Articulation of personal position in conclusion. 20%
•    Clarity of presentation of report. 10%

Progress reviews and tutorials will be scheduled during Semester 1.  Please see Blackboard for details.

Bound A3 Report (Colour): Max 8 x A3 pages.
(Page count excludes title page and references/bibliography).

Please complete the check list for both case study buildings
If you answer ‘No’ to any of the criteria below (for either case-study building) then your case study building is NOT suitable, so please choose another.

Criteria    Case Study  1    Case Study  2
1.    Is your building non-domestic? (I.e. it contains no bedrooms or residential sleeping areas).    Yes    No    Yes    No
2.    Is your building wholly new build? (I.e. it contains no refurbishments or extensions added at a later date).    Yes    No    Yes    No
Are your buildings small to medium scale?
i.e. No smaller than: Visitor Centre, Attenborough Nature Reserve/ Nottingham  / Stanwick Lakes Visitor Centre. AND/OR
No larger than: The Crystal / Energy Technologies Building Nottingham Jubilee campus    Yes    No    Yes    No
Are your buildings of a similar size and typology?    Yes    No    Yes    No
Are your buildings located in similar climatic zones?    Yes    No    Yes    No
6.    Can you find several detailed sources of information on your case study buildings?    Yes    No    Yes    No
7.    Does your case study meet all of the criteria set out in the Assignment brief?    Yes    No    Yes    No

IMPORTANT: Excluded Case Study Buildings
The following buildings cannot be used as case studies as they have been published on Blackboard as examples of exemplar student work for this Assignment 2013-14.  Please do not use any of the buildings below for you case study analysis.
1)    Sandal Magna Primary School
2)    Acharacle Primary School
3)    Brockholes Visitor Centre
4)    Attenborough Nature Reserve
5)    Jubilee Library: Brighton
6)    Central Library: Swindon
7)    Oakmeadow Primary School
8)    Rogiet Primary School

If you are in doubt about the suitability of your case study buildings, then please contact the module leader.


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