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Sustainable Architecture & Urbanism

“Ontwerpen aan energiestromen 1”

Academie van Bouwkunst, Rotterdam – RDM wharf, 8 October 2010

Prof. Andy van den Dobbelsteen, PhD MSc

TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Building Technology
Introducing Climate Design
Three knowledge fields
 building physics
 building services
 design integration
building physics

building climate design

services & sustainability
technology application

climate design
What a sustainable world we live in…
 Sustainable development aims at equity and equilibrium.
 We use resources many times more than poor regions in the world.
 There is not enough space to spread our way of living.
 Can this be called sustainability/volhoubaarheid? (South African)

Ecological Footprint of all countries in the world []

Quantifying sustainability [Speth, 1989 & Ehrlich & Ehrlich, 1990,
based on Commoner, 1972]

Pressure = Population x Welfare x Metabolism

1990 1 = 1 x 1 x 1

2040 ½ = 2 x 5 x 1/20

This means a factor of 20 improvement, required for sustainability.

How do you assess this with buildings?

Case study of offices
We’re behind schedule…
target in
2040: 20



10 level needed
in 2000: 4.8

5 current level:
1.2 - 1.4
1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040

(around 2000 'sustainable offices' achieved a factor of 1.4 to 4.0)

No. 1: the Bussum Water Tower (factor 10)
 Transformation of the old water tower,
new office attached
 CHP on frying oil, wind turbine, solar panels
 Wastewater treated in constructed wetland
 Sober, environmentally sound materials
Plan & design within different constraints

 Climate change
 Water and heat problems
 Scarcity of resources
 Depletion of fossil fuels
Wet Wet Wet
 Threefold water surge
– Sea level rise
– More precipitation
– Increased fresh water supply from the mountains

 Does CO2 reduction help to avoid this soon?

– No. The Great Change has commenced
– We’d better take care that we can cope
The 1.3 meter plan

Andy van den Dobbelsteen – Recent studies on sustainability – Aula TU Delft, 9th of September 2008
Dwelling types selected from 18 variants

Andy van den Dobbelsteen – Recent studies on sustainability – Aula TU Delft, 9th of September 2008
Landscape, urban plan, annual event
Urban heat island effect
 Heat absorption by black tar roofs, building mass and pavement
 Little green, little water
 No urban pattern for cooling
 Heat from vehicles, buildings,
industry and (increasingly)

London 2050: + 9oC

 More people will die

Temperature and mortality [Huynen et al., 2001]

Climate problem is solvable. But energy?

Climate change will cause a greater demand for cooling,

And mechanical cooling costs 3 to 10 times more energy than heating.
Our own natural gas fields will be emptied within 25 years.

Import from other regions has

has some considerations:

 ecological
 political
 economical
 ethical

And even then

we will be done
with fossils and nuclear
within 75 years.
[KEMA/Hoogakker, 2010]
The process of fossil energy depletion
will have a radical impact on society.
So we need to become independent from fossil fuels
and meanwhile use them only to make the transition
Fossil Free
 Climate-robust
 Free of fossil energy
(oil, gas, coal and waste heat
from these sources)

How is this possible?

For instance:
 50% energy saving
 Use of geothermal heat
 Wind turbines along the coast
 250 km2 of photovoltaics
Energy-neutral island of Samsø, Denmark

 On- and off-shore wind turbines

 Solar heat plant
 Straw furnace
 Islanders’ investments
 Preserved cultural-historical identity
Sustainable directions for energy
 Avoid the energy demand

 Seize local potentials

– Use renewable energy
– Use energy more effectively (low-ex)

 Smart & bioclimatic design

Smart & bioclimatic design
A design approach
that deploys local characteristics
into the sustainable design
of buildings and urban plans
Local characteristics
 Climatic features
– climate type
– seasonal changes
– variety of the weather
– diurnal differences

 Natural circumstances
– geomorphology
– hydrology
– ecology
– natural landscape
– soil and underground

 Man-made interventions
– cultural-technical landscape
– historical and technical elements
– the built surroundings
Climate types
The sun, our primary energy source
 Where is the sun at 12 AM in summer?


An incremental approach
 Bottom-line starting-points
 Study of local circumstances
 Synthesis into boundary conditions
 Smart planning and design
Sustainable architecture: Rudy Uytenhaak

[Dutch chancellery, Canberra, Australia]

Sustainable architecture: Paul de Ruiter

Zuidkas, Amsterdam [Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter]

Sustainable architecture: SeARCH

Villa Fals, Switzerland [Bjarne Mastenbroek]

Sustainable architecture: Jón Kristinsson

Zuidkas, Amsterdam [Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter]

Villa Flora, Venlo [Kristinsson Architects & Engineers]

First: knowing the basics

Dwelling (modern)
 Heat: 1000 m3 gas = 8.8 MWhth
 Electricity: 3500 kWh = 3.5 MWhel
 Total: 12,3 MWh (all-electric)

 Car: 20.000 km, 8 l/100 km, so 1600 l diesel/petrol = 14 MWh
 With an electro engine 4 x as efficient  3.5 MWh needed

Total in an all-electric society:

 15.8 MWh

 Total approximately 100 kWh/m2 GFA
Energy a piece
Realistic annual yield of a unit of:

 2MW wind turbine 3857 MWh 244 hhtot

 Turby 5 MWh 0.316 hhtot

 Manure, per cow 1.5 MWh 0.095 hhtot

 Waste water, per hh 0.300 MWh 0.019 hhtot

 Waste, elektric total, per hh 0.326 MWh 0.021 hhtot

 Waste, just thermal, per hh 0.059 MWh 0.007 hhth!
Energy = space

Annual yield of a hectare (10,000 m2) of land or roof with:

 Solar collectors (thermal), just heat 3500 MWh 636 hhth!

 Solar cells (PV), elektric total 960 MWh 61 hhtot

 Wind, 2MW turbines 275 MWh 17 hhtot

 Wind, Turby 60 MWh 4 hhtot

 Bio-fuel, algae (theoretical maximum) 1780 MWh 113 hhtot

 Bio-fuel, sugarbeets 330 MWh 21 hhtot
 Bio-fuel, rapeseed 110 MWh 7 hhtot

 Biomass, forest maintenance 189 MWh 12 hhtot

 Biomass, cuttings from woods 47 MWh 3 hhtot
 Biomassa, cuttings from wetlands 46 MWh 3 hhtot

We need every square meter of surface when the fossils are gone!
Fossil Free
 Climate-robust
 Free of fossil energy
(oil, gas, coal and waste heat
from these sources)

How is this possible?

For instance:
 50% energy saving
 Use of geothermal heat
 Wind turbines along the coast
 250 km2 of photovoltaics
Only three roofs types allowed from now
 The Energy Roof
– Generator of heat and power
– Rain water collector
– Reflector of solar radiation and active cooler

 The Green Roof:

– Rain water buffer and improver of micro-climates
– Moderator of temperatures, passive cooler and humidificator
– Park landscape for people

 The Greenhouse Roof:

– Generator of heat and power
– Rain water collector
– Passive cooler
– CO2 buffer and urban agriculture
– Winter garden and domestic restaurant
The potential of the Greenhouse House
Energetic balance: 1 ha of modern greenhouse to 7-8 ha of dwellings
In 1 building this implies 1 layer of greenhouse on 4 flat stories
Energy potential mapping
basic information
topography climate underground land use energy system

energy sources
nature and buildings infra-
sun wind water soil
agriculture and industry structure

energy potentials


electricity and
electricity storage

heat, cold and

heat/cold storage

CO2 capture

energy-based plan
Energy potentials of Groningen
De Groene Compagnie
New proposal

IV: autarkische
kleine wijken

II: De Noorder-
III: De Energie-

I: Het Groene
Heat map for central Rotterdam
The exergy of energy

[Cullen & Allwood, 2010]

Our current
into the air and w ater

primary energy
waste heat

energy system



hotel and




CURRENT SYSTEM into the environment
A more sustainable, low-ex system
primary energy

power cascade of waste




hotel and



Demand patterns of different functions
Tuning the supply and demand
REAP (Rotterdam Energy Approach & Planning)
reduce the utilise generate provide clean
demand waste flows sustainably & efficient

generate energy
connect to generate
clean & efficient
city communal sustainable
with fossil
energy grid energy centrally
resources centrally

exchange &
balance or
district cascade energy
on the district
on the district level

exchange & generate

neighbour- balance or sustainable

© TU Delft, GW Rotterdam, dS+V Rotterdam, DJSA

hood cascade energy energy
on the on the
neighbourhood neighbourhood
cluster scale level

generate energy
avoid energy re-use sustainable
clean & efficient
demand by waste flows energy
building architectural on the building on the
with fossil
resources on the
measures scale neighbourhood
building scale
City: from intensive care to intelligent organism
[image: Eric Verdult]
In 15 years, 90% of the building stock will be equal to now.
With the same (energetic) rubbish we produced in the 1950s-1980s…

We can build sustainably, yes.

However, if this refers to 10% of the market, why bother?

Renovating the existing building stock is the most effective we can do.
Not just for the sake of sustainability, but more so for the dwellers.
The worst buildings are inhabited by the poorest.
They will have to pay enormous energy bills. Soon!

The revolution needed is called E-novation, energy renovation innovation.

It is about transforming the city, neighbourhood, building and technology.

BK City, Delft
W ith the arrival of Architecture
the Julianalaan building
finally got its Chem istry…

That’s BK City
BK City Slim – catalogue of possibilities
 The standard solution
(Wrap-up: post-insulation, replacing windows, upgrading building services)

 A technical approach
(Mass: LTH/HTC floors and walls, heat recovery, heat pumps, heat/cold storage)

 Local approach
(Box in box: cabins in large spaces, local heating/cooling, wrap up internally)

 Innovations
(Breathing Windows, heat-radiating furniture, greenhouse over the building)

 No savings – sustainable generation

(PV and wind turbines here or elsewhere, green power, geothermal heat)
The message of urgency
We are strongly dependent on non-sustainable energy.

Expected: an energy crisis with great impact on society.

The coming 15 years will be decisive for the energy transition.

Children younger than 15 years are too late for a significant role.

Pioneers of above 65 are beyond power.

Most baby-boomers currently in power hardly do anything.

It is our generation that has to do it.


Andy van den Dobbelsteen