Low Carbon House Design Methodology

Sustainable design principles

Stepwise procedure for designing the low carbon house

Step One

Identifying nationally recognized methods for assessing the environmental performance of new buildings in the UK.

Most widely used methods include Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) 2006 and British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). Other methods include Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB) Silver and Gold and PassivHaus.

Policies for Sustainable Development in Brighton and Hove

The City Plan Policy CP8 for Sustainable Buildings supported by Supplementary Planning Documents, SPD 08 – Sustainable Building Design is expected to deliver viable development that considers community aspirations, environmentally sensitive, high quality, adequate infrastructure and helps in mitigating the impacts of climate change by gradually transitioning towards achieving a low carbon economy (NPPF, 2012).

National Planning Policy Framework, 2012 expects the local plan policy to play an active role in guiding the development that is viable and sustainable. The principles of One Planet approach have been adopted by the Brighton & Hove City Council which aims at radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy consumption before the construction and after it is built. Mitigating the impacts of climate change is an important aspect of delivering Sustainable development (Low Carbon Construction, 2010).

Her Majesty’s Government proposed Climate Change Act in 2008 which was the world’s first long-term legally binding framework to tackle the dangers of climate change. It include a statutory commitment to reducing the carbon dioxide emissions by 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

Step two

One Planet living principles

It provides a framework that helps us examine and evaluate the sustainability challenges that we face and develop action plans in order to create a sustainable and healthy environment.

Sustainable design principles
One Planet Living. Source: bioregional.co.uk

The ten principles are as follows:

  • Zero Carbon
  • Zero waste
  • Sustainable transport
  • Sustainable materials
  • Local and sustainable food
  • Sustainable water
  • Land use and wildlife
  • Culture and community
  • Equity and local economy
  • Health and happiness

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Which tools are responsible for shaping our cities?

Identifying factors responsible for shaping our cities

Studying and analyzing the growth of towns at a superficial level gives us a complete idea of the growth of towns and its division of towns depending on its size and population.

To study the growth of towns in depth and to identify the reasons for the development of towns and cities for the way they developed, three tools have been studied. These could be used as design tools for the design of new towns.

  1. Transportation Planning
  2. Land use planning
  3. Food

tools for citiesInteresting facts about how food shaped our cities

  • We consume good wherever we go since it is our need for survival.
  • For consumption we need to produce…
  • With more and more people moving into the cities, the natural landscapes are being destroyed.
  • We consume meat.
  • Animals are fed which increase the need for more crop production to feed animals and then animals are consumed by us.
  • By 2050, it is estimated that twice of us are going to live in the cities. So, there will be 6 billion hungry carnivores to feed by 2050

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Bogota – A sustainable city

Sustainable Living introduced in the city of Bogota

How could a modern way of life that threatens our planet to have become our way of life?

Opportunities to reinvent and redesign

Could poverty be connected by hope through way of design?

America has huge inequalities. People migrating from rural areas to the cities has increased considerably.


In 100 years, Bogota grew from 100,000 persons to 7 million. It has grown in an illegal way.

There is lack of infrastructure, quality, security and safety. No good leaders. They had no direction. They had no money for the progress of the city. The quality of life in Bogota was the worst in Columbia and Latin America. People hated Bogota for what it was. It was a city without hope and self esteem.

City Design

They wanted to make a city for the people and not for cars. Changing the way of life was the focus of the designers in Bogota. It was believed that Sustainable Urban design will lay the foundation for social justice. The way we design cities would have an impact on our lifestyles which would determine our happiness and well being.

For example: Amsterdam

As it is said, fish needs to swim, we need to walk not in order to survive but be happy. For 5000 years, we had pedestrian streets only. So when cars appeared, the street should have been divided into two halves; half for cars and the other half for pedestrians to keep the balance.

Designers thought that correcting this enormous error was a necessity and could only be achieved by putting some restriction to car use.

Every Sunday, in Bogota 120km of main arteries are closed from 7 am to 2.00pm in the afternoon. All people are brought together and all the vehicles are blocked. This helps people to interact with each other. This has been going on every Sunday since 1982 and has been growing since then. This is a way in which they are trying to reduce car use in Bogota by getting people to cycle on the main streets on Sundays.

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Design of towns today | Sustainable Town planning

What is town planning?

The difference between town planning and architecture should be noted. The town planning expresses an era. The architecture reveals its spirit.

Evolution of planning

In the ancient times, the primitive men used to stay in tribes and they formed groups for mutual protection for carrying out business activities and maintaining a social life. The location of the settlements was decided taking into consideration the ease of defense, climatic factors, business facilities etc.

radial network london
Combination of concentric and radial pattern | London

As such cities, are as old as civilization as seen from the verbal connection between the words ‘city’ and ‘civilization’. By civilization, we mean urban civilization. There were obviously human groups before that period.

Designing towns today

Today, designing towns is not as easy as it used to be in the past. We have to deal with problems that did not exist in the past.

The requirements for the design of towns today:

Road network for cars

Town planning professionals have to consider the planning for the next 40 years while they plan the road network for the new city. Designing the road network itself constitutes a lot of complex calculations including increase in population density, wealth, increase in the number of private vehicles, public transport etc.

Public transport

We have to hire transportation planning professionals in order to establish an efficient public transport network for the automobiles. But this is not possible only with the help of transportation planning professionals. Town planners and transportation planning professionals have to work hand in hand in order to complement the road network with the new public transport.

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