Excellent design is based on good science as well as a feeling for appearance and a sense of place. CAR has developed scientific models showing how individual buildings or groups of buildings affect – and are affected by – the environment. They are used by developers, designers and policy makers to inform their decisions.
The sustainability of a building over its lifetime depends not only on its energy consumption in use – and hence CO2 output – but also the embodied energy in its construction it contains. This is the energy consumed in the production of the building materials and components, the process of construction itself, and the renewal of various elements during its life. Our knowledge of embodied energy and durability for various building elements from many countries throughout the world enables us, for example, to identify best practice, advise on minimising a building’s CO2 footprint, and calculate energy trade-offs over its lifetime. This includes our current study of bamboo composite materials.
Daylight and sunlight analysis
CAR offers analysis of daylight and sunlight, both within buildings and for the urban spaces that surround them. We have applied image processing techniques to digital elevation models of the urban tissue in order to study daylight and sunlight availability in the urban environment.
Environmental Impact Assessment
Using the same tools that support good design, CAR can prepare impact assessments for planning applications covering sustainability, daylight and renewable energy.