Welsh School of Architecture

Low Carbon Architecture Summer Programme - LCASP

LCASP 2013

Programme theme

Architects face a new challenge at the beginning of the twenty-first century: how to ensure that the new buildings they design and the existing buildings they refurbish emit dramatically less carbon dioxide than has been common practice in recent decades. Low carbon buildings are designed to produce significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions than others, helping to mitigate climate change. (RIBA, 2009)

Low carbon design requires an holistic approach to energy use in buildings by understanding how and why buildings consume energy. Designers are required to set low to zero carbon targets for the design and performance of buildings by adhering to low carbon design principles.

  • Understand energy use in the building type; designers need to understand the breakdown of energy use for the building, both by fuel type and by end use (lighting, heating, cooling, etc) in order to identify how to minimise carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Use the form and fabric of the building to do the work; where the appropriate design of form and fabric provide environmental modification and minimise energy required for services.
  • Use renewable energy systems; low carbon buildings are supplemented with renewable energy systems to reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with the provision of heat and power in the building.

Two of the many sustainable buildings developed by WSA recently are the Regain and Ty Unnos Buildings in Ebbw Vale, Wales illustrated below.

Regain Building

Regain building, Ebbw Vale, Wales

The building has achieved an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) 'A' rating and a BREEAM Excellent rating.

Ty Unnos Building

Ty Unnos building, Ebbw Vale, Wales

The project is a highly adaptable, modular system for low carbon affordable housing.

LCD project aim and objectives

The Low Carbon Design Project seeks to explore the previous themes in order to propose alternative low carbon design approaches to both; a low-rise and high-rise complex building which includes residential, office and retail spaces.

The objectives of this project are to:

  • Explore the availability and natural energy resources of a given site; sun, light, and wind according to the climatic data;
  • Investigate form and fabric of a modular unit and propose appropriate passive strategies;
  • Explore diverse approaches to holistic sustainable design by considering all aspects of sustainability; social, economic, environmental and physical;
  • Investigate the lighting and thermal performance of the model developed to optimise its performance;
  • Exploring the viability of applying learnt lessons on a large-scale design using the same modular cell;
  • Optimising the building performance in a mega-building configuration
Student projects and presentations
LCASP 2013