Programme theme

Low Carbon Design of the Built Environment

Following the remarkable success of the first and second international Low Carbon Architecture Summer Programme, the Welsh School of Architecture is hosting its third LCASP from 25th July to 8th August 2015 with the dedicated theme of ‘Low Carbon Design of the Built Environment’.

The Welsh School of Architecture as one of the top Schools of architecture in the UK, is acknowledged for its holistic approach to sustainable design which embraces all elements of the built environment. The School is acknowledged as a world leader in the research and development of sustainable building design and performance. Building on the broad body of knowledge and the wealth of experience within the WSA, LCASP 2015 will introduce participants to a range of subjects, from urban considerations of planning to technical design of fabric and systems for sustainable built environments. It aims to provide appropriate training to participants emphasising a balanced approach to environmental, socio-economic and technical aspects of the built environment.

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.

The built environment includes new buildings, existing buildings and the infrastructure that supports them. Both, the built environment and the infrastructure including transport, water and sewage, waste, green and blue spaces and energy supply consume massive amounts of energy. This could be reduced at all scales of the built environment from component to building to neighbourhood to city to region if planned strategically. Creating sustainable built environments enhances people’s comfort and wellbeing besides reducing harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through efficient use of resources including energy, water and waste. Sustainable built environments should be designed flexibly to adapt to future needs and growth. They should also be designed to be resilience to the momentous and rapidly evolving effects of climate change.

The current sustainability agenda raises the significance of sustainable built environments in line with the targets set by the global environmental and energy agenda. People spend most of their lives in and around buildings, where they enjoy the comfort and utilities which they provide. These benefits are created with various implications. The planning and siting of buildings, their configuration, the materials incorporated, the services they include, and the way they are managed have impact on the sustainability of the global resources, on the conservation of the natural environment, and on the occupants’ wellbeing and productivity. This trade-off between immediate local advantage and longer term sustainability reflects a serious responsibility on designers. Designers and planners must learn to create improved built environments in ways that minimise their wider global impact.

The LCASP is a unique training programme that facilitates a full learning experience to its participants. The programme is designed to include thematic lectures and workshops delivered by the WSA academic staff and external practitioners and architects. Field visits contribute significantly to the learning experience as participants have a unique opportunity to learn from real life case studies and state-of-the-art low carbon and sustainable projects in the UK. The programme integrates the learning from lectures and field visits into the project work undertaken in groups and presented on the final day.

A word from
Dr Heba Elsharkawy,
LCASP Co-ordinator

"The aim of the lectures, seminars and field trips in LCASP is not to provide a prescription to low carbon and sustainable design, but to create a crucible of ideas that would encourage debate and generate bespoke approaches to sustainable design in the built environment. Thus, the Low Carbon Design project helped develop unique approaches to low carbon design in diverse climates and contexts with teams consisting of students from Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, China, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and Tanzania. I believe it has been a valuable academic experience for both UG and PG participants."