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Does anyone know where I can have blueprints re-designed with environmental sustainability elements embedded into them?

We are a UK NGO and have been working in India with the Gypsy Dalit community in Villurpuram and been looking at building a health and education centre. We have had proprosed blue prints from our partners in India which is fairly standard but we have been trying to get our partners to consider a build that is much more environmentally conscious, sustainable and therefore cheaper too. its taken a while to come to an agreement - but we have finally - which is wonderful but means we need to revisit the blueprints. We are looking to work with someone to help embed renewables and exciting sustainability elements into the kind of structure that our partners are looking to create. Can anyone help or point us in the right direction? thanks

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To incorporate environmentally friendly or sustainable / low energy features in the building they need to be included as part of the design strategy, adding "green" bolt on solutions is unlikely to be effective. For example to reduce energy use it will be better to design a naturally ventilated building incorporating thermal storage in the building mass, instead of adding solar panels to drive the air conditioning in a conventional solution. The brief to the designers needs to be clear about what is required at the outset, to change a standard solution later will be more difficult to achieve. There are publications from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers which give extensive guidance on low energy building.

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To have the building designed incorporating renewables and to limit energy use you need to appoint a suitably qualified engineering consultant. In the UK there are many, such as Arup, Buro Happold, Useful Simple Projects; you can just search for them online. However, you will need a substantial budget for them to work on a project like this in a meaningful way. You would likely be better off looking for a suitable consultancy in India, where it would be cheaper. EWB-UK's partner organisation CSE India might be able to point you in the right direction:

I would be wary of doing this badly. It is far more important that the building is affordable, culturally appropriate and maintainable, so it is well used. Building an environmentally friendly building which decays and is not used is far more wasteful and environmentally damaging than one which is more basic but used. Remember the social and financial aspects of sustainability as well as the environmental ones, and remember the core aims of your project and don't be too distracted by trying to do everything if you don't have the resources or expertise in your organisation.

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2016-05-25 13:22:18 +0000
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Last updated:
May 31 '16