Through the years, sustainability and sustainable design have earned the stigma of being very expensive to implement because the first thing the general public thinks of when they picture sustainable design is photovoltaics and highly complex automated control systems. This common misconception continues to hinder the incorporation of sustainable design strategies today, even though there is a multitude of simple, cost-effective strategies that can be incorporated. They do not have to cost any more and, when incorporated early in the design phase, can even be included with cost savings, particularly when lifecycle costing is considered.
Institutional and Government funded projects more often than not include considerable budget constraints compared to privately funded developments. These constraints, plus security (AT/FP) and Health and Safety requirements, inherently reduce the potential for upfront investment and significantly increase the influence of short payback periods. However, the diverse programs and locations these builds offer encourage design and construction teams to explore opportunities to address site and climate specific challenges through affordable and often passive design techniques to achieve sustainable and energy efficient design. URS has successfully implemented this process on numerous projects.
Through project examples we will illustrate our multi-disciplinary approach to the successful implementation of sustainable and holistic strategies on several projects.
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