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About this book

This book presents select proceedings of the International Conference on Visionary Action towards Liveable Urban Environments (VALUE 2020). Various topics covered in this book include context responsive architecture, green architecture, energy efficient buildings, energy conservation, inclusive spatial environments, security in buildings and cities, green/smart/ intelligent architecture, sustainable mobility and smart communities. This book will be a valuable reference for students, researchers, and professionals interested in built environment and allied fields.

Table of Contents


Urban Landscape


Peri-Fusion: A Design Strategy for Integrating Densified Housing and Agriculture Within Peri-Urban Zones

Low-density, suburban dwelling models are characterising extended areas on the fringes of New Zealand (NZ) towns and cities. The resulting (sub) urban sprawl has been proven unsustainable due to high resource consumption and increasing housing cost. Surveys of housing preferences indicate the continued desire for the standalone home. Increased land usage for settlement conflicts with other land use, including agriculture and green spaces. A cornerstone of NZ economy and agriculture influences housing aspirations, e.g. lifestyle farms. This conflict can also be observed in other countries, where housing infrastructure (for water, waste, food) is insufficient or unsustainable. For peri-urban zones, strategies for low-rise, high-density housing are well established, but lack implementation. Strategies for reducing greenfield developments have been explored, mostly in terms of policy-making. And, concepts for circular housing infrastructure are currently being tested. The lack of uptake can be addressed with a perspective centred on housing design. This research establishes design strategies for integrating densified housing, associated food/waste cycles and preservation of green spaces by way of using agricultural features and motifs, in response to NZ housing preferences. Typological research is combined with research through design, using spatial features derived from agriculture to enhance sustainable housing. The design strategies were tested on a case study site in Blenheim, NZ. The novel design resulted in 38.9% more dwelling units, 34.8% more green space, and a circular water and nutrient model, when compared to an identical adjacent site. This demonstrates the potential of cross-programming/interweaving housing and agricultural landscaping in response to environmental resilience as well as societal housing aspirations.
Sarah Morris, Hans-Christian Wilhelm

Conservation and Protection of Peri-Urban Rural Landscapes from the Impacts of Urbanization: Case Study of Manimangalam, Mahanyam and Malaipattu Villages in Manimangalam Watershed

Rural farmland preservation, open spaces, water bodies and woodland in the suburbs strongly contrast the borders of urban and peri-urban areas. High loss of agricultural lands and land plots as dumping grounds found in suburban due to unplanned urban development, which in turn would impact economic growth and contribute to poor quality of life in the suburbs. The suburban fringes have a complex political and demographic character. Industries and development of real estate are transforming rural land as it is available at affordable prices, agricultural land is being transformed into barren land and common ground, and open spaces are being gradually invaded. Manimangalam watershed region in the sriperambadur taluk in the suburban area of Chennai is one of those places that faces many challenges due to urban sprawl and industrial growth, Manimangalam watershed with a chain of 56 lakes, Mahanyam reserve forest and Malaipattu hills have a high quality of scenery in it. The change in land use is due primarily to the expansion of the corridors of urbanization, industrialization and transportation. Green and brown fields split the high scenic quality of rural landscapes and they need to be given great attention. Cultural, ecological, economic and agricultural values and the ideals of leisure must be maintained and the conservation and growth potential must be evaluated and included in suburban development urban planning. Urban growth boundary and smart growth of peri-urban areas and the conservation of rural landscapes will encourage sustainable urban development in the future.
Kumareswari Rajendran

Sustainable Urban Development


A Review on Plastic Waste Assessment and Its Potential Use as Building Construction Material

Plastic waste has become a severe threat to the environment globally, and unmanaged disposal practices have made it more challenging. A massive amount of various types of plastic are piling up at landfill sites, chocking drainages, which has now entered into our food chain as animals and fishes are eating plastics. Ocean and their aquatic life are also getting suffered from plastic waste as it takes millions of years to degrade naturally. Open burning of the plastic waste courses major health issues like the respiratory problem, irritation, and even cancer in some of the cases. Recent research depicts how plastic waste is also one of the significant reasons for global warming and the rapid extinct of indigenous species. Other studies showcase how virgin and raw materials have been extracted to fulfil the demands of the construction industries. On the other hand, with the unique interventions, some of the cities in the various regions have developed strategies to fight with the problem and material demand—as they are utilising the different type of plastic waste into various kind of building and construction materials. Hence, studies show significantly improved impact on the environment. The involvement of the informal sector could help by contributing to developing the economy and livable environment—that is how the principal amount of resourceful plastic waste could prevent to the reach at dumpsites and became a resource for construction material.
Akhilesh Kumar, Avlokita Agrawal

The Sustainable City Intercellular Approach, Study of Urban Fabric Pattern, a Case Study of Chennai City

As per the census data 2011, more number of people in Tamil Nadu shifted from rural to urban area compared to the other states. The level of urbanisation in Tamil Nadu increases nearly 14.3% over the last two decades. It results in emerging informal settlements, lack of infrastructure facilities and decline of economic growth, etc. as a whole it reflects on the chaotic spatial pattern. The sustainable urban fabric pattern is an intellectual strategy and a sequential implementation process of integrating rural and urban areas. It is important in city planning to attain the balanced development of the region to fulfil the need of the backward villages. Intercellular approach reduces the conflicts and competition for resources between cities in a region. The establishment of an efficient relationship between living place, work place and social service and recreational area so as to enhance the quality life of the metropolitan population are the main task in the process of intercellular planning. This research is an attempt to achieve sustainable environment with the help of urban planning. Further this article deals with the development strategy for future urban growth through urban planning models.
K. Madhivadhani

Sustainable Water Management: Smart Solutions for Equity in Vellore Municipal Corporation

Tamil Nadu state envisages 24 × 7 piped water supply to all households in urban and rural areas in tune with SDG Goal 6 (established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015) ensuring equity in supply of drinking water and sanitation. However, problems of sustainable water management have increased due to growing concentration of the state’s population in urban areas like Vellore. Planning for sustainable use of water resources has gained significance due to agricultural intensification and industrial growth despite constraints in ground water aquifers. Large investments in supply side management for drinking water include feeder pipes from distant sources and intermediate sumps. Nevertheless, investments in demand side management including recycling and reuse remain unaddressed in planning for enhancement of per capita water availability. This paper provides a case study of Smart City initiatives in Vellore Municipal Corporation which has expanded to include six panchayats and two municipalities and is dependent on subsoil water sources in the absence of a perennial water course. It highlights the need to incorporate demand side management through inter-alia investments in water harvesting, storage, use efficiency, and effluent and sewage treatment in order to address equity concerns. It also discusses gaps in the present system while advocating sustainable withdrawal and supply of freshwater under seasonal scarcity conditions.
Sugato Dutt, Prabhakaran Punniakotty

Redefining the Relationship Between Heritage and Its Community for Sustainable Development: Taking Temples as Case Example

Conservation in a broad sense refers to the protection of resources which are important for the future generation; let it be natural resources, energy, or heritage. When it comes to Heritage Conservation, the term Heritage has been defined and redefined by various organizations to broaden its scope; first, it was defined as Historic Monument in 1964 (Venice charter), got reinterpreted by ICOMOS in 1965 as Monument and Site, and again, by UNESCO in 1968 as “Cultural Property.” The word cultural property implies its geographical setting as well as the people around, by which it recognizes the fact that every heritage shares an inseparable relationship with their immediate neighborhood, which in its true sense forms the soul of the chosen property. In modern India, identification and protection of these cultural properties have been carried out since the colonial times, in which the property is being viewed as only a monument. Indeed, its protection and continuity of the property at a skin level is important and must be ensured, but it should also be made sure that the process of protection does not uproot the property from its immediate context. Putting up a protective fence all around the monument for the sake of protection (a typical measure taken up by the government bodies in India) not only creates a physical barrier between the building and its context, but also alienates the people living around since ages; the direct/indirect association of the people with the monument gets broken and then dies gradually, leading to a complete disconnect. This paper focuses on critically analyzing this relationship, which is an essential understanding required for developing a holistic/integrated heritage management plan for cultural properties, which in turn will lead to a sustainable development. Temples are one of the best examples in India, which explains and exhibits the level of interdependency that exists between a cultural property and its people. Taking Indian temple heritage as case example, the paper tries to understand the idea of Heritage in Indian context and the association these cultural properties have with the context. It also examines the disconnect caused between these cultural properties and their context by means of insensitive interventions, and the economic disparity created within the context as a result of the myopic policy/proposals created for development and management of these cultural properties.
Meera Viswanath, Nishant

Social Inclusivity


Scientific Ideation Towards Visionary Development Strategies for Indian Urban Environments

The aim of development projects encompassing the urban built environment is to ensure a better quality of life for citizens in the present and for the foreseeable future. Broadly, these involve redevelopment, conservation and renewal in the brownfield realm and infrastructural improvements and new area developments in the greenfield sector. The process involves understanding the needs of the built environment and proposing interventions through a process of dialogue among city planners, urban designers, architects, financial planners, government officials and public and private stakeholders. While most public agencies rely on precedent while envisioning new development projects, visionary thinking often evolves from sustained intellectual effort. The aim of this paper which is aligned to the Indian context is to establish a case for: (i) Inclusion of academics and researchers in the consultative process towards a more intellectual framework while arriving at solutions to issues confronting the built environment, (ii) Creating a dialogue among institutional researchers, government development bodies and people’s representatives towards mutual understanding of concerns, (iii) Facilitating the access of researchers to administrative processes and operational logistics to enable teaching universities to provide more relevant education to students, (iv) Sharing research studies with urban development agencies to provide ideas for possible implementation. The importance of academic inputs in large developments projects is highly significant. Any large projects such as new town developments, area redevelopment projects and urban renewal initiatives need a significant amount of intellectual application before design proposals are envisaged and executed.
N. Devi Prasad

Social Inclusivity: A Case Study on Community Resilience on Kerala Flood-2018

Urban resilience for any city is a gap to be fully understood and assimilated in urban planning. Globalisation and rapid urbanisation in recent years have led to newer challenges as higher densities, greater demand for infrastructure, resources, environmental and man-made hazards are on the increase. Cities are trying to cope up with the rising needs through various planning techniques and modern applications and planning models. However, each city’s landscape is different and many a time, these approaches might not adhere appropriately to every aspect of a city. One of the worst situations where the resilience of a city would be truly realized, is when disaster strikes. The flood in Kerala State in August 2018 is one such example where researchers can study a lot. Not only the fact of ‘coping up to the maximum damage possible’, but it is also ‘how fast human lives can be brought back to their normal stable level’. Once pre-disaster state is achieved, the need to improve services or to continue as usual is another question to be resolved. In most cases, the governmental and other agencies would strive to attain the lowest acceptable condition. However, it is most appreciated if the resilience exceeds the original level with new approaches to planning, design and infrastructural capabilities so that the disaster, even if it strikes again will affect the damage prevention better. The ability of the city or the extent of resilience shown by Kerala is strong, especially when compared to similar scale disasters that have struck in India and even other parts of the world. The paper tries to study and evaluate these factors that lead to faster resilience of Kerala’s state to model a flexible and more effective urban resilient planning approach.
Sameer Ali, Abraham George

Reinforcing the Long Forgotten Southern Frontier of Madras

Stretching for about 22 kms inside the Chennai City, the Adayar River is currently a sewage channel that is running across the city. Dating back in the history around nineteenth century, Adayar was a non-perennial river which was used for seasonal recreation by the British. Madras being home to three main rivers Kosasthalaiyar, Cooum, and Adayar was home to the first rowing center in Madras. Madras Boat Club which is located in the banks of Adayar is the regulatory body to conduct boating activities. The boating activities slowly shifted from the Ennore creek to long tank and then to the Adayar. Due to the rapid urbanization and increasing demand for infrastructure on one hand and land unavailability on the other, the acquisition of land on the river beds inside the city reached its peak. Connecting the sewage drains to the river, dumping of waste in and on the banks and multiple other factors including e-waste and bio-waste deposits in the water has led to the deterioration of the river’s ecology. This research will investigate the bathymetry of the river, the behavior of the residents of Saidapet settlement and the functioning of Guindy Industrial Estate, which lie along the banks of Adayar from Ekkaduthangal bridge and Marmalong bridge in the heart of Chennai City, and come up with a sample model which will focus on indigenous system of water quality improvement that will aid in the natural process of runoff and infiltration and also complement to reduce the impact of flooding, thus bracing Adayar.
G. Bhuvaneshwari, Girishma Kongara

Intelligent and Responsive Architecture


Place Identity Along Highways: Location Choice of Elements Using Distance and Isovist Measures

The aspects of physical environment help to link the dynamic understanding of people–place connect. Visibility to identity elements is a consequential aspect, notably across travel routes. It is significant to understand the degree of visibility from a vantage point along the travel routes, to define, characterize, and maximize the sense of orientation for drivers and travellers. The necessity arises to refer to the questions of a traveller or driver on the distance, spatial coverage, and enclosure of the visible spatial territories. The visibility of the volume of space together with a specification of the location of that point from the given point in space is an isovist. The isovist measures are appropriate tools to calculate, represent, and thereby develop analysis to formulate urban design strategies based on the visual aspects. This paper aims at identifying the relationship between the location choice and the visual access to the identity elements along a highway. Distance-based location choices are studied to generate relationships between distance, speed, and travel time in three criteria. Evaluation of Visibility with the help of a simulation tool [1] in two forms of urban nodes with significant natural, cultural, and social elements, resulting in 32 isovist maps are generated with 16 maps for each node. The degree of visibility concerning the openness from highway and placement of elements are extractions from the analysis. The results show that the visibility of elements and the location characteristics contribute to the awareness of place identity along travel routes.
G. Ophylia Vinodhini, A. Meenatchi Sundaram

Built Environment


Envelope Performance Analysis of Office Buildings in Warm and Humid Climate: From Case Studies of Multi-storied Office Buildings in Chennai

In India, the average of all commercial buildings’ electricity consumption is at 6.6% and the growth of office spaces in urban area is increasing at the rate of 8–10% annually since 2005 [1]. India is still in the nascent stage of energy conservation and energy-saving potential is 20–40% for commercial buildings [2]. Hence, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has formulated the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC 2017) which primarily stipulates codes for the design of energy-efficient buildings. The purpose of this research paper is to explore the energy performance of six office building samples from each typology of the predominant envelope design in Chennai since 1995 and analyze the sample buildings for three major envelope performances—solar insolation, daylighting and space-cooling load. The first part is performance ranking from site measurement data and then checks for ECBC 17 compliance for all the samples. As the age of HVAC equipment and other space-cooling components varies in all the samples, the results were inconsistent to compare; hence, a simulation method was adapted by creating building information model in Revit using same envelope building materials. Comparing all the case studies, the results for the case buildings with energy-efficient façade design performed better than the rest. Based on the analysis and results, this paper lists the envelope design factor for of multi-storied office buildings in warm and humid climate of Chennai.
Chandrasekaran Chockalingam

Optimization of Building Envelope Towards Energy-Efficient Design

Buildings and construction account for more than 35% of global final energy use and nearly 40% of energy-related CO2 emissions (Global status report 2017, International Energy Agency for the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction). Building’s envelope contributes significantly to energy consumption, especially in office buildings which use extensive glazed facades. Building envelope largely includes the various components of external façade such as walls, roof, windows and shading elements. The design of building envelope affects visual and thermal comfort in the adjoining spaces. Failure to meet the thermal and visual comfort requirements in indoor spaces results in occupants depending on mechanical conditioning systems and electrical lighting systems which increases the energy consumption in building. Hence, optimizing the envelope system will contribute largely to the energy savings in a building. This study aims at quantifying the contribution of various envelope components towards the energy optimization of an office building. Building envelope designed for an office occupancy in a warm humid climatic zone has been analysed for its energy performance in terms of various components which include thermal properties of walls, roof and glazing, window-to-wall ratio and shading elements. Analysis has been done by simulating the envelope optimized building design against the base case as prescribed by Energy Conservation Building Code, using an environmental analysis software tool. The results establish the impact of various envelope components on the energy consumption of the building. The findings emphasize the provision of an appropriate shading device as the highest contributor towards achieving the goal of energy efficiency by reducing the solar heat gain. Hence, careful consideration must be given in designing the shading elements in warm humid climatic zone as it can significantly change the performance of other components of an integrated building, namely HVAC and artificial lighting system, resulting in an energy-efficient design.
G. Sudha

Optimization of Building’s Wall Using Phase Change Material (PCM) Toward Energy Performance Improvement

Building sector has contributed the largest energy consumption, and most energy is consumed by existing buildings. Rate of replacing the old buildings is only around 1.0–3.0% annually. Therefore, to reduce global energy usage, enhancement of energy efficiency in existing buildings is necessary. Building Information Modelling (BIM) and analysis can improve building energy performance by providing precise strategy in retrofitting the building envelope. Currently, retrofitting is commonly done following a global trend in maximizing the energy efficiency of existing buildings. As such, this paper seeks to improve the energy performance of a building by simulating encapsulated phase change material (PCM)-enhanced cellulose insulation inside the wall that will create sustainable indoor environment for the occupants. Various solutions for geometrical and energy-based data acquisition are explored, and selection of the most appropriate BIM technology and energy analysis software (Revit and EnergyPlus) has been decided. Both softwares are interoperable via the same platform of schemes. Technical research in both engineering and energy domain sector is conducted to ensure the reliability of the results. Comprising of both geometrical and energy-based data acquisitions from the selected building, a thorough generation of building modeling was performed. Then, transfer of energy-based data into the energy analysis software and identification of the main issues related to the energy performance are determined. Finally, retrofitting of the walls using PCM modules in EnergyPlus was achieved. Results indicate that the energy consumption by using PCM-incorporated wall can be optimized up to 11.23% annually compared to a typical wall.
C. Piraiarasi, Saravana Kannan Thangavelu, Mhd Faizal Bin Mansur

Shade Net to Reduce Building Cooling Load: An Experimental Study with RCC and GI Sheet Roofs

Use of shade net over the roofs could be one of the economic ways to reduce heat gained by the buildings in arid regions. Model rooms with reinforced cement concrete (RCC) and galvanized iron (GI) sheet roofs were set up in the open field. 50% shading nets were tried over the roofs of the model rooms at a height of 125 mm from the roof top surface. From the experiments, it is concluded that using shade net over GI sheet roof can be as good as a RCC roof without shade net. These shade nets are found to cause negligible adverse effects on the night time cooling. Around 8 and 16 °C reduction in peak temperatures of roof surfaces due to shade net were observed in RCC and GI sheet roof cases, respectively. In turn, 1 and 2 °C reduction in average inside air temperatures has been observed in the respective cases.
Vijesh V. Joshi
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