Free Essays

Critical Study of Nutrient Sensing and Root System Architecture (Arabidopsis Thaliana)

1. Introduction

In 2004, the United Nations published a report (United Nations, 2004) predicting that the world’s population would steadily increase, year on year, until at least 2050. Between 2004 and 2010 the world’s population increased by 5 million people (PRB, 2004 and PRB 2010), demonstrating the validity of this prediction. Last year, the United Nations (United Nations, 2010) published another report estimating that over 900 million people were still suffering from malnourishment, highlighting an insufficiency within the volume and distribution of food currently being produced. As a consequence, it has recently been suggested that as the population grows the number of people facing food insecurity will also increase (Den Herder et al, 2010), unless the pressures affecting food production can be alleviated.

To increase the volume of food being produced, scientists have advised that at least one of the following objectives has to be achieved (Godfray et al, 2010):

Improve the quantity and quality of crop harvesting
Identify or create more arable land (land that can be used for growing crops)

By increasing the quantity of the food we produce we should theoretically be able to feed the growing population. In recent years the use of fertilizers and pesticides have been used to enhance the quality and quantity of the crops however use of this cannot be increased due to the risks to public health (Den Herder et al, 2010), and so other options must be explored. Scientists are investigating methods with which to promote a plant’s intake of nutrients and to increase their tolerance against hostile environmental conditions such as drought. Another area scientists have been exploring is that of how to convert land that would be considered unsuitable for plant growth (Den Herder et al, 2010). By finding more land on which to cultivate crops, we could generate more produce using our existing techniques.

There is extensive research being conducted in both of these areas however this project will only be focussing on the work being contributed by the Plant Science Group. This Group are part of the Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology within the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow. The Plant Science Group consists of over 50 active scientists, of which Dr Anna Amtmann is currently a Research Group Leader, and their work covers a range of topics from plant nutrition to plants effect on human metabolism. Within the Plant Science Group, Dr Amtmann’s Research Group is conducting research into the plant Arabidopsis Thaliana, with the aim of “understanding the molecular mechanisms involved within (Amtmann, 2011)”:

Nutrient usage efficiency
Salt and drought tolerance
Interaction between abiotic and biotic stress

To achieve this understanding experimental research is being conducted in a number of areas by her team, and this project aims to support the work within Nutrient Sensing and Root System Architecture.

This research involves growing Arabidopsis Thaliana in controlled environmental conditions and analyzing the effect on the plants by monitoring their individual root structures. By comparing root system architectures that have developed in different environmental conditions, specific traits can identified which can lead to the understanding of how plants intake different nutrients and respond to specific stresses.

Currently, the team grows hundreds of samples Arabidopsis Thaliana and records information about each of their root system architectures. This results in large volumes of data that require analysis and documentation. Currently the team create graphs to visualise and analyse this data but they have recently advised of the unsuitability of this approach. This is predominantly due to the limited visualization options of graphs when considering root parameters and the fact that graphs can extremely time-consuming to construct.

Therefore, this project aims to develop a system that will allow Dr Amtmann’s Research Group to visualise root system architectures of Arabidopsis Thaliana by using techniques that will manipulate the root structure architectural data into interesting and understandable representations. The following chapters of this proposal aim to document the proposed work that will be undertaken in a master project that will achieve this aim.

2. Problem Statement

Due to the biological nature of this project, this section will define a number of key concepts required to understand the work undertaken by Dr Amtmann and her colleagues, and the issues they face, before discussing the intentions of this project.

Root System Architecture

Dr Amtmann’s team assesses the root system architectures of Arabidopsis Thaliana to understand how environmental conditions affect its development. The root system of a plant is responsible for the intake of water and nutrition (Malamy, 2005), among other essential functions, and so plays an important role within the development of any plant. The root system normally consists of a main root with a number of lateral branches, which contain a number of root hairs that are responsible for the uptake of nutrients and water (Wikipedia, 2011). The way in which these underlying roots expand and branch is considered to be the root system architecture (RSA) (Figure 1). Depending on the environment in which a plant resides, changes occur to the RSA that can have a significant effect on the water or nutrient uptake of the plant(Armengaud et al, 2009). Therefore by understanding the environmental conditions that promote the growth of a successful RSA we can ensure the development of a healthy plant.

Figure 1 – Root Structure Architecture (RSA) taken from “Root-System Development and Water-Extraction Model Considering Hydrotropism” by D. Tsutsumi et al.

Arabidopsis Thaliana

Like many other research projects, Amtmann’s group uses the plant Arabidopsis Thaliana within their investigations. Arabidopsis Thaliana is considered to be a model species within plant science and biology as its genome was sequenced in 2000, meaning that its complete DNA sequence was determined (Wikipedia, 2011). As the genome is relatively small it is easier to work with and analyse. It is also closely related to a large number of other plants such as (Somerville and Koorneef, 2002) meaning that any finding could be widely applicable. It can also be easily grown in laboratory conditions due to its small size and straightforward growth conditions.

As a result of the Arabidopsis Thaliana sequenced genome, scientists can determine which genetic combinations are responsible for certain characteristics of the plant, such as the direction of root growth or number of lateral branches. Figure 2 highlights some variation in roots of Arabidopsis Thaliana.

Figure 2 – Different Root Structure Architecture for Arabidopsis taken from

Currently Dr Amtmann’s group grows multiple instances of Arabidopsis Thaliana in square agar plates that allow them to take two-dimensional images of the plant roots as it grows. These images are then examined using a bespoke system called EZ-Rhizo, which was developed by Dr Amtmann’s Research Group, to determine the RSA of the plant.


EZ-Rhizo is freely available software that detects and measures the RSA of a plant quickly and accurately (Armengaud et al, 2009) when supplied with an image of a root system. It was developed by Dr Amtmann’s Research Group in conjunction with undergraduate students from l’Ecole Superieure d’Ingenieurs en Electrotechnique et Electrique in 2008. The main function of the system is to measure information about the main root and the lateral roots of a plant, and record this. All numerical values are stored in centimetres. It then uses this data to derive further parameters such as the apical zone or straightness of the root. The key parameters that are captured by EZ-Rhizo in relation to this project are as follows:

Apical Zone, which is the length of the root between the top of the main root and the oldest lateral root
Length, which is the total length of the root from the origin of the main root to the tip of it. (Note that as roots do not grow straight this value may be very large but the root may not have grown that far towards the ground)
Vector Length, this is similar to the length however it calculate the shortest possible length of the root starting from the origin of the main root to the tip of it.
Straightness, which is the Vector Length, divided by the Length.
Angle, which is the degree between the Vector of the root and complete verticality.

A full listing of all the parameter capture by EZ-Rhizo can located in the in that’s publication

The system was developed for the Microsoft Windows operating system and stores data in a MySQL database. Queries can then be submitted to the database, which will retrieve all of the stored data for a specified root and output it into a Comma Separated Values (CSV) file (Armengaud et al, 2009).

Project Objective

As previously described, the main method used by Dr Amtmann’s Group to analyse and compare the plant root data, recorded by EZ-Rhizo, is to gather the required CSV files and generate the appropriate graphs in Microsoft Excel. The current methods used by this group can be extremely time consuming and could be subject to error if mislabelling on a graph occurs or if a value within a CSV file is misread. As the team work with large quantities of data there is a high probability of this occurring. Also, the format of the results could also inhibit certain comparisons, as the visualization of the roots is limited to the graph format. Therefore the aim of this project is to design and implement a new system that will enable Dr Amtmann’s Research Group to overcome these difficulties.

The proposed system will allow them to analyse and visualise their root data, collected from EZ-Rhizo, in a more flexible and reliable manner. The basic functionality of this system will be to create a realistic visualization of a root based on the supplied parameters. This will provide the foundation for developing alternative visualizations but it will also allow the researchers to understand the data that EZ-Rhizo is recording. As the system will re-create the root system architecture based on only the values provided by EZ-Rhizo, the re-creations will highlight which characterises of the root can be displayed. Therefore, once the visualizations have been created it may show that more root data is required to be captured by EZ-Rhizo in order to for the root system architecture to be properly documented. This verification could not be achieved from a graph of the values or from viewing the original root structure image that is supplied to EZ-Rhizo.

Once the basic functionality of this system is operational it can be enhanced, by the use of prototypes and experimentation, to find suitable techniques that allow for a meaningful representation of more than one root. For example, the average value of each parameter could be determined for a set of roots and the system could draw the average root. Alternatively given the parameters for a set of roots, the system may be able to estimate a root visualization that had all of those parameters altered by a set value and so produce a theoretical root. Estimations of this nature would not be possible using the group’s current graphical techniques.

In summary, the objective of this project is to implement a system that will create interesting and realistic visualizations of plants root system architectures that will be used by Dr Anna Amtmann and her Research Group in their experiments.

3. Background Survey

Development Language

One of the functional requirements that was supplied by Dr Anna Amtmann’s Research Group during the initial discussions of this project was that they require this system to be multi-platform, unlike EZ-Rhizo, which was specifically designed for Microsoft Windows Operating Systems.

As a result of this requirement and the author’s previous development experience, the Java development language has been selected for this project. As Java is a cross-platform language that be run anywhere, as long as the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is present, it meet the requirement set by the Research Group. Also, as a main priority of this project is to develop and experiment with the greatest number of prototypes, it is advisable to reduce the learn curve that would be required in understanding a new language and so as Java is the developers strongest language it has been selected.

Drawing packages

Java 2D

The Java 2D is a freely available drawing framework that allows for the construction of two-dimensional images (Wikipedia, 2011) and is part of the core Java Standard Edition Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) developed by Sun Microsystems, and now maintained by Oracle (Oracle, 2011).The key strengths of this API are that it supports the drawing of basic shapes such as rectangles and ellipses but also basic lines, which is required for this project. Also, it will export any images created into well-known formats such as JPEG or GIF (Sun Developer Network, 2011). As this is a JAVA API there is also a great deal of implementation support provided.


Open Graphics Language (OpenGL) is a mutli-platform API for creating two-dimensional or three-dimensional graphics (OpenGL, 2011) that is now considered to be an industry standard for graphical development. Currently OpenGL can be used with a number of development languages including Java (JOGL), Python, C++ and C. As this project will be constructed in Java, JOGL would be the appropriate selection and since the release of Java Standard Edtion 6 in December 2006, JOGL and Java 2D can be used concurrently. However, one limitation of JOGL is that it will add complexity to a if the developers has no previous experience with this API as it currently has 250 different function calls for drawing one image (Wikipedia, 2011).


Fractal Dimension

One of the key elements of the root visualization is to get it to be as realistic as possible. Now it is likely that the root will be drawn out of straight lines how it will be essential that

Alpha Blending

Visualization Uncertainty

4. Proposed Approach

The suggested approach for this project will involve designing and implementing a basic system that contains all of the functionality required to visualize one root based on the information provided from EZ-Rhizo. Upon successfully implementation of this initial system, a number of prototypes will be created around techniques, such as Alpha Blending, that will manipulate this functionality to draw clusters of roots or alter the initial visualization to provide a different perspective for the user. Any prototype functionality that is considered to be useful, interesting or successful will then be fully integrated into the main system as additional functionality.

Basic Functionality

It is likely that the new system will send requests directly to the database to retrieve this information rather than obtaining this from CSV files. However this functionality will be discussed with Dr Amtmann’s group during the design phase of the basic system alongside all other functional and non-functional requirements

This system will only work with data from EZ-Rhizo at this time and it is assumed that the parameters will be from Arabidopsis Thaliana

JAVA – it needs to be multi-platform unlike Ez-rhio and JDBC

Additional Functionality

Currently at least two general prototypes have been envisioned with the following functionality

Being able to represent average values for root parameters, such as length, and display them in a readable and understandable manner
Being able to represent the lifecycle of a root based on the parameters recorded on the first day of growth to the last.

It is likely that each of these general prototypes will have sub-prototypes that will evaluate techniques that display the information to achieve the objective. After the more successful techniques have been identified they will be developed and presented to the research group to confirm if they still wish this prototype to be included.

Design Methodology

To ensure the success of this project, the implementation of this project will follow an iterative software development methodology of design, implementation and testing. This has been selected because one of the key components of this project is to build upon a basic system. It is therefore essential that this be successfully deployed before introducing any further functionality from desired prototypes. Due to this requirement the selected methodology will be The Spiral, which supports iterations and constant reviews and refinements as shown in Figure 3. It is also vital to review each prototype after it has been implemented to ensure that the original functionality has not been compromised.

Figure 3 – Spiral Software Development Methodology taken from

Risk Analysis

As with any software development project there is a certain element of risk in undertaking the assignment, and the key risks identified within this project are as follows:


Due to biological terminology involved in the understanding of the system requirements there is a possibility that these may be interpreted wrongly. Therefore it is imperative that this be considered at every stage involving an element of design, and clarification will be sought if any ambiguity arises.

Time Constraints

As this project is due to be completed over a 15-week period there is potential for the project to overrun at any point and so continual review of the work plan is required. The stage with the highest potential for delay would be that of developing and testing prototypes. Once the initial prototypes have been produced there is a possibility that revision will be required after discussions with Dr Amtmann’s Research Team. Where possible all prototypes will be implemented to the highest standard however at a given point the further development of the prototypes will have to be discontinued. Regular discussions with Dr Rogers and Dr Amtmann regarding this should identify a suitable stopping point and prevent the project from suffering from delays.

5. Work Plan

This chapter will detail the provisional work plan for this project and it has been estimated that work will begin on 20th June 2011. Please note that weekly meetings will be scheduled with Dr Simon Rogers during this time and there will be a high level of communication between Dr Anna Amtmann’s Research Group and myself.

Figure 4 – Gantt Chart Showing Estimated Project Timescale

The following sections detail the work that will be done in each phase of the project as shown in the Gantt chart in Figure 4.

Background Research

During this time I will study the areas identified in section three in more depth and review this background research. At this stage I will also investigate further techniques that could be used to develop additional prototypes that could be used to manipulate and display the root data in an interesting manner.

Deliverables: Revised Background Section

Critical Rating: Preferably

Risk Factor: Low

Requirements Capture

This stage will involve identifying and creating a detailed list of the functional and non-functional requirements of the system. During this time a requirements document containing the appropriate UML diagrams will be developed and will be approved by Dr Simon Rogers and Dr Anna Amtmann before any implementation begins.

Deliverables: A clear requirements document

Critical Rating: Important

Risk Factor: Medium

Implementation of the Basic Functionality

After the basic requirements of the system have been determined they will be implemented in an application. At this stage, the system should at a minimum be able to use the data from EZ-Rhizo and create a visualization of at least one root. A test plan will also be created at this time.

Deliverables: Implementation of Basic System and Test Plan

Critical Rating: Fundamental

Risk Factor: Medium

Testing of Basic Functionality

This stage will ensure that the basic system is operational and that all of the functional requirements have been achieved. This may involve getting feedback from the Plant Science Group depending on their availability and whether or not they wish to test the completed project.


Critical Rating: Important

Risk Factor: Low

Design and Build Prototypes

The next section will involve developing prototypes that manipulate and display the root data in various interesting manners. Each prototype will involve a technique identified previously in section three or found within the further research conducted at the beginning of the project plan.

Deliverables: A number of prototypes that modify the visualization of a basic root

Critical Rating: Fundamental

Risk Factor: Low

Experiments with Prototypes

At this time Dr Amtmann and her team will review the prototypes with a follow up discussion with Dr Rogers and myself to confirm that they capture useful information. At this time, depending on time constraints, additional prototypes may be developed based on the discussions, however this will be reviewed at the time.

Deliverables: A list of prototypes that are deemed to be visually interesting and useful

Critical Rating: Preferable

Risk Factor: Medium

Integrate desired Prototypes

Any prototypes that are deemed to be successful will then be integrated into the basic system. This will be completed in iterations, with testing being conducted after each integration to ensure that the new prototype does not break the basic system.


Critical Rating: Important

Risk Factor: High

Testing of Additional Functionality

Once every prototype has been implemented successfully, further testing will be conducted to ensure that the original functionality still meets the initial criteria and that the prototype functionality is producing valid and interesting results. At this stage a small user evaluation may be conducted to ensure that the user interface developed for the system is successful.


Critical Rating: Important

Risk Factor: Low

Complete and Submit Dissertation

Finally, a dissertation documenting the work that has been undertaken will be composed and will be approximately 60-70 pages long. It will be submitted on the 6th September 2011. During the project, work will be provisionally documented to ensure an easier transition from implementation to documentation.

Deliverables: A complete dissertation documenting the progress and outcome of this project

Critical Rating: Fundamental

Risk Factor: Low


(Armengaud et al, 2009)

Armengaud, P., Zambaux, K., Hills, A., Sulpice, R., Pattison, R. J., Blatt, M. R. and Amtmann, A. (2009), EZ-Rhizo: integrated software for the fast and accurate measurement of root system architecture. The Plant Journal, 57: pp. 945–956.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03739.x

(Den Herder et al, 2010)

Den Herder, G., Van Isterdael, G., Beeckman, T. and De Smet, I. (2010), The roots of a new green revolution, Trends in Plant Science, Volume 15, Issue 11, November 2010, pp. 600-607.

DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2010.08.009.

(Godfray et al, 2010)

Godfray, H.C., Beddington, J.R., Crute, I.R., Haddad, L., Lawrence, D, Muir, J.F., Pretty, J. Thomas, S.M. and Toulmin, C. (2010), The challenge of feeding 9 billion people. Science Magazine, 12th February 2010: 327 (5967), pp. 812-818.

DOI: 10.1126/science.1185383

(Malamy, 2005)

Malamy, J. E. (2005), Intrinsic and environmental response pathways that regulate root system architecture. Plant, Cell & Environment, 28: pp. 67–77.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2005.01306.x

(PRB, 2004)

Population Reference Bureau,, accessed 20th March 2011

(Population Reference Bureau, 2010)

Population Reference Bureau,, accessed 20th March 2011

(Somerville and Koorneef, 2002)

Somerville, C. and Koornneef, M. (2002), A fortunate choice: the history of Arabidopsis as a model plant. Nature Reviews Genetics, 3:11, pp. 883 – 889

(United Nations, 2004)

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs: Population Division,, accessed 2nd March 2011

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(Wikipedia, 2011)

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Wikipedia. Genome – Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia. Retrieved March 2011 from

Free Essays

Environmental Architecture and how we adapt to live in the surrounding environment

Chapter 1

The Environmental Architecture is not new. It has appeared in the ancient civilizations in the aspects of human attempts to adapt and live in the surrounding environment. These aspects of adaptation were varied in different ways such as: the use of construction materials available in the local environment and the methods used to deal with the elements of the environment and their determinants like rain, wind, sunlight etc. For example, the human civilizations of ancient Egyptian used local materials like wood, brick and papyrus in their architectural systems such as housing for workers while they used natural stone and carved in the mountains such as temples. Other civilizations went to several environmental processors such as domes, vaults and interior spaces, and all this was in the context of human adaptation to its environment. This trend was prevalent throughout the ages and times and the environment was not ignored at all, as various ways were tried to cope with the environmental elements until the industrial revolution.

With the beginning of the Industrial revolution in the nineteenth century all theories of traditional architecture has changed, and full and strong concentration on the function and economic efficiency as a source of the design had been emerged. As a result, architects ignored to satisfy the human physical needs such as temperature, humidity, light intensity and non-physical needs such as social, psychological and cultural aspects. The physical comfort of humans greatly depends upon the following physical factors; temperature, air quality, lighting environment and acoustic environment. Architects tended to unify the architectural vocabulary of the world and treated buildings as a machine. Hence, a wide gap between architecture and environment came into being. Those who interested in studies of nature and environmental balance called this architecture as ‘Destructive Architecture’ because of its negative impacts on the environment. The rise of science in the Renaissance led to the Industrial Revolution which has enabled environmental engineers to produce reasonably comfortable conditions in almost any building in almost any climate. Some of the most visually powerful architecture of our era has taken technology and pushed it to the limits of its capabilities. The engineering systems associated with this architecture, however, have required high-grade energy to deal with the environmental problems resulting from the building design.

In Europe, in the mid-nineteenth century, industrialization urges steps as well as scientific discoveries reform the human understanding of nature. There was scientific development in construction techniques and architecture, especially in the use of glass and metals and development in the techniques of artificial lighting and air conditioning. John Ruskin, the English art critic and one of the first who observed the environmental degradation caused by industrial progress, proclaimed that architecture should respond to the environment. He stated “God gave us earth to live upon for some time, but its ownership should devolve to our children and grandchildren, so we have no right to ignore them and involve them in punishment for crimes they never committed or even to deprive them of the blessing of their God-given.”

Modernity, in general, is the antithesis of nature and is also a global response to the technical progress. Modernity, in the twentieth century, has appeared in this sense clearly in the work of some architects like Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe and Phillip Johnson. It also included the intuitive design and the organic trend in the work of some other architects like Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto and Frank Lloyd Wright. Those architects had been considered as giants and the founders of modernism. Despite the fact that each of them had a contrary view of architecture, they put the first stone and the core of the contemporary environmental architecture.

The interaction between humans, architecture and the environment is a major manifestation of human civilization. During the Industrial Revolution there was a misunderstanding of that interaction as humans believed that they have to demonstrate their ability to conquer nature using the tools and technical capabilities and they did not discover their mistakes until the environment crises emerged. Destructive Architecture did not destroy only the environment, but also destroy the identity and cultural characteristics of the place. Therefore, architects have begun to redefine the word ‘Green Architecture’ to convince buildings users its advantages and its ability to meet the functional needs of the buildings, but the problem is that green architecture concentrate always on the rationalisation of energy consumption and to achieve physical comfort for users.

Green Architecture aims to reduce consumption of natural energies and to use natural materials in buildings construction. Such architecture achieved two important goals at the same time. Firstly, it reduces pressure on natural energy resources, and secondly, it promotes and increases the efficiency of architectural systems. Consequently, green architecture is a sustainable method of green building design. It is design and construction with the environment in mind. Thus, green architecture generally works with the key concepts of creating an energy efficient environmentally friendly house.

The world’s population is now more than 6.8 billion and continues to grow by 83 million people per year. This extreme growth in human population is mortally taxing the Earth and its resources. During the second half of the last century, the world’s urban population has increased tremendously. According to the UNFPA, “in the 1950s there were no more than 200 million urban residents, but by the end of the century their total number was close to 3 billion and it is expected to increase to approximately 5 billion by 2025” (Ghiaus C. & Allard F. 2005). These figures highlight the need for more housing developments around the world to cope with the population growth, but that means more energy consumption and environmental degradation. In the book “The Energy Saving House”, Salomon and Bedel stated, “Without energy, there would be no life and no technical development.” (Salomon T. & Bedel S. 2007) In the UK, approximately 50% of the whole carbon dioxide emissions can be attributed to buildings, in which of 27% originate from residential housing. However, housing is vital to us all – to our economy; our environment; to every individual and family for whom a home represents so much more than just a place to live. From this point of view, the architectural design will be a highly powerful tool in ensuring new housing developments are built to minimise their impacts on the environment, contribute to the energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions. As long as humanity only used the energy it needed for survival and for its primary needs, the world’s energy consumption will be stable.

Finally, Le Corbusier stated “Architecture is one of the urgent needs of man, for the house has always been the indispensable and first tool that he has forged for himself,” and also claimed “the house is a machine for living in.” (Le Corbusier, 1923) From this point of view, it is possible to say that designing a house is something like manufacturing a new car, which needs a planner, experts and tools to be finished and must be tested before being used.

Chapter 2

This chapter focuses on the qualitative research method has been used to gather an in-depth understanding of sustainable architecture. It was crucial to identify what type of method should be used to arrive at the aim of the research. The decision was made to gather the relevant information from specified individuals dealing with the similar challenges. The best method to achieve the target was questionnaire paper being emailed to each one. The questionnaire paper focused on specific matters such as: sustainability, architectural design and the relationship between them. This means a non-numerical data collection and explanation based on sources of data must investigated and analysed to come up with results at the end of the research.

2.1 Research Aim and Objectives

Architects, designing buildings, considered extreme impact of the environment on buildings and how a building can be protected from the environmental effects. Environmental scientists are concerned as to how much buildings impact upon the natural environment. Where there is mutual influence on each other, it is important to establish the impact of buildings on the environment. Housing forms a fundamental part of a nation’s building stock, hence research in this area will have a significant effects in protecting the environment especially in the conservation of energy consumed in these buildings and consequently, reducing emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

“The goal of sustainable design is to find architectural solutions that guarantee the well-being and coexistence of three constituent groups land, buildings or building products, energy,” (Jong-Jin, K. 1998). This study aimed to diagnose housing problems to find out what has been done and what can be done in the future and then find the architectural solutions of these problems that will be considered as main principles of a sustainable design in order to meet the targets of the government strategy. In 2008, the UK Government confirmed that all new homes will have to be zero carbon from 2016.

The aim of this study is to help architects and designers put into practice ideas and approaches that allow them to design homes in an ecological and sustainable way. By following principles of sustainable design that are the results of the research laid out in the following chapters and creating a method to assess architectural design (table of assessment), architects might be able to meet the following objectives:

Organise the interior and exterior spaces of the house to better effect.
Assist both the environment and the house occupier by saving energy and money.
Create a healthy and affordable environment.
Choose structural types and materials that are environmentally friendly.
Avoid resource depletion of energy, water and raw materials.
Prevent the degradation of the environment caused by facilities and infrastructure throughout their life cycle.
Create a successful high – performance building.
Identify the principles of sustainable home design that meet this target.

In conclusion, architectural design is a highly powerful tool ensuring new housing developments are built to minimise their impacts upon the environment, contribute to the energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions. The principal objective of this study is to find principle of sustainable design used as a guide by architects to evaluate their design. Thus an evaluating method would be designed to be used as an assessment tool.

2.2 Research Method

To meet the objectives of this study, the research methodology adopted require gathering relevant information from specified individuals facing the similar challenges and compiling databases to analyse these knowledge and opinions thereby arriving at a more complete understanding of how well-designed sustainable housing benefit the environment. The target population are architects who reside in the UK and are involved in architectural practice or the academic training of architects.

Data collection will consist of surveys with architects using a questionnaire method sent by email to a number of them. This kind of survey was made because it was possible get the names and email address of the target people. This is a rapid means of gaining information. Although, questionnaires often seem a logical and easy option as a way to collect information, they are actually rather difficult to design in such a way to be understandable and easy to answer. A structured questionnaire with six questions was developed to aid in collecting the requested information. The aim was to send emails to approximately 100 architects who undertaken a range of roles and who come from different communities and universities within the UK. Followings are the questions that structured the questionnaire paper through the research:

1) How can an architect support the environment?
2) How would you define a sustainable housing design?
3)From your experience, what are the principles of sustainable design?
4)In what way nature can be used as a guide for any design?
5)What are your key concerns as a designer interested in sustainability?
6) How do you judge the success of a building in the green age?

These questions highlight the importance of interrelationship between architecture and sustainability in terms of environmental conservation. Professionals’ answers to these questions assist the research key findings and results at the end of the study and played a main role in creating the principles of sustainable design, which is the main objective of the research.

2.3 Questionnaire Responses

The survey identified 102 architects selected to form the sample selected from four universities. These were including Cardiff University, Bath University, Sheffield University and Brighton University. There were two reasons for choosing these universities, firstly, they have a school of architecture with respected staff of architects, and secondly, they originate in different parts of the UK. It is perceived this might help attain different points of view and attain a range of answers. Twenty seven architects responded the email representing an overall response rate of 26.4%. A total of 16 out of 27 responses answered the questionnaire representing 59.2% and the rest gave different reasons for not answering the questionnaire, for example, five of them have no time; three are not practicing architectural design and the last three are involved in other kind of studies like history of architecture and interior design.

Figure 2.1: Questionnaire answers rate.

Within this poor response rate and the small group who responded, the return answers of the questionnaire provided significant information that would be one of the bases to put the structure and principles of this research. After collecting the data, answers for the questions above could be summarised as follows:

1. How can an architect support the environment?

Reasons underlying the use of this question were that the role of architecture as a responsible profession is of far reaching significance. Architects contribute to protecting the environment by designing environmentally responsive buildings that have less impact on the environment. Architects can assist at every stage. As they can shape the environment physically, they have the ability to influence how people live, whether they walk or cycle, whether they recycle and how much energy they use. The consequence is architects can generate new forms of architectural expression that are closely linked to local conditions, such as; microclimate and topography, natural resources and the cultural heritage of a certain region.

2. How would you define a sustainable housing design?

Sustainable design means doing the most with the least means. It is about ideally using passive architectural means to save energy rather than relying on wasteful mechanical services. Sustainable design aims to meet present needs without compromising the stock of natural resources remaining for future generations. Sustainable design can be defined as ecological design that integrates seamlessly with the ecological systems in the biosphere over the entire life cycle of the built system. Sustainable housing deign has less dependency on fossil fuels on terms of its energy demand, uses low impact materials for construction, mostly self sufficient in terms of its energy usage, has facility to conserve water and dispose waste sustainably.

3. From your experience, what are the principles of sustainable design?

Sustainable design can be summarised as embracing: energy efficiency, the choice and provenance of materials, sources of energy, consider energy implication in site selection and building orientation, take advantage of natural ventilation, specify efficient HVAC and lighting systems, water control, affordable design and efficient use of spaces, healthy indoor environment, landscape and infrastructure, building systems and structure, sustainable dispose of waste and planning design. These answers would be the cornerstone of proposed principles of sustainable design.

4. In what way nature can be used as a guide for any design?

We can learn from nature in terms of adapting to climate which can be a guide for any design. Bio mimicry is the examination of nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems in habitation. Nature provides inspiration, information and analogy. Nature should be imitated and our built systems should be mimetic ecosystems. Very often there are rich architectural traditions that work with, and are not against nature. Many of the principles appear to have been forgotten over time. In the Glass House at the National Botanic Garden of Wales near Carmarthen, the architect Lord Foster buried the structures in the ground to integrate them within the landscape and make passive use of the thermal mass of the soil to reduce energy demands for space heating.

Figure 2.2: Glass House at the National Botanic garden of Wales

Source: (

There are other lessons to be learnt from nature with regard to the efficiency, performance, adaptability, variety and tremendous beauty which organisms display when under close observation. Considering that nature obeys the same physical laws as man- made objects, this should be seen as encouraging making it worthwhile to study principles and mechanisms.

5. What are your key concerns as a designer interested in sustainability?

Dr. Hasim Altan, lecturer in Sustainable Environmental Design at School of Architecture of Sheffield University, claimed “My main concern is that buildings are being designed without any consideration to climate change impact and adaptation to changing climate, and therefore we will be repeating same mistakes over and over again, and will be left with a building stock still unsustainable for future generations.” Sarah Mc Cormack, MSc Teaching Assistant at Welsh School of Architecture of Cardiff University, stated her concerns as “The lack of will to make sustainable design a key priority and the lack of knowledge of most Architects to design sustainably and holistically.” Prof. Chris Tweed, BRE Chair in Sustainable Design of the Built Environment at Welsh School of Architecture of Cardiff University, expressed concern at the integration of people and the designed built environment. He believes that this integration would assist society achieve the desired/necessary environmental conditions without using excessive amounts of energy or causing irreparable damage to the environment.

Others concerned about varies topics linked to the issue of sustainability such as: the choice and the provenance of materials and the energy needed for their transport and refinement; the integration of technologies and components to use renewable energy in a satisfying way especially one that controls the impact on and potential for the appearance of the building; designers should be aware of the connectivity of all systems in nature and these should be integrated as part of the built system’s processes; designers should also beware of making excessive claims about the sustainability of their designs because ecological design is still in its infancy.

6. How do you judge the success of a building in the green age?

Some of the architects who responded to the questionnaire said that the success of indoor environment, use of low impact materials, self sufficiency and operational sustainability. Others said it is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable, and also being full of beauty and delight, whilst others believe that the success of a building is all about minimal operating energy, and embodied energy, while providing optimal conditions for its occupants. The success of a building is dependent on its overall performance including its utility value, but the beauty and design is an important as its usability and function.

2.4 Data Analysis

As mentioned before, the objective of this study is to design an evaluating tool, which can be used to assess any housing development in term of sustainability. Analysing the data collected from the answers above sorts the following results:

A successful green building is one that integrates seamlessly with the natural systems in the biosphere, with minimal destructive impact on these systems and maximum positive impact.
The buildings that are currently being constructed are not even prototypes for a green age. They are only minor attempts at sustainability and this is an evident that completely new thinking of green architecture is required. Ideally, a building should be designed, constructed and operated in sustainable way.
In fact, most buildings still do not perform completely sustainable because of the way in which they are designed. Using sustainable materials, renewable energy resources, energy efficient appliances and managing the waste is not quite enough to make a building performance sustainable.
There are more and more to do in terms of environmental architecture. Today we have to tackle climate change and global warming, to improve human life and to enhance economic systems. We therefore, need to be answering our sustainability agenda by addressing environmental, social and economic factors in the architectural design to minimise the negative environmental impact of buildings.
In doing this so, we will create sustainable urban environment with sustainable communities. This can be done by creating principles of sustainable design, which can be used as a guide by architects and designers.
New urban developments, at any scale should be designed to help residents create thriving community that draws upon local resources whilst reducing its ecological footprint and environmental impacts.

In conclusion, analysing the data has led to investigate the most appropriate and effective factors that affect buildings performance in the design stage. Some of which may not seem as much important for the first time, but with deep investigation we can find the real impact of each one. Thus, the research aims to define these principles in the following chapters.

Chapter 3

3.1 Introduction

“The construction industry has a significant impact on the environment,” (Boussabaine, A. and Kirkham, R. 2004). Environmental impacts can be classified into two main categories: atmospheric and resources. Atmospheric impact includes the greenhouse effect and ozone layer depletion, whereas resource impact includes contamination of air, water and Earth. The impact of construction on the environment could take place across a wide range of its activities loosely grouped into offsite, onsite and operational activities. “Offsite activities include the mining and manufacturing of materials and components, transport of materials and components, land acquisition, project definition and design. The impact on the environment can be significant in the following areas,” (Uher, T. E. 1999):

Consumption of renewable and non-renewable resources such as minerals, water and timber for building materials and components. This may also lead to the loss of biodiversity.
Pollution of air, water and land from manufacturing and transportation.
Committing land for a new facility may lead to deforestation, loss of agricultural land, expansion of urban areas with associated transport and social problems, more demand for water, electricity and other services, and loss of biodiversity.
Decisions about project goals influence the design, construction and operation of the facility in areas of resource usage, quality of indoor environment, traffic issues, recycling, waste management, maintenance and life of the facility as well as social environment.

In environmental terms, housing accounts for about 27% of UK CO2 emissions through energy use, with all buildings contributing to around 60% in total. “Under Government plans, from 2016 all new homes will be built to a new zero carbon standard, and by 2050 the nation’s entire housing stock will be virtually zero carbon,” (Energy Saving Trust). House building in the UK is a major activity – delivering about 150,000 new houses per year with an enormous impact on human lives in almost every way (

The UK Government believes that there must be a commitment to the common good in house building and reformation for both policies and activities in the context of Building Regulations and that this commitment must look to reduce environmental impact at the same time as enhancing human health, community cohesion, quality of life, and national economics, (DEFRA). Despite all the Government policies and commitments, at present energy use in buildings continues to grow rather than lessen, with potentially devastating consequences for climate change and fossil fuel dependency. The construction sector in the UK is considered as the largest user of material resources of any sector and is also the highest producer of waste. With high-quality design, well-versed practice and authentic commitment there will be a distinguished opportunity for new housing to make a most important contribution to solving these issues. Therefore, new homes must be designed and constructed with human health in mind, carefully planning the financial costs and avoid profound impacts on the environment. To understand the meaning of well-designed and sustainable housing, there are three fundamental subjects that should be searched in detail to identify the principles of sustainable design that can protect and benefit the environment. From this point of view, the followings are the three main pillars of sustainable design:

followings are the three main pillars of sustainable design:

Figure 3.1: The three pillars of sustainable design

3.2 Environmental Issues

Environmental issues can be defined as negative aspects of human activity on the biophysical environment. The significance of environmental issues throughout society has raised its profile. It is also becoming much more recognised as a subject to study in universities and colleges around the world. The most important environmental issues currently taken into account may include climate change, pollution, environmental degradation, and resource depletion. These issues and much more others have concentrated the attention of architects and designers on the environment and they believe that additional action and superior care are required to be taken. Consequently, those involved in housing design are persuaded to respond and find out alternative and improved accommodation solutions, in which development can be undertaken in an environmentally efficient way. The need to provide additional shelters (building more houses) and infrastructure for a growing population will have further impact upon the environment and make a stronger case to search for ways to make the housing design more sustainable.

“The three main environmental problems currently facing the planet are climate change, loss of biological diversity and population,” (Langston C. & Ding G. 2001). Stuart Johnson stated: “Having an appreciation of these fundamental environmental topics is a prerequisite for effective decision making to enhance the environmental performance of our buildings,” (Johnson S. 1993).

3.2.1 Climate change

Environmental scientists define climate change generally as a long-term change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods of time that range from decades to millions of years regardless of cause. Climate change continues to be a subject of intense public and political debate. It may be a change in the average weather conditions or a change in the distribution of weather events with respect to an average, for example, greater or fewer extreme weather events. Climate change may be limited to a specific region, or may occur across the whole Earth. In recent usage, especially in the context of environmental policy, climate change usually refers to changes in modern climate and generally known as global warming.

Global warming

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts temperatures will rise between 1·5-5·8°C this century. A 3°C rise in temperature will

melt the Greenland ice sheet. It may take thousands of years to melt completely but if it does, global sea levels will rise by seven metres. According to the IPCC, global sea level is likely to rise by 10-90cm over this century. Low-lying coasts will flood, affecting many human settlements, including some major cities. Some natural habitats will be lost. Many areas will have more extremely hot weather, like the unprecedented European heat wave of 2003 which caused around 30,000 heat-related deaths. The UK is also predicted to see heavier rain falls, with an increased risk of flooding.

Figure 3.2: Global average temperature 1979 – 2011.

Source: Dr Roy Spencer, NASA Scientist, (

The greenhouse effect

The natural greenhouse gases effect is to trap heat emitted from the Earth’s surface, keeping the climate system in balance and the temperature about 30oC warmer than it would otherwise be warm enough to support life. The main greenhouse gases that affect the planet are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapour. The amounts of these greenhouse gases in our atmosphere have been increased by human activities especially burning fossil fuels like coal and oil, industrial process, waste disposal and treatment, agricultural, and residential and commercial developments. This is throwing the climate system out of balance and causing global warming. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased from about 280 ppm in the mid 18th century – the start of the industrial revolution – to around 379 ppm today.

Figure 3.3: Global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions broken down into 8 different sectors for the year 2000. Source: IPCC

There is a danger that if societies do not considerably control emissions this century we will reach a point when, even if we stop all emissions, the Earth will continue to warm. One of the solutions is to reduce all the carbon dioxide emitted from housing sector and this could start form the housing design stage. This method of reducing emissions to the atmosphere is called sustainable housing and is now being carefully considered in the UK, especially by architects and designers who are responsible for all buildings design.

On the other hand, “Carbon dioxide is good for the environment,” (Carlisle J. 2001). in fact, far from being a poisonous gas that will cause destruction on the planet’s ecosystem, carbon dioxide is arguably the Earth’s best friend in that trees, wheat, peanuts, flowers, cotton and numerous other plants significantly benefit from increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide does not just make a plant bigger, but also makes plants more resistant to extreme weather conditions. Another benefit of enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide is that it helps the tropical rainforests. Consequently, it is very important to keep the climate system in balance with all its greenhouse gases.

3.2.2 Loss of Biological Diversity

Biodiversity is the grade of variation of life forms within a specified ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the ecosystem health, and this means greater biodiversity implies greater health. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. Biological diversity or biodiversity is a term we use to describe the variety of life on Earth. It refers to the wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms: animals, plants, their habitats and their genes. Biological diversity can have many interpretations. It is most commonly used to replace the more clearly defined and long established terms ‘species diversity’. Biologists most often define biodiversity as the entirety of genes, species, and ecosystems of a region. This definition has an advantage, which is that it seems to describe most circumstances and presents a unified view of the traditional three levels at which biological variety has been identified:

Species diversity.
Ecosystem diversity.
Genetic diversity.

Biodiversity supports ecosystem services including air quality, climate (e.g. sequestration of CO2), water purification, pollination, and prevention of erosion. Biodiversity’s relevance to human health is becoming an international political issue, as scientific evidence builds on the global health implications of biodiversity loss. This issue is closely linked with the issue of climate change, as many of the anticipated health risks of climate change are associated with changes in biodiversity (e.g. changes in populations and distribution of disease vectors, scarcity of fresh water, impacts on agricultural biodiversity and food resources etc.). Due to human activity the world’s biodiversity continues to diminish at an increasing alarming rate, in Britain alone, over 100 species have been lost since 1900.

While it has been acknowledged at various levels that the target to halt biodiversity loss by 2010 has not been met, setting the target has certainly increased public awareness. Over the past 10 years, both policies addressing biodiversity loss and indicators assessing progress have been improved significantly. Biodiversity policies promote the protection, conservation, and sustainable use of biologically diverse ecosystems and habitats. In doing so, they create significant public benefits and contribute to social well-being. However, the implementation of biodiversity policies will often benefit different groups to a greater or lesser degree. At times, some groups in society lose out under certain policies. For example, in establishing a proper right to facilitate the management of a biodiversity-related resource, people who previously had unrestricted use will be adversely affected.

Figure 3.4: Status of Biodiversity Action Plan priority species and habitats in the UK: 2005 Source: (DEFRA).


Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees on a massive scale where the land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use. It is often resulting in damage to the quality of the land. Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area, but the world’s rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to agriculture or urban use. It is one of the primary reasons for global warming.

There are many causes of contemporary deforestation, and forests are cut down for many reasons, but the biggest drivers for deforestation are the corruption of government institutions, the inequitable distribution of wealth and power, population growth and overpopulation, and urbanization. Deforestation causes multiple social and environmental issues. Recently, there has been a growing recognition that immediate and short-term of deforestation jeopardise our lives on Earth. Therefore, it is imperative for us to understand the effects of deforestation on our lives and environment, and utilise the knowledge in with effective solution. First of all, deforestation contributes to an alternation of local and global climate through disruption of natural cycle.

Figure 3.5: The effects of deforestation, disruption of natural cycle.

Source: Lyrfutures08’s Weblog.

There are two types of consequences of deforestation:

Positive Consequences.
Negative Consequences.

For the positive consequences, deforestation has made possible the needs of the social groups. Forests always are in the way for residential houses, buildings and factories. Roads, which are built for trading and easier transport, may have negative impact on forests. Economically deforestation contributed much and made positive changes in the lives of humans.

There are also a lot of negative consequences, such as: exposing soil, flooding, drought, disruption of water cycle, loss of biodiversity, climate change, desertification, increased population, and irreversible environmental changes. So, there is an urgent need to prevent or at least control deforestation. There are some suggestions which should be considered.

Wildlife sanctuaries: not only save the wild animals, but also the woods and trees.
Commercial forestay plantations.
Water management: improper water management causes the deforestation. This should be controlled.
Use recycled items.
Farming practices.
Support conservative organization: support the organization through donation, money, time etc.

In conclusion, there are direct and indirect causes of deforestation. One of the major direct causes of deforestation are logging, is urbanization and construction. Not everyone recognises that construction is one of the primary causes of deforestation. Many experts have put forth convincing arguments that forests are cleared for growing population and raising building developments more than for any other reason. This issue should be kept in mind while selecting a site for new development is required.

3.2.3 Population Growth

Under the UN medium scenario, by the year 2050 human population is assumed to reach nearly 9.2 billion up from nearly 6.7 billion today. This assumption is based on the continued fertility declines that my happen today and in the future. Otherwise, world population could reach 11.9 billion by 2050 if fertility remains constant at today’s rates.

Figure 3.6: UK Population Projections.

Source: ONS (

Population is not the only force applying pressure to the environment and natural resources. As the number of people continues to increase, the environmental challenges humanity faces in this century and beyond will become harder to address. Today, the richest areas in species diversity and the most threatened by human activities are occupied by billions of people, who are increasing at a collective rate of 1.8% annually. Based on this trend, the planet’s major renewable natural resources are strained and the atmosphere has been dramatically altered. It is clear that the 21st century will witness even greater damage to the environment unless urgent solutions to be taken place.

Most academic efforts study the environmental impact of population growth focus on the global scale. More than 98 percent of the world’s population growth is occurring in developing countries. Countries in Europe, along with Russia and Japan, have shrinking populations because births are not keeping pace with deaths. Despite wide recognition of population growth in the UK and its ecological consequences, there is no universally accepted estimate of how many people the nation can accommodate. The number of people the UK can hold is ultimately a question of balancing quality and quantity. It is a choice based on values rather than a formula, but so does the way those people choose to live and how they are governed.

The Office of National Statistics ONS suggests that England will soon become the most crowded place in Europe. Forecasts suggest that the population of the UK will increase by 33 per cent in the next 50 years as it becomes the most crowded country in Europe. It is estimated that 23,000 such rental properties are needed yearly, between 2008 and 2011, to meet minimum housing requirements and bring stability to the housing market, (Brierley, W. 2006). Using a simple calculation, if assumed that the average members of each family is 4 people and according to the ONS suggestion, so the population of the UK will increase by 20,130,000 people (33% ?61,000,000) – the estimate UK population in 2010- then an additional 5,032,500 properties should be built in the next 50 years. This means that 100,650 such new properties are needed yearly. There are many other factors must be taken into account when putting strategies for future housing including; demolish some of the existing old housing stock; major developments that need clean up some existing houses such as Heathrow airport expansion and the 2012 Olympic Village; and the influx of immigrants. James Slack had wrote in October 2007 an article in the Daily Mail news paper said that “At least 95,000 houses to be built every year until 2020 to cope with the record influx of immigrants, an increase of 30% on the latest Government estimate,” (Slack J. 2007).

According to these factors, the UK Government has put a plan to build 3,000,000 properties until 2030. This reflects two things, first one is that the Government has considered the above factors and put a new housing strategy to cope with the needs of new homes in the future, and the second one is the huge responsibility of architects and designers to manage and protect the environment, keep society integrated and cope with the financial crises.

3.2.4 Pollution

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. In other words, Pollution is the action of environmental contamination with man-made waste. This includes mainly land, water, and air. Pollution can take various forms including chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat, or light. Simply, the environment is our physical surroundings. This includes both human (man-made), social and physical (natural) features. Natural features include soil, the atmosphere, vegetation and wildlife. Human features include housing, transport and industry. Social features include things such as culture, language and political systems. Geographers are concerned about human action in the environment. Human interference with the environment causes problems such as soil erosion, global warming and acid rain. You may ask how we as individuals can have less of an impact on the environment. Our actions can help to increase and decrease the problems highlighted above. For example, turning off lights that are not being used helps reducing global warming.

Although pollution had been known to exist since people started using fire thousands of years ago, it had seen the growth of truly global proportions only since the onset of the Industrial Revolution during the 19th century.

Figure 3.7: The industrial revolution pollution.


The Industrial Revolution brought with it technological progress especially after the discovery of oil and its practically worldwide use throughout different industries. Technological progress had probably become one of the main causes of serious deterioration of natural resources. At the same time, progress of natural sciences enhances the understanding of negative effects produced by pollution on the environment. Both developed and developing countries face environmental pollution problems. There are three major types of environmental pollution:

Air pollution
Water pollution
Land contamination.

Some of the most important air pollutants are carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and airborne particles, with radioactive pollutants probably among the most destructive ones specifically when produced by nuclear explosions. Some water pollutants are: insecticides and herbicides, food processing waste, pollutants from livestock operations, VOCs, heavy metals, chemical waste and others. Some soil pollutants are: hydrocarbons, solvents and heavy metals.

Figure 3.8: Pollution Causes.

Source: ?rtebjerg et al. (2003)

Fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) are the main resources of environmental pollution. Burning of fossil fuels produces enormously high levels of air pollution and is extensively recognized as one of the most important objective areas for reduction and management of environmental pollution. Fossil fuels also considered as one of the sources of land contamination and water pollution. This is clear when oil is transported from production area to further destinations by pipelines, so any oil leak from the pipeline may occur will contaminate soil and subsequently pollutes groundwater. When oil is producing from the ocean or transported by tankers by ocean, an oil spill may occur and pollute ocean water. A very recent example was the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Along with other pollution sources, agriculture is the largest generator of ammonia emissions resulting in air pollution. Agriculture can cause water pollution and land contamination as well through chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. Not only that, but trading activities also may be another source of pollution. For example, it is been recently noted that packaging of products sold in supermarkets and other excessive retail outlets generates large quantities of solid waste that ends up either in landfills or municipal incinerators leading to land contamination and air pollution.

The residential sector is a significant source of pollution generating solid community waste that may end up in landfill or incinerators there by leading to land contamination and air pollution. The construction industry is a major generator of pollution, where although construction activities also pollute the soil, the main areas of concern are: air, water and noise pollution, as it is responsible for around 4% of particulate emissions, more water pollution incidents than any other industry, and thousands of noise complaints every year. In spite of that, still there are so many ways to prevent or at least control pollution such as effective construction site practice. The first step is to prepare environmental risk assessments for all construction activities and materials likely to cause pollution. Specific measures can then be taken to mitigate these risks.

The UK Environment Agency and other government bodies are putting increasing pressure on construction companies to reduce pollution and conform to environmental regulations. In the past the pollution fines have been low and environmental regulations slack, and it could have been perceived as cheaper to pollute than to prevent pollution. This situation is now changing, and enforcement of environmental regulations is not only very expensive but can be irreversibly damaging to the reputation of a firm. Measures to reduce and control pollution are relatively inexpensive and cost-effective, and the construction industry needs to incorporate these into an environmental management strategy. By employing these practices, the construction industry is well positioned to clean up its act.

3.3 Sustainability

The word sustainability is derived from the Latin sustinere. Sustainability is a concept which deals with mankind’s impact, through development, on the environment. “Sustainability is not a point we reach, but a journey we take” (Langston C. & Dink G. 2001). Dictionaries provide more than ten meanings for sustain, the main ones being to ‘maintain’, ‘support’, or ‘endure’. Sustainability is about environmental protection, sustained economic growth and social equity. Sustainability does not require a loss in the quality of life, but does require a change in mind-set, a change in values towards less consumptive lifestyle. These changes must embrace global interdependence, environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic viability.

3.3.1 Definition

Sustainability provides a framework under which communities can use resources efficiently, create efficient infrastructures, protect and enhance quality of life, and create new businesses to strengthen their economies. It can help us create healthy communities that can sustain our generation. Sustainability is not a new concept. In fact, it is the latest expression of a long-standing ethic involving people’s relationships with the environment and the current generation’s responsibilities to future generations. For a community to be truly sustainable, it must adopt a threesome approach that considers economic, environmental and cultural resources. Communities must consider these needs in the short term as well as the long term. To find out what sustainability exactly mean, it is important to have a look at several definitions of sustainability as are listed below:

“Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development).
“The earth belongs to each generation during its course, fully and in its own right, no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence.” (Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1789).
“Sustainability refers to the ability of a society, ecosystem, or any such ongoing system to continue functioning into the indefinite future without being forced into decline through exhaustion of key resources.” (Gilman, R., President of Context Institute).
“Sustainable development focuses on improving the quality of life for all of the Earth’s citizens without increasing the use of natural resources, beyond the capacity of the environment to supply them indefinitely” (Langston, G. A. and Ding, G. K. 2001)
“Sustainability is the emerging doctrine that economic growth and development must take place, and be maintained over time, within the limits set by ecology in the broadest sense – by the interrelations of human beings and their works, the biosphere and the physical and chemical laws that govern it. It follows that environmental protection and economic development are complementary rather than antagonistic processes.” (Ruckelshaus, W. D. “Toward a Sustainable World,” Scientific American, September 1989).
“Sustainability is an economic state where the demands placed upon the environment by people and commerce can be met without reducing the capacity of the environment to provide for future generations. It can also be expressed in the simple terms of an economic golden rule for the restorative economy: Leave the world better than you found it, take no more than you need, try not to harm life or the environment, make amends if you do.” (Hawken, P. “The Ecology of Commerce”, 1993).

Sustainability clearly is a strategy by which communities seek economic development approaches that also benefit the local environment and quality of life. It has become an important guide to many communities that have discovered that traditional approaches to planning and development are creating. Sustainability does not require a loss in the quality of life, but does require a change in mind – set, a change in values toward less consumptive lifestyle. These changes must embrace global interdependence, environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic viability.

With regard to architectural design, sustainability may mean that housing design will have to look at and learn from the traditional architectural responses to climate of the past.

3.3.2 History of sustainability

The first establishment of a national policy for environmental sustainability came in the US in 1969 with the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) whose purpose was to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony and fulfil the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations, (U.S. EPA), In 1972, the first international conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm by the UN. Both the developed and developing countries attended the conference to discuss the right of all humans to a healthy and productive environment. The conference resulted in an action plan with detailed recommendations to national governments on how to influence human impact on the environment. Then the UNEP was developed and located in Nairobi, Kenya. In 1983 the Brundtland Commission was convened by the UN. It is formally known as the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). The Brundtland Commission’s work provided the basis for the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, also known as the Earth Summit, an unprecedented international meeting of delegations from 178 countries and representatives of more than 1,000 NGOs. Its purpose was to develop a global consensus on measures needed to balance development pressures against an increasingly imperilled global environment.

In 1992, a full text of Agenda 21 was revealed as an outcome of the UNCED held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, where 178 governments voted to adopt the programme. It covers topics on virtually everything regarded important for a sustainable future. A special session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the Earth Summit + 5, was held in 1997 to review and appraise the implementation of Agenda 21. The special session of UNGA took stock of how well countries, international organizations, and sectors of civil society have responded to the challenge of the Earth Summit.

In December 1997, a historic agreement was adopted in Kyoto, Japan by more than 150 nations and known as the Kyoto Protocol or the Kyoto Climate Agreement to protect the Earth’s atmosphere and climate. It was opened on 16 March 1998 for signature by parties to UNFCCC, setting targets for industrialised countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 5% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. In 1992 the Protocol was opened for signature at Rio de Janeiro and entered into force on 16 February 2005 after two conditions have been fulfilled:

It had been ratified by at least 55 countries.
It had been ratified by nations accounting for at least 55% of emissions from what the Treaty calls “Annex 1” countries. See figure 2, 9.

As of November 2009, 187 states have signed and ratified the Protocol. Five years later, exactly in 2002, the Earth summit + 10, was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. It brought together ten of thousand of participants, including heads of State and Government, national delegates and leaders from NGOs, businesses and major groups. The Johannesburg Summit presented an opportunity for the participants to focus the world’s attention and direct action toward meeting difficult challenges, such as: improving people’s lives and conserving the natural resources. The Summit resulted an opportunity for the Leaders to adopt concrete steps and identify quantifiable targets for better implementing Agenda 21.

Signed and ratified

Signed, ratification pending

Signed, ratification declined

No position

Figure 3.9: Kyoto Protocol participation map 2005

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

In December 2009, the environment ministers and officials were met in Copenhagen for the UN climate conference to trace out a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. The Copenhagen conference resulted in a document called the Copenhagen Accord. The positive side of the conference was that the Copenhagen Accord, for the first time, unites the US, China and other major developing and industrialised countries in one effort to control global GHG emissions. On the other hand, the summit did not result in a legally obligatory deal or any commitment to real one in the future.

3.3.3 Sustainability in Practice

Sustainability has become one of the biggest challenges we face in the 21st century, so practicing sustainability is a comprehensive experience for people to learn about sustainability problems and discover some of the solutions. People should explore and get knowledge about shelter, water, waste, energy pollution and biodiversity. Professor Susan Buckingham from Brunel University stated “I will certainly be keen to use sustainability in practice in my teaching on education and sustainable development and feel it is a most useful addition to the literature. It gives higher education institutions, and people working and studying in them, useful strategies for becoming more environmentally sustainable.” (Corrigan N., Sayce S. and Taylor R. 2009)

Sustainability has to be integrated to the education, from compulsory to higher education, as students should now consider the current and future impact of their operational activities on the environment. Education is the key to developing the concept of sustainability among people in order to support a sustainable environment. Each individual must be responsible for his/her own actions and understand how these actions affect the environment. If people are not even aware of issues surrounding the environment, they cannot be expected to take the environmental impact of their behaviour seriously.

The U.K. government proposed that every school should not only teach the importance of respecting the environment, but should also operate a practical working sustainable policy. Sustainability is taught across the national curriculum and can fit into the teaching requirements of any subject. The governments, local authorities, broadcasting companies and the media all have a valuable role to play in the continuing education of the public regarding sustainable issues.

“In 2008, the UK Government published a strategy for sustainable construction which reflected the industry’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and consumption of natural resources, whilst maintaining a strong construction. The initiative was within the wider context of concern for global warming and climate change, which has led to UK national targets for reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 34% from 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80% by 2050.” (Lyons, A. 2010)

However hard the UN, EU and UK Governments push for the implementation of environmentally sustainable policies, the communication and application of information on sustainability cannot occur at any point along the line without the co-operation of environmentally aware individuals. At a global level, sustainability is a complex issue and is difficult to determine accurately for any resources. A firm grounding in environmental issues from an early age will be essential to providing a community of responsible and aware adults, capable of taking the UK and world towards a safer and healthier environment.

Whether in usual life or work, the gap between awareness and action is often the biggest challenge facing governments, organisations and individuals in implementing sustainability. In brief words:

Sustainability boils down to this: do not eat your seed corn.
Sustainability highlights the need to build life systems that can supply the present without compromising the future.
Sustainability is about people, how to foster a robust workforce and strong communities.
Sustainability addresses innovation, how to spark it, nurture it and protect it.
Sustainability can be a lens to focus on values and personal commitment on the built environment and markets.
Sustainability is about natural resources, how to use them, renew them and account for environmental capital.
Sustainability is also about buildings, how to design, construct and operate them to reduce their impact upon the environment.
Sustainability is about built environment, how could be healthier and more productive.
Sustainability can be the power of strong economy.

3.4 Architecture

Architecture is the art and science of design and construction of buildings to cover the human needs of its human such as housing, by using materials and construction appropriate methods. Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. It requires the creative manipulation and coordination of material, technology, light and shadow. Architecture also encompasses the pragmatic aspects of realizing buildings and structures, including scheduling, cost estimating and construction administration.

The diagram in figure (3.10) shows that effective architecture is about creation a fresh approach provides an all inclusive planning, design, structure, professionals with best practice and good imagination adapted to the individuals needs. The result of that came out as a complete understanding of human functional and non-functional requirements and aspirations, which was a measurement for a successful architecture.

Figure 3.10: Standards of architecture and requirements.

Up to this stage, the operation of success architecture is not completed unless environmental requirements are adopted. Since antiquity, human beings have reacted to the surrounding environment, using their abilities to develop techniques and technologies in such internal psychological balance with nature that humanity historically lived attuned to the environment. “Learning to manipulate clay, stone, marble, and wood, man penetrated their properties, and his techniques gave expression to his aspirations toward the divine. In architecture, environmental harmony was known to the Chinese, the Indians, the Greeks, and others. It produced the temples of Karnack, the great mosques of Islam, and the cathedral of Chartres in France,” (Fathy H. 1994).

Buildings are a major consumer of energy in both their construction and operation and they are a significant cause of the environmental problems. “Architecture needs to be located in an environmental, historical and cultural context. Our environmental context is one of rampant energy consumption, dwelling fossil fuels and global warming,” (Thomas R. & Garnham T. 2007). Through more sustainable design, it will be possible to create an architecture, which contributes more positively to the planet and our lives. In general, this means to control the environmental impact of a building; in particular, its CO2 emissions by adopting a sustainable overall design, which includes site planning, interior design, form, materials, construction, type of structure, building systems, natural resources and operation. Randall Thomas and Trevor Garnham stated in their book The Environment of Architecture “To succeed in developing a new architecture a deeper understanding of science, history and culture than is evident at present will be required.” And they clear “Architecture needs to combine the understanding of the relationship between past and present that literature.” (Thomas, R. and Garnham, T. 2007).

The most important and crucial question to the architects, who deal with the architecture and environmental design is that ‘What is the relationship between architecture and environment in the context of sustainable design?’ Architects are usually taught how to consider the impacts of the environment on their buildings, but now they have to make an enormous effort, while designing their buildings, to respect and protect the environment.

3.4.1 Background

“For over 80 years, UK governments of all persuasions have believed that it is essential to get independent advice on proposals for significant new buildings and spaces. The Royal Fine Art Commission (RFAC), established in 1924, influenced the quality of much of the architecture of the 20th century. Many weak designs stayed on the drawing board as a result of its reviews, and what has been built is better than it would otherwise have been,” CABE 2011). Architecture is an ancient and necessary art, thus the beginnings of architecture are part of prehistory, the period before the development of written language. Therefore, a deep understanding of art, history and culture would help to succeed in developing a new architecture. Architectural design is about the future, but it needs to combine the understanding between the past and present.

“Architecture establishes strategic regarding the design of buildings and their relationship with and impact on the environment,” (Johnson S. 1993). According to the strategies, the UK Government believes that, whenever possible, planning decisions should be made at the local level, so councils have the freedom to make their own planning decisions in the best interest of the local area. This planning system will be described clearly in the chapter of the case study.

3.4.2 Architectural Issues

Architectural issues mean any matter, concern, question, topic, proposition or situation that demands a design response in order for a building project to be successful for its users and surrounded environment. These issues are matters that make difference in architectural design and a concern that requires the designers to take action and make decisions to improve their design in a sustainable way. “In architecture, some of the genetic issues are circulation, safety, territoriality, privacy, image, energy use, flexibility and visibility.” (Duerk D. P. 1993)

There are some facts such as site, climate and code requirements that the architectural design must perform. These facts are not part of the architectural issues, but might be major factors in shaping a design. For example, the visual qualities of the site (facts) may require an image (issues) response and the climate (facts) may require an energy efficiency (issues) response. Another example about the integrated relationship between the architectural issues and facts is that if energy conservation is a required issue in such a design, it is necessary to know the facts of prevailing wind direction and path of the sun. If so, architects and designers must make decisions about day lighting, insulation, ventilation and all aspects that will create solutions that are energy efficient.

Understanding the architectural issues and facts will lead to sustainable architectural solutions, which are concepts or potential solutions to the concerns raised by those issues and facts. All design solutions are physical forms that have the attributes of dimension, direction, transparency, colour, texture and that create size, shape, location, interior and orientation. For example, a roof form of a house building could be a design response of a need for natural day lighting or a requirement for an imposing image.

There are a number of fundamental important architectural issues, facts and solutions that affect the environment both in and around a building which need to be considered in the development of any design and could be known as principles of sustainable design Consequently, these principles will be examined in Chapter (5) and they can be summarised as follows:

Site selecting.
Project design and planning
The building envelope.
The interior design.
Choosing appropriate structure.
Building systems.
The characteristics of materials.
Natural light.
Air tightness and ventilation.

Chapter 4

Homes currently account for 27 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions, contributing to global climate change. “Buildings account either directly or indirectly for approximately 44% of the UK’s carbon emissions, (27% from homes and 17% from non-domestic building)” (Lyons, A. 2011) The way in which homes have been designed, constructed, lighted, heated and used all contribute to this. Even small improvements to the energy performance and the way we use our homes could have a significant effect on our fuel bills and carbon emissions.

Increasingly, there is requirement for a sustainable homes assessment. The new Building Regulation revisions (part F, J, and L) are introduced on 1st October 2010. Amongst many changes is the next step in the move towards zero carbon developments, with part L Target Emissions Ratings (TERs), moving to approximately 25% less than under previous regulations for both domestic and non-domestic properties. ( The aim of this review to the following standards is to highlight the exits environmental assessment methods in order to find out what else can be done to improve buildings performance. There are a number of environmental assessment tools currently available for monitoring building performance including:

4.1 EPC

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has been introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of all buildings – including homes. The certificate records how energy efficient a property is as a building, and provides A-G ratings. They are produced using standard methods and assumptions about energy usage so that the energy efficiency of one building can easily be compared with another building of the same type. This allows prospective buyers, tenants, owners, occupiers and purchasers to see information on the energy efficiency and carbon emissions from their building so they can consider energy efficiency and fuel costs as part of their investment. “An EPC is always accompanied by a recommendation report that lists cost effective and other measures (such as low and zero carbon generating systems) to improve the energy rating.” ( A rating is also given showing what could be achieved if all the recommendations were implemented. It gives advice in ways to improve the house’s energy efficiency and environmental impact. The inspection of EPC includes:

Type of construction and its energy impact.
Amount of insulation present.
Windows and doors.
Air tightness and heating and ventilation systems.

Figure 4.1: Sample of EPC

Source: East Energy Services (

4.2 SAP

The Governments Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for energy rating of dwellings. SAP was designed to be included in the 1995 Building Regulations. All new-build dwelling must be built to accord with the UK Building Regulations 2000 Parts L1A for new dwellings. This is the procedure which checks and controls this from architects plan and it is now a compulsory component, so every new house has to have a SAP rating. SAP calculations are required for all new dwellings as well as those that have been created as the result of material changes of use involving building work, and extensions over a certain size. “Since April 2008 in England and Wales when a new building is completed and is due to be signed off by Building Control (either as a new build or a conversion) it must have an ‘As Built’ SAP calculation and an ‘As Built’ (sometimes called ‘On Construction’) EPC produced.” (

Figure 4.2: Sample of the energy performance certificate.

Source: (

The energy balance calculation takes into account arrange of factors that influence energy efficiency. They are:

Materials used for construction of the dwelling.
Thermal insulation characteristics of the dwelling and ventilation equipment.
Efficiency and control of the heating system.
Solar gains through the openings of dwelling.
The fuel and power used to provide space and water heating, ventilation and lighting.
District heating services providing heat and hot water to the dwelling.
Some types of renewable energy systems insulated in or on the dwelling.

The current SAP specification includes the calculation of various indicators of energy performance. They are:

Energy consumption per unit floor area.
Energy cost rating (the SAP rating).
Environmental impact rating (based on CO2 emissions).
Dwelling CO2emission rate (DER), and
Targets CO2 emission rate (TER) to test compliance with building regulations.

Three of the indicators of performance (energy consumption per unit floor area, SAP rating and environmental impact rating) are needed to produce Energy Performance Certificate. The energy cost (the SAP rating) and the environmental impact rating have been mapped on to appear on an Energy Performance Certificate shown in figure (4.2).


Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is the leading and possibly the most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe a building’s environmental performance. By using this method, architects and design team improve their own experience and knowledge of environmental aspects of sustainability and then present their design as much as sustainable to improve the performance of buildings.

The BREEAM assessment process was created in 1990 with the first two versions covering offices and homes. “Versions are updated regularly in line with the UK Building Regulations and different building versions have been created since it is launched to assess various building types.” (UNEP) These versions essentially look at the same broad range of environmental impacts which are:

Health and wellbeing.
Land use and Ecology.

Figure 4.3: Sample of BREEAM award

Source: (

4.4 CSH

The Code for Sustainable Homes is the newest tool provides a comprehensive measure of the sustainability of new homes. It is a national standard for use in the design and construction of new homes with a view to encouraging continuous improvement in sustainable home building. “It was introduced and became operational in England in April 2007 following extensive consultation with environmental groups and the home building and wider construction industries.” (Communities and Local Government, 2008) A code rating for new build homes became mandatory from 1st May 2008. Also from 1st May 2008, a minimum of Code Level 3 is required for all new housing promoted or supported by the WAG or their sponsored bodies and also for all new build social housing. Since 2nd June 2008 Code Level 3 was required for all new self-contained social housing in Northern Ireland, but the Code does not apply in Scotland.

The Code for sustainable Homes is essentially a way of benchmarking the environmental and sustainable credentials of residential development. Since September 2009, any development of 5 or more dwellings in Wales must achieve Code Level 3 (+6 credits under the ENE1 issues). From 1st September 2010, all applications for any number of dwellings must achieve Code Level 3 (+6 credits under ENE1 issues).

The Code measures the sustainability of a home against nine design categories, rating the whole home as a complete package. The design categories are:

Energy and CO2 emissions.
Surface water run-off.
Heat and wellbeing.

Each category includes a number of environmental issues, as shown in the table below, which have a potential impact on the environment. The issues can be assessed against a performance target and awarded one or more credits. The Code uses a sustainability rating system, indicated by stars, to communicate the overall sustainability performance of a home. A home can achieve a sustainability rating from one star (?) to six stars (??????) depending on the extent to which it has achieved Code standards. One star (?) is the entry level – above the level of the Building Regulations; and six stars (??????) is the highest level – reflecting exemplar development in sustainability terms.

Energy and CO2 emissionsDwelling emission rate (M)

Building Fabric

Internal lighting

Drying space

Energy labelled white goods

External lighting

Low or zero carbon (LZC) technologies

Cycle storage

Home officeWaterInternal water use (M)

External water useMaterialsEnvironmental impact of materials (M)

Responsible sourcing of materials – building elements

Responsible sourcing of materials – finishing elementsSurface water run – offManagement of surface water run – off from developments (M) flood riskWasteStorage of non-recyclable waste and recyclable household waste (M)

Construction waste management (M)

CompostingPollutionGlobal warming potential (GWP) of insulants NOx emissionsHealth and DwellingDaylight

Sound insulation

Private space

Lifetime homes (M)ManagementHome user guide

Considerate constructors scheme

Construction site impacts

SecurityEcologyEcological value of site

Ecological enhancement

Protection of ecological features

Change of ecological value of site

Building footprint

(M) Denotes issues with mandatory elements

Figure 4.4: Table of summary of environmental impacts categories and issues

Source: The Code of Sustainable Homes.

The Code for Sustainable Homes has been developed using the Building Research Establishment’s (BRE) Eco-Homes System, which has already achieved success in reducing the impact of affordable housing projects, in particular within the social housing sector. The Code builds upon Eco-Homes in a number of ways, for example:

The Code introduces minimum standards for energy and water efficiency at level of the Code, therefore requiring high levels of sustainability performance in these areas for achievement of a high Code rating;
The Code uses a simpler system of awarding points, with more complex weightings removed;
The Code includes new areas of sustainability design, such as Lifetime Homes and inclusion of composting facilities.

Figure 4.5: Sample of Final Code Certificate.

Source: The Code of Sustainable Homes

Assessment procedures will be transparent and technically rigorous, at the same time straightforward and beneficial to all parties. The method will be similar to or based on BRE’s Eco-Homes System which depends on a network of specially trained and accredited independent assessors. BRE will retrain and accredit assessors for the new Code. Code assessors will conduct initial design stage assessments, recommend a sustainability rating, and issue an interim Code certificate. The final Code certificate of compliance will be issued after a post completion check to verify the rating has taken place. A design stage assessment will only need to be carried out on each home type within any development – not every single home.

The assessment process should proceed in a logical order through the environmental impact categories and issues, summarised in figure bellow.

It should being with a check that the four mandatory issues for which no credits are awarded have been achieved.
The mandatory credits for CO2 emissions and for internal water use should be checked and confirmed at the minimum values required to meet the Code level sought
The remaining tradable credits should be checked and confirmed so that they too contribute to the required Code level.
Total percentage points score

(equal to or greater than)Code Levels36 PointsLevel 1 (?)48 PointsLevel 2 (??)57 PointsLevel 3 (???)68 PointsLevel 4 (????)84 PointsLevel 5 (?????)90 PointsLevel 6 (??????)

Figure 4.6: Summarises the process of arriving at a total percentage points score and converting that to a Code level.

Source: The Code of Sustainable Homes.

Chapter 5

5.1 Introduction

What is sustainable design and how can be implementedThis is a pressing question that all architects and designers must inescapably confront today. By the end of this chapter we will have the appropriate answer to this vital question. The result will be a creation of principles of sustainable design, which can be used by architects as an assessment method to their design. Sustainable design is one of the modern trends in architectural thinking, which focuses on the relationship between buildings and the environment. There are many concepts and definitions developed in this context. Ken Yeang, a Malaysian architect and writer best known for developing environmental design solutions, believes that sustainable architecture must meet the needs of the present without losing the right of next generations to meet their needs as well. According to William Reed, a specialist in green architecture, green building, which is designed sustainably, is only a building that designed, implemented and managed in manner, which puts the environment in mind. He also thought that one of the concerns of green buildings is to reduce the impact of buildings on the environment as well as reduce its cost.

A good building design, in particular housing design, is crucial in delivering sustainable life, which means good design should contribute positively to making places better for people by improving public health, easing transport problems and increasing property values. In addition, design quality should be taken seriously to demonstrate benefit to society, environment and promoting excellence in profession. Sustainable design creates solutions that solve the economic, social, and environmental challenges of the project simultaneously, and these solutions are powered by sustainable energies. “The combined beauty and function of the design make it something that endures and is cherished; endurance and beauty are central to sustainable thinking. Sustainable design fundamentally seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment, and the health and comfort of building occupants, so improving building performance.” (Williams D. E. 2007). The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy, productive environments. The key to sustainable design is to create principles of home design as a package of features that work optimally together to provide sustainable homes.

5.2 Background

The world began to recognise the close link between economic development and the environment, so specialists have alerted that the traditional forms of economic have been developed over exploitation of natural resources and at the same time cause a big strain on the environment as a result of what is produced of contaminant and harmful residues.

In the last decades, most of countries have paid more attention to the environmental protection and sustainable development after specialists called to reduce the environmental impacts caused by various human activities and called for reducing waste and pollutants and the preservation of natural resources for next generations. As a result, the construction sector is no longer in isolation from the pressing of environmental issues that began to threaten the world. On the one hand, construction sector is a major consumer of natural resources such as; land, water and energy. On the other hand, building operations and construction industry result in large amount of noise, pollution and solid waste, but the waste of energy and water still been considered as a main environmental and economic problem that facing the globe.

For these reasons, and as a result of growing public awareness about the environmental impacts associated with construction activities, many specialists have noted that the big challenge facing construction sector at this time is in its ability to fulfil its obligations and perform its development role towards the achievement of a comprehensive concepts of sustainable development. Moreover, others who concern about environment added that the environmental management in construction projects will be one of the most important competitive standards in the twenty-first century. Consequently, industrial countries developed new concepts and methods in the design and construction, which are not familiar with before such as; sustainable design, green architecture, and sustainable buildings.

Those concepts all of which reflected the growing interest of construction sector in urban economic development issues integral with the protection of environment, reducing energy consumption, optimal utilisation of natural resources and more reliance on renewable energy resources. Sustainable design, green architecture, sustainable construction and sustainable building, all these are new concepts and methods of design and construction conjures environmental and economic challenges. New buildings, which are designed, constructed and operated through developed methods and technologies contribute to reducing environmental impacts and at the same time lead to lower costs, in particular operating and maintenance costs (Running Costs). They also contribute in providing a safe and comfortable physical environment. Thus, the motivation that adopt the concept of sustainability in the urban sector do not differ from the motives that led to the emergence and adoption of sustainable development concepts with its integrated three dimensions; environment, economy, and society.

5.3 Advantages of SD

Sustainable design has a number of advantages:

Improved comfort and healthy: an energy efficient building envelope reduces temperature fluctuations.
Reliability: homes can be sustainably designed to continue functioning even during blackouts.
Security and improve finance: a home that produces energy protects its owner from fluctuations in energy prices.
Improve social relations: creating sustainable communities can enhance relationships.
Environmental sustainability: sustainable homes save energy and reduce construction and operation waste and pollution.

The fourth point is the main subject has been searched in this study as the world is currently facing an environmental crisis. Therefore, anyone interested in zero carbon homes and sustainable housing design has the potential significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the globe. In the last 20 years, the concept of sustainable design has come to the forefront and there was an improved thinking that design comes before technology and renewable technology alone cannot solve the problems we face. This concept recognizes that human civilization is part of nature that must be preserved and perpetuated. To achieve sustainable design, architects and designers should focus on five core areas; a compact shape, continuous insulation and elimination of thermal breaks, passive solar gain, and air circulation with heat recovery and air leak prevention. This idea could be clarified by sustainable design through the development of principles of sustainable design and promoting their application in our daily lives.

5.4 Principles of SD

The enthusiasm today to the green architecture and sustainable buildings has assets associated with the energy crisis in the seventies. At that time, architects began to think and wonder about the wisdom of creating buildings formed as boxes, structured by steel, surrounded by glass and require enormous and expensive heating and cooling systems. Thus, enthusiasm architects proposed architecture with more energy efficiency. Some of these progressive thinkers architects such as; William McDonough, Bruce Bean and Robert Fox of the USA, Thomas Herzog of Germany, and Norman Foster and Richard Rogers of Britain have begun to search and develop architectural design, which focused on long-term environmental impacts during the construction, operation and maintenance phase of buildings and that what is known now the sustainable design. To ensure a good performance of a building, the following principles shown in figure (5.15), which are the result of this study, should be examined during the planning and design stage. Architects have to consider these principles as a guide to achieve sustainable design.

All the assessment procedures that have been investigated in Chapter (4) are introduced to help assessing building performance after being built and operated. Consequently, it is difficult to solve all problems and design mistakes that might be found in order to improve the building performance and then reduce the negative impacts on the environment. These procedures might help in some ways but not always, as it is difficult to change or improve some aspects of the project development such as; site, structure, project planning and units design. Therefore, it is important to find principles for sustainable design that can be used by architects and designers as a premier assessment for their design and planning of any development.

5.4.1 Site Selection

Choosing a land as a site proposal for any development is one of the most important challenges facing those who are in responsibility of housing development. Site investigation made concurrent with the formulation of programme objectives ensures the flexibility of the

site’s potential and the integration of its natural and cultural features with the design. “To develop the best possible site for accommodating project objectives, a programme must be carefully prepared. Because the programmes develop from specific needs, these needs determine the overall objectives.” (Rubenstein H. M. 1996)

Figure 5.1: Practicing site planning.

On large projects such as housing development, site selection may require a detailed feasibility analysis of potential sites. All those who contribute to integrated design of housing development must take into consideration the features, facilities and characteristics of the proposal site from the viewpoint of society, economy and environment. “A site’s context is a function of many different physical, biological and cultural attributes,” (LaGro, J. A. 2001). These include adjacent land uses, access to public infrastructure, access to near communities, cost of land and construction, biodiversity (animals and plants), microclimate and ecological patterns and process. Site planning and design needs to be implemented within a biophysical and social context to accommodate human needs and aspiration.

Figure 5.2: Sun path diagram.

Source: (Neufert E. 2000

Sustainable site design requires holistic, ecologically based strategies to create projects that do not alter or impair, but instead help repair and restore existing site systems. Site systems such as plant and animal communities, soils, and hydrology must be respected as patterns and processes of the living world. Location is the most important criteria in selecting a site, but what are the factors that make one location more valuable than otherSome of the more substantial factors are listed below:

Site context: looking outward to the site context will help to understand and evaluate the sit requirements that may highlight its impacts on the environment and society.
Natural landscape: development should be integrated to the native landscape of the site to provide connection to adjacent habitats.
Protection of biodiversity: sustaining site design will protect local plants and animals communities.
Solar access: it is crucial to consider the solar access when choosing a site as solar energy is vital a component of sustainable homes.
Amenities: does the site have the following amenities; privacy, woods, lake, ocean or river frontage etc.
Utilities and services: availability of utilities such as water, electricity, telephone, gas, cable TV, can be an important factor in the cost of housing development.
Microclimates: Climate can vary dramatically from one location to another within a state, a region, and even a neighbourhood. Some microclimates may be suitable for self-sufficiency; others may make it difficult to live on renewable energy.
Drainage: good drainage is important to prevent moisture problems in the future, which is becoming a major issue of concern as it can seep into walls through the foundation and that will increase construction costs.
Soil: stable subsoil minimise the risk of foundation and walls cracks. So, it is important to be sure that the site selected is in an area with stable subsoil.
Building resources: land can provide many building materials such as clay, wood and stones. Any site provides material can be used in housing construction will reduce the energy required to build a house.

Prior to make a final decision about the proposal site it is essential to contact a thorough survey to ascertain whether the site characteristics suit the development concept. Therefore, a visit to the proposal site for a detailed study is very important for the designer preliminary to any planning. “The reality of a site is often quite different from the impression given by drawings supplied. This can particularly true in relation to scale and the three dimensional nature of the site,” (Illingworth J. R. 2000).

5.4.2 Project Design

Housing project design deals with the process and outcomes of the project. The project design should focus on affordable housing, regeneration, housing quality, issues cost and sustainability of environments. Project design requires creating a programme, which means to study elements and components of the project. Project design first requires meeting, combination, analysing information and planning with enough objectivity and detail to support a programme design that makes best use of resources to achieve desired results.

Then programme is the first step that an architect or a designer should make to gather and analyse all of the information necessary to create project design. The programme differs according to the project type and its components depending on the quality of the project and its purpose. For example, the programme components of industrial project consist of workshops for manufacturing, maintenance and processing, storage, parking area, management offices, restaurant and toilets. While a programme elements of housing project consist of residential places, living and dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom etc. Thus, the quality of the project and its purpose has a direct impact on the formulation of its components and elements, which imposes certain requirements that architects should study carefully and work hard bearing in mind trying to achieve the best relationship among those elements and components.

There are a lot of factors affect the project design that must considered carefully before the beginning of any development. Some of which are related to the designers and owners, whilst others deal with the building regulations, policies and site characteristics. The project design has many operational processes for designing high-quality development project that respond to those factors, which are shown in figure (5.3). Much of the success of project design is based upon ability to control every factor.

Figure 5.3: Factors impact the project design.

5.4.3 Orientation

Orientation refers to the location of a house and direction to which a house points. The orientation of the house plays an important part in ensuring such a passive works. “The correct orientation of a house can make a significant difference to the liveability and the energy costs associated with heating and cooling,” ( The ideal house orientation is that the main long axis of the building runs east – west as shown in the diagram below. “The East-West orientation can be moved as much as 20o without ill effect, but the most glass on the house must be facing towards the sun,” ( When deciding house orientation, the location of landscape features should be taken into account such as trees and walls, which impact on how the sun is harnessed and to avoid the shadow, so houses should ideally positioned as far as possible from these features. The exact amount of heat a house gets from the sun depends on the season, time of day, weather, local climate and rate of air pollution. Orientation is crucial for determining the amount of sun a house receives, because the direction and height of the sun in high Northern latitudes like Britain changes dramatically throughout the year.

Figure 5.4: House orientation


“Essentially, economic considerations led architects and building developers to seek alternatives to the conventional fossil fuel sources of energy. Today, equal emphasis is placed on the ecological necessary for change. By means of energy conscious construction, the energy requirements of living accommodation can be reduced by 50% in comparison to older buildings,” (Neufert E. 2000). The objective of studying orientation is to organise the house plan in a way to ensure desirable sunshine conditions for the various types of living spaces and this is one of the alternative ways that architects may consider when put their design. In cold and temperate climates, long rectangular buildings, with their longer walls facing the winter sun are excellent solutions in terms of energy efficiency as shown in first diagram in figure (5.5). “Well oriented home, with a proper shape and properly placed windows can cut your energy bills by 30 percent or more,” (

If there is a compulsory orientation to the East or West for a house, architects have to rearrange the house components zones and distribute them in different ways taking into account maximum winter solar gains and unwanted summer sun. Therefore, the most used areas of the house should be located on the winter side of the house, where sunlight can enter through conveniently located windows, high clerestories windows, or skylights. Other rooms and divisions, which used less and need less sun should be located on the home’s east/west and shorter sides, where they can act as an extra thermal buffer, as shown in the second and third diagram in figure (5.5).

Despite the importance of the sun, there are other factors may impact the house orientation. Those factors are; the natural beauty features such as woods, lake, ocean, and river frontage, avoid noise, achieve privacy and have clear street access. In this case, architects may take advantage of views or consider other factors, but still they must find solutions to make most of the sun for warmth and natural light, for example; increasing the size of north-facing windows, swapping rooms around and using skylights, conservatries and glass doors as architectural solutions. Predominate orientation of the winds is also crucial in the house energy needs. The prevailing winds and their patterns should be studied in order to use windbreaks and walls to direct breezes into the house or to channel cool winter winds away from it. Achieving the ideal orientation is about striking a balance between sun and these other factors.

Figure 5.5: The best orientation of the house components zones to the South, West and East.

5.4.4Interior design

The most appropriate definition of interior design is “Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment that solves the customer’s problems and links space to business strategies and goals.” (Mazarella, F. 2010) Green or sustainable interior design is a relatively new field in interior designing. Interior design is a term that is thrown around often when building a new space or just filling up a pre-existing one. “A building cannot be green on the outside without being green on the interior,” (Upton B. V. 2006).

Interior design incorporates a little bit from a lot of disciplines, including building regulations, floor plans and colour matching. So, interior designing can be defined as it is the field of arranging and designing both the interiors and/or exteriors of an area. Interior design is more than visual or ambient enhancement of the interior space. It seeks to optimise and harmonise the uses to which the built environment will be put. The point of interior design is to create a beautiful space that is practical, aesthetically pleasing, and harmonious with the surroundings. “Interior design is often described as a hybrid discipline, overlapping with other spatial or subject related practices.” (Brooker G. & Stone S. 2010)

Interior design has many things to be considered such as materials, furniture, colours, texture, fixtures, placement of items and building systems. The way these items been used has a huge impact on the environment. There are many things that interior designers are doing to be more sustainable and lower the impact on the environment. Interior designers have an important responsibility in the adoption of environmental ways of living.

In as much as the envelope of a building may enable the building to reduce the use of resources through insulation and renewable technologies, also they can affect direct behavioural change, and compliment the aspirations of a building’s architectural ambitions. Beautiful eco interiors can reflect your environmental aspirations whilst creating spaces that reduce their use of resources such as gas, water and electricity, make the most of sustainable materials, and encourage the use of recycled materials and recycling.

Interior design has five main elements: colour, texture, line, form and space. These elements should work together and complement each other to strengthen the whole composition. It is necessary for the interior designer to think of the house as a totality, in other words a series of spaces linked together by halls and stairways. It is therefore appropriate that a common style and theme runs throughout.

5.4.5Building systems

Building systems are all about how to improve the environment in and around buildings to provide better health, comfort, security and productivity. Building systems are interacting or interdependent components that comprise a building such as structural, roofing, side wall, plumbing, HVAC, water, sanitary sewer and electrical systems, figure (5.6) below shows some of the internal elements of built environment. Studying building systems might help to gain a deeper understanding of the physical performance of built environment choices and their implications for energy use, health, conservation, productivity and climate change. “In theory, it is entirely possible to design and construct a building made of totally independent components. The separate pieces of such a building could be designed in isolation, each part having an autonomous role to play.” (Bachman, L. R. 2003) In fact, architects prone to take exactly the opposite approach by considering ideas about the complete and constructed building and then working through integrated relationship between all the elements and function.

“One of the main objects of building design is to ensure the provision of continuous comfort for occupants in spite of adverse and variable external condition.” (Burberry P. 1997)

“HVAC can be considered one of the most important services in modern buildings. The major contribution of HVAC systems to the mankind is the fine control to arrive at a comfortable indoor environment for people to work and live.” (So A. T. & Chan W. L. 1999) “Buildings are enclosed environments with air distribution systems intended to make life habitable for the occupants.” (Kowalski W. J. 2003)

One of other building systems is type of houses in a housing development, which might have significant impact on the indoor and outdoor environment. Architects and planners always have to make a decision about types of houses considering healthy indoor environment, numbers of houses required, the cost of a house building and the maximum benefit from the outdoor environment. “Tactical decisions at the beginning of a project can have an impact for the life of the building. For example, properly sitting the building on the land is essential to the overall project and can reduce impact to the site and costs later in the project. In addition, placement of the building will affect decisions involving matters such as lighting, landscaping and access.” (Statz S., 2011)

Figure 5.6: Elements of building system

There are four main types of houses in the UK. There are the detached, the semi-detached, terraced and flat. Choosing any of these types in planning and designing a housing development has to consider many aspects. For example, a detached house, is a single standing property that does not share any walls with any other structure, is usually more private due to the isolation of the property and generally more expansive than any other type of house, as it has more flexibility in design options and can be situated on the plot to have excellent orientation and get more benefit from the sun and the surrounding area.


Like the human body, a house has a skeleton that gives it support, shape, and a framework for outer coverings. Architects must know the basis of structural systems to enable them to choose the right one for their architectural design. Zunde and Bougdah believed that the choice of structural system is part of the integrated design process and affects a number of aspects of the building being designed. Apart from the structural performance itself, such aspects include: space planning, form and shape, other materials for the fabric, cost as well as environmental performance. They also stated: “Architects and architectural technologies are not expected to be experts in structural engineering, but it is essential part of their equipment that they should understand the principles involved in selecting and using the components to be assembled into a structure.” (Zunde J. and Bougdah H. 2006)

Structure is one of the important parts of sustainable house design that could have positive or negative impacts on the environment. Consideration of environmental issues in the structure of housing project has economic, ecological and social implications. It must be put in an overall context and undertaken in an objective and rational way. “A building’s impact on its surroundings depends on its position, shape, structure, materials and energy needs,” (Muller D. and Favet N. 2002).

Materials used in building structure such as: bricks, blocks, steel, concrete and timber, perform a variety of roles. In the UK, timber has been used as a structural material as long as man has built shelter. Most houses built since the 1920s were made of wooden beams, floor joists, wall studs, roof rafters, and related components, see figure (5.7) below. The increased use of timber in buildings structure in European countries is an important part of the governments’ effort to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions because of its environmental credentials. In this approach, these countries have managed the forests in a sustainable manner:

Felling is kept below new growth level
Future supply safeguarded by maintaining capacity for growth
Biodiversity considerations are taken into account.

Timber has been increasingly used in the building sector because it has a number of advantages as follows:

It is renewable resource, which when properly managed, would contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.
The production of timber – based products that used in building sector needs less energy compared to other building materials.
Structural timber used in large sections has good fire resistance, easily worked and strongly joined.
Timber has a high strength to weight ratio.
Timber has a good appearance and a warm feel because of its low thermal conductivity.

Figure 5.7: Main parts of house structure

Source: World House Info (

5.4.7Building Envelope

The building envelope is the physical separator between the interior and the exterior environments of a building. A key purpose of building envelope is to enclose the interior of a building and protect it from the exterior elements such as rain, wind and snow. “A building envelope includes all the components that make up the shell or skin of the building,” ( The building envelope has four basic functions:

Adding structural support.
Controlling moisture and humidity.
Regulating temperature.
Controlling air pressure change.

“Although most see the building envelope merely as a barrier against moisture, but it is also a key element of energy efficiency, primarily affecting heating and cooling.” (Eric J. & Seaverson P. E. 2008) Many things lead to energy looses through the building envelop, such as air leak, wet insulation and thermal bridging. Unlike air leaks, which are a direct source of cold exterior air, thermal bridging through the building envelop also can increase the load on mechanical systems. Common paths of air leaks include around and through windows and doors, through gaps at transitions between walls and floor or roof levels, through transitions in cladding, and through structural wall penetrations.

One or more of the aspects of a building performance can be optimised, such as conventional weather protection, thermal insulation, day lighting, ventilation and energy consumption, if a building envelope applies technology in an innovative way. The building envelope systems have become one of the most important aspects considered by designers, especially with respect to weather control performance. It also plays an important role in determining how effectively the building can utilize natural lighting, ventilation, and heating and cooling resources. A good building envelope design should be the result of a systematic approach, checking all relevant elements. A new approach would include all the aesthetic and physical properties to be fulfilled by that envelope, integrated with the function of the building as a whole. Therefore, the building envelope has a very important function in terms of building energy performance. The control function is at the core of good performance, and in practice focuses, in order of importance, on rain control, air control, heat control, and vapour control.

5.4.8 Materials

Environmental concern is being translated into action particularly by the formulation of environmental policies. “Such policies usually stipulate that building materials are to be specified in an environmentally aware manner, both for the maintenance of existing property and the construction of new schemes.” (Johnson S. 1993). Buildings should be soundly detailed using durable materials and be as flexible as possible in order to maximise their useful life. “The trend towards increasingly energy-conscious design has resulted in a greater focus on energy-saving, materials, and components.” (Lyons A., 2010)

In our life, building materials are one of the basic needs of life along with food, water and air.

“The term “materials” refers to all the physical substances that are assembled to create the interior and exterior of a building.” (Crisman P. 2010) The way these materials are selected to be used in building construction has a significant effect on the environment and human health. “Anyone involved in a responsible role in building needs a very broad understanding of a wide variety of materials, their potential and efficiencies in use.” (Ward-Harvey K. 2009) Therefore, architects and designers are responsible choosing materials that fulfil certain ecological criteria in term of environmental conservation. There are national and international material standards in terms of strength, safety and durability etc. However, standards and criteria for materials selection relating to its environmental impact are more important for incorporation into an ecological sustainable design.

Building materials include any material either natural or man-made, which is used for a construction purpose. They affect the environment in different ways. Some affect the external environment such as when hardwoods are used for construction and sites are cleaned for development, whereas, others affect the environment within the building. Therefore, finding an ecological building materials become essential concern of architects and designers. Ecological building materials are those that comply with most of the criteria which are listed below. The responsibility of architects and designers is to choose a material that provides the best balance between those criteria.

Clean: Non-polluting materials which cause a minimum damage to the earth’s ecosystems in terms of global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain and ground and water pollution. Architects need to be aware which building materials produce quantities of toxic gases either directly as brick making and cement production or indirectly through high energy processes and materials produce ground contamination and degradation of the earth’s skin.
Healthy: Materials caused different type of pollution and hazards to the humans, as humankind is part of the environment and should be protected from hazardous materials. Construction materials may either be toxic or healthy, or perhaps some of each. The building industry changes and grows rapidly and constantly looks for ways to build more cheaply and without some of the common drawbacks. For instance, OSB, an engineered wood product, has become very popular for many reasons. One of them is that it is more predictable and much less expensive than solid wood, but the wood chips glued together to make this board are using formaldehyde based adhesive, which is a known human carcinogen.
Renewable: Materials that are the products of living organisms that use energy directly or indirectly from the sun, and are made up from components that are continuously recycled in the biosphere. Renewable materials not only consume less energy in their preparation, but also are less problematic to dispose of at the end of their useful life. They are substances derived from a living tree, plant, animal or ecosystem which has less the ability to regenerate itself. In summary, renewable materials:
O Will not be depleted if managed properly.
O May have reduced net emissions of CO2 across their life cycle compared to materials from fossil fuels.
O Result in biodegradable waste.
Natural: Many of these materials are available throughout the world, so the costs and pollution associated with the transportation of these materials across the country falls. Using natural materials also reduce toxins in the home. As a bonus, many of these methods are energy efficient, inexpensive and easy to build with little construction knowledge, such as rock, bamboo, cordwood.

Figure 5.8: Bamboo House

Source: Home Design Decorating.

Locally obtained: Vernacular building materials are an ecological choice for architects to avoid the cost of materials transport. In addition, this will give each locality a unique style.
Durable: A low maintenance materials that should be last for several decades such as concrete, steel and aluminium.

Understanding the provenance of building materials, including their environmental impact, characteristics and quality is an essential criterion of sustainable design. “Good design is an integral part of the use of ecological building materials.” (Harland E. 1993). The waste of construction materials and the demolition waste if sustainably managed might be a fundamental source of such materials that could be reused in building construction. “Construction and demolition waste management takes advantage of opportunities for source reduction, materials reuse, and waste recycling.” (Kibert C. J. 2008).

5.4.9 Natural Light

“And God said, ‘let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.” (Bible, Genesis, 1, 2-3). “Light, daylight and artificial light, is the visible band of electromagnetic relation between ultra – violet and infra – red.” (Neufert, 2000) There is an inextricable link between architecture and light. Le Corbusier, a very famous French architect in the twentieth century, said that ‘Architecture is the masterly, correct and magnificent play of masses brought together in light.’ He also said, “The history of architecture is the history of struggle for light,” (Baker N. & Steemers K. 2002). Daylight is the primary source of illumination and architects must consider it from two basic perspectives that of art and science. Consequently, they have to understand how to get benefit from natural light such as improve life-cycle cost, increase user productivity, reduce emissions and reduce operating costs. However, day lighting is the controlled admission of natural light into a space through windows to reduce or eliminate the usage of artificial light. The development of artificial lighting in the last century meant that designers did not consider the natural light so much in their projects design. However, the environmental concern, economic crises and financial costs associated with artificial lighting have led to a renewed interest in the use of daylight in sustainable design.

“In large measure, the art and science of proper day lighting design is not so much how to provide enough daylight to an occupied space, but how to do so without any undesirable side effects. It involves more than just adding windows or skylights to a space. It is the careful balancing of heat gain and loss, glare control, and variations in daylight availability. For example, successful day lighting designs will invariably pay close attention to the use of shading devices to reduce glare and excess contrast in the workspace. Additionally, window size and spacing, glass selection, the reflectance of interior finishes and the location of any interior partitions must all be evaluated.” (Gregg, D. 2008)

The illumination of a clouded sky is taken as the basis of evaluating daylight in internal areas, and is measured by the daylight factor D. This is the ratio of the internal illumination (Ei) to the prevailing external illumination (Ea), where (D = Ei/Ea ? 100%). “The daylight factor remains constant. The illumination of an internal are varies only in proportion to the external illumination prevailing at the time.” (Neufert, E. 2000)

For instance, in figure 5, 10 above the daylight factor at a point P is influenced by many factors as D = (DH + DV + DR) ? t ? k1 ? k2 ? k3, where DH is the component of light from the sky, DV is the effect due to neighbouring buildings, DR is the contribution from internal reflection, and the following reduction factors are taken into consideration: t, the light transmission factor for the glass, k1, the scatter effects due to the construction of the window; k2, the scatter effects due to the type of glazing; k3, the scatter effects of the angle of incidence of the daylight.

Figure 5.9: Daylight and internal area illumination at point P

For instance, in figure 5, 10 above the daylight factor at a point P is influenced by many factors as D = (DH + DV + DR) ? t ? k1 ? k2 ? k3, where DH is the component of light from the sky, DV is the effect due to neighbouring buildings, DR is the contribution from internal reflection, and the following reduction factors are taken into consideration: t, the light transmission factor for the glass, k1, the scatter effects due to the construction of the window; k2, the scatter effects due to the type of glazing; k3, the scatter effects of the angle of incidence of the daylight.

The type, size and position of windows essentially determine daylight factor D in the internal area and how far the light penetrate into the core of the room. For instance, Windows facing the direction of the sun (south in the northern hemisphere) will receive more daylight than those facing in the opposite direction. Tall windows will push the daylight factor contours back into a room while wide windows give a better distribution across the width of a room but do not let the light penetrate to the back. In this sense, large window areas allow more daylight into a space, but they may also allow excessive heat gains or losses which increase the air-conditioning cooling or heating load, and the energy consumption.

One of quantitative and qualitative aspects of sustainable housing design is the good attention of daylight. Designers must make sure the combination of natural and artificial light sources provides adequate light level for the required task. However, light in architecture is not of singular concern that can be isolated from other design concerns, but relates to a rich integrated web of interdependent aesthetic and functional criteria.

It is not just the art, but understanding the science of light can be better instilled in the sustainable design process. “An investigation of the roles of light through history reveals both the power and beauty of light in architecture.” (Baker N. And Steemers K. 2002) In conclusion, designers have to understand a number of lighting design standards during the design process such as:

Using roof windows can bring daylight deep into the living space as shown in figure 5, 12.
Increase the boundary daylight zones to maximise usable day lighting area.
Increase room brightness and decrease window brightness.
Using slope ceilings to direct more light into a space, as it increases the surface brightness of the ceiling further into a space.
Good orientation of a building can benefit much more from daylight.

Figure 5.10: Using roof windows affect daylight

Source: Google images

5.4.10 Ventilation

A brief overview to the history of architecture would show that almost all historical buildings were ventilated naturally. With the beginning of twentieth century and the development of industry sector, there was more prevailing approach of using mechanical ventilation. However, with the increased awareness of the cost and environmental impacts of energy use in the last decades, architects and designers increasingly attracted to use natural ventilation method to reduce energy use and cost and to provide acceptable indoor environmental quality and maintaining a healthy, comfortable, and productive indoor climate. “In favourable climates and buildings types, natural ventilation can be used as an alternative to air-conditioning plants, saving 10%-30% of total energy consumption.” (Waker A. 2010). Although, natural ventilation can be used as a system to save energy, but still could be one of the problems facing architects in terms of heat loss in houses. “Ventilation can account for up to 25% of heat loss in typical house.” (Sustainable Housing design Guide for Scotland, 2011).

Ventilation is required to supply fresh for breathing, create a pleasant atmosphere, and remove pollutants and excess moisture to reduce

the risk of consideration and to take away a surplus of heat. In spite of all these advantages, natural ventilation may cause negative effects such as heat loss. In addition, the wind as a main source of natural ventilation may cause damage to the building in several ways.

Figure 5.11: Region of positive and negative pressures around a building.

Source: Neufert, E. 2000

Physically, the dynamic force of the wind encounters a facade of a building will convert into a positive or pushing pressure on that facade. Meanwhile, some of the wind is deflected over and around the building, whereas negative forces will be created at the roof and wall edges as the air flow is accelerated away from the building.

Moreover, vortex – a rotating spiral wind – may be created when the air flowing down the windward building facade reaches the ground and deflected upwards the oncoming wind. As a result, a positive pressure wind forces on one side of a building and negative pressure forces on other sides is helping for natural ventilation.

Some design features might make a building more susceptible to wind damage. So, architects and designers must consider these features including: low pitch roof, lightweight structure, elements protruding above the roof line. Figure (5.12) shows that cladding elements tend to be pulled away from a facade and a flat roof will be lifted off, whilst a pitched roof will stay in place, but still the angle of the pitched roof has to be physically well considered by designers.

Figure 5.12: The flow and forces over 5o and 30o pitched roof.

Source: Neufert, E. 2000

To find out how much air would be needed, a ventilation rate should be measured according to the number of people in the space and size of the spaces. Although, indoor air quality has always been a concern for architects, natural ventilation still considered as part of low energy design strategies.

5.4.11 Acoustic

Noise is unwanted sound causing noise pollution, which has become a part of urban life and industrial centres in this century. Noise pollution may come from loudspeakers, factories, moving trains, aeroplanes construction activity or even a radio. Low energy buildings have tight constructions which not only reduce the energy consumption, but also reduce the noise from traffic and other sources that would otherwise penetrate into the building. “Noise is one of major if not most serious of atmospheric pollutions. The main sources of noise in the environment are: Road vehicles and traffic; Airports and aircrafts; Road works and building construction; Industry, especially heavy industry; Railways and ships. Of the sources listed the worst in the sense of the most widespread and most persistent is traffic noise,” (Reekie, R. F. 1972).

Part E of the building regulations ‘Resistance to the passage of sound’ supplies legislations to improve acoustics and privacy between residential dwellings. Therefore, all residential properties must provide a good level of acoustic insulation between dwellings. This means that sound insulation testing is mandatory throughout all developments. The objective of this pre completion test is to raise the standard of sound insulation in all dwellings.

The pre completion test means that the development needs to be almost complete when the sound insulation test taking place. This means doors; windows and trickle vents should be fitted, as well as power on site.

There are two types of sound test; airborne, which is carried out on walls and floors separating dwellings; and impact, which is carried out on floors separating dwellings. The table in figure (5.13) shown below, summarise the required decibel standards of performance for compliance.

The most effective source of noise is the traffic noise, which has a top priority consideration to be reduced. The reduction of traffic noise depends on many factors such as; site selection, site planning and the features used to block the sound waves as shown in figure (5.14) below. “The sound level of road traffic can be reduced by ?25 dB (A) after passing through a noise shielding wall. (with a reduction of 10 dB (A), the sound seems half as loud.” (Neufert E. 2000). The shielding effect is depending on wall material and on its height.

Element of Construction
internal walls that include a door are exempt from this requirement.Airborne sound
insulation (site test result) minimum value DnT,w+Ctr dBImpact sound
insulation (site test result) maximum value L’nT,w dBAirborne sound
insulation (lab test result) minimum value Rw dB
Separating walls between dwellings.45 Min

Separating walls between rooms used for residential purposes.43 Min

Separating walls between rooms created by a change of use.43 Min

Separating floors between dwellings and rooms used for residential purposes.43 Min

62 Max

Separating floors between rooms created by a change of use.43 Min

64 Max

An internal wall or floor between a bathroom/W.C. and a habitable room. Also between bedrooms and between bedrooms and any other room in the dwelling. 40 Min

Figure 5.13: Summarise the required decibel standards of performance for compliance.

Source: (Thermal and Acoustic Solutions Ltd)

Figure 5.14: Noise insulation methods on a main road.

5.5 The Key Findings

As mentioned before, the objective of this study is to arrive at principles of sustainable design in which can be used as a guide enables architects and designers to evaluate and assess their designs. The principles that have been created and investigated in this Chapter have led to design an evaluating tool, figure (5.16) that should be used in early stage of the development process to assess housing development in terms of sustainable environment. These principles are the result of influenced relationship of the three pillars of sustainable design, which have been identified and investigated in Chapter (3). They are put in order according to the design steps, see figure (5.15).

Figure 5.15: Principles of Sustainable Design.

The first step in any development is choosing a site that meets the project requirements. The second step is to put the layout of the project that meets the client requirements and also taking into account the environmental, social and economic requirements. The most important issue architects have to think about it firstly is the orientation of the whole project and then the orientation of each unit individually. This will have a significant effect on the next step, the interior design. With the fact of sustainability, three most important building features must be studied carefully. In order to come up with the right decision, architects must have a basic knowledge about building systems, building structure and building envelope. The third and most important pillar is the environment. The responsibility of architects is how to protect the environment and how to get benefit from the environmental issues; materials, natural light, natural ventilation and acoustic.

The design assessment table below have been designed in terms of the above principles to be used as assessment tool of a development design as well as an individual building design.

Project Name
Unit to Be AssessedDate
Generic Design Criteria

Rates of Sustainability

1 = 20%

2 = 40%

3 = 60%

4 = 80%

5 = 100%

Site Selection

Project Design


Interior Design

Building Systems


Building Envelope


Natural Light



Total of Rates
Design Sustainability

V. Poor



V. Good


Figure 5.16: The Assessment Table of Sustainable Design.

The table of assessment above was simply designed to allow architects support their design sustainably before starting the construction phase. A project or a building design should achieve at least level 3 to be acceptable in terms of sustainability. With achievement less than level 3, designers must reconsider the design especially the design criteria that has got poor evaluation.

Assessors must have efficient information and understanding about the sustainable design criteria. They should know how these principles work together and how they integrated to the sustainable design. The first step of the assessment is to have a look at the design programme. This gives the assessor an impression on the project requirements and the first concept of the development design made by the design team. A visit to the proposal site is vital to gain information about the nature of the site such as; topography, biodiversity, orientation etc. The following step is to investigate design criteria one by one as they are listed in the diagram of principles of sustainable design shown in figure (5.15) above.

The final step is to evaluate and assess the project using the table for design assessment shown in figure (5.16) above. A final report should be written by the assessor showing the result of assessment with significant recommendations determining the vulnerable aspects of the design that should be reconsidered by the designers.

Chapter 6

In addition to use them as a research method, the following case studies are involved in this study to be examined by the principles of sustainable design resulted and created in Chapter (5). Case studies have been considered as another source of data for this study. The aim of investigating the following cases is to collect information and analysing them in such a way that the reader should come up with a proposed solutions against the development problems.

6.1 Coed Darcy / Wales

Coed Darcy Urban Village is a proposed development and regeneration of the former Bp Oil Llandarcy Refinery near Neath, West Wales of 4000 homes and community facilities phased and being built over the next 20 years at a cost of some ? 1.2 billion. Project sponsors include BP, The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and Welsh Assembly Government (WAG).

6.1.1 Background

Coed Darcy development 1,043 acre site is located near J43 of the M4, between Swansea and Neath, on what was the old Bp Oil Refinery at Llandarcy, which was constructed between 1918 and 1922 and was the first refinery in the UK.

Coed Darcy project is one of Europe’s largest brown field redevelopment sites and is the biggest regeneration project of its kind in Wales. The former Bp refinery site closure was announced in 1997 and In 1999 The Welsh Development Agency invited The Prince’s Foundation to give advice on the creation of a new urban village. In 2008, St. Modwen Properties PLC purchased the former Bp refinery.

Figure 6.1: The site of Coed Darcy

Source: St. Modwen Properties PLC

Figure 6.2: The former Bp Refinery

Source: St. Modwen Properties PLC.

With the site remediation and reclamation phase, a specialist remediation consultant has been appointed and a construction manager with engineering background has been dedicated to manage the project. All of the site process plant and tank farm storage have been decommissioned and demolished. The Reservoir in the North site remains for cooling water and site drainage. With all these demolition works, no removal of foundations and underground pipes has occurred, (St. Modwen Properties PLC). According to the report presented in October 2007 by St. Modwen Properties PLC, the remediation and reclamation works resulted; 800,000 tonnes of hydrocarbon contaminated materials; 1 million tonnes of metal contaminated materials; 750 miles of pipeline and cables to be removed; 10 miles of offsite pipes to be removed; 15 million tonnes of earthwork; 16 miles of roads; and 80 million gallons of water from the North site reservoir to be drained. All these works can take up to 7 years to be completed and 20 years needed for the buildings and infrastructure to be constructed.

6.1.2 Planning the Project

In addition to the 4000 houses, the development includes open spaces, integrated land use pattern, full range of services, four new schools and health and community facilities. The project is based on The Prince’s Foundation’s principles of walkable mixed use communities with a village centre at the core of the development. A series of four smaller local centres will connect the existing Llandarcy village and Skewen. The connections are supported by a public transport interchange and local rail halt, which will improve access to Llandarcy and Skewen. The project has been divided into several phases to be implemented over 20 years, so the plan and design of the first phase will be investigated in this research.

Figure 6.3: Master Plan of Phase 1 Area

Source: Robert Adam Architects

The area of phase 1 is divided into six character areas as shown in figure (6.4) to reflect design precedents and establish a strong sense of place and local identity and link the street

Llandarcy Village Road,

Middle Street,

The Lanes,

South Street,

The Crescent and Cliff Side Green,

North Street and North Street Green

Figure 6.4: Character Areas 1-6

Source: Robert Adam Architects

Area 1 will be predominantly residential with one commercial space and a total of 195 residences comprise of 137 houses (2-5 Bed); 51 apartments (1-2 Bed) and 7 apartments over garage (1-2 Bed). A ground level retail unit is included on the junction of Middle Street and South Street with an area of 558 ft2.

6.1.3 Project Analysis and Assessment

In the following, the project features will be analysed and assessed according to the principles of sustainable design been created and investigated in chapter (5):

Visiting the site gave panoramic views of the project location and a quick look at the site topography indicates changes in level from east to west by circa 10 meters across the site and rises in northerly direction by some 18 meters.
This character of the site emphasises the form and variety of the areas created by the master plan layout. The problem of the slopping nature of the site has been carefully solved by forming an extensive retaining wall to the east of the site to terrace the existing slope for construction of the new units. In addition, slopping ground was occupied by lanes, smaller units and apartments, whilst the level ground and open space was enclosed by houses. This approach will reduce the amount of earth to be removed, but on the other hand, it will increase the expenditure of the project. In addition, stepped routes are made to provide pedestrian links through the site emphasising

the natural rise and fall across the site.

Figure 6.5: Retaining walls and stepped routes.

The site selection has both advantages and disadvantages. For the advantages, the site was occupied by Bp for a long time, so developing a new residential project will not affect the biodiversity in the area and there are no trees to be removed. On the other hand, the natural site features (soil, water, air) are contaminated and should be carefully treated.
The Coed Darcy consists of new infrastructure to the whole of the site. This means additional cost to implement and could interfere with old infrastructure and building foundations already existing on-site.
The way in which Area 1 has been planned produces that circa one third of the total residential units have been orientated to the North and North-West. This means less benefit from the sun heat and natural daylight. Furthermore, the size of the double glazing windows has not been considered according to the house orientation as shown in figure (6.6), which reflects the need to use artificial light all the day.

Figure 6.6: Size of windows that used in some buildings and the effect of daylight

A cross section through the site master plan shows that buildings can benefit from the slopped area and also the distance between buildings will increase the natural ventilation. The pitch roofs are designed at an angle between 30o and 45o, which helps to create positive ventilation and fixed the roof tiles against strong winds, see figure (6.8) below.
Figure 6.7: Site section from North to South

Source: Robert Adam Architects

Figure 6.8: Pitch roof slope

The units are predominantly timber framed construction and have a facing brick and stonework finish to them. These are more sustainable traditional local materials can be used in building construction and the sources for them are available in the local area. Using different types of materials in the houses facade, different type of houses produced visual impact on the occupiers and visitors and also indicated different styles of houses, which gives people an opportunity to choose the likeable and suitable property, as shown in figure (6.9).

Figure 6.9: Different styles of houses and different materials.

The unit design has not consider the best orientation of the spaces, which expected to be taken into account in such project like this one, as we can see the same design used in houses oriented to the south has been used in houses oriented to the west and east.
Building systems have been used in sustainable way to increase energy efficiency of houses includes; high insulation value timber frame construction; class 1 chimney and fire place burning wood waste; high insulation value building envelope; timber floor with softwood renewable sources; high insulted ground floor raised to allow natural ventilation of subsoil; gas central heating; double glazing windows; cast metal gutter and slate roof.

Figure 6.10: Double glazing windows are used in the houses

Using the assessment table of sustainable design determines the strength and weakness of Coed Darcy development. See figure (6.11) below:

Project NameCoed Darcy Development
Location Former Bp Oil Llandarcy Refinery, near Neath, Wales
Unit to Be Assessed The Master PlanDate 20/04/2011
Generic Design Criteria

Rates of Sustainability

1 = 20%

2 = 40%

3 = 60%

4 = 80%

5 = 100%

Site Selection


Project Design




Interior Design


Building Systems




Building Envelope




Natural Light






Total of Rates2 * 40 = 807 * 60 = 4202 * 80 = 160
Result80 + 420 + 160 = 660 * 100 = 66000 ? 1100 = 60 %
Design Sustainability

V. Poor



V. Good



Figure 6.11: Table of Assessment (Coed Darcy Development).

The assessment has been done according to the analysis of the project design. The table indicates that the design has seven criteria achieved level 3; two criteria achieved level 2 and two with level 4. The total result was 6600 out of 1100, which is equal to 60% and this is good, but the two poor criteria should be reconsidered. Although, seven criteria have reached level 3, an additional effort should be done to improve them.

6.2 Greenwatt Way / England

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) decided to build its own development of 10 zero carbon homes on the former site of SSE office in Chalvey, Slough, as shown in figure (6.12) below.

Figure 6.12: Greenwatt Way development layout.

Source: Inside Housing, (

6.2.1 Background

A total of 10 dwellings have been constructed since the autumn of 2010. The development consists of 10 homes (two one bed flats, a terrace of two bed houses, a terrace of three bed houses and two three bed detached houses). Different building techniques have been used. Four homes have been built using lightweight timber frame and the rest of homes from more traditional masonry construction. As a result of these measures the homes are expected to have a very limited heating demand (80% less than homes built to 2006 Building Regulation standards). The roofs of the homes and flats will be covered with solar PV tiles (63 kWp in total), which provides enough renewable electricity to achieve net zero carbon emissions in each of the homes irrespective of the heat source. Greenwatt Way will also provide a number of key amenities to enable residents to live a more sustainable lifestyle, free electricity from solar PV, bicycle storage, Private patios and a shared garden with no public access, and fruit trees and raised beds for growing vegetables.

6.2.2 Project Analysis and Assessment

The development has been built to the zero carbon standards. Therefore, it should achieve most of the principles of sustainable design. The design itself is imaginative, flexible and functional. It creates excitement. It is fit for purpose. It takes full advantage of its location.

Four homes were built using a lightweight timber frame (manufactured offsite) and the rest of the homes from more traditional masonry construction. This means, using different building techniques with high standard of fabric performance in order to achieve a heat loss parameter (HLP) of 0.8 W/m2K, which was a mandatory requirement for code level 6.
One of the first considerations in designing the new development is to consider the orientation of each property. The way this project was planned, it was not possible to achieve purely south facing housing. Homes were oriented with east and west facing facade, which is highly challenging orientation and should have spacing design solutions.

Figure 6.13: Interior design

Source: (

Therefore, the designer tried different types of interior design as shown below; in addition, an open design system was adopted in the living and kitchen spaces to gain more natural daylight and natural ventilation.

Figure 6.14: Different style of interior design

Source: (

Choosing appropriate building envelop system includes; high level of insulation, good air tightness and minimal cold bridges ensure heat loss during the winter is minimised.

Figure 6.15: Insulation System.

Source: (

To achieve water usage requirements for this scheme, recycling and reuse systems are used clearly, as waste water from the shower and bath is collected and reused for WC flushing. Heat from waste water is used to heat fresh air.
High performance triple glazed windows with draught resistant seals allow larger openings and better daylight. High level roof light uses stack effect for good purge ventilation.
The ten houses use a combination of five different types of energy generation. These include solar thermal, roof mounted photovoltaic panels along the entire south facing roof, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and a biomass boiler.
All of the homes have been built using traditional cavity wall and rendered block work except four homes which were erected using a prefabrication timber panel system.

Project NameGreenwatt Way Development
LocationSlough – England
Unit to Be AssessedThe Project DesignDate 22/04/2011
Generic Design Criteria

Rates of Sustainability

1 = 20%

2 = 40%

3 = 60%

4 = 80%

5 = 100%

Site Selection


Project Design




Interior Design


Building Systems




Building Envelope




Natural Light






Total of Rates5 * 60 = 3006 * 80 = 480
Result300 + 480 = 780 * 100 = 78000 ? 1100 = 70.9 %
Design Sustainability

Very Poor



Very Good



Figure 6.16: Table of assessment (Greenwatt Way Development)

The assessment table indicates that 5 criteria have achieved level 3 and 6 criteria with level 4. This is a very good achievement of a new housing development design. This means no more improvement can be done in this stage, but, the design criteria with level 3 achievements must be investigated and improved for future developments.

6.3 Comparison between Two Projects

Coed Darcy is one of the largest residential development in Europe consists of 4000 homes, while Greenwatt Way development consists of ten homes.
Greenwatt Way is one phase development to be built in one year. Coed Darcy development is phased and being built over the next 20 years. In this case, designers should take into account the future developments in building aspects and technologies.
Greenwatt Way was designed as one community. The ten homes are sharing services, outdoor facilities and green spaces. This will enhance the social relationship, which is hardly reached in large projects.
Greenwatt Way project would be benefited the infrastructure already existed in the Area, whereas a new infrastructure net should be built in such development like Coed Darcy.
Greenwatt Way project used the latest construction methods and energy technologies available to deliver zero carbon housing. In addition, the project included a look at issues that are potentially of interest to the building sector, such as ventilation, air quality, renewable resource system, noise and the environmental tolerance of a zero carbon home to the real people living in it. In contrast, the Coed Darcy project needs reconsideration of some aspects to achieve sustainability ratio.

Chapter 7

This chapter emphasizes a brief review of the research summarized as a conclusion of the study to enable readers come up to full understanding of the research results. These findings assist to meet the main objectives of the study listed in Chapter (2).It contains concluding remarks to the structure of the study following by a list of results, ending with recommendations proposed by the researcher in order to go further in the way of improving and developing the research in the future.

7.1 Conclusion

Can well-designed, sustainable housing benefit the environmentThis is a vital question needs a crucial answer. If the answer is ‘Yes’, then the most important is how this can be done. Quick review to the research helps to clarify the results that would answer the questions to meet the objectives of the study.

Tough climate change targets mean that CO2 emissions from the UK’s housing stock must reduce by at least 80% by 2050 and all new dwellings will need to be zero carbon from 2016.

The rapid growth of the world’s population is one of the figures highlights the need for more housing developments. The scientific development in the techniques of architecture urges steps reform the human understanding of nature. The interaction between humans, architecture and the environment is a major demonstration of human civilization. Researches were done and books were written to cope with the trend of environmental architecture. Environmental architecture, intelligent buildings, green architecture and eco homes are new approaches recently been considered in terms of sustainability in society, economy and environment.

In addition to information gained from relevant researches and books, a research questionnaire was made to arrive at the latest findings and opinions of professionals in this area. This information investigated to meet the principal objectives of this research, which is establishing underpinning principles that can be used in the design of sustainable architecture. The qualitative research method, explained in Chapter (2), has been used to collect information in order to understand the interrelationship between architecture and environment. The evaluation activities undertaken were questionnaire to a nominal focus group. The target group were responsible for the building design that can play a fundamental role in contributing to the delivery of quality to building performance.

The literature review in chapter (3) reveals a distressing gap between architecture and environment, whilst a mutual relationship is strictly required. Defining the relationship between architecture and environment can be challenging because of their impact on each other. From one side, architects always tried to find such ways to protect buildings from the environment, on the other side, environmental scientists tried hard to reduce negative effects of buildings on the environment. Because of these challenges, evaluating and assuring quality and sustainability in housing developments become a critical issue. Despite the amount of scientific knowledge architects have gathered, environmental issues still holds great mysteries that they may never be able to unravel.

However, environmental architecture aims to create a new harmonious relationship between architecture and environment by exploring what it means to design with nature in mind. Furthermore, the relationship between architecture and environment is seen as an interactive and dynamic process where each impacts the other. From this point of view, the core concept of sustainable design is that presenting harmony between buildings and surrounding environment using it for human needs while respecting its importance.

Chapter (4) focused on a number of environmental assessment tools currently adopted and implemented by governments, local authorities and organisations to monitor buildings performance. These tools include EPC, BREEAM, SAP and CSH. The measurement of environmental performance and sustainability in the built environment is one of the most important issues. The investigation outlined a representative sample of the major tools and other initiatives that encourage improved performance in this field and describes the common features of assessment tools. These codes and standards are designed to work with some or all parts of a building. The relationship between architecture and environment is complex and the tools, standards and guidance are usually focused on parts of this network. Therefore, this study aimed to find factors that influence the sustainable design. These integrated factors would work together as a guide of building assessment during the design stage of a development.

Finding and results of Chapter (4) led to search for appropriate principles of sustainable design in Chapter (5). The research reveals 11 principal factors would be considered as ‘sustainable design criteria’ to be assessed during the design stage. And so, a table for design assessment was designed to simplify the evaluation method and come up with the final decision of sustainability ratio of a development design.

To examine the design assessment method created in Chapter (5), two new developments were experienced to find out how sustainable they are. The first one was Coed Darcy Development in Wales and the second was Greenwatt Way Development in England. Reasons of choosing these two developments were explained in Chapter (6) and assessing them reflects the importance of creating principles of sustainable design.

7.2 Research Results

Studying architectural engineering, practicing buildings design and building construction especially residential buildings and eventually, studying environmental conservation and management, which presents the opportunity to produce this research, extract the following results:

Architecture is a craft as old as human existence on this earth. The ancient civilizations attempted to adapt and live in the surrounding environment.
Environment was always the focus of human attention over centuries, but in different levels because it was always sustaining their life and gaving them the main sources in order to live comfortably and efficiently.
Sustainability will become more commonplace as the cost implementing sustainable processes decreases with added experience over time. This will likely derive building companies as well as individuals that would otherwise not consider sustainable design to consider it in the future.
Human activities have negative effects upon environment and most effectively building homes to live in.
Buildings contribute to around 60% of UK CO2 emissions, in which housing account of about 27%. Housing impact the environment in several aspects. The most important is depletion of natural resources and pollution resulting from housing construction and operation. Therefore, it was normal for humans to deeply think about the devastation and destruction of environment.
It is very important to consider not only energy efficiency in building design and construction, but more importantly, planning a design programme, managing natural resource, implementing structural techniques, minimising the waste in materials, water and energy should be a key goal.
Architecture, environment and sustainability are the primary pillars of sustainable design. Studying the interrelationship between these three pillars was a common core of the research underpinned the investigation to meet the objectives stated earlier.
A fully understanding of sustainability in terms of environment, society and economy, reflected that sustainable housing design refers to design a house building that respects its environment; uses less energy and natural resources; healthy and comfortable for its users; good integrated with its community and is also cost effective. As this is a broad subject to be investigated in a master thesis, the research only focused on environmental aspect. Therefore, the aimed principles for sustainable design that created according to this aspect are: site selection; project design; orientation; interior design; building systems; structure; building envelop; materials, natural light; ventilation and acoustic. Architect Glenn Murcutt, when he characterised sustainable design as responding to the environment, claimed “Follow the sun, observe the wind, watch the flow of water, use simple materials, and touch the earth lightly.”
With the growing awareness of the negative impact of the exploitation of nature, governments and organisations are more and more supporting sustainable housing design that are in tune with nature’s plan. Under the UK Government Plans, from 2016 all new homes will be built to a new zero carbon standards, and by 2050 the nation’s entire housing stock will be virtually zero carbon. It is not hyperbole to say that the better design of new houses would result in about 50% of reduction in their energy consumption and this would significantly contribute to environmental impact and climate change mitigation. The design of buildings is complex processes in which decisions are taken during the design stage that critically affect the building performance.
Although, most developments consume more resources that they create, projects that are designed with sustainable ideals will benefit the environment. Therefore, housing design that encompasses assessment and architectural issues that address sustainability goals is likely to be able to demonstrate significant contribution global resource efficiency. From this point of view, the research clearly answered the vital question early stated at the beginning of the study. Furthermore, the research produced proposed principles of sustainable design that would assess housing design in earlier stages.

7.3 Recommendations

This research has been taken place to derive appropriate answer to the main question that identified the principal objectives of the study. Consequently, to deliver an opinion of how sustainable design of housing development would reduce impacts upon environment. Many relevant aspects have been considered throughout the research and the key findings were stated as principles of sustainable design. Accordingly, numbers of recommendations were suggested to overcome deficiencies in data and information necessary to develop the research in further studies or by others interested in similar challenges.

Following the investigation of the whole topic in this study, it appears that this is a broad subject to be covered in an MSc dissertation, and could be considered as a PhD thesis with deep investigation taking into account sustainable society and economy as well as the environment. Therefore, it is recommended that further studies might be taken place in the near future to improve and develop more principles for sustainable design in terms of environment, economy and society.
It is recommended that the housing development team should consider these principles during the design stage. In addition, developing an acceptable policy that manages the assessment process designed in this study is required by local authorities to persuade designers review and evaluate their design before being put in practice.
Any further design criteria might be added should be focus on more direct impact upon environment and this should be presented in the table of assessment during the design phase.

If new principles are implemented, a deep investigation of how these new principles affect the design of sustainable housing should be taken place.
Finally, sustainable houses are a gift that we give to our children and the coming generation who have a right to fresh air and water and a healthy living systems. This earth is theirs tomorrow and it is our duty to hand it over in perfect shape.


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Free Essays

Critical Analysis of the Modernist movement and Architecture of The Royal Festival Hall


The following essay will discuss the modernist movement and architecture of The Royal Festival Hall in Britain. It will demonstrate several different elements of modern design combined with the fabulous music, art and drama that unified the people of Britain, post war. It will also incorporate the underlying relationship between man and building and how together they contributed to the nation building of Britain.

The Royal Festival Hall is a fine example of the technology and detailing of the period of modernism. Located in Southbank Centre the building was designed and constructed in 1951 by architects, Leslie Martin, Robert Matthew and Peter Moro to commemorate a century of the Great Exhibition and as a part of the Festival of London. The hall was built in just less than three years with the assistance of several young architects and designers who were inspired by Le Corbusier and Mies van der Roche and their fast pace sketching of modernist glass and steel pavilions. With the knowledge and skills from some of the best known architects of that time and the influence of modernity, The Royal Festival Hall was completed, “inside within an outside” into a “shape within a shape”, the exterior and the interior were no longer separate, it was one unified formation, a true monument of modernism.

The Royal Festival Hall was not only known for its modernist architecture but for its unique abstract and modern exterior. The structure of the hall consisted of five levels, the ground lower entrance level, main foyer, upper entrance level, balcony level, mid stalls level and front stalls level. All together comprising of cafe’s and bars, restaurants, shop, book store, balcony, terrace, stage, auditorium, practice room, organ, change rooms, promenade and library. The building is a classic modern structure that is simply held in by glass, a display whose immateriality is encouraged by all kind of design plans, like the way the auditorium form is lit at night-time, or by the insertion of flower boxes on both sides of the glass. Towards the inside, internal vistas transform every progress, giving a sense of graceful space and openness, an appearance of expectancy to embrace the nation.

The exterior of the original Auditorium in 1951

Miles Glendinning describes The Royal Festival Hall in a piece of her as “a little unusual in that it was the focus almost exclusively of praise even during the 1980s nadir of the reputation of the Modernism. In fact, the history of its reception is essentially one of the successive attempts to appropriate its consensual prestige. That prestige stemmed, at the most general level, not from its architecture but from its role as a ‘soft’ nationalistic symbol of post-war revival, as the centre piece of the Festival, and as ‘Britain’s first post-war non-austerity and non-essential building.” “The times predicted that ‘the hall can serve the highest spiritual purposes of music in our national life.’”

During the years of 2005 and 2007 The Royal Festival Hall underwent major renovations; however the overall style and structure of the hall remained the same. Jonathan Glancey an editor from The Guardian newspaper United Kingdom explains how although ?111 million was spent on the refurbishment of hall the initial concept of modernism will be not be altered, the building will just be restored to its original fashion keeping the ambience of the previous years of celebration, history and the culture alive in such an important British icon. Glancey quotes “Don’t come here expecting the RFH to have been transformed into some whizzy, hippity-hoppity “iconic” architectural experience for the readily bored. No. The building has been brought back to life in a way wholly recognisable to those who first came to listen to concerts here when Clement Attlee was prime minister and ration books were still in belt-tightening force. Equally, the RFH looks wonderfully fresh and new. It is one of those buildings, from an era when most British architecture was too tweedy and austere for comfort, visual or otherwise, that still seems generous, welcoming, blithe and, in part, opulent.” (Glancey, 2007)

Natasha Goodfellow a writer for Home and Antiques made a statement in her article regarding The Royal Festival Hall “The hall they built used modernism’s favourite material, reinforced concrete, alongside more luxurious elements including beautiful woods and Derbyshire fossilised limestone. It keenly espoused the tenets of modern architecture and encapsulated a sense of both democracy and an incredible openness and generosity. There were no separate bars for different classes of visitor, no bad seats in the auditorium, and the large foyers – a revelation compared to the cramped lobbies of traditional West End theatres of the time – were pierced by white columns holding the huge 3,000 seat auditorium above them.” ( above statements clearly articulate how magnificent this building is, not only by its structural form.

This photo was taken from the Waterloo Bridge, post renovations in 2007

The Royal Festival Hall was built for the people of London, the bars and restaurants the hall were intended for everyone. Its contemporary design and choice of location smartly designed in a democratic space served all types of guests and offered “the broadest programme of arts and events possible”, from opera, classical music, films, dance and dramatic theatre drawing the people of Britain to attend spectacular events. During the months of May and September in 1951 over eight million people visited Southbank to attend the festival. (Mullins 2007) An open Foyer programme was launched in 1983 allowing day time access to the hall at all times during the day rather than only being open an hour prior to a concert taking place. This encouraged the public to drop in for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink at any time during the day and enjoy the ambience, views and atmosphere, The Royal Festival Hall had to offer.

The following is a statement made by Tony Blair, which appeared in the Gabion, by Hugh Pearmon, titled, The Royal Festival Hall, London: historic modernism reinvented. “If you’re British, the Royal Festival Hall is a part of your life. Everybody knows of it. If you live in or visit the capital, chances are you’ve arranged to meet friends there, in the odd and seemingly permanently-changing assortment of cafes and restaurants and bars that has inhabited it down the years. So did your parents and grandparents. You might even have made it into the period-piece auditorium for any one of an astonishing variety of performances ranging from symphony orchestras and dance groups to the world premiere of Brian Wilson’s psychedelic masterpiece Smile. And who can forget the sight of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott not-quite-dancing to Things Can Only Get Better.” (

Early in the piece there were several complaints regarding the acoustics from the orchestra. Publisher Victor Gollancz, an passionate concert attendee, remembers his first visit in 1951: “The place seemed horribly raw; there was no atmosphere, no smell (literally as well as metaphorically) about it…”(Mullins, 2007) Regardless of these initial problems with the acoustics many thought the Royal Festival Hall was the best concert hall in the world, hosting several truly memorable nights.As quoted by Bernard Levin in the Times 1976, “We have both aged, the Royal Festival Hall and I. But I remember, and I shall remember no matter how many more quarter centuries of the halls existence I survive, the first overwhelming shock of breathless delight and the originality and beauty of the interior….. (it felt that)… we had been instantly been reported far into the future and that we were on another planet all together… I do not exaggerate; I vividly remember talking to an attendant on a visit a week or two after my first, and being told at the end of every concert the ushers were assembled at the top of the building and that they then, linking hands, move slowly down from concourse to concourse, gently shepherding from the precincts audiences that otherwise simply could not bring themselves to leave, so affecting was the experience of being in diesen heil’gen Hallen.” (McKean, 2001)

Novelist Ali Smith recalls her memories of The Royal Festival Hall, “One of my most vivid memories of the Royal Festival Hall is of being part of a crowd nearly taking its ceiling off with the cheering and clapping – at a silent film. It was the hugely celebratory second showing of Abel Gance’s brilliant Napolean, with Sir Carl Davis conducting his own fine score. Near the end the screen splits into a triptych of different images, each tinted a different colour, to make the tricolor, the orchestra played the Marseillaise, and something strange and revolutionary swept through the London audience, which stood up and yelled with excitement at the orchestra and the screen. I have seen several of the Royal Festivals Hall’s silent film events, with Davis conducting, including a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus, which as soon as it’s on a big screen accompanied by its full score, can be seen for the masterpiece it is. Just a couple of reasons why the Royal Festival Hall is a pretty special and versatile space.” (Mullins, 2007)

Rachel Curtis explains her fond memories of The Royal Festival Hall, “My husband always admired the architecture of the Southbank especially the Royal Festival Hall. He remained interested in the renovations of Southbank centre despite living in Southampton. When we visited London we would always go to the Royal Festival Hall to relax, eat, enjoy the music and admire the magnificent landscape of London. When he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 37 we were devastated, but he always maintained his enjoyment of architecture and music. When he died in 2004, I decided a fitting memorial would be to purchase a seat in his memory. He will now be able to hear as much music as he likes in the splendid surroundings of the Royal Festival Hall. I visit when I can and remember with fondness our special and happy times spent on the south bank.”(Mullins, 2007)

The Royal Festival Hall known not only for its unique modern architecture but for its inviting casual atmosphere, welcoming people from all ages, religions, cultures. Here the citizens of Britain could come together and find similarities and – more importantly – differences, that they could celebrate through their art forms. Adrian Forty describes The Royal Festival Hall as a mutual exchange of seeing, It is not subjugated to some other purpose of the building owner – such as (in a shopping mall) to consume, or (in a station concourse) to travel; is it different from those places where, therefore, we see others and seen by them as less complete. At the Festival Hall, as stated by Forty, “the owner of the building is none other than the subject. Whoever you are, once you enter through the original main entrance at ground level, and stand with the space unfolding in front of you, beside you and above you the volume is yours and only yours alone. Of course exactly the same experience occurs for everyone who enters the building, and so the result is the sense of an equal right to the possession of the building, and in absence of any commanding authority.” (Mullins, 2007)

It has been made evident that the construction of The Royal Festival hall has contributed to the rebuilding of the nation’s spirit, through not only its modern architecture, but the inviting atmosphere and availability of arts, music and dance it offers to the people of Britain.


GLENDINNING, MILES. Teamwork or MasterworkThe Design and Reception of the Royal Festival HALL

MCKEAN, JOHN. Royal Festival Hall: London County Council, Leslie Martin and Peter Moro

London: Phaidon, 2001

MULLINS, CHARLOTTE. A Festival on the River

London: Penguin Ltd, 2007.

GLANCEY, JONOTHAN. “Pomp and Circumstance”. May 11 2011.

GOODFELLOW, NATASHA. “Royal Festival Hall: A Building to Lift the Spirits”. May 11 2011. /feature/royal-festival-hall-building-lift-spirits

Free Essays

An analysis of architecture from an author’s and industry perspective


This article observes the tension generated by the apparent opposition between: Architecture and the Author / Architecture as Industry. Different authors have tried to bring out their understanding of architecture while criticizing the applicability of it in the modern world. Their arguments are based on past practices, which, according to them, form the basis for the modern architectural practices (Conrads 1970).

Contributions made towards modern architecture as early as the year 1906 are still being used, with the end of it not yet known, and the products from these contributions scarcely recognized. With the dominance of economic questions within modern life, people as well as architects have to participate in architectural problems ranging from town planning to private dwellings. Formalistic constructions based on these phenomena are characteristic of vacillating trends changing more quickly over the past century than the principles which they were based on (Allsopp 1981).

This case will be based on prior literature that covers one century and will try to analyze the use of architecture and how authors agree or disagree on the subject matter in their discussion. This article will focus on what comprises architecture in the modern days, while at the same time highlighting the contributions made by Greeks towards architecture. This essay will seek to conclude that the importance of incorporating architecture into a construction from its planning phase to completion is a necessary aspect rather than trying to improve the quality through decorations (Conrads 1970).

It is important to adapt an old building for modern use if the full benefits are to be derived and tranquility in the building attained. Architects are guided by engineers who are responsible for determining the materials and the support for the buildings, leaving the architects’ task mainly in terms of the artworks. An architect is not only concerned with the building itself but with the fittings and the surroundings for the building. It is important to note that architecture is not only affected by the construction alone but by other factors such as the materials use, the surrounding environment and the fittings (Cuff 1992).


In organic architecture, a building is not one thing different from its setting, environment or even it furnishings. All the above work together as one in conceiving a building and should be provided for and foreseeable in a structure. They become mere details of the completed formation and character of the structure creating a dwelling as a completed art work, that is suited to an individual needs to express its character through a combination of other factors (Conrads 1970).

There has been a variety of attempts to try and incorporate the ancient Greek language into the modern construction. The Greek mathematics contributed to the order and proportion of classical architecture work that establishes harmony in a structure through the repetition of simple ratios or through the use of orders of architecture. Order and repetition of ratios constitute the Latin of architecture or a classical language. Ancient Greeks recognized three orders namely; Corinthians, Doric and ionic. Repeating or combining a given order generates a rhythm in a building that contributes to its harmonious visual effect. With time, the Greek architects learnt the use of geometric principles known as the golden ratio to systematically relate building parts (Iffriq 2008).

The Greeks’ also made a contribution to architecture through the development of rational procedure that helps control a building’s design and assist perfectly the relationship among its parts. Renaissance architects, after centuries of neglect, re-established the architecture classical language as an essential element or condition to building design. This language was, however, abandoned due to the rise of modernism, although its traces are still available. From the Parthenon to the modernists such as Le Corbusier, building precedent was set that focused on harmony and sophistication and this development has not been surpassed (Iffriq 2008).

True architecture is not achievable through decorations and that problems found in modern architecture are not solvable through purely external means. With little regards to scales, the principle of interpreting things in a way that is surface based, where only the physical aspects are taken as important and not the entire structural components, has led to reproduction of various materials according to the play of lines being forced onto particular systems. This might have no harm on small works but is a big inhibitor to invention because it curtails real invention and creativity leading to monstrosities when applied to large scale tectonic projects (Conrads 1970).

The aforementioned has led to renunciation of tectonic solutions and that kind of support is minimal and surface decorations are used while omitting dividing cornices. The results are a forced tranquillity that did not exist in the past. Such tranquility is forced because it is not as a result of a real balance of energies that has accompanied the tectonic transition full emphasis. This has the effects of distracting the artist from the main task and failed mastery of the motif as a result of the lack of organic and spontaneity in the work therefore corresponding to the artists temperament and ability as a result of the used external peculiarities aimed at covering past mistakes and improve the quality to bring the tranquility (Cuff 1992).

If the design of earlier buildings is to meet the needs of modern life, it must be adapted to modern requirements and the materials used correctly. The construction must be adapted for the intended purpose to be able to produce the tranquility that is irreplaceable through decorations and other embellishments no matter how skillfully they are applied. Today’s architectural problems, including decorative problems, cannot be solved without the use of the past especially the mastery of tectonic problems. The materials used in the modern day are still the same as that used previously, even with the achievements of the construction industry yet past practices have not yet surpassed (Conrads 1970).

A structural work has to tally with the work of an engineer and the architect has to follow this. The past has enriched the industry with an understanding of the materials used and their characteristics. Science has bequeathed architects with a wide knowledge of the laws of statics, but at the moment they face more constraints compared to previous years, where common sense was relied upon to solve architectonic problems (Gilchrist 2004).

The engineer’s responsibility is to calculate and design a unity taking into consideration the load and the support, right parts measurements of the structure parts and the constituent materials. The architect’s main responsibility is decorative, imposed on the building’s fabric and this ends up spoiling the organic clarity. A tectonic constructional form has its nucleus in which the artist must focus on and not only from the external decorative considerations. Domestic architecture freezes itself from external conception making demands operating from the inside outwards and help architect achieve the authenticity to be taken into account (Architecture resources for enterprise advantage n.d).


A great emphasis is usually placed on the individual elements in a way that is contrary to the whole organic harmony. This is therefore damaging the smaller dimensions buildings because it kills the harmony that should be in existence and removes the tranquility. It is important to note that utilizing varied building materials on one structure is not possible without destroying the basic structure, distracting the attentions from the core of the building. Being confused about architectural idioms and lacking knowledge of the essentials leads to chasing fashionable manners that are subject to contempt, unlike real architecture that is a product of intense thought and that is governed by artistic considerations that are less susceptible to imitators. As can be seen of late, architecture is evolving where buildings are having few complications and focusing on a solution and unrelenting objectivity (Salingaros 2007).

Regardless of the achievements made in the areas of interior design, fruitful inspirations, and the fresh life breathed into handicrafts, architecture has not yet come of age. There are numerous buildings that are coming up daily but they are inferior in nature because architects are not using their creativity to develop them and planning is also done poorly making them irrelevant to the current age and show a lack of culture (Conrads 1970).

Having buildings that fill city streets or other populated areas does not indicate success and this is especially bad at the moment where there is energy that can be used to construct decent architectural constructions. The inability to use such energy indicates that architects have not gotten to grips with the tasks intended and this is characteristic of the cultural situation of the modern day. There has been growth in the condemnation of constructions as either inhabitable or for total destruction. Few changes have been seen with regards to architecture over the preceding decade (Conrads 1970).


The history of the world indicates fundamental changes that characterize major developments. Art is one of these developments as it expresses life and creates reality of an object giving it an in-depth feeling of harmony and balance. Architecture is one of the most popular forms of art in this modern day due to the advances in technology, practices of rendering constructions visible and the objectivity associated with it. Architecture is a great contributor of insight and goes beyond established principles. It results in a shift from mediation to concentration it encompasses not only sculpture and pictures but a wider variety of aspects and is self-sufficient (Salingaros 2007).

Architects are great contributors to this concentration through their choice of unsuitable advisors and this has curtailed the artistic culture in general. It is imperative that it is more than just the material aspects of a construction, but that the spiritual aspect is embraced over the developmental techniques and the purpose of the construction (Rudofsky n.d).

Architectonic culture is the true measure of a nation’s culture and will continue being this way in the future. A nation that continuously erects worst buildings continuously even though it produces good light fittings or furniture shows signs of heterogeneity and un-clarified conditions indicating lack of organization and discipline. Culture is unthinkable without a total respect of form and this is synonymous to lacking a culture (Salingaros 2007).

Doubts have been raised on the functional planning and rational buildings from different authors of periodicals although a solution has not yet been arrived at due to uncommitted laissez- faire or action. Contrary to this belief, regard is being focused on locality as well as specific situations. This however does not call for planning of towns and construction without due regard to the surroundings but use of creative imagination that is based on precise observation of the structures of the city. A number of authors have criticized modern architecture arguing that dynamic buildings cannot exist without elliptical or slanting lines (Conrads 1970).

Reflective conclusion

A number of authors argue that it is not the final completion of the structure that is important but the entire process and that in trying to make a poorly constructed building look good will amount to trying to force the external factors onto a building and this does not create tranquility. Architecture has been evolving over the century but the evolution is not yet fully realized in terms of constructions that have fully embraced it in their work. Much focus has been on the materials used for the construction however there are other considerations that are at play as far as architecture is concerned. (Salingaros 2007).

Taking into account the initial architectural demands that are in a position of creating tranquility is important to the architect. Having too much in a structure robs the building its natural calmness which is achievable through simplicity of the overall design. An architect may be too much preoccupied by the exterior painterly conceptions, depriving them of the benefits of focusing on the tranquility of the construction. When the tranquility has been achieved, decorative richness can be applied without having to overburden the structure (Conrads 1970).

Architects are facing more problems recently than in the past due to the influences of engineers and requirements of planning and their drive towards creating an organic harmony in an entire construction. Incorporation of different construction materials on a single building destroys its basic structure and distracts the attentions from the core of the building (Conrads 1970).

Even with the modern developments, architecture has not fully developed and constructions that are inferior are coming up, leading to some being condemned to destruction. An architect has a responsibility of encouraging the artistic culture and they need to revive their intellectual understanding. Architects should be concerned about specific situations and localities and have in mind proper planning when they come up with cities through the use of creative imagination based on proper observation of such city structures (Conrads 1970).


Allsopp Bruce, (1981). A Modern Theory of Architecture. Routledge.

“Architecture resources for enterprise advantage,” [pdf]. Retrieved on 16/8/12 from .

Conrads, U. ed (1970) Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-century architecture. Cambridge, MIT Press

Cuff Dana, (1992). Architecture: The Story of a Practice. MIT Press

Gilchrist Alan, Barry Mahon, (2004). Information architecture. Facet Publishing 7 Ridgmount Street, London.

Iffriq Andrew, (2008). From Parthenon to Modern Movement. Architecture suite 101

Rudofsky Bernard, (n.d). Architecture without Architects. Retrieved on 8/16/2012 from .

Salingaros A. Nikos, (2007). A Theory of Architecture. Umbau-Verlag Harald Pusche

Free Essays

Essay on Prison Architecture

Shawn Connell Professor Blomquist Writing 101-15 4/16/12 Prison Architecture Wallace Stegner once said, “Nothing in our history has bound us to a plot of ground [since] feudalism once bound Europeans” (Stegner 301). The only exception is being imprisoned. For those who brake society’s set laws, “Prisons and their many variants are built environments whose intended purpose is punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation and incapacitation” (Awofeso). Prisons began to be more widely used because the early Catholic Church disapproved of physical punishments.

In 1298, Pope Boniface VIII authorized that incarceration and lack of liberty will take the place of the “eye for an eye” way of settling disputes previously employed (Awofeso). Today, architects are still debating what the best way to design a prison and punish guilty people is. Architects’ and theorists’ many differing morals such as how cruel one can treat an inmate, can influence their opinions of prisoner treatment and rehabilitation driving their designs to be unique, often having varying negative psychological effects on their inmates.

Jeremy Benthem, a theorist, had sketched quite a harsh prison concept in 1781 called the Panopticon. He believed prisons should be a form of strict discipline. His structure allowed one guard to watch all the prisoners without them knowing when they were being watched. “The mental uncertainty implicit in prisoners’ not knowing when they are being watched was promoted as a crucial instrument of discipline” (Awofeso). The prisoners were to have no contact with any other inmates. The prisoner “is seen, but he does not see; he is the object of information, never a subject in communication” (Foucault 226).

Without being able to talk to one another, the inmates could not discuss their crimes and get encouragement to repeat them. There also exists no chance of a planned rebellion or escape, making it only necessary to have one guard. Benthem believes to truly punish the perpetrators; their authority and dignity must be undermined. They must be stripped of any power or worth they have. They are to constantly live without knowing when they are being watched, which would translate after they are released. The prisoners would be so used to acting as though they were being examined and possibly become better people outside the prison.

Benthem’s Panopticon was never directly erected so the effects on prisoners are unknown. However, through Craig Haney’s studies of other prisons, one can be sure Panopticism would have had adverse effects on those incarcerated there. Being watched constantly, Haney believes prisoners may, “labor at both an emotional and behavioral level to develop a “prison mask” that is unrevealing and impenetrable; many for whom the mask becomes especially thick and…[they find themselves] disincentive against engaging in open communication with others [and leads] them to withdrawal from authentic social interactions altogether” (Haney).

Panopticicsm would dull inmates to a point of no emotions. They would become accustomed to the paranoia of being seen so they hide their feelings and actions. And since they would have no contact with any other person, they could lose all communication skills. In today’s society, the Panopticon’s form of punishment may be dubbed by the Contituation as cruel and unusual punishment. In contrast, John Haviland designed The Eastern State Penitentiary in 1821.

The design was based off of the values of the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons of “correctional reform and social justice” (Eastern State Penitentiary) with a purpose to bring inmates to god and a righteous way of life. “Many leaders believe that crime is the result of environment, and that solitude will make the criminal regretful and penitent” (Eastern State Penitentiary). The designer utilized unique architectural details to enhance the religious atmosphere to encourage this regret.

He incorporated components of famous religious architecture such as the immense churches built in the era of grand Gothic and Romanesque cathedrals to enforce the idea that god is almighty and constantly watching. Their hope was to have the prisoners repent their crimes and embrace a new life of innocence. Haviland factored in a religious element into almost every detail of the structure. The facade is fitted with lancet windows and stained glass. The entrances to the cells are small and short, forcing the new inmate to bow his or her head to enter.

Inside the cells themselves, the sole form of light is a skylight representing the light of God or the all seeing eye of God. This system attempts to spiritually cleanse the new comer or in other words, the approach to the prison is a realization of one’s sins, the entrance into the cell is an act of submission, and the time spent in the cell is the beginning of a new life of holiness. The prisoners of Eastern State Penitentiary were not permitted to have contact with anyone, not even the guards.

The inmates were meant to not even know where they were and were often masked when entering the building and their dwelling. Wendell Berry once stated “If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are” (Stegner 299). This was meant to allow the prisoners to have a fresh start and a new beginning; to become a new and improved human being. Haviland wished to truly improve the lives of the individual prisoners and society at large in a way he thought was philanthropic. Although Haviland’s intentions seemed benign, studies show that isolation can be one of the cruelest forms of punishment.

In fact, “there are few if any forms of imprisonment that produce so many indices of psychological trauma and symptoms of psychopathology in those persons subjected to [isolation]” (Haney). With a lack of communication with others, “many may develop emotional flatness that becomes chronic and debilitating in social interaction and relationships, and find that they have created a permanent and unbridgeable distance between themselves and other people” (Haney). There is quite a list of possible negative psychological effects including clinical depression, paranoia, rage, helplessness, violence, and cognitive dysfunction to name a few (Haney).

If Haviland knew of these side effects, maybe he would have designed the Eastern State Penitentiary differently. Today, the average United States prison is quite different than the ideas of Haviland and Benthem. The prisons are known to have many negative trends. They usually tend to be very over crowded with two or more prisoners sharing a cell with men or women they have never met before living in close quarters with often one toilet in a cell with no privacy. Most are subjected to extreme violence and intimidation from both other inmates and often overworked staff.

Many prisoners live in constant fear that they will be harmed physically or mentally by their peers. This type of prison system is not very effective. “Few people are completely unchanged or unscathed by the experience …[and] suffer long-term consequences from having been subjected to pain, deprivation, and extremely atypical patterns and norms of living and interacting with others” (Haney). Many cannot re-adjust to normal life outside prison where every activity and meal is organized for them. Some ontinue to be violent or paranoid that violence will be done unto them. Therefore, some designers have unique ideas to counter these negative effects like Josef Hohensinn. Josef Hohensinn believes the prison system should be changed. He believes “The more normal a life you give them [in prison], the less necessary it is to resocialize them when they leave” (Lewis). So, he created a resort-like prison in Leoben, Austria. His structure features floor to ceiling windows, full kitchens, and balconies.

It is still secure; it is in a completely isolated area, the glass is all shatterproof, and the balconies all have bars. In Hohensinn’s opinion, prisons are merely a place to hold captives for a period of time. The inner workings of more common prisons are not natural and cause criminals to become possibly more dangerous by stripping them of their dignity, often abusing them, and making them slowly forget how to live a normal life. “About 67 percent of the prisoners who are released are arrested again within three years” (Lewis) in a normal prison.

Hohensinn believes it’s just “an expensive way of making bad people worse” (Lewis). Above the door of his building, there is a quote that reads “All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person” (Lewis). His type of prison is very controversial. It was erected only eight years ago so the effect on inmates and the return rate are still unknown, however in comparison to the Panopticon and Eastern State, Leoben should have no negative effects on prisoner’s mental health.

Craig Haney says “There is little or no evidence that prison systems across the country have responded in a meaningful way to these psychological issues, either in the course of confinement or at the time of release,” so Hohensinn is one of the first (Haney). The inmates at Leoben are permitted to have normal contact with others eliminating any social problems that may occur from solitary confinement. They are also allowed to cook and eat when and what they choose. Prisoners typically are denied their basic privacy rights, and lose control over mundane aspects of their existence that most citizens have long taken for granted” which can be the most damaging (Haney). The scheduled life style employed by common American prisons causes inmates to be unaware how to run their lives when they return home. But with Hohensinn’s design, they maintain a normal life, just in another place away from society for a while. While many may not find his prison a true form of punishment, it stands to be the best way to date of how to treat inmates so they have less of a need to readjust to normal life in society.

Architecture can reveal so much about how a society or person wishes to discipline and rehabilitate law breakers (Awofeso). There are few laws and regulations dealing with architecture of prisons in particular, therefore the architect has significant freedom to design a facility he or she sees as fit and productive. All plan to benefit society even if it is through very different ways. While some wish to punish cruelly like Jeremy Benthem, others wish to reform and improve the lives of these criminals. Both ways can be effective.

If prisoners are punished cruelly, they may be too intimidated to commit another crime for fear of being imprisoned again. But if they are reformed, they may have the understanding of why the crime should not be committed in the first place. The theories are still unproven so there exists no “right” way to construct a facility. It remains up to the governing officials to approve and fund the architect’s designs and set them into action. Possibly in the future there will be a set way the world treats those who disobey the law, but today’s designs and the designs of the past remain up to the unique individuals who create them.

Free Essays

Integration of the baroque and modern architecture

How magnificent a structure like La Havana Vieja that is over 500 years of old graciously towered over the straits of Florida.  From Colonial to art deco until modernism, tourists wondered around the antiquated city and they were drawn with the old cars lining and architectural gems that can be found in every corner of the city.  In fact in 1982, it has earned the UNESCO Heritage List.  A year after, a preservation campaign was launched in order to protect and restore the authenticity of the buildings.

But as years gone by, Cuba became engrossed on tourism.  In 1990 it has brought them large foreign revenue, majority of the buildings followed the bland design of the modern architecture to satisfy customers.  How sad it is to see the exquisite square highlighted by the 18th century baroque “Columbus Cathedral” incrementally depleted by economic and tourism goals.  Personally, I find it very careless to redesign the building and to change the old architecture that has stood there for long and has remained unchanged through time.

The existing challenge thereby to current architectural design within the aforementioned region lies in the necessity of formulating a design that enables the fusion of the modern with what Carpentier refers to as Havana’s strange baroquism in order to balance the city.   The necessity of such is evident if one considers that the path of globalization has been determined for Cuba by the regionalistic character of its architecture.  Tourism is a form of globalism that relies upon the interdependence of a global culture and that of a regional and cultural identity.

The difficulty faced by architectural design thereby lies in the necessity of encapsulating modern design with the regionalism and the marketing image of the culture that serves as the unique proposition that underlies the continuous globalization of Havana. It is thereby necessary to enable the rapid reconfiguration of Havana, in order to “un-fracture” the results of the modern urban changes that have transformed and destroyed the city’s spirit.[1]

This dilemma faced by architectural designers is best stated by Paul Ricoeur as he states that the challenge lies in ‘‘how to become modern and to return to sources (while) reviving an old, dormant civilization (in order for it to) take part in a universal civilization’’.[2]

This is a difficult task since the two kinds of architecture contrast each other.  Baroque architecture which is reflected by the Havana structures emphasizes on the unity among arts.  The architecture, sculpture, and painting made by the baroque artist were remarkable traits of spatial relationships which may be illusionary or real.  One cannot resist the physical and emotional attraction that baroque arts once they get to glance on them.  The buildings were amassed of great curving which poster rising and falling facades and grounds with extraordinary complexity and size.

Various shapes and domes are also vivid in baroque architecture.  On the other hand, modern architecture depicts to the removal of ornament and to the simplification of form.  For many, modern architecture is a result of modern advancement in technology and engineering and of course by the emergence of new building materials such as concrete, steel, iron and glass.

Generally, it is all about functionality- the application of the principles of functionalism reflected in the use of materials, quantity and size.  In short it is the rational engineering.  The attempt to integrate the two by not salvaging the old architecture was overlooked by the Cuban government when the investments rise to tourism.  There has also been a disparity between locals and the tourism facilities.

Preservation and revitalization of Habana entails a number of restorations and cooperation from the citizens and from the local government.  The goal should poster social and economic exclusion that was created by the restructuring and revitalization in historic district outside Cuba.  Since, modernization is inevitable, as it has already diffused and reached the city, application of modern architecture should be done with thorough planning, wise mapping, and careful infrastructure building without damaging the old ones.


Coyula, Mario. The Old, Havana Way. DRCLAS website. Retrieved on January 23, 2008 from

CubavacationWebsite. Habana Vieja. Retrieved on January23, 2007


Ricoeur, Paul.  History and Truth.  Trans. Charles Kelbley.  Illinois: Northwestern University

Press, 1965.

Tung, Anthony. Preserving the World’s Great Cities: The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis.  New York: Random House, 2001.
















[1] Anthony Tung, Preserving the World’s Great Cities: The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis, (New York: Random House, 2001), 430.
[2] Paul Ricoeur, History and Truth, Trans. Charles Kelbley (Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1965).

Free Essays

Bio Architecture Research Paper

THE PONTIFICAL AND ROYAL UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS College of Architecture DESIGN 1 Research Paper July 17, 2012 1. Biotecture • Biotecture is the term used to define architecture that is influenced by biology. Biotecture makes use of organic materials such as plants, minerals, and organisms. In biotecture, nature itself is the ideal architectural construct. 2. Sustainable Architecture • Sustainable means something that can be maintained at a certain rate or level. It can also be upheld and defended. Sustainable architecture is the term used to describe architectural designs that have environmentally conscious techniques.

In sustainable architecture, the following aspects of building should be considered: atmosphere, longevity, energy, interface, and equity. 3. Zoomorphic • Zoomorphic is the adjective form of the noun zoomorphism, which means “the use of animal forms in symbolism, literature, or graphic”. Following this definition, zoomorphic architecture is a new wave of contemporary architectural designs based on animals. In some designs, the animal stands as a symbol while in other structures, the design shares some elements of an animal in a more functional manner. 4. Biomorphic Biomorphic architecture is the architecture that has the form of a living organism. Biomorphic architecture uses nature as a model, and designs that are influenced by the structural principles and decorative motifs found in nature. 5. Nanoarchitecture • Nanotechnology is the study of the control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Given this definition, nanoarchitecture is the integration of nanotechnology in architecture. Nanotechnology can be integrated into architecture by the use of nano-products, nano-materials, nano-telecommunication, or even nano-shapes. . Biomimicry • Biomimicry simply means to imitate life. This is a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Architecture that involves biomimicry is the architecture wherein the designs are inspired by nature. 7. Biomimetic Design • Biomimetic Designs are biomimicry. These designs mimic biologic structure and processes. In scaffold design, biomimetic refers to scaffolds that copy bone structure and function. 8. Organic Architecture The great architect Frank Lloyd Wright was the first person to use the term Organic Architecture. Organic architecture promotes harmony between the man-made structures and the nature that surrounds it. This can be achieved through design approaches which are well integrated making the buildings and surroundings part of a unified and interrelated composition. 9. Biostructural • Biostructural is defined by nature doing the actual construction work and makes direct use of natural systems for architectural purposes.

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Protect Traditional Architecture

These days, different ways are being taken to protect cultural identity. Obviously, not only is much contribution made to maintain old houses but also rules of laws associated with cultural protection are changed for the better. Some people even say that new buildings are right to be set up in the conventionalway. I seem to be one of opponents who believe that the action can be unsuitable in our world. One of the main reasons is that most of traditional buildings, in my nation, that offer provide few rooms can hardly hard to meet the demands for housing as increasing numbers of people pour into the city.

Compared to before, today’s population has doubled and even trebled, which puts seriouspressure on housing supply. As a result, new buildings must be substituted for old ones that have more efficient utility, even for some old buildings that have been damaged seriously. No doubts that building or maintaining traditional buildings is very essential to raise art sense and increase choices of people’s housing. Plus, these old houses are believed as very important resources to attract international visitors.

However, the proportionof traditional houses has to be under control, and otherwise the housing of citizens is badly affected. Overall, my view is that cultural identity is so preciousthat more efforts and measures should be taken but carefully. The excellent tradition helps with deep understanding of history, and educates youths. Nevertheless a simple and recklessbehavior. that new buildings are built in a typical way does more harm than good in the improvement of people’s being.

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Social Significance of Architecture

Social Significance of Architecture The use of architecture to improve society dates back as far as any records go. Whether it was the Romans building coliseums, Egyptians constructing pyramids, or the Indians putting up teepees, architecture was a very important aspect of people’s lives. Since the earliest of times, architecture has been used to design homes and shelters, as well as centers of gathering for the public.

These structures were very well respected by society, and for many years were the only thing for the public to take pride in. Architecture proved to have a huge impact on the lives of people many years ago. But over the past century, the social significance of architects and architecture in our society has been going down. The importance of well designed, eye-pleasing buildings has begun to be overlooked. The hard work and dedication that many architects put in everyday is being ignored by today’s society.

But I believe that architecture strongly influences the choices that people make in their daily lives, helps aid the economy, and gives architects critical thinking skills that allow them to make decisions that could have a significant impact on society. The most straight forward way that architects affect today’s society is that they design the structures that people use everyday for businesses, sports events, and homes. Architects make a community much more livable and attractive for those who view it.

For an architect, it is vital to ensure and dignify the lives of those who live in it (Heyer). For this reason, communities will expand greatly do to the aesthetic quality of the buildings and homes. Along with the sense of visual appeal, another factor that comes into play are the mental aspects that many people subconsciously have while viewing a structure. Several people will make decisions not only off the look, but also the sense of security and safety that they feel about a certain structure.

Local architect, Kelly McMurphy, said in a personal interview that “the aesthetic quality of the design comes second to the precautions that must be taken to ensure the safety of the people”. The mindset of the viewer can be strongly influenced by the architect, and will in turn encourage or discourage a person towards the piece of work. Another way that architecture has an impact of society is that it aids in boosting and supporting the economy. An architect must assume a vital role in protecting the economic state of a community, state, or country (Heyer). As businesses urchase buildings to further their market and families purchase homes to move into, money is shoved into the economy in large portions. With more and more people looking for venues to start or continue their industry, the need for architects rises to new heights. The economy is stimulated greatly by the investments of these structures, and it all begins with an architect designing the structure to be purchased. Architects can also have a significant responsibility in society by the decisions that they make and the role that they play in the community that may effect the public.

The architecture programs and job fields often facilitate the development of critical thinking skills that can often be applied to solving problems and addressing situations beyond the realm of design (Jubany). The ablility to plan, order, and discipline is quite characteristic of modern architects (Heyer). Architects play a significant role in improving the well-being of the community by being involved in nonprofit organizations and raising critical awareness of social issues (Jubany).

Because of this, architects can influence society in ways outside of the studio that do not require their professional skills, but rather their critical thinking and ability to process situations in an educated fashion. The last way that architecture displays an impact on society is the fact that it sheds a new light on the modern art. In a time where the arts are beginning to dwindle out, architecture helps portray the importance of having respect and knowledge of modern art. Along with the increase in the public respect of art comes the increase in respect of the arts by the government.

In recent years, the government has begun to make nationwide cuts on art funding. Funding of art programs by local and national governments have been cut nearly in half over the last ten years (Heyer). The rise of respect and knowledge for art will help in encouraging the government to put more funding towards art and art related groups. Many may argue that an occupation in architecture is not as important to society as a teacher or a doctor because is does not have as direct of an impact.

But when it is looked into deeper, the jobs of doctors and teachers are only possible because an architect provides them with a place to carry out their occupations. Improving education, treating the ill, and imprisoning the criminals would not be an option if it were not for the designing and planning of an architect. The importance of an architect in today’s society is strongly overlooked by most people. Architects provide visual appeal to a community and give people a sense of protection and security.

They are also capable of affecting society outside of the studio by providing educated decisions to the community. Without architects, many other businesses and occupations would struggle to expand, or not be possible at all. Works Cited Jubany, Helena L. “The Social Responsibility of Architects. ” DesignIntelligence. Di. net, 9 June 2011. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <http://www. di. net/articles/archive/the_social_responsibility_architects/>. Heyer, Paul. Architects on Architecture; New Directions in America. New York: Walker, 1966. Print. McMurphy, Kelly. Personal interview. 22 Apr. 2012.

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Renaissance Architecture

Renaissance Architecture Between 1400 and 1600 AD classical ideas of an ” age of awakening” took place in Italy and northern Europe. This period was called ” The Renaissance” which means ”born anew” in French. Renaissance architecture was inspired by the architecture of classic/ancient Greece and Rome. Before Gothic architecture was very asymmetrical and complex. The renaissance architecture was highly symmetrical and very proportioned.

Features Of Renaissance Buildings: •symmetrical arrangement of windows and doors •use of classical columns and pilasters • triangular pediments •square lintel •arches •domes •niches with sculptures Great Renaissance Architects •Giacomo da Vignola •Andrea Palladio •Fillipo Brunelleschi •Michelangelo Buonarroti Examples Of Renaissance Buildings The San Gio Rigo Maggiore in Venice is an example for an renaissance building. •the Redentore in Venice the basilica in Vicenza •the rotunda near Vicenza •the Louvre in Paris The Phases Of Renaissance For more than five centuries, artists in northern Italy were exploring new Ideas during the beginning of the early 1500s, Italy saw an explosion of talent and innovation. This period is called ”The High Renaissance” during the next century renaissance ideas spread through northern Europe, slowly replacing the former Gothic approaches to art and architecture.

During the 1600s renaissance ideas developed into heavily ornamented baroque style. Even after the renaissance period ended architects were inspired by renaissance ideas. In the 1700s and early 1800s, fashionable architects designed stately neo classical buildings. A century later, American architects like Richard Morris hunt designed grand renaissance revival style homes that resembled villas and palaces from renaissance Italy. Benny Opoku-Arthur Langston Beckford-Uibel

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The Purpose of Architecture

The purpose of architecture is to create useful spaces that people want to be in. It’s not enough to make the space useful if people hate being in it. And it’s not enough to make people want to be in it if they can’t use it for its intended purpose. But being attractive without being useful is probably better than being useful without being attractive. If people like a space, they’ll find a way to make it work. If people don’t like a space, they’ll stay away, even if it  seems to meet all their practical needs.

Architecture creates more than one kind of space. Interior spaces are the ones we usually think about. But architecture creates exterior spaces as well. A new building on a street makes it a different kind of street. Is it a street where people want to be, or is it a street they hurry through? The architect is as much responsible for the street his building sits on as he is for the space inside the building. If a new construction creates a long, blank wall that people instinctively avoid, the architect has effectively destroyed the street.

Businesses on the other side of it will wither, and the street will exist only as a passage from one more desirable place to another. Style is less important than scale in creating spaces people like. Architecture on a human scale is inherently more friendly than architecture on a titanic scale. Monumental architecture needs smaller subdivisions to make itself relatable: the arches in a Roman basilica, or the stilts in a Mies van der Rohe office building.

Great slabs of concrete or stone put us off instead of welcoming us; remembering the human scale is the thing that makes architecture work. These are all obvious ideas, but the enthusiasm of an all-encompassing theory of architecture can make an architect forget them. An architect needs to look at his plans and ask, “Will people want to be here? ” Perhaps he should point to different spots on the blueprint at random: Will people want to be here, or here, or here? If he can always answer yes to that question, he’s done his job well.

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Neoclassical Architecture

The Founding Fathers of the United States, especially the classically educated Thomas Jefferson, chose Neoclassicism as the country’s national architectural style as it is the amalgamation of all the ideals that the Founding Fathers had fought for in their journey to independence from their colonizers (“The Federal Style”).  Classical architecture was first inspired by the Greeks and later adopted by the Romans for their own unique designs when they conquered Greece (“Roman Architecture”). The great ancient society of Rome was specifically the inspiration of the newly formed America.  Rome to the United States was the epitome of a myriad of aspects such as its government, education, and the arts (“The Federal Style”).

The neoclassical style of architecture which started in the mid-18th century in America conveyed a forward thinking approach for the coming 19th century (“The Federal Style”).  In general neoclassical style displays symbolisms of democracy and philosophy (“The Classical”). When it was adopted by the Americans it evoked an analogy of young America to imperial Rome aiming to emulate the latter’s greatness (“Neoclassical architecture,”  2006).

I definitely believe that architecture can convey a message to the viewer as powerfully as a painting can.  Although it is often called “frozen music” or “mute poetry”, it does not mean they are totally void of meanings or implied ideas. They may not be explicit or literal in their message but architecture can still allude to nature.  Notice how the Sydney Opera House in Australia echoes the sails surrounding it. Architecture is unique in that the form cannot be separated from function especially in modern architecture. The form itself communicates ideas or meanings even in their pristine state.  For example, a horizontal line is associated with a line where earth and sky meets or a reclining figure connotes stability, restfulness, peace.  Warm colors evoke the sun, fire, or summer, whereas cool colors suggest their opposites.


The Classical Temple Architecture and Symbols of Washington, DC. N.d. STOPTHE

The Federal Style. (n.d.). Retrieved 04 December 2006 from the

Neoclassical architecture. (2006). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved December 4, 2006,

from Britannica Concise Encyclopedia:

Roman architecture.  Wikipedia: The Free Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04 December

2006 from the Web:

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Architecture: Classical Greek vs. Medieval Gothic

Architecture: Classical Greek vs. Medieval Gothic Wendy DeLisio HUM_266 September 24, 2012 Taniya Hossain Architecture: Classical Greek vs. Medieval Gothic Looking at the design of different structures throughout the world, one may not realize the beauty of the art in each of them or the ideals on which they were constructed. For example the classical Greek era, 480 BCE – 330 BCE that held the ideals of order, balance, and God like perfection. This type of idealist architecture is seen in the Parthenon temple built in 447-432 BCE (Ancient-Greece. rg, 2012). The temple is built in tribute for the Goddess Athena, Goddess of war and wisdom. It is a post and lintel structure with columns fashioned in Greek Doric style. There are also the beautiful cathedrals built during the Middle Ages in gothic style that give society insight into the culture of that age. The architecture of these times were heavily influenced by religion and Christianity and designed to elevate the spirit of man toward God (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2012).

One example of this time is the architectural design is the Amiens Cathedral. Originally built in 1152 BCE but was destroyed by fire; reconstruction started in 1220 CE and was completed in 1245 CE (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 2012). In the design of this cathedral it is evident that the architect is influenced by the Christian religion, from the three archways representing the trinity and the middle archway adorned with a statue of Christ, it was built as a place of worship.

These remarkable structures, each a piece of art, are both built with divine intentions, stand in stark contrast to each other, influenced by the culture of the age. Although both classic Greek and gothic architectures are built to define the ideals and beliefs of their age and have differences, the classic Greek architecture of order and balance has influenced and are used within the gothic medieval constructions. There are differences between the formal and stylistic characteristics of the classic Greek architecture and the gothic rchitecture of the medieval age. Classic Greek architecture is made of stone resting on stone with nothing but pressure holding them together. This is best exemplified in Greek temples, such as the Parthenon. The Parthenon is a post and lintel structure, built of lime stone and marble which were the common building materials of that age (Sporre, 2010). Using these types of materials limited the architect’s use of space. In order for the building to stand without the roof collapsing many columns were needed to hold the roof up.

These columns, known as Doric columns because of their style, were made of marble and the pressure of the stone roof resting on them held them together. The Parthenon was with many beautiful states, from the metopes that are a series of carved panels forming the Doric frieze telling stories of the history and battles of the Gods, to the towering statue of the Goddess Athena for which it was built. The Parthenon and other Greek temples were meant to be revered from the outside as a center piece of the city, a monument to the Gods of that age. Gothic architecture, unlike classic Greek, used stone masonry.

By using stone masonry they were able to create arches and redistributed the pressure of the stones enabling the structures to be built taller. They also created what is called a buttress and used this to hold up walls and arches as reinforcement. Gothic architecture was considered ethereal and focused on the use of space (Sporre, 2010). A beautiful example of gothic architecture was the Amiens Cathedral. Towering into the heavens, with strong arches, symmetrical lines, and ornate workmanship, this cathedral was a show piece for the city in which it was built and exuded spirituality.

These cathedrals were meant to inspire one to look toward the heavens with extremely high ceilings and ornate stain glass window placed strategically toward the roof causes one to look upward. Like classic Greek temple, they were adorned with beautiful statues. However, the states were of the Christian Saints, and other religious symbolism. The Amiens Cathedral was meant as place to enter and worship, as were all cathedral of the medieval era. Even though there are differences between these two styles of architecture, they are a testament to evolution of how societies have grown and evolved.

One can see this in the similarities of these two styles. Classic Greek architect’s used repetition in the arrangement of the columns holding up the roof of the Parthenon. Gothic architect’s used repetition in the creation of the arches on the facade of the Amiens Cathedral. The gothic cathedrals are built with order and as are the Greek temples. One can see that gothic architecture evolved out of classic Greek. The most interesting aspects of the classic Greek architecture were the way the buildings were constructed with marble stones and no use of mortar or cement and the beautiful engravings on the metopes are mesmerizing.

Gothic architecture is gorgeous. The creation of colored lighting through the placement of stained glass and the construction of the arches holds one captivated. Both styles of architecture are fascinating because of the elaborate detail and styles of construction that it took to create the beautiful structures during those eras. Even though each of these styles have their differences, clearly the classic Greek influences can be seen in the buildings of the medieval time period and in today’s architectural structures.

References Ancient-Greece. org. (2012). The Parthenon. Retrieved from http://www. ancient-greece. org/architecture/parthenon. html Apollo Group, Inc. (2012). Medieval Gothic Cathedrals [Online Video]. Retrieved from https://ecampus. phoenix. edu/secure/aapd/UOPHX/HUM266/art_through_ages. html Sporre, D. J. (2010). Reality Through The Arts. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. (2012). Amiens Cathedral. Retrieved from http://whc. unesco. org/en/list/162

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Neoclassical Architecture

The Founding Fathers of the United States, especially the classically educated Thomas Jefferson, chose Neoclassicism as the country’s national architectural style as it is the amalgamation of all the ideals that the Founding Fathers had fought for in their journey to independence from their colonizers (“The Federal Style”).  Classical architecture was first inspired by the Greeks and later adopted by the Romans for their own unique designs when they conquered Greece (“Roman Architecture”). The great ancient society of Rome was specifically the inspiration of the newly formed America.  Rome to the United States was the epitome of a myriad of aspects such as its government, education, and the arts (“The Federal Style”).

The neoclassical style of architecture which started in the mid-18th century in America conveyed a forward thinking approach for the coming 19th century (“The Federal Style”).  In general neoclassical style displays symbolisms of democracy and philosophy (“The Classical”). When it was adopted by the Americans it evoked an analogy of young America to imperial Rome aiming to emulate the latter’s greatness (“Neoclassical architecture,”  2006).

I definitely believe that architecture can convey a message to the viewer as powerfully as a painting can.  Although it is often called “frozen music” or “mute poetry”, it does not mean they are totally void of meanings or implied ideas. They may not be explicit or literal in their message but architecture can still allude to nature.  Notice how the Sydney Opera House in Australia echoes the sails surrounding it. Architecture is unique in that the form cannot be separated from function especially in modern architecture.  The form itself communicates ideas or meanings even in their pristine state.  For example, a horizontal line is associated with a line where earth and sky meets or a reclining figure connotes stability, restfulness, peace.  Warm colors evoke the sun, fire, or summer, whereas cool colors suggest their opposites.


The Classical Temple Architecture and Symbols of Washington, DC. N.d. STOPTHE

RELIGIOUSRIGHT.ORG. Retrieved  04 December 2006 from the World Wide Web:

The Federal Style. (n.d.). Retrieved 04 December 2006 from the

World Wide Web:

Neoclassical architecture. (2006). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved December 4, 2006,

from Britannica Concise Encyclopedia:

Roman architecture.  Wikipedia: The Free Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04 December

2006 from the Web:

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Modern Architecture

Rakhshaan Qazi-­? Modern Architecture, Essay two Four of the leading architects of the modernist period were Adolf Loos, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies Van der Rode, and Louis Kahn. These architects drew significantly from each other and explored similar ideas in their establishing of a new standard in approaching architecture. Decoration became a taboo while simpler and more functional forms took their place. I am going to be talking about Loius Kahn and how he is talked abut in different texts. Loius Kahn was both more subtle and radical than all the rchitects mentioned din his book so far. From early on Kahn was interested in housing reform movements and working on mostly government housing projects. Kahn strongly believed that there was a dire need for civic architecture, which would eventually ignite a sense of common purpose and democratic participation. Kahn went from the modernist tradition to a fusion of Viollet-­? de-­? Duc and neoclassicism. And eventually to a more or less, unchanging form types. His convergence between the two was suggested by platonic geometries found in nature. He strongly isagreed with the concept of a free plan, and believed in the aggregation of identical rooms, which broke down architecture to its most primitive unit of meaning. When Louis Kahn worked on a space, he would try to understand the spiritual quality of the spaces and put that into the materials that he used for the place. He’d pay specific attention to technical aspects of things and to work precisely. He had great control over the materials he used. He liked to think of his spaces as servant spaces, meaning that these were spaces in buildings that would erve other spaces and allow each other to exist. He believed strongly that architecture appeals to the community it serves as well as the already recognized structural functionality. He added that architecture should reveal the story of the construction through materiality. His major mission was to put the spiritual sense of the space into the material. He was trying to figure out how to materialize the spirituality of the space. He had a mastery of monumentality; he understood attempted to integrate as much of nature as possible into his urban work. He hought that nature should become a basis on which American modern architecture should emerge. A lot of his work into the 30s was focused more on giving American society a social form during times of crisis, working on things like decentralized utopia, including cheap single family dwellings, the Usonian houses. These were for middle class families and encouraged them to gather in the same place. This encouraged the concrete slab roofs for the practicality and suggested a new concept for independent living. He was strictly at odds with the international odern movement. Although his use of slabs can be related to this movement, they were, in actuality, at odds with it due to this specifically American idea of living free in nature. He wanted to fuse function, structure, and idea while being inspired by natural forms. His whole obsession with community planning was based on the idea of spreading away from cities and moving more into suburban areas. He fantasized that people would be able to access the service aspects of urban communities and the facility aspects of rural areas all at the same time.

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Wright Demonstrating the Ideals of Organic Architecture in Taliesin West

Wright demonstrating the Ideals of Organic Architecture in Taliesin West Exterior image of Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona “Organic can merely mean something biological, but if you are going to take the word organic into your consciousness as concerned with entities, something in which the part is to the whole as the whole is to the part, and which is all devoted to a purpose consistently, then you have something that can live, because that is vital” (1) (Meehan 52) The famous American architect by the name of Frank Lloyd Wright based his designs on what he called “organic architecture”.

His philosophy of what modern architecture should be is one as unique as his buildings, but nevertheless he was a pivotal figure in the progression of modernism in the United States. As described by Kathryn Smith, his winter home in Scottsdale Arizona “[reveals], more than any of his other buildings, a closer understanding of Wright the man as well as Wright the architect. ” (Smith 92) This winter home is known as Taliesin West and is an epitome of organic architecture.

Wight’s work has previously been demonstrated with the International Style, but upon deeper understanding of his architecture one can come to the conclusion that it does not exactly agree with the movement. He allowed his work to be included in first exhibition of the International style in the hopes of demonstrating the immense difference of his structures compared to the work by Le Corbusier’s, Alvar Aalto, Walter Gropius and many others. Before exploring the relation between Taliesin West and Organic Architecture, an investigation of his lectures and writings must be completed to thoroughly grasp his principles of design.

Comprehending his journey until 1936, when he bought the land to construct his new project, will grant the knowledge needed to effortlessly connect the two. Wright started his career at an early age, in 1885, in the city of Chicago. He first worked for architect Joseph Silsbee, than spent five years under the direction of Alder and Sullivan. In 1893 he made the decision to commence his own firm and went through a large learning curve for the next seven years – being a young, ambitious architect with no true reputation and little individual experience. The first decade of the 1900s saw Wright’s first real break-through with the Prairie House.

The ideas he demonstrated in this school of thought have a clear connection to his later developed definition of organic architecture. “Reproductions and variations of foreign styles did not seem to Wright an authentic expression of American culture… ” (Twombly 59-60) The drive to appropriate the types of buildings to their suitable land in America pushed Wright further in his designs. The time period expanding form 1910 to 1930 gave rise to many hardships for Wright. In 1911 he built his new home in Wisconsin, named Taliesin, and in 1914 it was the place of the tragic death of his wife and two children.

Wright remarried but in 1927 got divorced for Olga Lazovich Hinzenberg to whom he stayed married until his death. By the 1930s Wright’s Organic style had clearly matured and he became confident in his principles, nonetheless he would continue the exploration of his style through experimentation. He opened the Taliesin Fellowship in 1932 in his Wisconsin estate. This fellowship was not to be like a school at all – “instead of teachers, pupils, and pedagogy” he envisioned having “skilled craftspeople, novices, and physical labor. (Twombly 212) This is a direct result of “Wright [believing] that education should be in doing, not in the classroom. ” (Twombly 212) A former apprentice of the Fellowship, by the name of Bruce Brook Pfeiffer, describes that upon their first encounter with the desert in 1928 (when Mr. and Mrs. Wright went to Phoenix to collaborate on a hotel called the Arizona Baltimore) “they would take weekend trips out on the desert. They thought the desert was a wonderful place. The air was clean, beautiful and dry. (Pfeiffer) Following the gradual decline of Wright’s health, he was recommended to relocate to a warmer climate and so the desert was the ideal location. He previously stated “living in the Desert is the spiritual cathartic a great many people need” (Smith 88) In 1936, after the inspection of several sites, Mr. and Mrs. Wright purchased eight hundred acres of land in Paradise Valley, located approximately twenty six miles of Phoenix, Arizona. (Smith 88) When he visited this site Wright said “it’s a look over the rim of the world. ” (Pfeiffer) This desert floor landscape would be Wright’s and the Fellowship’s new winter home.

To now further explore Wright’s own definition of the term “Organic Architecture” it is essential to note that he used the word “nature” with two main definitions. The first way in which he used the term alluded “to the outdoors … or the “external” nature. ” (Twombly 304) In this context there were four major ways in which nature informed his designs, the first of these being the need to be close to the outdoors and nature itself. The inspiration that could be drawn from surroundings as models for architectural forms and construction principles was also a crucial influence to his designs.

The use of materials that would connect to the immediate nature was very important in the making a construction organic. Lastly, in the designs Wright created, there was always a sensitivity of the local climate conditions. Wright’s second definition for the term “nature” refers to a philosophical view on the environment. This use of the word related to a concept he called the “internal” nature of a house. Wright’s statement that “architecture rightly defined is the structure of whatever is” (Meehan 54) clearly relates to the “idea” of the house which he connects to his philosophy.

Wright also believed that through the study of nature one could find specific characteristics to everything and these characteristics make every item be what they are. His philosophy also encompasses the idea that essence, which every item contains, exists before perception. This philosophical view of nature is difficult to apply or relate to a specific building because it is more relevant to the thought process behind the design. Floor Plan of Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona Taliesin West is known to be one of Wright’s best examples of organic architecture because it so clearly demonstrates these principles. The buildings are neither large nor monumental, but they command a presence on the landscape. Under Wright’s first definition of the word he states an organic building must connect to ground and be close to the outdoors. A primary example of that demonstrates this is the masonry wall surrounding the buildings. This wall creates an extension into the natural landscape and seems to connect them as one. (Pfeiffer) Large openings to the outdoors along with massive windows create a direct link to the outdoor Desert. Wright was also great at capturing views with his huge windows.

One of his fellowship workers explains how he would capture two perfect views into one window by framing the mountains in the top half, and framing the desert floor on the bottom half. (Pfeiffer) This created a great show whether someone was standing or sitting. To compare with the surrounding landscape there are “small pools extended throughout the plans [that give] a luxury of water and fountains in contrast with the dry Desert. ” (Pfeiffer) Although Wright brings in this new element of nature it still emphasises the need to connect to nature.

Another aspect of his primary definition is to use forms found in nature and on the land as inspiration for building forms. While speaking to his students he has presented the argument that “you are never going to get out of yourselves anything more than you are, then you can take in, than you can see as yourselves. ” In this statement he refers to the importance of going in nature and examining it with a close, intensive look. This is how one can gain the knowledge nature has to give and discover the construction principles it applies. The slopping roof of Taliesin West showcases this state of mind.

The roof is jagged and peaks, as to blend in with its background. Wright was an exceptional fan of the abstract mountains in the background of his land. He described the desert landscape saying “… here, everything is fresh, original edges pretty much preserved, erosion still going on at a terrific rate making chasms. ” (Brierly 5) The slopping walls also seem to derive from this inspiration. The lines carved into the wall that surrounds the complex was a direct inspiration of when Wright saw the water erosion lines on a canyon he visited. Pfeiffer) The roughness of the desert is also resonated throughout the construction of the edifice. Masonry Wall, Exterior image of Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona He further uses materials as an important part of a construction being organic. In this case, the canvas roof was a great inspiration for him. When he first arrived in Arizona for an earlier project, he decided to build a camp site for himself and his workers instead of staying in a hotel. In the campsite, which he called Ocatilla, they used canvas as roof material and this was the beginning of his admiration of the material in this climate.

He loved the soft, natural glow of light dispersed in the space by the canvas. He was determined to keep this canvas roof in Taliesin West and so he did. He also often modified it when he would return from a summer spent in Wisconsin. When the material needed to be replaced due to inconvenience he made sure to experiment fully and pick a material that would give the same effect of lighting. The Desert rocks he used in the masonry walls of the buildings and going around the building are a prime example of selective material use.

All the rocks used in these structures were taken directly from the land on which they were built on. This gave the resort a multi coloured facade that blended in the surrounding land impeccably. By using these materials Wright also strengthened the connection between Taliesin West and its building ground. Bruce Pfeiffer also describes how they used a method called “desert ruble masonry wall” to make these walls. They would build a wooden frame and place the flat side of the stones facing outwards and proceed by filling it in with concrete.

He goes on to describe how they would fill in all the small holes with rounded rocks and describes it as “each of the walls at Taliesin West [being] an artistic creation. ” (Pfeiffer). The third major material element of the construction is the use the redwood. This material was used to support the roof, creating an abstract mountain like rooftop, and throughout the interior of the building. The wood is local to the surrounding area of the Desert. The colour of the wood compliments the landscape and the multicoloured walls of the structure.

Lastly, Frank Lloyd Wright was a great believer that a house should always “go with the natural climate”. (Twombly 310) This is the concluding manner in which nature informs Organic Architecture. This is a concept that Wright had been applying for an extended period of time and can be traces back the Prairie House. In Taliesin West he designed deep overhangs for the roof to create much needed shade in the long sunny days of the Arizona climate. He also had blinds made of the canvas which could be close the large arches leading to outside on overly sunny days.

These blinds ended up being replaced by actual glass windows to regulate the heat of the building. Another prime demonstration of this is again the used of the canvas roof. The lighting it gave to the rooms was a perfect complement to the intense Arizona sun. Wright often experimented with the arrangement of the canvas and the wood beams. The lighting of a space is very important for the atmosphere it creates. When the canvas roof became too much of an nuisance because it would leak a lot and was becoming expensive to replace every few ears, Wright experimented and made sure to replace it with a material that would give the same glow to the space. He initially only replaced part of the canvas with glass, but eventually it was all substituted by glass (Smith). When using the word “nature” in terms of his philosophy, Wright was somewhat less direct. He used the word in this sense to stand for the essence of a building and the “working of the [organic] principle. ” Taliesin West applies to all the dimensions of his “organic principles” and would therefore be Organic architecture. The characteristics he believed everything in nature had also applied to the Desert itself.

When speaking of this inspiring landscape he would say “[a]characteristic thing in the desert here is, of course, the desert itself” (Brierly 4) When Wright envisioned Taliesin West, it was his initial purpose to have an ever changing, organic structure. He would adjust it as needed as time passed. A former apprentice of the fellowship once pointed out that “Thanks to [their] seasonal migrations … Mr. Wright was able to view … Taliesin West with a fresh eye each time he arrived at [it]. ” A demonstration of this is the rearranging of the wood beams and canvas to adjust the light.

Another dimension of this philosophy is the fact that everything in nature contains an essence. These essences are all active. Nothing possesses a static essence. They can be partially the same but will always be different as time passes. (Twombly 312) This is what happened in Taliesin West since its original plans “were based on the life of the Fellowship” (Smith 89) and it now holds the same presence it did when it was originally built “with the spirit of youth and exuberance of life” (Twombly 235) but has different purposes and slightly different configuration. Exterior image of Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona

Wright had an exceptional career and is recognised to be one of the most pivotal and influential architects of modern architecture in America. Through his upbringing close to nature and his eternal patriotism to America he had a clear vision to a country filled with culture – with this culture being reflected in its architecture. Wright was a man that believed the base of any culture is its architecture. Wright built structures with specific characteristics which made them uniquely themselves. Taliesin West had details that could ever only be found in it and nowhere else.

It has been made clear to me through the study of Wright’s philosophy that the fact that a building would hold these specific details about itself that make it uniquely it, is the fundamental definition of what organic architecture. The essence built into the complex is the reasons it is and organic design. Taliesin West can be said to be “part of the desert on which it sits” (Smith 90) Bibliography Brierly, Cornelia. Desert life: Desert Foliage At Taliesin West. Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, 1988. inForm, Arch. Taliesin West. n. d. April 2012. Meehan, Patrick J. Truth Against the World: Frank Lloyd Wright speaks for an Organic Architecture.

New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1987. Pfeiffer, Bruce Brooks. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West Planet Architecture series. 2003. CD-rom. Smith, Kathryn. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin and Taliesin West. University of Michigan: Harry N. Abrams, 1997. Twombly, Robert C. Frank Lloyd Wright: His Life and His Architecture. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1979. Week, The Architecture. Great Buildings. n. d. April 2012. Wright, Frank Lloyd. Frank Lloyd Wright Essential Texts. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2009. Wright, Frank Loyd. The Natural House. Horizon Press Inc. , 1954.

Free Essays

Comparison of Roman and Greek Architecture

Comparison of Roman and Greek Architecture Architecture has been a fundamental cornerstone for building societies throughout the entire human development. Architecture in general is constantly changing but the ideas that have been formulated tend to come back and influence the next. They say those who forget history are doomed to repeat it and we can see how we are constantly repeating ourselves in terms of architecture. I shall compare and contrast the Greek and Roman ideal styles of architecture, by breaking down both of their discoveries and similarities.

Greek architecture has several qualities that mark its work as a fundamental cornerstone in architecture. The Greeks had introduced several interesting factors; the scale of building was now proportioned to that of the human body. Greek architecture had a seemingly positive outlook on things, unlike its predecessors like the Egyptians which brought out the death in architecture. Greek architecture was considered the celebration of life. The most prestigious architectural achievement set forth by the Greek ancestry was the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena.

According to The Humanistic Tradition, written by Gloria K. Fiero, the Parthenon represented the apex of a long history of post-and-lintel temple building among the Greeks. The Greeks had introduced three of the five basic columns in classical architecture which are the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns. Opposed to the Greeks, the Romans had never created their own columns rather re-invited the one the Greeks had made, rendering them different in comparison. The Roman’s had created the Roman Doric columns and the Roman Tuscan columns. Both of which are enhanced version of the Greeks’ Doric column.

Like most of Rome’s architectural achievements, their work was merely a rendition of past works. Another prime example which was taken from the Etruscans was the Arch, which was fortified by the Romans and in term led to the Barrel Vault; according to the Britannica Online Encyclopedia, it is a ceiling consisting of a series of semi-cylindrical arches. Many may say that the works of the Romans were un-original but to the contrary, they had brought forth the use of concrete, walked us through to the introduction of 50,000 miles of road and provided us with fresh flowing water from the aqueducts they had constructed.

The beacon of Roman architecture is the Pantheon, according to The Humanistic Tradition, is Roman technical ingenuity and dramatic spatial design. Architecture in general is constantly changing but the ideas that have been formulated tend to come back and influence the next. Through the comparisons of these two major architectural influences we see that my theory of expansion in architecture is in fact true.

Through the comparison of Greek and Roman discoveries and similarities we notice the link between adapted to change in architecture and the influence one civilization has on the other. Work Cited: -Fiero, Gloria k. ‘The Humanistic Tradition’, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2006 “barrel vault. ” Encyclop? dia Britannica. 2010. Encyclop? dia Britannica Online. 07 Dec. 2010 “The Five Basic Greek and Roman Columns and Arches. ” Essortment Articles: Free Online Articles on Health, Science, Education & More.. 2002. Web. 07 Dec. 2010.

Free Essays

Current Trends in Computer Architecture

PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS OF INTEL CORE 2 DUO PROCESSOR A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Electrical Engineering In The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering By Tribuvan Kumar Prakash Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication Engineering Visveswaraiah Technological University, Karnataka, 2004. August 2007 Acknowledgements

I would like to express my gratitude to my advisor, Dr. Lu Peng for his guidance, and constant motivation towards the completion of this thesis. His technical advice and suggestions helped me to overcome hurdles and kept me enthusiastic and made this work a wonderful learning experience. I would like to thank my committee members Dr. David Koppelman and Dr. Suresh Rai for taking time out of their busy schedule and agreeing to be a part of my committee. I would like to also thank them for their valuable feedback.

I would like to thank the faculty members and Shirley and Tonya of the Department of Electrical Engineering, for all the support and making my study at Louisiana State University a pleasant experience. I would like to thank my parents and sister without whom I would not have made it to this point. I would like to thank my friends Srinath Sitaraman and Balachandran Ramadas for their help while collecting data. I would also like to thank my roommates & friends here at LSU and back home for all the love and unending support. ii Table of Contents

List of Tables ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… iv List of Figures ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… v Abstract ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… vi 1. Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1 1. Overview ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1 1. 2 Architecture of Intel Core 2 Duo ……………………………………………………………… 3 2. Performance Analysis of SPEC CPU Benchmarks Running on Intel’s Core 2 Duo Processor …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7 2. 1 Overview ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7 2. Methodology …………………………………………………………………………………………. 7 2. 3 Measurement Results ……………………………………………………………………………… 9 2. 3. 1 IPC and Instruction Profile ………………………………………………………………. 9 L1 D-Cache Misses ……………………………………………………………………….. 11 2. 3. 2 2. 3. 3 L2 Cache Misses …………………………………………………………………………… 3 2. 3. 4 Branch Misprediction…………………………………………………………………….. 15 3. Performance Comparison of Dual Core Processor Using Microbenchmarks ………. 17 3. 1 Overview …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 17 3. 2 Architecture of Dual-Core Processors …………………………………………………….. 18 3. 2. 1 Intel Pentium D 830 ………………………………………………………………………. 18 AMD Athlon 64X2 ………………………………………………………………………. 19 3. 2. 2 3. 2. 3 Processor Comparison …………………………………………………………………… 20 3. 3 Methodology ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 21 3. 4 Memory Bandwidth and Latency Measurements ……………………………………… 23 4. Performance Comparison of Dual Core Processors Using Multiprogrammed and Multithreaded Benchmarks ………………………………………………………………………………….. 1 4. 1 Overview …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 31 4. 2 Methodology ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 31 Multiprogrammed Workload Measurements ……………………………………………. 33 4. 3 4. 4 Multithreaded Program Behavior …………………………………………………………… 36 5. 6. Related Work ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 9 Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 41 References…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 43 Vita…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 46 iii List of Tables Table 1. 1 Specification of Intel Core 2 Duo machine. ………………………………………………. Table 2. 1 SPEC CPU20006 Integer Benchmark ………………………………………………………. 8 Table 2. 2 SPEC CPU20006 Floating Point Benchmark…………………………………………….. 8 Table 3. 1 Specifications of the selected processors…………………………………………………. 21 Table 3. 2 Memory operations from Lmbench…………………………………………………………. 22 Table 3. 3 Kernel operations of the STREAM and STREAM2 benchmarks………………….. 23 Table 4. Input parameters of the selected multithreaded workloads ………………………… 33 iv List of Figures Figure 1-1 Block Diagram of Intel Core 2 Duo Processor …………………………………………. 4 Figure 1-2 Block Diagram of Intel Core Micro-architecture’s IP Prefetcher………………… 5 Figure 2-1 IPC of SPEC Benchmarks…………………………………………………………………… 10 Figure 2-2 Instruction Profile of SPEC Benchmarks……………………………………………….. 1 Figure 2-3 L1-D Cache Misses per 1000 instructions of SPEC Benchmarks ……………… 12 Figure 2-4 Sample Code of MCF Benchmark ………………………………………………………… 13 Figure 2-5 L2 Cache Misses per 1000 instructions of SPEC Benchmarks………………… 14 Figure 2-6 Sample Code of LBM Benchmark………………………………………………………… 15 Figure 2-7 Branch Mispredicted Per 1000 Instructions of SPEC Benchmarks ……………. 6 Figure 3-1 Block Diagram of Pentium D Processor ………………………………………………… 19 Figure 3-2 Block Diagram of AMD Athlon 64×2 Processor…………………………………….. 20 Figure 3-3 Memory bandwidth collected from the lmbench suite (1 or 2 copies)………… 25 Figure 3-4 Memory load latency collected from the lmbench suite (1 or 2 copies) ……… 27 Figure 3-5 Memory bandwidth and latency collected from the STREAM and STREAM2 benchmarks (1 or 2 copies) ………………………………………………………………………………….. 9 Figure 4-1 SPEC CPU2000 and CPU2006 benchmarks execution time…………………….. 34 Figure 4-2 Multi-programmed speedup of mixed SPEC CPU 2000/2006 benchmarks… 35 Figure 4-3 (a) Execution time for 1-thread version of selected multithreaded programs. 36 Figure 4-4 Throughput of SPECjbb2005 running with 1 to 8 warehouses………………….. 38 v Abstract With the emergence of thread level parallelism as a more efficient method of improving processor performance, Chip Multiprocessor (CMP) technology is being more widely used in developing processor architectures.

Also, the widening gap between CPU and memory speed has evoked the interest of researchers to understand performance of memory hierarchical architectures. As part of this research, performance characteristic studies were carried out on the Intel Core 2 Duo, a dual core power efficient processor, using a variety of new generation benchmarks. This study provides a detailed analysis of the memory hierarchy performance and the performance scalability between single and dual core processors. The behavior of SPEC CPU2006 benchmarks running on Intel Core 2 Duo processor is also explained. Lastly, the overall execution time and hroughput measurement using both multi-programmed and multi-threaded workloads for the Intel Core 2 Duo processor is reported and compared to that of the Intel Pentium D and AMD Athlon 64X2 processors. Results showed that the Intel Core 2 Duo had the best performance for a variety of workloads due to its advanced micro-architectural features such as the shared L2 cache, fast cache to cache communication and smart memory access. vi 1. Introduction 1. 1 Overview This thesis work analyzes the performance characteristics of major architectural developments employed in Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 processor with 2. 13GHz [15].

Intel Core 2 Duo is a high performance and power efficient dual core Chip-Multiprocessor (CMP). CMP embeds multiple processor cores into a single die to exploit thread-level parallelism for achieving higher overall chip-level Instruction-Per-Cycle (IPC) [4] [14] [15] [21]. In a multi-core, multithreaded processor chip, thread-level parallelism combined with increased clock frequency exerts a higher demand for on-chip and offchip memory bandwidth causing longer average memory access delays. There has been great interest shown by researchers to understand the underlying reasons that cause these bottlenecks in processors.

The advances in circuit integration technology and inevitability of thread level parallelism over instruction level parallelism for performance efficiency has made ChipMultiprocessor (CMP) or multi-core technology the mainstream in CPU designs. With the evolution of processor architectures over time, the benchmarks used to measure the performance of these high performance processors have also continued to evolve. Many single and multi threaded benchmarks have been defined and developed to stress the processor units to its maximum limit.

Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) is one of the non profit organizations that have been developing benchmarks to meet the requirements of these dynamic processor architectures for nearly a decade. SPEC CPU2006 is a single-threaded compute-intensive benchmark developed by SPEC using C, C++ and FORTRAN programming language. To understand the performance of 1 multi-core processors completely it is equally important to understand their behavior while running multi threaded applications. SPEC JBB2005, lmbench, bioperf and splash2 are some of the most popularly used multithreaded benchmarks for this purpose.

This thesis work focuses mainly on workload characteristics, memory system behavior and multi-thread interaction of the benchmarks. This work also seeks to report performance measurement on Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 with 2. 13GHz [15] and compare the results with Intel Pentium D 830 with 3. 0GHz [19] and AMD Athlon 64X2 4400+ with 2. 2GHz [2]. In contrast to existing performance evaluations [13] [26] [27] that usually provide overall execution time and throughput, this work emphasizes on the memory hierarchy performance.

It reports the measured memory access latency and bandwidth as well as cache-to-cache communication delays. It also examines the performance scalability between single and dual cores on the three tested processors. Summarized below are a few interesting findings based on experiments conducted as part of this research: SPEC CPU2006 running on Core 2 Duo exerts less pressure on the L1 cache compared to SPEC CPU2000 benchmarks. However, CPU2006 benchmarks have larger data sets and longer execution times resulting in comparatively high stress on L2 cache.

The cache to cache latency of Core 2 Duo was measured to be 33ns. Core 2 Duo has high memory bandwidth and low latency as a result of on-chip access to the other L1 cache and the presence of aggressive memory dependence predictors. . Its shared L2 generates less off-chip traffic than the other two. 2 Due to its shared L2 cache access the execution time of all single threaded workloads are fast and range from 56-1500 seconds for Core 2 Duo. The average multi-programmed speedup for CPU2006 and CPU2000 benchmarks was measured at 1. 76 and 1. 7 respectively which is lower than the ideal speedup of 2. The Core 2 Duo’s speed-ups are constrained due to its ability to use the entire L2 cache. 1. 2 Architecture of Intel Core 2 Duo The Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (Figure 1. 1) processor supports CMP and belongs to the Intel’s mobile core family. It is implemented by using two Intel’s Core architecture on a single die. The design of Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 is chosen to maximize performance and minimize power consumption [18]. It emphasizes mainly on cache efficiency and does not stress on the clock frequency for high power efficiency.

Although clocking at a slower rate than most of its competitors, shorter stages and wider issuing pipeline compensates the performance with higher IPC’s. In addition, the Core 2 Duo processor has more ALU units [13]. The five main features of Intel Core 2 Duo contributing towards its high performance are: • Intel’s Wide Dynamic Execution • Intel’s Advanced Digital Media Boost • Intel’s Intelligent Power Capability • Intel’s Advanced Smart Cache • Intel’s Smart Memory Access Core 2 Duo employs Intel’s Advanced Smart Cache which is a shared L2 cache to increase the effective on-chip cache capacity. Upon a miss from the core’s L1 cache, the shared L2 and the L1 of the other core are looked up in parallel before sending the request to the memory [18]. The cache block located in the other L1 cache can be fetched without off-chip traffic. Both memory controller and FSB are still located off-chip. The off-chip memory controller can adapt the new DRAM technology with the cost of longer memory access latency. Intel Advanced Smart Cache provides a peak transfer rate of 96 GB/sec (at 3 GHz frequency) [17]. Figure 1-1 Block Diagram of Intel Core 2 Duo Processor Core 2 Duo employs aggressive memory dependence predictors for memory disambiguation.

A load instruction is allowed to be executed before an early store instruction with an unknown address. It also implements a macro-fusion technology to combine multiple micro-operations. Another important aspect to alleviate cache miss penalty is data prefetching. According to the hardware specifications, the Intel Core 2 Duo includes a stride prefetcher on its L1 data cache [17] and a next line prefetcher on its L2 cache [13]. The Intel Core micro-architecture includes in each processing core two prefetchers to the Level 1 data cache and the traditional prefetcher to the Level 1 instruction cache.

In 4 addition it includes two prefetchers associated with the Level 2 cache and shared between the cores. In total, there are eight prefetchers per dual core processor [17]. The L2 prefetcher can be triggered after detecting consecutive line requests twice. The stride prefetcher on L1 cache is also known as Instruction Pointer-Based (IP) prefetcher to level 1 data cache (Figure 1. 2). The IP prefetcher builds a history for each load using the load instruction pointer and keeps it in the IP history array.

The address of the next load is predicted using a constant stride calculated from the entries in the history array [17]. The history array consists of the following fields. 12 un-translated bits of last demand address 13 bits of last stride data (12 bits of positive or negative stride with the 13th bit the sign) 2 bits of history state machine 6 bits of last prefetched address—used to avoid redundant prefetch requests. Figure 1-2 Block Diagram of Intel Core Micro-architecture’s IP Prefetcher The IP prefetcher then generates a prefetch request to L1 cache for the predicted address.

This request for prefetch enters a FIFO and waits for its turn. When the request is encountered a lookup for that line is done in the L1 cache and the fill buffer unit. If the 5 prefetch hits either the L1 cache or the fill buffer, the request is dropped. Otherwise a read request to the corresponding line is sent to L2 cache. Other important features involve support for new SIMD instructions called Supplemental Streaming SIMD Extension 3, coupled with better power saving technologies. Table 1. 1 specifies the CPU specification of the Intel Core 2 Duo machine used for carrying out the experiments.

It has separate 32 KB L1 instruction and data caches per core. A 2MB L2 cache is shared by two cores. Both L1 and L2 caches are 8way set associative and have 64-byte lines. Table 1. 1 Specification of Intel Core 2 Duo machine. CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2 x 2. 13GHz) Technology 65nm Transistors 291 Millions Hyperthreading No L1 Cache Code and Data: 32 KB X 2, 8 way, 64–byte cache line size, write-back L2 Cache 2MB shared cache (2MB x 1), 8-way, 64-byte line size, non-inclusive with L1 cache. Memory 2GB (1GB x 2) DDR2 533MHz FSB 1066MHz Data Rate 64-bit FSB bandwidth 8. GB/s HD Interface SATA 375MB/s The remainder of this work is organized as follows. Chapter 2 analyzes SPEC CPU2006 benchmark using variety of performance results obtained from Intel(R) VTune(TM) Performance Analyzer 8. 0. 1 and compares it with SPEC CPU2000 benchmarks. Chapter 3 compares memory latency and hierarchy of three dual core processors using micro-benchmarks. Chapter 4 discusses the performance measurement results for three dual core processors using single threaded, multi-programmed and multithreaded workloads.

Chapter 5 describes related work. Finally, chapter 6 explains the brief conclusion obtained. 6 2. Performance Analysis of SPEC CPU Benchmarks Running on Intel’s Core 2 Duo Processor 2. 1 Overview With the evolution of processor architecture over time, benchmarks that were used to measure the performance of these processors are not as useful today as they were before due to their inability to stress the new architectures to their maximum capacity in terms of clock cycles, cache, main memory and I/O bandwidth. Hence new and mproved benchmarks need to be developed and used. The SPEC CPU2006 is one such benchmark that has intensive workloads based on real applications and is a successor of the SPEC CPU2000 benchmark. This section presents a detailed analysis of the SPEC CPU2006 benchmark running on the Core 2 duo processor discussed earlier and emphasizes on its workload characteristics and memory system behavior. Also, the cpu2006 and cpu2000 benchmarks are compared with respect to performance bottlenecks by using the v-tune performance analyzer for the entire program execution. . 2 Methodology The SPEC CPU2006 has 29 benchmarks with 12 integer and 17 floating point programs. For our experiments, all the integer programs and a subset of 10 floating point programs were considered. The details of these benchmark programs are shown in Tables 2. 1 and 2. 2. All experiments were run on systems with 32 bit Windows XP SP2 operating system and Intel Core 2 Duo processors, as explained in Chapter 1. The Intel(R) VTune(TM) Performance Analyzer 8. 0. 1 was used to analyze all benchmarks for their Table 2. 1 SPEC CPU20006 Integer Benchmark Integer Benchmark Astar Bzip2 Gcc Gobmk H264ref Hmmer Libquantum Mcf Omnetpp Perlbench Sjeng Xalancbmk Language C++ C C C C C C C C++ C C C++ Description Path-Finding Algorithm Compression C Compiler Artificial Intelligence: go Video Compression Search Gene Sequence Physics: Quantum Computing Combinatorial Optimization Discrete Event Simulation PERL Programming Language Artificial Intelligence: Chess XML Processing Table 2. SPEC CPU20006 Floating Point Benchmark Floating Point benchmarks Language Description Bwaves Fortran Fluid Dynamics Gamess Fortran Quantum Chemistry Physics: Quantum Milc C Chromodynamics Biochemistry/Molecular Gromacs C/Fortran Dynamics CactusADM C/Fortran Physics / General Relativity Leslie3d Fortran Fluid Dynamics Linear Programming, Soplex C++ Optimization GemsFDTD Fortran Computational Electromagnetics Lbm C Fluid Dynamics Sphinx3 C Speech recognition complete run time [20]. At a given time, Intel(R) VTune(TM) Performance Analyzer 8. 0. can measure only certain definite number of events, depending upon the configuration; hence, several complete runs were made to measure all the events. All 8 benchmarks were compiled using Microsoft Visual C/C++ 2005 and Intel® FORTRAN Compiler 9. 1. We used the fastest speed compilation flags i. e. for the Microsoft VC++ compiler, we set “-O2”. 2. 3 Measurement Results 2. 3. 1 IPC and Instruction Profile Figure 2. 1(a) and Figure 2. 1(b) represent the IPC of CPU2006 and CPU2000 respectively. The average IPC’s for CPU2006 and CPU2000 benchmarks were measured at 1. 06 and 0. 85 respectively. From the figures it can be observed that mcf, omnetpp and lbm have low IPC among CPU2006 benchmarks, while mcf, art and swim have low IPC among the CPU2000 benchmarks. It is interesting to understand the causes of performance bottlenecks among these benchmarks and to do so the instruction profiles of these benchmarks were analyzed. Figure 2. 2(a) and Figure 2. 2(b) represent the instruction profile of CPU2006 and CPU2000 respectively. It is evident from the figure that a very high percentage of instructions retired consist of loads and stores.

CPU2006 benchmarks like h264ref, hmmer, bwaves, lesli3d and GemsFDTD have comparatively high percentage of loads while astar, bzip2, gcc, gobmk, libquantum, mcf, omnetpp, perlbench, sjeng, xalancbmk and gamess have high percentage of branch instructions. On the contrary CPU2000 benchmarks like gap, parser, vortex, applu, equake, fma3d, mgrid and swim have comparatively high percentage of loads while almost all integer programs have high percentage of branch instructions. 9 CPU 2006 IPC 1. 8 1. 6 1. 4 1. 2 1 0. 8 0. 6 0. 4 0. 2 0 BZIP2 ASTAR IPC IPC OMNETPP LIBQUANTUM PERLBENCH GEMSFDTD HMMER CACTUSADM GROMACS LESLIE3D H264REF

GAMESS XALANBMK (a) CPU2000 IPC 2 1. 8 1. 6 1. 4 1. 2 IPC 1 0. 8 0. 6 0. 4 0. 2 0 BZIP CRAFTY GAP BWAVES IPC FACEREC MGRID (b) Figure 2-1 (a) IPC of SPEC CPU2006 Benchmarks (b) IPC of SPEC CPU2000 Benchmarks However, higher percentage of load and store instructions retired or higher percentage of branches do not indicate presence of better bottlenecks. For example h264ref and perlbench have high percentage of load, store and branch instructions, but they also have comparatively high IPC. Similarly among CPU2000 benchmarks crafty, parser and perl have high percentage of load, store and branch instruction and have better IPC.

To get a better understanding of the bottlenecks of these benchmarks, L1 cache misses, L2 cache misses and branch instruction mis-predicted were measured and 10 WUPWISE VORTEX EQUAKE GZIP PARSER PERL GCC TWOLF MCF AMMP SIXTRAK GALGEL FMA3D APPLU LUCAS MESA SWIM VPR ART SPHINX3 SJENG SOPLEX GOBMK DEALSII MILC GCC MCF LBM analyzed. The higher the measured rates the better is the bottleneck produced by the respective benchmark. CPU2006 INSTRUCTION PROFILE 100% 80% 60% LOADS BRANCH STORES OTHER % 40% 20% OMNETPP LIBQUANTUM PERLBENCH GEMSFDTD HMMER GROMACS 0% BZIP2 ASTAR CACTUSADM LESLIE3D H264REF GAMESS XALANBMK (a)

CPU2000 INSTRUCTION PROFILE 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% CRAFTY BZIP GAP BWAVES LOADS BRANCH STORES OTHER % FACEREC MGRID (b) Figure 2-2 (a) Instruction Profile of SPEC CPU2006 Benchmarks (b) Instruction Profile of SPEC CPU2000 Benchmarks 2. 3. 2 L1 D-Cache Misses Figure 2. 3(a) and 2. 3(b) indicates the L1 cache misses per 1000 instructions of CPU2006 and CPU2000 benchmarks. The results show that there is no significant improvement in CPU2006 than CPU2000 with respect to stressing the L1 cache. The average L1-D cache misses per 1000 instructions for cpu2006 and cpu2000 benchmark set under consideration was found to be 24. and 27. 8 respectively. The mcf benchmark 11 WUPWISE GZIP EQUAKE VORTEX PARSER PERL GCC MCF TWOLF AMMP SIXTRAK GALGEL FMA3D APPLU LUCAS MESA SWIM VPR ART SPHINX3 GOBMK SJENG SOPLEX DEALSII GCC MILC MCF LBM has highest L1 cache misses per 1000 instructions in both CPU2000 and CPU2006 benchmarks. This is one of the significant reasons for its low IPC. CPU2006 L1 D-Cache Miss Per Kinst 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 BZIP2 ASTAR L1 D-Cache Miss Per Kinst INSTRUCTIONS OMNETPP PERLBENCH LIBQUANTUM GEMSFDTD HMMER CACTUSADM GROMACS LESLIE3D H264REF GAMESS XALANBMK (a) CPU2000 L1 D-Cache Miss Per Kinst 80 160 BWAVES L1 D-Cache Miss Per Kinst INSTRUCTIONS 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 FACEREC MGRID WUPWISE VORTEX EQUAKE GZIP PARSER PERL GCC 0 BZIP CRAFTY GAP TWOLF MCF SIXTRAK AMMP GALGEL FMA3D APPLU LUCAS MESA SWIM VPR ART (b) Figure 2-3 (a) L1-D Cache Misses per 1000 instructions of SPEC CPU2006 Benchmarks (b) L1-D Cache Misses per 1000 instructions of SPEC CPU2000 Benchmarks Mcf is a memory intensive integer benchmark written in C language. Code analysis using Intel(R) VTune(TM) Performance Analyzer 8. 0. 1 shows that the key functions responsible for stressing the various processor nits are primal_bea_mpp and refresh_potential. Primal_bea_mpp (72. 6%) and refresh_potential (12. 8%) together are responsible for 85% of the overall L1 data cache miss events. 12 SPHINX3 GOBMK SJENG SOPLEX DEALSII GCC MILC MCF LBM A code sample of primal_bea_mpp function is shown in Figure 2. 4. The function traverses an array of pointer (denoted by arc_t) to a set of structures. For each structure traversed, it optimizes the routines used for massive communication. In the code under consideration, pointer chasing in line 6 is responsible for more than 50% of overall L1D cache misses for the whole program.

Similar result for mcf in CPU2000 was also found in previous work [11]. Apart from mcf, lbm have comparatively significant L1 cache misses rate in CPU2006 and mcf, art and swim have comparatively significant L1 cache misses rate in CPU2000. Figure 2-4 Sample Code of MCF Benchmark 2. 3. 3 L2 Cache Misses Figure 2. 4(a) and 2. 4(b) represent the L2 cache misses per 1000 instructions of CPU2006 and CPU2000 SPEC benchmarks respectively. The average L2 cache misses per 1000 instructions for CPU2006 and CPU2000 benchmarks under consideration was found to be 4. 4 and 2. respectively. Lbm has the highest L2 cache misses which attributes for its low IPC. Lbm (Lattice Boltzmann Method) is a floating point based benchmark written in C language. It is used in the field of fluid dynamics to simulate the behavior of fluids in 3D. Lbm has two steps of accessing memory, namely i) streaming 13 step , in which values are derived from neighboring cells and ii) linear memory access to read the cell values (collide-stream) and write the values to the cell (stream-collide) [9]. CPU2006 L2 Cache Miss Per Kinst 30 L2 Cache Miss Per Kinst INSTRUCTIONS 5 20 15 10 5 OMNETPP PERLBENCH LIBQUANTUM GEMSFDTD HMMER CACTUSADM GROMACS LESLIE3D H264REF GAMESS XALANBMK SPHINX3 WUPWISE GOBMK SJENG SOPLEX SWIM DEALSII BZIP2 ASTAR MILC SIXTRAK GCC 0 MCF LBM MESA (a) CPU2000 L2 Cache Miss Per Kinst 25 BWAVES L2 Cache Miss Per Kinst INSTRUCTIONS 20 15 10 5 0 CRAFTY BZIP GAP FACEREC VORTEX EQUAKE PARSER TWOLF GALGEL FMA3D APPLU (b) Figure 2-5 (a) L2 Cache Misses per 1000 instructions of SPEC CPU2006 Benchmarks (b) L2 Cache Misses per 1000 instructions of SPEC CPU2000 Benchmarks Code analysis reveals that LBM_performStreamCollide function used to write the values to the cell is responsible for 99. 8% of the overall L2 cache miss events. A code sample of the same function is shown in Figure 2. 6. A macro “TEST_FLAG_SWEEP” is responsible for 21% of overall L2 cache misses. The definition of TEST_FLAG_SWEEP is shown in Figure 2. 6(b). The pointer *MAGIC_CAST dynamically accesses memory accesses over 400MB of data which is much larger than the available L2 cache size 14 LUCAS MGRID GZIP PERL GCC MCF AMMP VPR ART (2MB), resulting in very high L2 cache misses. Hence it can be concluded that lbm has very large data footprint which results in high stress on L2 cache.

For mcf, Primal_bea_mpp (33. 4%) and refresh_poten-tial (20. 2%) are two major functions resulting in L2 cache misses. Intensive pointer chasing is responsible for this. Figure 2-6 Sample Cde of LBM Benchmark 2. 3. 4 Branch Misprediction Figure 2. 5(a) and 2. 5(b) represents the branch mispredicted per 1000 instructions of CPU2006 and CPU2000 SPEC benchmarks. CPU2006 benchmarks have comparatively higher branch misprediction than CPU2000 benchmark and almost all floating point benchmarks under consideration have negligible branch misprediction comparatively.

The average branch mispredicted per 1000 instructions for CPU2006 and CPU2000 integer benchmarks were measured as 4. 2 and 4. 0 respectively and the average branch misprediction per 1000 instructions for CPU2006 and CPU2000 floating point benchmarks were measured as 0. 4 and 0. 08 respectively. We also measured L1 DTLB misses for SPEC CPU2006. Only a few programs have L1 DTLB miss rates equal to or larger than 1%. They are astar (1%), mcf (6%), omnetpp (1%) and cactusADM (2%). Some programs have very small L1 DTLB miss rate, for example, the miss rates for hammer, gromacs are 3. *10-5 and 6. 2*10-5 respectively. Other interesting results include hmmer and h264ref that has very high 15 percentage of loads and store but have negligible L1 and L2 cache misses per 1000 instructions. This is likely because hmmer and h264ref exhibit high locality of data set which favors the hardware prefetcher. CPU2006 Branch Mispredicted per Kinst 14 Branch Mispredicted per Kinst INSTRUCTIONS 12 10 8 6 4 2 OMNETPP LIBQUANTUM PERLBENCH GEMSFDTD HMMER CACTUSADM GROMACS LESLIE3D H264REF GAMESS XALANBMK BWAVES SPHINX3 WUPWISE SJENG (a) CPU2000 Branch Mispredicted per Kinst 6 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 FACEREC VORTEX EQUAKE PARSER TWOLF MGRID GZIP PERL GCC 0 BZIP CRAFTY GAP MCF SIXTRAK AMMP GALGEL FMA3D APPLU LUCAS MESA SWIM VPR ART Branch Mispredicted per Kinst INSTRUCTIONS (b) Figure 2-7 (a) Branch Mispredicted Per 1000 Instructions of SPEC CPU2006 Benchmarks; (b) Branch Mispredicted Per 1000 Instructions of SPEC CPU2000 Benchmarks Thus from the results analyzed so far we can conclude that the cpu2006 benchmarks have larger data sets and requires longer execution time than its predecessor CPU2000 benchmarks. 16 SOPLEX GOBMK DEALSII BZIP2 ASTAR MILC GCC MCF LBM 3. Performance Comparison of Dual Core Processor Using Microbenchmarks 3. 1 Overview In this section performance measurement results of three dual core desktop processors: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 with 2. 13GHz [15], Intel Pentium D 830 with 3. 0GHz [19] and AMD Athlon 64X2 4400+ with 2. 2GHz [2] are analyzed and compared. The results in this section of work done emphasizes mainly on memory hierarchy and cache-to-cache communication delays of the three processors under consideration. There are several key design choices for the memory subsystem of the three processors.

All three have private L1 caches with different sizes. At the next level, the Intel Core 2 Duo processor adapts a shared L2 cache design, called Intel Advanced Smart Cache for the dual cores [17]. The shared L2 approach provides a larger cache capacity by eliminating data replications. It also permits naturally sharing of cache space among multiple cores. When only one core is active, the entire shared L2 can be allocated to the single active core. However, the downside for the shared L2 cache is that it suffers longer hit latency and may encounter competitions of its shared cache resources.

Both the Intel Pentium D and the AMD Athlon 64X2 have a private L2 cache for each core, enabling fast L2 accesses, but restricting any capacity sharing among the two cores. The shared L2 cache in the Core 2 Duo eliminates on-chip L2-level cache coherence. Furthermore, it resolves coherence of the two core’s L1 caches internally within the chip for fast access to the L1 cache of the other core. The Pentium D uses an off-chip Front-Side Bus (FSB) for inter-core communications. Basically, the Pentium D is basically a technology remap of the Pentium 4 Symmetric Multiprocessor (SMP) that requires accessing the FSB for maintaining cache coherence.

AMD Athlon 64X2 uses a 17 Hyper-Transport interconnect technology for faster inter-chip communication. Given an additional ownership state in the Athlon 64X2, cache coherence between the two cores can be accomplished without off-chip traffic. In addition, the Athlon 64X2 has an on-die memory controller to reduce memory access latency. To examine memory bandwidth and latency, we used lmbench [33], a suite of memory measurement benchmarks. Lmbench attempts to measure the most commonly found performance bottlenecks in a wide range of system applications.

These bottlenecks can be identified, isolated, and reproduced in a set of small micro-benchmarks, which measure system latency and bandwidth of data movement among the processor, memory, network, file system, and disk. In addition, we also ran STREAM [24] and STREAM2 [25] recreated by using lmbench’s timing harness. They are kernel benchmarks measuring memory bandwidth and latency during several common vector operations such as matrix addition, copy of matrix, etc. We also used a small lockless program [29] to measure the cache-to-cache latency of the three processors.

The lockless program records the duration of ping-pong procedures of a small token bouncing between two caches to get the average cache-to-cache latency. 3. 2 Architecture of Dual-Core Processors 3. 2. 1 Intel Pentium D 830 The Pentium D 830 (Figure 3. 1) glues two Pentium 4 cores together and connects them with the memory controller through the north-bridge. The off-chip memory controller provides flexibility to support the newest DRAM with the cost of longer memory access latency. The MESI coherence protocol from Pentium SMP is adapted in Pentium D that requires a memory update in order to change a modified block to shared. 8 The systems interconnect for processors remains through the Front-Side Bus (FSB). To accommodate the memory update, the FSB is located off-chip that increases the latency for maintaining cache coherence. The Pentium D’s hardware prefetcher allows stride-based prefetches beyond the adjacent lines. In addition, it attempts to trigger multiple prefetches for staying 256 bytes ahead of current data access locations [16]. The advanced prefetching in Pentium D enables more overlapping of cache misses. Figure 3-1 Block Diagram of Pentium D Processor 3. 2. 2 AMD Athlon 64X2 The Athlon 64X2 (Figure 3. ) is designed specifically for multiple cores in a single chip (Figure 1(c)). Similar to the Pentium D processor, it also employs private L2 caches. However, both L2 caches share a system request queue, which connects with an on-die memory controller and a Hyper-Transport. The Hyper-Transport removes system bottlenecks by reducing the number of buses required in a system. It provides significantly more bandwidth than current PCI technology [3]. The system request queue serves as an internal interconnection between the two cores without involvements of an external bus. The Athlon 64X2 processor employs MOESI protocol, which adds an 9 “Ownership” state to enable blocks to be shared on both cores without the need to keep the memory copy updated. The Athlon 64X2 has a next line hardware prefetcher. However, accessing data in increments larger than 64 bytes may fail to trigger the hardware prefetcher [5]. Figure 3-2 Block Diagram of AMD Athlon 64×2 Processor 3. 2. 3 Processor Comparison Table 3. 1 lists the specifications of the three processors experimented in this paper. There are no Hyper-threading settings on any of these processors. The Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 has separate 32 KB L1 instruction and data caches per core. A 2MB L2 cache is shared by two cores.

Both L1 and L2 caches are 8-way set associative and have 64byte lines. The Pentium D processor has a Trace Cache which stores 12Kuops. It is also equipped with a write-through, 8-way 16KB L1 data cache with a private 8-way 1MB L2 cache. The Athlon 64X2 processor’s L1 data and instruction cache are 2-way 64KB with a private 16-way 1MB L2 cache for each core. Athlon 64X2’s L1 and L2 caches in each core is exclusive. All three machines have the same size L2 caches and Memory. The Core 2 Duo and the Pentium D are equipped with DDR2 DRAM using advanced memory 20 controllers in their chipsets. The Athlon 64X2 has a DDR on-die memory controller.

All three machines have 2GB memory. The FSB of the Core 2 Duo is clocked at 1066MHz with bandwidth up to 8. 5GB/s. The FSB of the Pentium D operates at 800MHz and provides up to 6. 4GB/sec bandwidth. The Athlon 64X2 has a 2GHz I/O Hyper-Transport with bandwidth up to 8GB/s. Bandwidth of hard drive interface for the three machines are 375MB/s, 150MB/s and 300MB/s respectively. Because of our experiments are all inmemory benchmarks, difference in hard drives should have little impact. Table 3. 1 Specifications of the selected processors AMD Athlon64 Intel Core 2 Duo Intel Pentium D 830 4400+ (2 x 2. 0GHz) CPU E6400 (2 x 2. 13GHz) (2 x 3. 00GHz) Technology 65nm 90nm 90nm Transistors 291 Millions 230 Millions 230 Millions Hyperthreading No No No Code and Data: 32 KB Trace cache: 12Kuops Code and data: 64KB X 2, 8 way, 64–byte X 2, data: 16KB X 2, X 2, 2-way, 64-byte cache line size, write- 8-way, 64-byte line cache line size, writeL1 Cache back size, write-through back 2MB shared cache 2MB private cache 2MB private cache (2MB x 1), 8-way, 64- (1MB x 2), 8-way, 64- (1MB x 2), 16-way, byte line size, nonbyte line size, 64-byte line size, inclusive with L1 inclusive with L1 exclusive with L1 L2 Cache cache. ache. cache. 2GB (1GB x 2) DDR2 2GB(512MBx4) 2GB(1GB x 2) DDR Memory 533MHz DDR2 533MHz 400MHz HyperTransport 16bit 1066MHz Data Rate 800MHz Data Rate up/down 2GHz Data FSB 64-bit 64-bit Rate (up+down) FSB bandwidth 8. 5GB/s 6. 4GB/s 8GB/s HD Interface SATA 375MB/s SATA 150MB/s SATA 300MB/s 3. 3 Methodology We installed SUSE linux 10. 1 with kernel 2. 6. 16-smp on all three machines. We used maximum level GCC optimization to compile the C/C++ benchmarks of lmbench and lockless program. We used lmbench suite running on the three machines to measure 1 bandwidth and latency of memory hierarchy. Lmbench attempts to measure performance bottlenecks in a wide range of system applications. These bottlenecks have been identified, isolated, and reproduced in a set of small micro-benchmarks, which measure system latency and bandwidth of data movement among the processor, memory, network, file system, and disk. Table 3. 2 Memory operations from Lmbench Description measuring how fast the processor can copy data blocks when data segments are not aligned with pages using a system call bcopy(). easuring how fast the processor can copy data blocks when data segments are aligned with pages using a system call bcopy(). measuring how fast the processor can reset memory blocks using a system call bzero(). measuring how fast the system can copy data blocks without using bcopy(), when data segments are not aligned with pages. measuring the time to read every 4 byte word from memory measuring the time to write every 4 byte word to memory Operation Libc bcopy unaligned Libc bcopy aligned Memory bzero Unrolled bcopy unaligned Memory read Memory write

In our experiments, we focus on the memory subsystem and measure memory bandwidth and latency with various operations [33]. Table 3. 2 lists the operations used to test memory bandwidth and their meanings. We can run variable stride accesses to get average memory read latency. In addition, we ran multi-copies lmbench, one on each core to test the memory hierarchy system. We also ran STREAM [24] and STREAM2 [25] recreated by using lmbench’s timing harness. They are simple vector kernel benchmarks measuring memory bandwidth. Each version has four common vector operations as listed in Table 3. . Average memory latencies for these operations are also reported. 22 Table 3. 3 Kernel operations of the STREAM and STREAM2 benchmarks Set Kernel Operation STREAM copy c[i]=a[i] STREAM scale b[i] = scalar * c[i] STREAM add c[i] = a[i] + b[i] a[i] = b[i] + scalar * STREAM triad STREAM2 fill a[i] = q STREAM2 copy a[i] = b[i] STREAM2 daxpy a[i] = a[i] + q * b[i] STREAM2 sum sum = sum + a[i] We measured the cache-to-cache latency using a small lockless program [29]. It doesn’t employ expensive read-modify-write atomic instructions. Instead, it maintains a lockless counter for each thread.

The c-code of each thread is as follows. *pPong = 0; for (i = 0; i < NITER; ++i) { while (*pPing < i); *pPong = i+1; } Each thread increases its own counter pPong and keeps reading the peer’s counter by checking pPing. The counter pPong is in a different cache line from the counter pPing. A counter pPong can be increased by one only after verifying the update of the peer’s counter. This generates a heavy read-write sharing between the two cores and produces a Ping-Pong procedure between the two caches. The average cache-tocache latency is measured by repeating the procedure. . 4 Memory Bandwidth and Latency Measurements We used the lockless program described in section 3. 3 to measure the dual-core cache-to-cache latency. The average cache-to-cache latency of Core 2 Duo, Pentium D, and Athlon 64X2 are 33ns, 133ns and 68ns respectively. Core 2 Duo resolves L1 cache 23 coherence within the chip and enables the fastest cache-to-cache transfer. Pentium D requires external FSB for cache-to-cache transfer. Athlon 64X2’s on-chip system request inter-face and the MOESI protocol permits fast cache-to-cache communication.

We ran the bandwidth and latency test programs present in the lmbench suite. Figure 3. 3 shows memory bandwidth for many operations from lmbench. Figure 3. 3(a), 3. 3(c) and 3. 3 (e) present data collected while running one copy of lmbench on the three machines. Several observations can be made: (1) In general, Core 2 Duo and Athlon 64 X2 have better bandwidth than that of Pentium D. Only exception is that Pentium D shows the best memory read bandwidth when the array size is less than 1MB. The shared cache of Core 2 Duo demands longer access latency though providing larger effective capacity.

For Athlon 64X2, because the equipped DRAM has lower bandwidth, its memory read bandwidth is lower than that of Pentium D when memory bus is not saturated. The memory read bandwidth for the three machines drops when the array size is larger than 32KB, 16KB and 64KB respectively. These reflect the sizes of their L1 cache. When the array size is larger than 2MB, 1MB and 1MB for the respective three systems, we can see another dropping, reflecting their L2 cache sizes. (2) The memory bzero operation shows different behaviors: when the array size is larger than their L1 data cache sizes, i. e. 32KB for Core 2 Duo and 64KB for Athlon 64X2, the memory bandwidth drops sharply. This is not true for Pentium D. The L1 cache of Core 2 Duo and Athlon 64X2 employ a write-back policy while the L1 cache of Pentium D uses a write-through policy. When the array size is smaller than their L1 data cache sizes, the write-back policy updates the L2 cache less frequently than the write- 24 through policy, leading to higher bandwidth. However, when the array size is larger than their L1 data cache sizes, the write-back policy does not have any advantage as indicated Intel Core 2 Duo Memory Bandwidth (1 copy) 7500 15000 B a n d w i d th (M B / s ) 12500 libc bcopy unaligned libc bcopy aligned Memory bzero unrolled bcopy unaligned Memory read Memory write Intel Core 2 Duo Memory Bandwidth (2 copies) 35000 30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 libc bcopy unaligned libc bcopy aligned Memory bzero unrolled bcopy unaligned Memory read Memory write 10000 7500 5000 2500 0 512 1024 2048 4096 8192 16K 32K 64K 128K 256K 512K 1M 2M 4M 8M 16M 32M 64M 128M 256M 512M 1024M B a n d w id th (M B /s ) Array Size (Bytes) (a) Intel Pentium D Memory Bandwidth (1 copy) 7500 libc bcopy unaligned libc bcopy aligned Memory bzero unrolled bcopy unaligned Memory read Memory write 35000 B a n d w id th (M B /s ) B a n d w id th (M B /s ) 15000 12500 10000 7500 5000 2500 0 30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 5 12 10 24 20 48 40 96 81 92 16 K 32 K 64 K 1 28 K 2 56 K 5 12 K 1M 2M 4M 8M 1 6M 3 2M 6 4M 1 2 8M 2 5 6M 5 1 2M 10 2 4M Array Size (Bytes) (c) AMD Athlon 64X2-Memory Bandwidth (1 copy) 17500 15000 libc bcopy unaligned libc bcopy aligned Memory bzero unrolled bcopy unaligned Memory read Memory w rite 35000 30000 12500 10000 7500 5000 2500 0 B a n d w id th (M B /s )

B and width (MB /s) 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 512 1024 2048 4096 8192 16K 32K 64K 128K 256K 512K 1M 2M 4M 8M 16M 32M 64M 128M 256M 512M 1024M 512 1024 2048 4096 8192 16K 32K 64K 128K 256K 512K 1M 2M 4M 8M 16M 32M 64M Array Size (Bytes) Array Size (Bytes) (e) (f) Figure 3-3 Memory bandwidth collected from the lmbench suite (1 or 2 copies). 25 128M 256M 512 1024 2048 4096 8192 16K 32K 64K 128K 256K 512K 1M 2M 4M 8M 16M 32M 64M 128M 256M Array Size (Bytes) 512 1024 2048 4096 8192 16K 32K 64K 128K 256K 512K 1M 2M 4M 8M 16M 32M 64M 128M 256M Array Size (Bytes) (b) Intel Pentium D Memory Bandwidth (2 copies) ibc bcopy unaligned libc bcopy aligned Memory bzero unrolled bcopy unaligned Memory read Memory write (d) AMD Athlon 64X2-Memory Bandwidth (2copies) libc bcopy unaligned libc bcopy aligned Memory bzero unrolled bcopy unaligned Memory read Memory write by the sharp decline of the bandwidth. (3) For Athlon 64X2, libc bcopy unaligned and libc bcopy aligned show a big difference while alignment does not have much difference for Core 2 Duo and Pentium D. ‘Aligned’ here means the memory segments are aligned to the page boundary. The operation bcopy could be optimized if the segments are page aligned.

In Figure 3. 3(a), 3. 3 (c) and 3. 3 (e), Core 2 Duo and Pentium D show optimizations for unaligned bcopy access while Athlon 64X2 does not. Figure 3. 3 (b), 3. 3 (d) and 3. 3 (f) plot the bandwidth while running two copies of lmbench on three machines. The scale of the vertical axis of these three figures is doubled compared to their one-copy counterparts. We can observe that memory bandwidth of Pentium D and Athlon 64X2 are almost doubled for all operations. Core 2 Duo has increased bandwidth, but not doubled. This is because of the access contention when two lmbench copies compete with the shared cache.

When the array size is larger than its L2 cache size 2MB, Athlon 64X2 provides almost doubled bandwidth for two-copy lmbench memory read operation compared with its one-copy counterpart. Athlon 64X2 benefits from its on-die memory controller and separate I/O Hyper-Transport. Intel Core 2 Duo and Pentium D processors suffer FSB bandwidth saturation when the array size exceeds the L2 capacity. We tested memory load latency for multiple sizes of stride access and random access for all the three machines. Figure 3. 4(a), 3. 4 (c) and 3. 4 (e) depict the memory load latency lines of the three machines running with one copy of lmbench.

Several observations can be made: (1) For Core 2 Duo, latencies for all configurations jump after the array size is larger than 2 MB while for Pentium D and Athlon 64X2 latencies for all 26 the configurations jump after the array size is larger than 1MB. This relates to the L2 cache sizes of the measured machines. (2) As described in Section 2, when hardware Intel Core 2 Duo-Memory Load Latency-1 copy 150 stride-16 stride-64 120 stride-256 stride-512 stride-32 stride-128 120 150 stride-16 stride-64 stride-256 stride-32 stride-128 stride-512 Intel Core 2 Duo-M ory Load Latency-2 copies em Latency (ns) stride-1024 90

Latency (ns) 90 stride-1024 60 60 30 30 3. 5 128 224 128 224 0. 01 0. 02 0. 04 0. 08 0. 14 0. 25 0. 47 0. 88 1. 63 112 208 384 704 1280 Array Size (MB) Array Size (MB) (a) Intel Pentium D-Memory Load Latency-1 copy 150 150 (b) Intel Pentium D-Memory Load Latency-2 copies stride-16 stride-64 120 stride-256 stride-1024 90 stride-32 stride-128 stride-512 stride-16 stride-64 stride-32 stride-128 stride-512 120 stride-256 stride-1024 Latency (ns) 90 Latency (ns) 60 60 30 30 0 0 0. 01 0. 02 0. 03 0. 04 0. 06 0. 09 0. 14 0. 22 0. 34 0. 5 0. 81 1. 25 1. 88 3 4. 5 1. 25 2 0. 01 0. 02 0. 03 0. 05 0. 09 0. 16 0. 25 0. 44 . 75 5. 5 0 3. 5 0 2 0. 01 0. 02 0. 03 0. 05 0. 09 0. 16 0. 25 0. 44 0. 75 1. 25 6 10 16 28 48 80 128 224 384 640 1024 Array Size (MB) Array Size (MB) (c) AMD-Memory Load Latency-1 copy 150 stride-16 stride-64 120 stride-256 stride-1024 90 stride-32 stride-128 stride-512 120 150 stride-16 stride-64 stride-256 (d) AMD-Memory Load Latency-2 copies stride-32 stride-128 stride-512 Latency (ns) Latency (ns) stride-1024 90 60 60 30 30 0 2 0. 01 0. 02 0. 03 0. 05 0. 09 0. 16 0. 25 0. 44 0. 75 1. 25 6 10 16 28 48 80 1024 10 16 28 48 80 128 224 384 0. 01 0. 02 0. 03 0. 05 0. 09 0. 16 0. 25 0. 44 0. 75 1. 25 640 3. 5

Array Size (MB) Array Size (MB) (e) (f) Figure 3-4 Memory load latency collected from the lmbench suite (1 or 2 copies) 27 384 3. 5 0 0 2 6 0 7 11 16 26 40 60 96 144 224 352 384 6 10 16 28 48 10 18 32 60 80 0 3 0 0 0 prefetchers on all machines work, the memory bus bottleneck will not be reflected. When the stride size is equal to 128 bytes, Pentium D still benefits partially from its hardware prefetcher but the L2 prefetchers of Core 2 Duo and Athlon 64X2 is not triggered. This leads to better performance for Pentium D. (3) When the stride size is large than 128 bytes, all hardware prefetchers don’t take effect.

Multiple L2 cache misses put pressures onto the memory buses. Athlon 64X2’s on-die memory controller and separate I/O HyperTransport show the advantage. Pentium D’s memory latency have a large jump for these operations but Athlon 64X2’s latency almost keeps unchanged. We increased pressure on memory hierarchy by running 2 copies of lmbench simultaneously. Figure 3. 4(b), 3. 4(d) and 3. 4(f) show memory latencies of two lmbench copies. We found that Core 2 Duo and Athlon 64X2 show a slight increase in the latencies for stride sizes larger than 128 bytes while Pentium D’s latencies in those situations increases a lot.

Core 2 Duo benefits from its shared cache, which generates lower external traffic and its faster FSB while Athlon 64X2 take the advantage of on-chip memory controller and separate I/O Hyper-Transport. However, Pentium D’s latencies jump due to suffering from memory bus saturation. We also ran the STREAM and STREAM2 benchmarks implemented in lmbench to measure memory bandwidth and latency of eight kernel operations. Figure 3. 5(a) shows memory bandwidth of STREAM and STREAM2 operations when running with a single copy of each operation. We made two observations.

First, the add operation in the STREAM suite shows much higher bandwidth than other operations. After examining the related assembly code, we found that the add operation is a loop of c[i] = a[i] + b[i], which can easily take advantage of the SSE2 packet operations. Other operations such as 28 copy and fill do not use SSE2 instructions and therefore do not show much difference. Triad and daxpy have longer delay and lower bandwidth for each step because of multiplication. Performance of the operation sum was hurt because of its inter-loop dependence: s += a[i].

Second, Intel Core 2 Duo shows the best bandwidth for all operations because of L1 data prefetchers and the faster Front Side Bus. S tream B andwidth (1 C opy) Stream B andwidth(2Copy) C 2D ore uo P entiumD Athlon 64X 2 Bandwidth (MB/s) 16 000 14 000 12 000 10 000 8 000 6 000 4 000 2 000 0 copy scale add triad fill* copy* daxpy* sum * co py scale a dd triad fill* copy* daxpy* su * m O peration (* m eans fromS E 2) TR AM O eration(* m ns fromST E 2) p ea R AM C 2D ore uo P tiumD en Ath 64X lon 2 16000 14000 Bandwidth (MB/s) 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 (a) S tream Latency (1 C opy) 20 C 2Duo ore P entiumD Athlon 64X 2 20 b) S treamLatency (2 C opy) C 2D ore uo P tiumD en Athlon64X 2 15 Latency (ns) 15 Latency (ns) 10 10 5 5 0 copy scale add triad fill* copy* daxpy* sum * Operation (* m eans fromST AM RE 2) 0 copy scale add triad fill* copy* daxpy* sum * O peration(* m eans fromSTR AM ) E 2 (c) (d) Figure 3-5 Memory bandwidth and latency collected from the STREAM and STREAM2 benchmarks (1 or 2 copies) 29 Figure 3. 5(b) depicts memory bandwidth when running with 2 copies of each operation in STREAM / STREAM2, one on each core. From this figure, we can see that Core 2 Duo and Athlon 64X2 have better bandwidth than that of Pentium D.

This is due to the fact that Pentium D’s FSB is saturated when running two copies of each operation. Athlon 64X2 benefits from its on-die memory controller and separate HyperTransport for I/O although its main memory DDR bandwidth is worse than that of Pentium D. Core 2 duo benefits from the presence of its L1 data prefetchers and the faster FSB. Figure 3. 5(c) and 3. 5(d) show the memory latencies for the three machines. Similar to the bandwidth figures, memory latency of Core 2 Duo and Pentium D are shorter than that of Athlon 64X2 when a single copy of the STREAM/STREAM2 benchmark is running.

Apparently, the shorter latency from on-die memory controller does not pay off in comparison with an off-die controller with better DRAM technology. However, while running the 2-copy version, memory latency of Pentium D is higher than the other two. 30 4. Performance Comparison of Dual Core Processors Using Multiprogrammed and Multithreaded Benchmarks 4. 1 Overview This section emphasizes on comparing the performance measurement results of three dual core desktop processors, explained in chapter 3 : Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 with 2. 13GHz [15], Intel Pentium D 830 with 3. GHz [19] and AMD Athlon 64X2 4400+ with 2. 2GHz [2] using multi-programmed and multi threaded benchmarks. To evaluate the architecture performance a mixture of single threaded and multiprogrammed benchmarks are used. A set of single-threaded workloads is run on the three systems to determine the dual-core speedups over a single core. For single-thread programs, we experiment a subset of mixed SPEC CPU2000 and SPEC CPU2006 benchmarks [31]. To examine the scalability of single and dual cores, we run a set of single- and multi- threaded workloads on the three systems.

For multi-threaded workloads, we select blastp and hmmpfam from the BioPerf suites [6], SPECjbb2005 [32], as well as a subset of SPLASH2 [22]. 4. 2 Methodology Similar to the methodology used in chapter 3 we used SUSE linux 10. 1 with kernel 2. 6. 16-smp on all three machines for all our experiments in this section. We used maximum level GCC optimization to compile all the C/C++ benchmarks including SPEC CPU2000, SPEC CPU2006, SPLASH2 and blastp and hmmpfam from BioPerf. SPEC jbb2005 was compiled using SUN JDK 1. 5. 0. For multiprogrammed workloads, the cross-product of mixed SPEC

CPU2000/2006 benchmarks were run on the three machines to examine the dual-core 31 speedups over a single core. All the SPEC CPU2000/2006 programs were run with their respective ref inputs. In our simulations, when two programs were run together, we guaranteed that each program was repeated at least four times. The shorter programs may run more than four iterations until the longer program completes its four full iterations. We discarded the results obtained in the first run and used the average execution time and other metrics from the remainder three repeated runs to determine the speedups.

We calculated the dual-core speedup for multiprogrammed workloads similarly to that used in [25]. Firstly, the single program’s running time were collected individually and were considered as the base runtime. Secondly, the average execution time of each workload when run simultaneously was re-corded. Then, the dual-core speedup of each workload is calculated by finding the ratio of average run time when run individually (single core) by the average run-time when run together (dual core). Finally, we add the speedups of the two programs run together to obtain the dual-core speedup.

For example, if the speedups of two programs are 0. 8 and 0. 9 when run simultaneously, the respective dual-core speedup will be 1. 7. We used the same procedure for homogeneous multi-threaded workloads including blastp and hmmpfam from the BioPerf suites, a subset of SPLASH2, as well as SPECjbb2005. The BioPerf suite has emerging Bio-informatics programs. SPLASH2 is a widely used scientific workload suite. SPECjbb2005 is a java based business database program. Table 4. 1 lists the input parameters of the multithreaded workloads used.

We ran each of these workloads long enough to compensate overheads of sequential portions of the workloads. 32 Table 4. 1 Input parameters of the selected multithreaded workloads Workload blastp hmmpfam barnes fmm ocean-continuous fft lu-continuous lu-non-continuous radix Input parameters Swissprot database, large input Large input 1048576 bodies 524288 particles 2050 X 2050 grid 2^24 total complex data transformed 4096 X 4096 node matrix 4096 X 4096 node matrix 134217728 keys to sort Default ramp up time 30s, measurement time 240s, from 1 to 8 warehouses points

SPECjbb2005 4. 3 Multiprogrammed Workload Measurements We measured execution time of a subset of SPEC CPU2000 and CPU 2006 benchmarks running on the three systems. In figure 5(a) and 5(c), the Core 2 Duo processor runs fastest for almost all workloads, especially for memory intensive workloads art and mcf. Core 2 Duo has a wider pipeline, more functional units, and a shared L2 cache that provides bigger cache for single thread. Athlon 64X2 shows the best performance for ammp, whose working set is large, resulting in large amount of L2 cache misses for all three machines.

Athlon 64X2 benefits from its faster on-chip memory controller. Figure 4. 1(b) and 4. 1(d) depict average execution time of each workload when mixed with another program in the same suite. There is an execution time increasing for each workload. For memory bounded programs art, mcf and ammp, execution time increasing is large while CPU bounded workloads such as crafty, mesa, perl and sjeng show a little increasing. 33 SPEC CPU2000 Execution Time (Single Program) 700 600 500 Seconds C 2D ore uo P entiumD Athlon 64X2

SP CC 2000A E PU verag E e xecutionT e (M Pro ram im ixed g ) 700 600 500 Seconds C 2D ore uo P entiumD Athlo 6 2 n 4X 400 300 200 100 GZIP EQUAKE PARSER BZIP2 PERL EON GCC MCF 400 300 200 100 0 AMMP ART 0 AMMP ART CRAFTY TWOLF MESA GAP VPR GZIP EQUAKE PARSER BZIP2 PERL EON GCC MCF CRAFTY TWOLF SJENG GAP (a) SPECCPU2006 Execution Time (Single Program) 2200 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 GCC H264REF ASTAR BZIP2 C 2D ore uo P entiumD Athlon 64X2 Seconds (b) SPEC CPU2006 Average Execution Time (Mixed Program) 200 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 GCC H264REF ASTAR BZIP2 Core 2 Duo P entiumD Athlon 64X2 Seconds OMNETPP HMMER MESA OMNETPP LIBQUANT (c) (d) Figure 4-1 SPEC CPU2000 and CPU2006 benchmarks execution time The multi-programmed speedup of the cross-product of mixed SPEC CPU2000 and CPU2006 programs for the three machines are given in the Figure 4. 2, where C2D, PNT and ATH denote the measured Core 2 Duo, Pentium D, and Athlon 64X2 respectively. From Figure 4, we can see that Athlon 64X2 achieves the best speedup 2. 0 for all the workloads. Crafty, eon, mesa in CPU 2000 and perl in

Free Essays

The Influence of Roman Engineering and Architecture

The ingeniousness and beauty of Roman architecture has not been lost on us in the 2000 years since it was built. Even today, we still marvel at what incredible builders the Romans were, and at the sheer scale and integrity of many of their projects. It is hard to argue that today’s architecture will maintain the same lasting grandeur as that which the Romans built. If we can still respect and admire the grandeur of Rome as it was in it’s day, one can only imagine how much of an influence people of the time felt, due to the incredible innovations that the Romans brought to the new regions of their empire.

In fact, it is because of the superior engineering skills and architectural ideas possessed by the Romans, and respected by others, that allowed them to conquer, influence and rule such a vast area of the world, for such an extended period of time. Citizens of regions conquered by Rome were the beneficiaries of Roman innovations such as a (public) fresh water supply, bridges over previously impassable rivers, roads linking all parts of the empire (especially to the capital) and incredible public buildings like the forums and baths.

They were more easily persuaded into acceptance once the Romans arrived when they saw or heard of these innovations which they realized could have such a huge and beneficial impact on their lifestyles. The first thing the Romans did upon entering a new region, after winning the war that gained them their new territory, was construct roads and bridges. This was the best way to “Romanize” the new areas, as it permitted easier communication between the colony and the mother country.

The roads all led to the capital, which solidified its position as the centre of power, and also allowed the rulers easier and faster access to the colonies when necessary. It has been said that at the peak of Rome’s power, one could travel from the English Channel all the way to Rome without ever fording a stream, simply because the Romans had built so many bridges to link its colonies. As the Romans were the first to master bridge building on such a large scale, they had a huge influence on the people in even the most remote regions. Places that had been impassible could suddenly be crossed by bridge.

The bridges were a commanding presence on the landscape as well, easily conveying the sense of who was in power and influencing the people of the region. The Puente Alcantara in Spain can perhaps best show the expansive influence that the Romans held through their bridges, (Images 1 and 2). Built in AD100 and still standing today, Puente Alcantara reaches 164 feet at its highest point, is 600 feet long and has spans of 92 to 98 feet wide. Such an example of architecture so far from the centre of power is a lasting monument to the influential power once held by the Romans.

People were drawn into conformity when they saw the superior skills of the Romans, who also perfected pile driving for the construction of bridges and built each bridge arch as self-supporting to avoid damage to the entire structure if only one portion was damaged. The Roman use of the arch itself, which had never been used to such a great extent before, is itself the main reason they were able to build the huge and influential structures that they were. The use of the arch was of course not limited to bridges; it was common in all Roman architecture of the time.

The next major use for it in the new colonies, however, was in the construction of a water supply system—the system of Roman aqueducts. Rome already had an extensive system of aqueducts to supply the city with fresh water, and the Romans used the same system in other regions to civilize the “barbarian” tribes they had just subdued. Such a system was unheard of in other civilizations. The Romans were a very sanitary and hygienic people to whom fresh water was very important. The new colonies had never been concerned about such sanitation.

The Romans, however, were able to bring fresh water to the towns from long distances away by carrying it through tunnels and over valleys with their towering aqueducts. This water was then used for the public baths and toilets, besides the expected drinking water. The fact that this water was for the public, and not reserved for private use, pleased people in the new colonies even more, and made them even more accepting of Roman control. The actual aqueducts themselves, built by the Romans to carry the water, were perhaps even more influential.

Aqueducts like Pont du Gard at Nimes (Images 3 and 4), or Segovia in Spain (Image 5), the latter of which still carries water today, were monumental landmarks in the colonies where they were built and still are today. That the Romans would build such magnificent and monumental structures for the sole purpose of supplying water to its colonies was likely overwhelming to those benefiting from it. So the Romans supplied the towns with water, and made travel between towns easier. But what about improving life within the town itself?

It is in the public buildings such as the bath, the forum and the amphitheater, which people used and experienced daily, where Rome was able to exert its greatest influence. The fact that these buildings were open to all and not reserved for an elitist group of society only increased their significance. It is arguable that the grandness of the baths has yet to be surpassed in any public building since. These were huge, lavishly ornamented structures where citizens would go not only to bathe, but also for sports, club-life and exhibitions of art.

The baths acted as a community centre, uniting citizens in the towns in which they were located. There was also the Roman invention of the forum, today’s equivalent of which would be city hall, the law courts, a marketplace and a church all combined in a single structure. It was a novel idea that one could go to a single building at the centre of town and find everything they needed. People were also allowed open discussion here and were able to publicly voice their opinions and socialize with fellow citizens.

However, the forum’s accessibility and openness should not hide the fact that it was used by the Romans as a control centre, where legislative duties for the town were carried out, giving Rome further influence over the citizens. The amphitheaters cannot be forgotten, as they were used by the Romans to please and placate people through the presentation of spectacles. Their architectural grandeur was also influential, however, as they were usually four stories tall, could be covered by a canopy, and were the size of two theatres put together.

The Romans didn’t build the public buildings just for their own good, they were used to show “who’s boss” and keep people appeased. These buildings were superior to anything else that had been or was being built, which helped Rome keep the territory it had conquered. It is still difficult to comprehend that the Romans were able to create an empire as vast and as powerful as they did. Lasting several centuries and covering Europe, Asia Minor and Northern Africa and even overtaking their historical enemies the Greeks, their empire was of a magnitude that has been unsurpassed but often dreamed. When we look back at how they chieved such widespread influence there is no doubt that the principal factor in their achievements was due to their superior skills in architecture and engineering of the day. They brought fresh clean water to the towns and cities they conquered using the aqueducts which are still inspiring and influential monuments today. We can only imagine the significance they held 2000 years ago. As Frontius said of the aqueducts, they are “…a signal testimony to the greatness of the Roman Empire. ” The water brought by the aqueducts was then distributed to the public and used in even more magnificent structures like the baths.

How could people not be influenced by such great inventions as these and the forum and the amphitheater, which were used by the Romans not only to please the people but also to help maintain power? The Romans built bridges and roads to link their new colonies and built them so they were a lasting and powerful presence. These bridges were not just a show of power in their grandeur, but were also used by the Romans as quick access to the colonies they needed to keep under control. People of the world were not nearly as advanced in terms of the engineering ability of the Romans, and were persuaded to accept Roman rule.

They respected and admired the Roman’s superior abilities and innovations and were therefore easier to conquer and less likely to revolt, allowing the Romans to expand their empire and maintain their influence for such a long time. The Romans no doubt improved their quality of life upon conquering them, and it is hard not to accept a new ruling class if such improvements are occurring. The greatness of the Roman Empire as it was is a direct result of the fact that they were such superior engineers and architects.

Free Essays

Landscape Architecture

BUILD ENVIRONMENT The term built environment refers to the human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from buildings and parks or green space to neighborhoods and cities that can often include their supporting infrastructure, such as water supply, or energy networks. The built environment is a material, spatial and cultural product of human labor that combines physical elements and energy in forms for living, working and playing. It has been defined as “the human-made space in which people live, work, and recreate on a day-to-day basis”.

The “built environment encompasses places and spaces created or modified by people including buildings, parks, and transportation systems”. In recent years, public health research has expanded the definition of “built environment” to include healthy food access, community gardens, “walkabilty”, and “bikability”. Early concepts of built environments were introduced thousands of years ago. Hippodamus of Miletos, known as the “father of urban planning”, developed Greek cities from 498 BC to 408 BC that created order by using grid plans that mapped the city.

These early city plans eventually gave way to the City Beautiful movement in the late 1800s and early 1900s, inspired by Daniel Hudson Burnham, a reformist for the Progressivism movement who actively promoted “a reform of the landscape in tandem with political change”. The effort was in partnership with others who believed that beautifying American cities would improve the moral compass of the cities and encourage the upper class to spend their money in cities. This beautification process included parks and architectural design. Modern built environment

Currently built environments are typically used to describe the interdisciplinary field that addresses the design, construction, management, and use of these man-made surroundings as an interrelated whole as well as their relationship to human activities over time (rather than a particular element in isolation or at a single moment in time). The field is generally not regarded as a traditional profession or academic discipline in its own right, instead drawing upon areas such as economics, law, public policy, public health, management, geography, design, technology, and environmental sustainability.

Within the field of public health, built environments are referred to as building or renovating areas in an effort to improve the community’s well-being through construction of “aesthetically, health improved, and environmentally improved landscapes and living structures”. Urban planning The term “urban planning” indicates that much of the environment we inhabit is man-made and that these artificial surroundings are so extensive and cohesive that with regards to the consumption of resources, waste disposal, and productive enterprise, they are similar to organisms.

Public health In public health, built environments refer to physical environments that are designed with health and wellness as integral parts of the communities. Research has indicated that how neighborhoods are created can affect both the physical activity and mental health of the communities’ residents. Studies have shown that built environments that were expressly designed to improve physical activity are linked to higher rates of physical activity, which in turn, positively affects health.

Neighborhoods with more walkability had lower rates of obesity as well as increased physical activity among its residents. They also had lower rates of depression, higher social capital, and less alcohol abuse. Walkability features in these neighborhoods include safety, sidewalk construction, as well as destinations in which to walk. In addition, the perception of a walkable neighborhood, one that is perceived to have good sidewalks and connectivity, is correlated with higher rates of physical activity. Assessments of walkability have been completed through the use of GIS programs.

One such program, Street Smart Walk Score, is a walkability assessment tool which determines distances to grocery stores and other amenities, as well as connectivity and intersection frequency using specific addresses. Assessments such as Street Smart Walk Score can be utilized by city and county planning departments to improve existing walkability of communities. Public health also addresses additional components of built environments including “bikeability” and healthy food access such as proximity to grocery stores and community gardens.

Bikeability refers to the access that an area has granted to safe biking through multiple bike paths and bike lanes. Both walkability and bikeability have been cited as determinants of physical activity. Access to healthy food is also an important component to the built environment. A higher density of convenience stores has been associated with obesity in children. In contrast, improved access to community supermarkets and farmer’s markets is correlated with lower overweight status. Specifically in low income neighborhoods, the presence of a local grocery store is correlated with lower BMI/overweight risk.

Community gardens are also considered a part of the built environment, and have been shown to increase fruit and vegetable intake among gardeners. Scholars say that community gardens have also been shown to have positive social and psychological impacts that lead to lower levels of stress, hypertension, and an improved sense of wellness, affecting the overall health of the individual and the community. The intersection of public health with other disciplines is evident in the design process of built environments which includes environmental planning, policy development and land-use planning.

Research suggests that people are more active in mixed-use communities or those that incorporate retail and residential and densely populated areas as well as those with good street connectivity. Those who preferred to walk and live in walkable environments often have lower obesity rates and drive less over those who preferred living in auto-dependent environments. The strength of the evidence for reducing obesity through environment has been highlighted by the Center for Disease Control in its Common Community Measures for Obesity Prevention Project, which includes measures of healthy food access and physical activity environments.

Landscape architecture In landscape architecture, the built environment is understood to mean a human-made landscape, as distinguished from the natural environment; for example, a city park is a built environment. NATURAL ENVIRONMENT The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally[->0] on Earth[->1] or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species. The concept of the natural environment can be distinguished by components: Complete ecological[->2] units that function as natural[->3] systems without massive human[->4] intervention, including all vegetation[->5], microorganisms[->6], soil[->7], rocks[->8], atmosphere[->9], and natural phenomena[->10] that occur within their boundaries. §Universal natural resources[->11] and physical phenomena[->12] that lack clear-cut boundaries, such as air[->13], water[->14], and climate[->15], as well as energy[->16], radiation[->17], electric charge[->18], and magnetism[->19], not originating from human activity.

The natural environment is contrasted with the built environment[->20], which comprises the areas and components that are strongly influenced by humans. A geographical area is regarded as a natural environment. It is difficult to find absolutely natural environments, and it is common that the naturalness varies in a continuum, from ideally 100% natural in one extreme to 0% natural in the other. More precisely, we can consider the different aspects or components of an environment, and see that their degree of naturalness is not uniform.

If, for instance, we take an agricultural field, and consider the mineralogic composition[->21] and the structure[->22] of its soil, we will find that whereas the first is quite similar to that of an undisturbed forest soil, the structure is quite different. Natural environment is often used as a synonym for habitat[->23]. For instance, when we say that the natural environment of giraffes is the savanna[->24]. PLANT STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS The “Typical” Plant Body The Root System (Usually underground) §Anchor the plant in the soil §Absorb water and nutrients §Conduct water and nutrients Food Storage The Shoot System (Usually above grounds) §Elevates the plant above the soil §Many functions including: §photosynthesis §reproduction & dispersal §food and water conduction TYPE OF PLANTS Cacti (Cactus) Cactus plants are well adapted to hot and dry weather by storing water in their succulent stems. They are also known for their spines, for which they are famous. Flowers Flowers are the reproductive part of angiosperms, also known as flowering plants. Herbs Herbs are used for culinary, medicinal and spiritual uses. In cuisine, the leaves of the herb are normally the only part used.

All parts of herbs are used in various medical or spiritual practices. Shrubs and Bushes Usually under 6 m tall, shrubs and bushes are categorized as woody plants. Shrubs have multiple stems and many are covered with flowers of all shapes and sizes. Trees Trees are everywhere in the world. Trees are tall, large and some are very old. Trees are important in fighting soil erosion and responsible for the clean oxygen we breathe. Vegetables The term ‘vegetable’ is not actually a scientific classification of a plant, but rather strictly a culinary term.

Vegetables are parts of plants (flower buds, seeds, stems, fruits, etc) that are edible and used in culinary dishes. PLANT Plants, also called green plants (Viridiplantae in Latin), are living organisms of the kingdom Plantae including such multicellular groups as flowering plants, conifers, ferns and mosses, as well as, depending on definition, the green algae, but not red or brown seaweeds like kelp, nor fungi or bacteria. Green plants have cell walls with cellulose and characteristically obtain most of their energy from sunlight via photosynthesis using chlorophyll contained in chloroplasts, which gives them their green color.

Some plants are parasitic and may not produce normal amounts of chlorophyll or photosynthesize. Plants are also characterized by sexual reproduction, modular and indeterminate growth, and an alteration of generations, although asexual reproduction is common, and some plants bloom only once while others bear only one bloom. Precise numbers are difficult to determine, but as of 2010, there are thought to be 300–315 thousand species of plants, of which the great majority, some 260–290 thousand, are seed plants.

Green plants provide most of the world’s free oxygen and are the basis of most of the earth’s ecologies, especially on land. Plants described as grains, fruits and vegetables form mankind’s basic foodstuffs, and have been domesticated for millennia. Plants enrich our lives as flowers and ornaments. Until recently and in great variety they have served as the source of most of our medicines and drugs. Their scientific study is known as botany. [-;0] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Nature [-;1] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Earth [-;2] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Ecological -;3] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Nature [-;4] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Human [-;5] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Vegetation [-;6] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Microorganisms [-;7] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Soil [-;8] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Rock_(geology) [-;9] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Atmosphere [-;10] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Natural_phenomenon [-;11] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Natural_resource [-;12] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Physical_phenomena [-;13] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Air -;14] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Water [-;15] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Climate [-;16] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Energy [-;17] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Radiation [-;18] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Electric_charge [-;19] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Magnetism [-;20] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Built_environment [-;21] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Mineralogy [-;22] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Soil_structure [-;23] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Habitat [-;24] – http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Savanna