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CIVE3014 Construction

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CIVE3014 Construction

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Course Code: CIVE3014
University: University Of South Australia

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Country: Australia

The purpose of this assessment task is to develop your knowledge and evaluative capabilities to determine the construction requirements of buildings according to social, economic and environmental impacts that affect the sustainability of buildings across their life cycle.  This task requires you to write an essay on a provided topic.  The essay will involve some research, analysis and communication of contemporary information relevant to the construction industry. 

It is beneficial to familiarise yourself with the relationship between the assessment and the course objectives.

Display knowledge in respect to the social, economic and environmental impacts affecting the sustainability of buildings across their life cycle.
Evaluate the construction requirements of sustainable buildings.
Apply sustainability tools and indicators and appreciate their scope and limitations.
Critically appraise and select construction techniques on the bases of sustainability and innovation.


Sustainable construction or green building is the buzz work in the modern construction industry. The implications of the sustainable construction are being seen and felt in almost all the domains of the construction industry. The residential construction domain, the commercial construction domain, special application oriented constructions like school building, hospitals and other related constructions all do have the sustainable construction as the modern trend and there is considerable focus on change in the building materials being employed, the change in the construction procedures, taking advantage of the renewable and green energy sources for powering the construction are some of the several aspects which the sustainable construction is being concerned with at present(Gonzalez 2013). The novel trends in the sustainable construction are working out the ways and means of improving the ecological foot print of the construction projects. These are expected to work on to improve the global quality of living as well will work for the better safety and comfort of the people living in the sustainable constructions. Sustainable constructions are not only beneficial to the immediate residents, but they are beneficial to the society as a whole. The following write-up is discussing about a sustainable project which is subjected to retrofitting for better sustainability. The essay evaluates the current conditions and will work on to present with possible improvements and ecological benefits by working on to do retrofitting. There is discussion to the cost effectiveness of the project as well (Jeong 2017).  The following part of the write-up attempts to put before the evidential data supporting the merits of the tool and by systematically outlining the changes proposed in the current project, supports the concept and justifies its large scale coverage in totality. The key objective is to support and strengthen the spirit and choice towards the selection of the retrofitted sustainable constructions (Kibert 2016).
Triple bottom line perspective is employed in making up strategies to present with a well defined sustainable construction feasibility and appropriateness. As a whole the essay aims at justifying the sustainable construction in general and retrofitting of the existing construction project in particular. The main reason for the consideration of the project is the fact that retrofitting for sustainability will work on to improves the efficiency and improvement of the overall project performance, while keeping the project expenses reduced when compared with an altogether new sustainable project. Further the adaption of the retrofitting based sustainable practices in construction industry can impact numerous construction buildings and projects at present into more efficient and versatile constructions which can deliver better benefits to the ecology and the mankind along with economic advantages. The previous research in the topic is more focussed on projecting just few cross-sectional profiling of the advantages of sustainable construction through retrofitting. Retrofitting of several construction projects have given very meaningful benefits to the residents. Some of the benefits will include increasing the energy performance of the existing building. Further there it is going to extend the life of the existing building construction or the historical building. Also the retrofitting will enhance the thermal comfort levels of the people living in the building and this in turn will contribute to the improvement of the productivity levels of the occupants.  Retrofitting has already proven to provide valuable benefits in several project case studies. Retrofitting has contributed to enhance the life periods of the historical buildings, further there is also considerable emphasis on the improvement in the comfort levels of the occupants (Khatib 2016). Though there is still need to increase the research breadth and coverage to investigate more into the possible benefits of the retrofitting the sustainable constructions as well there is also need to further study the environmental impacts of the same on the constructions(Khairi 2015). Also the cost benefit analyses are required to be performed on the sustainable construction projects based on working with retrofitting. Other aspects like cost of the retrofitting as well as the cost of the maintenance need to be studied. Also the impact of retrofitting on other adjacent sites and buildings need to be studied to explore much about the sustainability with retrofitting. Practical barriers depends on several case dependent aspects as well (AlSanad  2015)
The current case study is about Wal-Mart, the construction buildings of which worked to upgrade themselves with retrofitting of the energy efficient systems for improving their energy performance., Wal-Mart has about 3000 stores across united states and the retrofitting energy efficient constructions is there in practice from several years and it has given positive benefits to the organization at present (Energy). The key technologies of Wal-Mart where there is considerable extent of sustainability exercised fall in three categories, the first is the energy saving in energy sector, the second is energy saving in water sector and the third is the resource limiting in the construction project. All these three variants do have considerable impact on the overall ecological footprints of the organizational outlets (Business Case).
Based on MHC critical evaluation of the Wal-Mart stores it is found that about 81% of its total projects were subjected to renovation in the last few years to make them sustainable. The actual value of these projects accounts for about 52% of the total Wal-Mart constructional investment.

The key domains of the project studies will include energy efficiency, light bulbs and light fixtures are employed in the site for better energy savings. Green technologies are used in improving the ecological foot prints of the energy applications.
The high impactive refrigeration applications are employed with more energy efficient applications that are entitled to reduce the overall energy consumption and contributed to the reduction in the overall organizational carbon emissions either directly or indirectly.
Bioswale and pervious pavements contributed to the betterment of the organizational carbon foot print. They worked on to promote the green energy technologies.
Also there is exhaustive inclusion of renewable energy technologies installed for energy generation and application in the site applications. Examples include installation of the solar panels, wind mills as well as other related applications which enhanced the green energy applications of the organization.
Apart from the ongoing project works discussed, Wal-Mart also worked on to establish itself as a pioneer in utilizing a range of solar technologies and also these technologies are promoted to be employed in a range of applications that included new retail stores of the organization. The fact that there is ample roof space available for these retail showrooms making it feasible to install the solar panels for green energy utilizaiton.

 As of the study conducted by the organization internally as well as by external agencies like MHC, the innovation in the retrofitting included the following statistics,
Figure 1 Details of changes
The profile of activities undertaken by Wal-Mart were as follows,
Figure 2 cumulative evaluation of changes
The investment of this much profile and detailed change over to the next generation technologies has just occurred due to the fact that the Wal-Mart is successful in getting the changes done and is readily working for the betterment of its sustainable profile. However still the results of the actual savings, financial returns, ecological benefits and the emissions profiles are yet to be identified (Laszlo 2017).
Further there are definite implications indicated by the project in all the three TBL domains (Onat 2017). There is considerable benefit to the organization in the financial, social and environmental perspectives.  TBL approach will work for social, economic and environmental perspectives of construction and Sustainable construction with retrofitting in the current example has projected the compliances in greener side of the project (Swenson  2016).  Sustainable construction through retrofitting is indeed a more potent and cost effective solution. This is applicable for both the small scale as well as large scale projects. They are highly cost effective and the applicability of the same were proved in organizations like Wal-Mart already. The next phase of operations need to focus more on the cost benefit analysis of the project and also it is required for them to focus more on relative versatility of these projects when compared with alternative options of sustainability. Also an in-depth evaluation of the TBL framework   (Tatari  2015) for the sake of key operational metrics and their implications to the broader operations and comparison with the existing alternative strategies needed to be studied more in detail to further identify the areas and strategies which can work on to improve the operational feasibility of the technology proposed.
Kibert, C.J., 2016. Sustainable construction: green building design and delivery. John Wiley & Sons.
Khatib, J. ed., 2016. Sustainability of construction materials. Woodhead Publishing
AlSanad, S., 2015. Awareness, drivers, actions, and barriers of sustainable construction in Kuwait. Procedia engineering, 118, pp.969-983.
González Jaen, L.F., Perez-Ezcurdia, A. and Marcelino-Sadaba, S., 2013. INTEGRATING SUSTAINABILITY WITHIN THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PRACTICE. In 17th International Congress on Project Management and Engineering Logroño, 17-19th July 2013.
Jeong, J., Hong, T., Ji, C., Kim, J., Lee, M., Jeong, K. and Koo, C., 2017. Improvements of the operational rating system for existing residential buildings. Applied energy, 193, pp.112-124.
Khairi, M., Jaapar, A. and Yahya, Z., 2017, November. The application, benefits and challenges of retrofitting the existing buildings. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (Vol. 271, No. 1, p. 012030). IOP Publishing.
Laszlo, C. and Cescau, P., 2017. Sustainable value: How the world’s leading companies are doing well by doing good. Routledge.
Onat, N.C., Kucukvar, M., Halog, A. and Cloutier, S., 2017. Systems thinking for life cycle sustainability assessment: a review of recent developments, applications, and future perspectives. Sustainability, 9(5), p.706.
Svensson, G., Høgevold, N., Ferro, C., Varela, J.C.S., Padin, C. and Wagner, B., 2016. A triple bottom line dominant logic for business sustainability: framework and empirical findings. Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, 23(2), pp.153-188.
Tatari, O., Kucukvar, M. and Onat, N.C., 2015, February. Towards a triple bottom line life cycle sustainability assessment of buildings. In Science for Sustainable Construction and Manufacturing Workshop (Vol. 1, p. 226).
GovtEnergy., n.d. [Online] Available at: https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/12/f5/business_case_for_energy_efficiency_retrofit_renovation_smr_2011.pdf[Accessed 11 August 2018].

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