EPSRC Partners in Public Understanding Programme ‘ECONSTRUCT: An Environmental Construction CD-ROM and Handbook’ project commenced 9/2002, completed 5/2004, Assessors’ evaluation of final report ‘Tending to Outstanding’. 332 page book
Environmental Construction Handbook was the principal deliverable from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council funded project ‘ECOnstruct’ that includes the production of a CD-ROM introducing school children to aspects of sustainability in the built environment. The CD-ROM concentrated on two building types that will be most familiar to them, namely their home and their school. Questions of sustainability are finding their way into many subjects within the National Curriculum, and the CD-ROM encourages students to find out more about the buildings within which they spend their working days, and their home lives.
The book is a development on from the disk, it deals with housing and schools and a number of other building types as well. Each chapter is illustrated by case studies that represent alternative ways in which the issues outlined in the chapters have been addressed by different designers.
Environmental Construction Handbook is an illustrated analysis of the various specific sustainability challenges presented by different building types. Based on rigorous research, it examines the consequences of contemporary construction methods and the ways in which their environmental impacts can be improved.
A thought-provoking introductory chapter that makes sense of the plethora of benchmarks and environmental assessment methods serves as essential background reading, while the subsequent chapters, which concentrate on discrete building types, are designed to be dipped into as needed. The types considered – houses, housing, offices, schools, supermarkets, and factories – are all described using consistent, objective measures. The book is illustrated throughout with case studies contributed by some of the UK’s leading exponents of environmentally conscious design, each accompanied by an ECOpoints summary to allow comparison. Comprehensive in its coverage, it makes extensive use of information panels that highlight particular issues, systems or technologies.
Overall, Environmental Construction Handbook is an important, authoritative compendium designed to help architects and other building construction professionals to deliver more sustainable buildings.