The built environment is responsible for around 40% of global CO2 emissions. It also uses around 38% of global raw stones, gravel and sand and 25% of wood. In buildings, energy is used in different phases of a project: Energy is used for raw material extraction, transport and the manufacturing of building components and construction (known as 'Embodied Energy'). Energy is also spent for heating, cooling, ventilation (HVAC) and lighting (Operational Energy).
Furthermore, real estate development involves the use of natural resources, such as land and water. It can also generate waste and pollution. If these impacts are not properly managed, they can have negative consequences for the environment, including on climate change, the destruction of natural habitats and the degradation of air quality.
There is growing demand from governments, tenants and investors, for sustainable real-estate development. Authorities around the world have started developing and introducing new environmentally-aware policies, promoting more responsible construction projects. Adopting sustainable development principles early on can help developers to meet this demand, comply with new regulations and attract these stakeholders.
SUSTAINABLE REAL-ESTATE DEVELOPMENT?
WHAT IS GENERATIVE DESIGN?
Some of you may remember how driving a car was like, say, back in the 1980’s. There were no Satellite Navigation systems around back then. This meant that if you had a journey to a place you had never been to before, you had to dig-up a map (or several maps in case of a really long journey) and start figuring out what would be the optimal path to get to your destination. You would probably try out two or three different routes, without really knowing how to choose the best one. You could try and consider things such as distance, perhpas even speed, but you could never really know what the traffic is going to be like once you leave or whether this was really the best rout of all.
Satellite Navigation systems changed everything. All you need to do now is simply type in where you want to go to and sit back. The computer then automatically detects all those little fragments of your journey – the highways, the roads, the street, the turns - and then combines those pieces into full routes. The algorithm can easily generate tens of different routes in no time and give you – the user – the optimal one for you.
Generative design in the built environment is very much like a Sat Nav. It is a destination-based, or a goal-driven design approach that can take a great number of design parameters into consideration and find optimal designs for you. If we take the Sat Nav example again, in generative design in the built environment, highways, streets and junctions are replaced by flats, elevators and corridors (and many more 'bits').
Think about your last construction project. How did you evaluate the different development scenarios? How did you come up with the density figures or with the net-lettable-area? And how about your Return On Investment? How did you find how many units can fit in your plot? Are you sure you have maximised your site?
Instead of using rules-of-thumbs for finding project efficiencies, and instead of getting an architect to try and come up with an ‘optimal’ design, Plooto is the only generative design optimisation tool out there that can find not only a design that fits in your plot, but the optimal design that will maximise your use of space.
In a climate of constant shortage in built space, space efficiency is a key. With around 80% of Americans and 75% of Europeans live in cities, free spaces to build on are limited and land is expensive. It is expected that by 2050, the number of people who live in urban spaces, globally, will increase by nearly 25%. Under these conditions, each and every built floor area must make the best potential use of land.
The housing crisis is one of the most important challenges of our time. With limited land to build on, fewer homes are available on the market. Those homes that are on the market are costly and out of reach for many. Optimising space efficiency, while providing the best possible living spaces for occupants to enjoy, can help in minimising the impact of the housing crisis, push more residential units to the market and drive prices down.
Traditionally, many offices were built in city centres. With limited empty plots to build on, land in city centres is extremely expensive. This means that many office buildings had to move out of towns and be built in designated office compounds outside the city, on land that otherwise may have been used for recreation, agriculture or simply kept untouched.
Either way, space efficiency can help in making the best use of urban infill, and help preserve open spaces in the cities’ outskirts.
For real-estate developers
The real estate business is risky. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the world’s economy has made investments even riskier. Optimising the efficiency of land use can help real-estate developers to limit that risk by maximising the Net Lettable Areas and their overall potential revenues. Plooto takes care of all that, but it actually does even more: While Plooto makes sure the land is optimally used, it enables users to explore a range of criteria, such as daylighting, Embodied Carbon etc., to ensure the development is not only efficient but also of a high standard of quality.
For municipalities and local authorities
Examining the maximal efficiency and potential of empty plots can help municipalities and local authorities in offering higher numbers of residential units. Plooto can find optimal layouts and examine different mixes of flats of different sizes, allowing communities a better integration and ensuring that residences have a larger variety and choice.
Local authorities can use Plooto to examine a range of desirable planning scenarios, before releasing bids for contractors, making sure the developments’ potential is maximised and that it is aligned with the municipalities’ developments aims.