January 20, 2021

Sustainable Campus Design

When the requirements for occupancy exceed the scope of a single building or when a large landscaped area is included, the resultant plot of land can be called a campus. Usually a campus will have multiple buildings and a large landscape area as per local byelaws. When considering a single building, even when it is part of a campus, it still has the similar requirements of a standalone building. However, it is the interaction between the buildings and their surrounding landscape that really need to be addressed in the greening of a campus.

Within a campus, there are economies of a shared scale, especially considering the amount of open area, parking facilities, building services, maintenance personnel and the like. However, there are also limitations within the campus such as the non-availability of public transport, lack of individual decision-making for a building, etc. These challenges require aspects of city planning and urban design integrated into campus planning.

A green and sustainable campus is responsible for the combined performance of all entities within its boundaries and hence has to maintain its own protocols for health, safety, security, maintenance, operating hours, etc. Integration of technology into the design and operations is vital for such an entity. From tracking the multiple vehicles on site to adopting efficient technological advancements, a campus needs to monitor data closely and in a user-friendly manner to maintain control over the performance of energy, water, waste, materials, construction, operations, as well as occupant health and wellbeing, meeting regulations and compliances.

This requires the adoption of digital analysis tools and creation of systems to manage the micro-climate. At-scale techniques are deployed to accurately predict and manage vehicular movement, fleet management, parking, pedestrians, outdoor thermal comfort, total security systems, wind movement, mutual shading, irrigation and cooling tower water management, among others. The team at ecoinch works out the complete green quotient of the campus in a measured format.

Additionally, ecoinch prepares the urban planning metrics to be followed for street design, layout of campus-level services, and helps the design and operations team to optimize the efficiency of the layout and road network. Use of cutting-edge technologies is recommended at the digital as well as hardware installation level to control and measure resource consumption and to optimize through machine learning in the process to create intelligent buildings. High level SCADA networks are deployed to integrate artificial intelligence and build a robust IT backbone for the campus. Performance can then be measured at appropriate levels and monitored with less manpower and higher predictability.

Such analyses present opportunities through the life of the campus for the facilities management team to decommission older equipment and commission newer, more efficient systems as per the evolving technological options available in the market and to make a business case for such changes periodically through hard data and performance predictions.