Theses and Dissertations (Architechture and Planning)

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    Modelling and analysis of daylighting relative to energy consumption of a heritage category A3 building under Energy Zone 4 in South Africa
    (2022) Overen, Ochuko Kelvin
    Restriction of participating buildings in the recently promulgated energy performance certificate (EPC) regulations to buildings completed after 1999 might have a negative impact on intended outcomes considering that a significant number of public-use buildings in the country were completed before 1999. Arising from this concern, this study evaluates daylighting interventions for a heritage instruction-cum-office building with the objective of reducing overall energy-use intensity (EUI), related operational energy cost and CO2 emissions. A quantitative study approach based on experimental and simulation research tools was employed on Livingstone Hall (University of Fort Hare, Alice campus in Eastern Cape) as the case study building. Through measurements and simulation, indoor daylighting levels were evaluated against the 300 lux threshold (recommended workplace illuminance levels in South Africa). The data indicate that on typical clear sky days in summer and winter, average daylight illuminance for 50% of the six sample spaces was below 300 lux, while for typical cloudy-sky days in both seasons, daylight illuminance for all the spaces was below 300 lux. This implies that, for cloudy-sky days in both seasons, daylight cannot fully replace electric lighting for office and academic tasks in the building. Based on simulation results, for a typical summer clear-sky day, the average daylight illuminance in spaces 41, 43, 49, 11, 15 and 22 was up to 2 000 lux, while average daylighting in the same spaces on a typical winter clear-sky day was relatively lower. In addition, the annual “as-is” cumulative energy-use of the building was 49.02 MWh, and overall EUI was 31 kWh/m2/yr. The annual operational energy cost of the building was R67 108.50, while receptacle equipment (devices such as computers and other appliances connected to sockets) energy cost was R32 702.14 and the energy cost of electric lighting was R20 091.86. Cumulatively, the annual CO2 emission of the building was 25 440 kg (averaging 2 120 kg /month). Automated on/off and continuous dimming (smooth decrease of electric lighting capacity with ambient illuminance at a pre-set light level) daylight interventions were considered in the study. Continuous dimming intervention shows the best reduction in annual lighting energy-use by 64% and overall annual energy-use by 20%, while overall EUI reduced by 19%. The resultant overall energy cost saving was R12 420.73 while mitigated CO2 emission was 4 839 kg per annum.
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    Market opportunities and barriers to the uptake of low embodied energy building materials and components: the case of interlocking blocks in Johannesburg
    (2022) . Maphumulo, Minenhle Yvonne Desiree
    The intensifying urbanisation challenge in the global south, coupled with the resultant need for housing calls for governments to re-think how they address related needs sustainably especially due to resultant GHG-emissions and climate change. In order to decarbonise housing development for the City of Johannesburg, this study argues that, as one of the most visible alternative building materials and systems (ABMS), interlocking blocks have the potential to contribute significantly towards low carbon homes provided that critical barriers to their diffusion are systematically addressed. Guided by a qualitative study approach and focusing on an existing business in interlocking blocks as a case study, a supply-chain framework was applied to identify the relevant actors and stakeholders from whom interview participants were purposely selected and interview questions were then articulated. Subsequent to data presentation and analyses, overall findings were articulated in terms of opportunities and barriers. In particular, the study finds that on the basis of their production and construction process, interlocking blocks confer significant benefits such as eliminating the need for conventional burnt-clay bricks which entail high embodied energy, saving on cement as a high embodied energy material as the laying of the blocks is mortarless, process of construction is significantly simplified such that low-skilled labour can be engaged, overall construction cost and time are significantly reduced thus enhancing affordability for homeowners and tenants. On barriers, the findings further indicate inadequate guidelines and incentives towards strategic promotion of low carbon materials. Negative perception of ABMS by various actors contributes to superficial cost comparisons by clients and professionals based on building material unit prices instead of the overall outcome holistically. Such perceptions also reinforce propensity to gravitate towards conventional materials. The study therefore concludes that even though most of the socioeconomic and environmental benefits of ABMS strongly resonate with national and municipal policies and goals, their uptake will remain constrained until supportive regulations and incentives are adopted in the construction sector, especially with regard to reducing embodied energy while also facilitating innovation and green-skills in the sector.
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    Living lab in architecture: integrating university campus operational support(s) with academic programmes, case of the University of the Witwatersrand, School of Architecture and Planning, the Old John Moffat Building
    (2021) Matentshi, Rodney
    Essential the living laboratory concept is critical for any institution, most notably for universities where teaching, learning, and research are advanced/achieved/leading. Living laboratories improve project outcomes, maintain policy alignment, and help boost green campus initiatives and energy policy discussions. The living laboratory approach provides innovation in planning, development and policy establishment and implementation in mitigating climate change challenges. Universities are leading in sustainable studies thus offer knowledge on climate change mitigation strategies. Global warming has resulted in climate change. Additionally, we have universities, which increase the demand for energy and water, which are already limited resources. This problem is a direct risk to mitigate climate change challenges. Via their students' - staff research outputs, universities produce knowledge that includes mitigation strategies for addressing sustainability issues. Students and staff at Wits University cannot integrate their work output on campus to create real-world climate change solutions. By their role as a beacon of hope, universities cannot evade their responsibilities to model society's image. Thus, the main focus of this study is to test the hypothesis that universities' implementation of their students and staff green campus research outputs on campus is possible through implementing university-specific projects inside a living laboratory setting. The study's primary objective is to determine the pathways and barriers that hinder universities such as Wits University from adopting green campus policies and the concept of living labs. The study employed various methods to achieve a "humanistic orientation," including qualitative analysis, deductive analysis, and inductive analysis. Significant findings or themes identified in this study include the following: Siloed approach of working, a lack of coordination, and the inability of diverse departments to share knowledge and expertise became apparent as a problem. A shortfall in funding for green campus initiatives is one cause for concern that must be address by the University. Universities have sought to integrate ethical values into their core activities in light of the climate change and sustainability agenda. Failure to implement and preserve green campus planning throughout its lifecycle is not sustainable for any institution or society at large. Wits University should establish an architect-led living laboratory to promote planning and development focused on win-win strategies. This initiative will pave the way for future growth and facilitate the establishment of an eco-campus. When combined with the University's green campus initiative plan, the idea of a living laboratory would foster innovation on campus. The future University is a complex living organ that needs complex system management to deliver and influence the concept of future smart and sustainable cities. Creating a Campus Sustainability Lekgotla at the University would alleviate their primary difficulty of siloed approaches and allow for the flourishing of transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary concepts across the organisation's structures.
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    Smart grid and net metering for grid-interactive distributed generation for the City of Ekurhuleni
    (2022) Phiri, Alfred
    Increased frequency of electricity outages due to load-shedding coupled with escalating tariffs is forcing customers of municipal electricity utilities to venture into Distributed Generation (DG) technologies. These trends pose major infrastructure-reliability and revenue-erosion risks for municipal utilities which further impair quality of service to their customers, mainly as a result of dilapidated grid-infrastructure which contributes to escalation in distribution losses. With City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) as a case study, the research applied a qualitative approach to investigate the relevance of smart grid and net-metering systems as a response mechanism towards promotion of DG while also facilitating operational viability of the municipal utility. Primary data collected through interviews with electricity-sector experts as well secondary data from diverse sources were used to derive the key findings and conclusions of the study. Experiences from other countries such as Germany show that smart grids have also been pivotal towards harnessing renewable energy through DG and would therefore be critical towards addressing the prevailing distribution grid challenges within municipal authorities. In contrast, study findings indicate a steady increase in DG installations within CoE as commercial and industrial customers pursue their goal of energy security at lower costs. However, the utility has not effectively transformed the DG opportunity to cheaper electricity due to inhibitive regulatory and policy framework which also raises the risk of revenue erosion posed by DG. In particular, the overall findings support the working hypothesis which suggest that upgrading grid infrastructure and introduction of a responsive tariff-scheme is key to incentivise the adoption of grid-interactive DG within its jurisdiction. Given the qualitative focus of the study on smart grids and net metering, one of the key recommendations would be political mobilisation across all departments in CoE to provide input towards solving prevailing grid challenges and as well as evolving a responsive business model to facilitate transparent participation of small-scale generators through DG.
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    Assessing the energy performance gap between 6-star and net-zero energy buildings for South Africa
    (2022) Analo, Andrew
    Energy efficiency in buildings has been systematically coupled with the green-rating of buildings based on systems such as the Star-rating of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). Net-zero energy buildings (NZEBs) have also been receiving increased attention as a way of addressing concerns over depleting energy resources (especially for fossil fuels), increasing energy-costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which contribute to global warming and climate change. With a focus on reduction in contribution to GHG-emissions and thus enhancing climate change mitigation of 6-Star green-rated buildings the study applied a case-study approach based on energy performance of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) Building in Pretoria. Secondary data show that the building’s status quo energy performance is 112kWh/m2/yr. Within the temperate-interior climatic zone for Pretoria (as per energy efficiency regulations for buildings in South Africa), psychrometric chart analysis showed that the building could achieve a higherlevel of thermal comfort through further optimization of passive design interventions. Edge-tool simulation results on full optimization of passive design and energy efficiency interventions indicate that a net-zero energy building (NZEB) performance of the same sized building could achieve an energy performance level of 45kWh/m2/yr, thus revealing an energy performance gap of 67kWh/m2/yr. This translates to 60% savings compared to the status quo 6-Star performance of 3076 291kWh/year. Assessment of roof-area for solar PV system indicated that it is adequate for the energy balance towards a NZEB. Assessment of simple payback period per intervention indicates less than one-year payback period for tenant lighting while tenant equipment indicatesa payback period of just over a year and PV-installation at three-years. The findings indicate that the intervention-costs for migration to NZEB fall within the acceptable range for South African investors (maximum of 3 to 5 years). The above findings indicate that the pursuit of NZEBs would significantly contribute towards mitigation of GHG-emissions and climate change and thus calls for further exploration of pathways towards mandatory NZEBs for South Africa.
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    Experiences and outcomes of government-funded energy efficiency interventions for low-cost housing in South Africa:case study of Gauteng and Western Cape Provinces
    (2021) Seipobi, Phumzile Maseko
    SANS 10400-XA is the 2011 amendments to the National Building Regulations aimed at enforcing energy efficiency for new buildings in South Africa. Using a case study approach, this study appraised the outcomes and effectiveness of the implementation of the regulations in low-cost housing in the country since 2014. Primary and secondary data collection methods were used with reference to local and international case studies. By appraising the German and Dutch energy efficiency policies, the study identified how implementation of well-developed policies contributes to their respective effectiveness and impact. This was then applied in guiding the study of South Africa’s scenario based on the two case studies of Clayville (in Gauteng Province) and Joe Slovo Park (inWestern Cape Province). In order to understand the effectiveness of the regulations in South Africa, primary data were gathered from the two housing-developments case studies as well as from the respective provincial departments as the policy implementing agents. Analyses of primary data show significant compliance with the regulations thus indicating that the energy efficiency regulations in low-income housing were adequately planned for and implemented in both projects. Primary data, in the form of interviews, from low-income housing occupants indicates mixed outcomes and also highlights critical issues for improvement. In terms of key findings, the study concludes that the positive outcomes of the energy efficiency regulations in low-income housing contribute towards basic household energy needs. However, one key finding is the existence of a performance gap in relation to the expected outcomes of the regulations. This gap is identified as poor installations of geysers and poor geyser effectiveness in winter. The study has thus identified areas for additional interventions. The study further recommends the specification of highpressure solar geyser systems for the Western Cape to ensure reliability in access to hot water. Finally, the study also recommends more stringent oversight during construction to minimize the performance gap of installed interventions such as ceiling insulation and solar geysers
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    re - Connection: finding place in a Bulawayo train station
    (2012-08-30) Ckikerema, Gillian
    Every city experience is defi ned by the connective qualities of individual places within the city, however these human bodily experiences can potentially be disjointed if the individual places within the city are far from each other. Zimbabwe’s Bulawayo train station has become a lost place, a phrase associated with abandoned and under-used urban spaces, mainly because of their lack of connectivity to the city (Trancik (1986). As part of the government’s plan to improve Bulawayo’s public transport system, commuter rail transport is being introduced and expanded for public convenience. Creating a new transport hub at the train station is not enough to make sure that people will use rail transport as a form of public transport because the site’s location is outside the city. Th ough the place cannot be relocated nearer to the city, this thesis explores the ways in which this lost place can be reconnected to the city and transformed into a revitalised and vibrant transport hub for commuters from within and outside Bulawayo. One of the main aspects of ‘fi nding’ lost places involves using urban commuter rituals to rejuvenate the train station. Th ese rituals will be used to activate the internal and external spaces of the train station as a method of connecting the site to the city. Since movement is a vital entity of places of transit, restoring all commuter, private and public vehicular links from the city to the station will become another method of re-connection to be explored. Reconnecting existing comatose transit systems rejuvenates and improves the effi ciency of the urban life, however, more people in Zimbabwe are not using mass transport modes because of lack of security and their inaccessibility to the city centre. Public transport nodes are eroding fast and people are resorting to hitchhiking on a daily basis. Th is quality of life is taking over the city whilst abandoning other existing public transport systems. New routes of circulation are going to be established as a result of the new train station. Areas of commercial and social activity will occur bringing on the need for the area around the train station to be rezoned so as to accommodate the expected development. Th e station’s new programme will help realise the potential of places of transit as social centres that people can go to and not as temporal nodes of transit that people merely go through. Th e building’s new programme will allow spaces to create a new sense of place shaped by the users and their ritualistic activities. Whether they are formal or informal, these activities mark the new identity of the city’s commuter experience and at the same time act as a gateway to the many opportunities that lie in the city.
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    Sustainable by design
    (2010-07-09T06:29:37Z) Render, Duanne A.
    The increasingly rapid breakdown in natural systems that humankind is currently witness to has brought home the urgent need for a new approach to society. Modern technologies born of the Industrial and Information Ages have brought prosperity undreamt of by previous civilisations, but it is rapidly becoming clear that this prosperity may have come at too high a cost. This work will explore the issue of sustainability within the framework of architecture and the built environment, and attempt to identify a new paradigm for architectural design whereby built-environment professionals are able to ensure the consistent realization of sustainable architecture. The first part of the thesis will address the origins of and need for sustainability, and explore it within the context of architecture and the built environment. This will be followed by a critical investigation into conventional design practice and the emerging alternative - integrated design practice, and how suitable each of these design practices are for the task of ensuring sustainability. The second part of the thesis will detail a practical implementation of the conclusions reached in section one, investigating sustainable design in architecture using a “Design-Based Research” approach.
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    Towards an effective energy labelling programme for commercial buildings : A comparative evaluation of the Green Buildings for Africa programme in relation to international experience
    (2008-12-22T09:27:39Z) Reinink, Marloes Wilhelmina
    International experience indicates that energy labelling programmes are rapidly evolving as a valuable tool for energy efficiency awareness and practice in the built environment. Four years after the launch of the South African labelling programme, Green Buildings for Africa (GBfA), it became evident that implementation was not successful. This study evaluates the contribution of a range of factors towards the sustained implementation and uptake of energy labelling programmes for commercial buildings based on a comparative appraisal of relevant international case studies and the GBfA. The analytical process is based on three types of energy labelling categories (mandatory energy audit, voluntary energy audit and voluntary benchmarking scheme) and two categories of factors (contextual and programme-specific). The key finding is that government involvement and support is critical, if not a prerequisite, for successful roll-out of an energy labelling programme. Key recommendation is that a local programme be initially based on a voluntary benchmark programme approach.
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    Disaster planning and preparedness : The case of Protea-South, Johannesburg
    (2008-12-04T11:44:58Z) Tebid, Theophilus Nji
    Despite increasing philosophical knowledge of disaster planning and preparedness, disasters still remain a challenge in many communities. As a result, communities, environment and economies remain considerably vulnerable and at the risk of disaster destruction hence, sustainable development is undermined. The purpose of this study is to review and assess the state of community readiness in order to prevent and mitigate common hazards in the City of Johannesburg, especially in previously disadvantaged communities such as Protea-South. A survey and interviews was conducted with the local community members. Results show that, this community like many others, is at high risk, due to their living circumstances. e.g. the presence of densely built shacks on a flood plain; poor hygiene and sanitation, pollution, poverty etc. There is therefore a need for a paradigm shift by institutions from emergency response and the provision of hard infrastructure to disaster prevention, preparedness and soft infrastructure provision by means of an approach encompassing collaborative planning.
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    An Analysis of Energy Efficient Building Principles
    (2006-10-31T10:54:41Z) Blackstone, Craig Anthony
    This research was conducted in order to highlight the misconception that there may be a single answer to the challenges of energy efficient design; a “single elixir that will be the answer to all problems” (Holm, 1996). Existing literature pertaining to energy efficient design principles was analysed and tested against a well known example of Southern African energy efficient building practice; the Botswana Technology Centre (BOTEC). BOTEC was selected as the case study for this investigation because it was designed to be a living exhibition of energy efficient design and as such a manual or ‘elixir’ for alternate design. BOTEC was analysed on site, personal interviews were held with the architect and a questionnaire was circulated to the users of the building in order to observe whether the principles used at the BOTEC building are appropriate and represent the “single elixir, the answer to all problems,” with regard to energy efficient design (Holm, 1996). Although BOTEC appears to perform well, interviews with the users of the BOTEC building suggest that the building does not perform well in winter at all. Interviews with the architectural consultant who worked on the BOTEC building expose a simple oversight in design which leads to ‘this building’s underperformance in winter’. In concurrence with Holm therefore, this report ultimately shows that there are no perfect solutions to energy efficient design and by applying a once successful solution without taking cognisance of specific climatic and geological differences, the building will not function correctly.