World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development
5 March 2020
Yesterday marked the first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development and we, as Engineers, have a duty to specify materials wisely to lower our impact on the environment.
Our approach to lowering carbon on our projects starts with early client and design team engagement. When it comes to communicating our sustainable design ideas we use our very own 3D printer to create scaled models and/or structural details. In the case of concrete slab options, with varying thicknesses, we can visually demonstrate these using this method to initiate the discussion of carbon saving and sustainable design. The 3D models pictured above show three concrete slab options which reduce the volume of concrete and therefore carbon: waffle slabs, dome slabs and circular recessed slabs. All three are a more efficient design, as well as reducing carbon themselves they minimise the weight of the building. This in turn reduces the load on other structural elements, including columns and foundations, and therefore the carbon content of these elements too.
Pictured is one of our projects, the award-winning Greenfield Housing project which was notable for the selection of circular recessed slabs. This led to a concrete saving as well as visually allowing for the integrated services to provide drop down light fittings, matching the shape of the recesses.