Developing ECO Sensitive Infrastructure Solutions with the use of Sustainability Criteria

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Author(s) S.H. Saroop | D. Allopi
Pages 121-126
Volume 3
Issue 2
Date February, 2014
Keywords Green Technology, Infrastructure design, Eco-efficiency, Sustainable development, Green infrastructure

As we face significant planetary issues such as global warming, it is clear that the engineering profession has a significant part to play in affecting the future of our planet. Demands for energy, drinking water, clean air, safe waste disposal, and transportation will drive environmental protection [alongside] infrastructure development. Globally, the construction industry is one of the main contributors to the depletion of natural resources and a major cause of unwanted side affects such as air and water pollution, solid waste, deforestation, health hazards, global warming, and other negative consequences. The awareness of environmental impacts is growing and many movements seeking to address sustainability concerns are gaining momentum (Harvey B. and Wayne B, 2008). The lack of appropriate tools and skills for sustainable design was often quoted as a barrier to sustainable design. (Richardson J, Irwin T. & Sherwin C. 2005) A systematic and iterative analysis of the environmental impact of various design solutions is commonly suggested for infrastructure projects, but rarely happens. In order to stay competitive and to meet upcoming stricter environmental regulations and customer requirements, designers have a key role in designing civil infrastructure so that it is environmentally sustainable. These and other factors have compelled the engineer to design with greater care and in more detail. The changing roles of engineers will be highlighted, in order to react to changes in climate. Government legislation pertaining to sustainable infrastructure is briefly examined. Mainstreaming environmental aspects and incorporating the eco-efficiency concept into various stages of infrastructure development have not been considered as much as they should have been. Engineers need to look at greener technologies rather than just using traditional engineering solutions. This paper aims to demonstrate the importance of criteria and sub-criteria on infrastructure projects. The use of the proposed criteria would ensure a sustainable design for township infrastructure services through the consideration of scare resources, ecological sensitivity in the design and planning of infrastructure projects. This paper focuses on the concept of eco-efficiency in Infrastructure Design that promotes the use of the greener engineering options, enabling him/her to choose the one likely to yield the best performance with the least environmental impact. It looks at a number of recommended green practices on infrastructure services design, that are environmentally sound placing, fewer burdens on the environment.

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