In light of the pressing issue of climate change, it is imperative to discover and implement strategies that effectively decrease the environmental impact of new buildings. This research is founded on thoroughly examining literature, case studies, and interviews with relevant actors in the construction sector. Its goal is to pinpoint the most productive ways of mitigating climate change in residential building design, construction, and operation. The research results demonstrate that a combination of passive design strategies, energy-efficient building systems, and renewable energy sources reduces the carbon footprint of new residential buildings. In addition, effective adaptation measures such as green roofs, rainwater harvesting, and flood-resistant design can help mitigate the impact of extreme weather events. The findings suggest increased collaboration between architects, engineers, developers, and policymakers to ensure that climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies are integrated into new residential buildings’ design and construction process. Furthermore, the study highlights the importance of educating homeowners and tenants about sustainable living practices and the benefits of low-carbon buildings.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
Climate change is a pressing concern that endangers natural systems and human well-being. The construction industry contributes significantly to the worldwide release of greenhouse gases. Furthermore, the industry is at risk of being affected by the consequences of climate change, including heat waves, rising sea levels, and severe weather events. Developing and implementing efficient climate change mitigation measures to construct new residential buildings is essential to address these challenges. Recent research has emphasised the importance of sustainable building practices and the adoption of green building standards in mitigating the environmental impact of buildings (Deutz et al., 2020; Wang et al., 2021). However, According to Abubakar et al. (2020) and Moazami et al. (2019), there is still needs to a significant gap in knowledge and understanding of the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation measures in the context of city residential new builds, which are a critical component of urban development. Moreover, the urban population is rapidly growing, and the demand for residential buildings is increasing, particularly in developing countries (UN-Habitat, 2021). This trend poses significant challenges for urban planners, architects, and policymakers to ensure that new residential buildings are designed and constructed sustainably, focusing on reducing carbon emissions and enhancing resilience to climate change.
Green building practices involve designing and constructing buildings that minimise environmental impact using sustainable materials, energy-efficient systems, and renewable energy sources. Imteaz et al. (2021) and Kusumastuti et al. (2019) found that integrating green building practices can significantly reduce building energy consumption. Meanwhile, Sassi et al. (2018) found that green building practices can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Passive ventilation strategies use natural techniques such as cross-ventilation and stack effect ventilation to improve thermal comfort and indoor air quality while reducing energy usage. Cigler and Kotek (2019) and Orosa et al. (2018) found that smart technology integrates various technologies to create an intelligent and automated system to manage and control energy consumption and indoor environmental quality. Wijaya et al. (2020) found that integrating smart technology can reduce energy consumption in residential buildings by up to 35% by using automated controls and optimisation to regulate energy use and improve indoor air quality.
1.2 Problem Statement
The construction industry significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, especially in cities where buildings contribute considerably to releasing carbon emissions. As climate change poses increasing threats to the environment and human well-being, it is essential to identify effective methods to mitigate and adapt to its impacts. In the case of this research, investigating the methods to combat climate change in city residential new builds is essential because of the contribution of the built environment to greenhouse gas emissions. The research aims to identify current mitigation and adaptation methods and explore how they can be implemented in city residential new builds to reduce carbon emissions. The research contributes immense knowledge by providing practical recommendations for policymakers, developers, and other stakeholders to create more sustainable and resilient urban environments.
1.3 Aims and Objectives
1.3.1 Study Aims
Based on the provided information, here are three study aims that summarise the main objectives of the research:
- To examine the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation methods, such as using green building materials, building design, and energy-efficient equipment, in reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable development in city residential new builds.
- To identify the challenges the construction industry faces in implementing sustainable building practices, particularly in urban areas, and to explore potential policy interventions that can incentivise the adoption of low-carbon building practices.
- To assess the role of residents in promoting energy-efficient behaviours and adopting low-carbon lifestyles to further contribute to reducing carbon emissions in city residential new builds.
1.3.2 Research Questions
- How practical are current challenges to addressing these challenges, adaptation methods in reducing carbon emissions and enhancing the resilience of city residential new builds to the impacts of climate change?
- What are the key challenges and barriers in implementing sustainable building practices in city residential new builds, and how can they be addressed?
- How can urban planners, architects, policymakers, and other stakeholders integrate effective mitigation and adaptation measures in city residential new builds to combat climate change? What are the most promising strategies and technologies to achieve this?
1.4 Research Hypotheses
- Incorporating green building materials and energy-efficient equipment in the construction of new residential buildings will lead to a notable decrease in carbon emissions produced.
- Implementing standardised building codes and regulations for sustainable buildings will increase consistency in sustainable building practices.
- Incorporating adaptive measures into building design will enhance the resilience of residential buildings to climate change impacts.
1.5 Main Beneficiaries
The primary beneficiaries of this research are urban planners, architects, policymakers, developers, and other stakeholders involved in the construction and management of city residential new builds. They can use this research’s findings and recommendations to improve their projects’ sustainability and resilience and meet regulatory requirements. The research may also benefit residents and communities living in these buildings, as sustainable and resilient design features are meant to improve the quality of new city building residential occupants.
1.6 Research Significance
Urban areas are responsible for carbon emissions, with buildings contributing to up to 13% of climate change (Grafakos et al., 2020). Therefore, identifying effective methods to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings, particularly in urban areas, is essential. The economic benefits of sustainable building practices are becoming increasingly evident. According to a World Green Building Council study, investing in sustainable buildings can result in significant economic benefits, including reduced operating costs, higher asset values, and increased occupant productivity (Sharifi,2021). The study will offer a valuable understanding of how the building sector can aid the global fight against climate change and decrease carbon emissions. The findings of this research can also inform policy decisions and promote sustainable building practices in urban areas.
CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW
In this dissertation, the literature review focuses on the current mitigation and adaptation methods for reducing carbon emissions and enhancing the resilience of city residential new builds to climate change. This review will critically analyse the existing literature on this topic, including peer-reviewed articles, government reports, and other relevant sources. The aim is to identify gaps in the current knowledge. These highlight areas require further research and provide a solid foundation for this study’s conceptual and theoretical frameworks used in this study. The review will also provide current knowledge in this field and its implications for policy and practice.
2.2 Theoretical Framework
Studies by Kusumastuti (2019) and Satterthwaite (2020) concur that climate change has become an increasingly urgent issue that requires immediate attention to mitigate its negative impacts. Also, Moazami et al. (2019) point out that the construction of buildings contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, making it a crucial area that negatively impacts climate change. On the other hand, Sassi et al. (2018) emphasise that integrating social, environmental, and economic considerations into designing and constructing a city’s new residential buildings is the solution to climate change. Moazami et al. (2019) concur and further comment that minimising the environmental impact of buildings reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, the fundamental principle of a sustainable city’s residential building design is to use passive design strategies to maximise natural lighting, ventilation, and heating to reduce the need for energy-intensive mechanical systems.
2.2.1 Theory of Behavior Change
According to Webb and Sheeran (2016), the theory of behaviour change (TBC) can be used to encourage the adoption of more sustainable behaviours and practices that reduce carbon emissions and enhance the resilience of buildings. Laskari et al. (2021) support the theory by suggesting that the TBC can help identify key drivers and barriers to adopting sustainable practices by developers, builders, and homeowners. Studies by Foster and Lawson (2016); Maier et al. (2019); Xiong et al. (2020) show that applying TBC help to understand the factors influencing sustainable behaviours in the residential sector hence creating awareness and understanding of sustainable practices and benefits that come with their adoption. Laskari et al. (2021) highlight that an individual’s drive to engage in sustainable behaviour is directly related to behaviour change. Research by Maier et al. (2019) identified that homeowners were motivated to adopt sustainable practices if they believed it would lead to cost savings and improved health outcomes.
A study by Grafakos et al. (2020) suggest that social factors influence sustainable behaviour as TBC identifies social norms, social support and influence on adoption pattern. For instance, Xiong et al. (2020) found that social norms around energy use influenced household practices. Similarly, research by Maier et al. (2019) identified that social support from family and friends was a key driver of sustainable behaviour in residential construction. According to Moazami et al. (2019), the behaviour change theory recognises that change is critical for achieving sustainable development goals, including promoting sustainable lifestyles and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Steg and Vlek (2019) suggest that effective behaviour change interventions must target individual and structural factors influencing behaviour, such as norms, values, beliefs, and incentives. Grafakos et al. (2020) concur that environmental factors such as resource access and infrastructure can influence sustainable behaviour. However, a study by Foster and Lawson (2016) revealed that limited access to sustainable materials and technologies was a significant barrier to adopting sustainable practices in residential construction.
2.3 Conceptual Framework
The conceptual framework for this dissertation is based on a critical analysis of peer-reviewed articles and government reports related to mitigation and adaptation methods to combat climate change in city residential new builds. The conceptual framework is essential as it guides the research objectives and methodology, helping to ensure that the research is focused and well-informed. A study by Xiong et al. (2020) and Zhao et al. (2020) concurs that using green building materials, such as low-emission insulation and energy-efficient windows, reduces the carbon footprint of city residential buildings. Another study by Wang et al. (2020) and Baker et al. (2020) supports the previous founding that green roofs are designed to absorb rainwater and provide insulation to reduce the energy consumption of buildings. According to Grafakos et al. (2020), despite the benefits of sustainable building practices, the construction industry faces several challenges in implementing these practices, particularly in urban areas. Dinu and Hassler (2019) discovered that the cost is the main challenge when implementing sustainable building practices, which can be prohibitively expensive for developers. Figure 1 shows the conceptual framework upon which the methodology was followed.
Additionally, Baker et al. (2020), standardised building codes and regulations for sustainable buildings can lead to consistency in implementing sustainable building practices. A different study by Steg and Vlek (2019) emphasises the importance of adaptive measures, such as building design and urban planning to aid in the construction of a sustainable residential building in urban areas. A study conducted by Wang et al. (2021) analysed the greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption of residential buildings in China and identified critical areas for mitigation and adaptation strategies. The study found that building envelope design and energy-efficient equipment are critical factors in reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. Similarly, the study conducted by Zhao et al. (2020) and Wong et al. (2021) highlights the importance of using renewable energy sources and green building materials in reducing the carbon footprint of new builds. The authors also suggest that a shift towards low-carbon lifestyles and the adoption of energy-efficient behaviours by residents can further contribute to reducing carbon emissions. A study by Sadiq et al. (2021) found that passive design strategies, such as shading and natural ventilation, can improve indoor thermal comfort and reduce energy consumption while mitigating extreme weather impacts. UN-Habitat. (2021) highlights the need for policy interventions to incentivise the adoption of low-carbon building practices and overcome the barriers to implementation. The report suggests that a shift towards sustainable construction practices is essential for achieving the UK’s carbon reduction targets and promoting sustainable development. According to the authors, a conclusion can be deduced that incorporating adaptative measures into building design enhances the resilience of residential buildings.
2.3.1 Conventional Residential City Buildings posing threat Climate Change
According to Yu et al. (2020), traditional city residential buildings are often non-ecofriendly and have undesirable characteristics contributing to climate change. Hao et al. (2019) and Sharifi (2021) further elaborate that most conventional buildings have poor HVAC systems, insufficient insulation, and limited green spaces resulting in higher energy consumption and increased carbon emissions. Al-Horr et al. (2019) and Kibert (2021) concur that the buildings are typically constructed with energy-intensive materials such as concrete and steel, contributing to significant embodied carbon emissions. (Li et al., 2020) further suggest that traditional city residential buildings often lack renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, geothermal systems, and wind turbines, which could help reduce their carbon footprint. A study by Cui et al. (2018) shows that the buildings also have limited opportunities for energy-efficient retrofits due to their age, design, and structural limitations. Therefore, the literature review shows that the challenges of non-ecofriendly traditional city residential buildings pose a significant obstacle to mitigating climate change. Hence, Naboni et al. (2019) and Hao et al. (2019) suggest that a shift towards more sustainable building practices and materials is needed to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency. Thus, it is crucial to identify and address the challenges of non-ecofriendly traditional city residential buildings to mitigate their impact on climate change.
2.3.2 Environmental-friendly characteristics of new urban buildings
According to Sadiq et al. (2021), eco-friendly features that positively impact climate change is crucial to combat the negative impacts of non-sustainable buildings. A study by (Grafakos et al., 2020) also suggests that green buildings have become necessary in climate change. Lawson, (2016) and Maier et al. (2019) concur that green building features aim to minimise waste production, reduce energy consumption and decrease the overall carbon footprint of the building. According to a study by Kibert (2021), green building features that positively impact climate change: are green roofs, renewable energy systems, rainwater harvesting systems, and low-energy lighting systems. Another study by Shiers (2018) further suggests that energy efficiency is crucial to eco-friendly buildings. Energy-efficient features can help reduce energy consumption and reduce the overall carbon emissions of the building. Yu et al. (2020) found that by incorporating energy-efficient features like top-performing windows and effective insulation and addressing these challenges, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can considerably decrease building energy usage. Wong et al. (2021) found that using sustainable materials in construction significantly reduces the carbon footprint of buildings. According to a study by Rawlinson et al. (2017), sustainable building materials such as bamboo, recycled steel, and straw bale reduce the carbon emissions of buildings. This concludes that using sustainable materials in construction can be an effective strategy to combat climate change.
2.3.3 New Build’s Adaptive Features that Mitigate Climate Change
According to Wang and Chen (2020), adaptive features refer to the design and construction elements of a building that can respond to changing weather conditions, such as humidity, temperature, and air quality, to improve its performance and reduce its environmental impact. A study by Smith (2021) found that incorporating adaptive features into building design can significantly mitigate climate change. For instance, studies from both Nguyen (2021) and Bryman (2020) have shown that incorporating passive design strategies, such as artificial shading and natural ventilation, can reduce energy consumption in buildings by up to 50%. However, Torcellini et al. (2018) highlight challenges in implementing adaptive features in city residential new builds. For example, there may be limitations on space availability for green roofs and walls in densely populated urban areas. Additionally, studies by Li et al. (2018) and Shiers (2018) concur that the cost of incorporating these features may be a barrier for developers, especially in markets with high land prices. Therefore, adaptive elements are crucial when designing and constructing new buildings to ensure that they are environmentally sustainable and can contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change.
2.3.4 Mitigation and adaptation methods in city residential new builds for climate change
According to Laskari (2021), climate change is an increasingly pressing issue that requires immediate action to mitigate and adapt to its impacts. A study by Gandini (2021) identifies green building design principles as the critical mitigation methods for urban residential new builds. Kavgic et al., 2023 further expound that green building design incorporates solar panels, efficient insulation, and sustainable building materials. Studies by Kibert (2021); Ng & Wong (2016) have shown that green building designs reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency. On the other hand, Kang et al. (2020) propose the utilisation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, which entails the capture of carbon dioxide from various sources, such as power plants and industries, and transferring it to designated storage sites for underground storage. The IPCC (2021) report proposes that carbon capture and storage techniques have the potential to reduce carbon emissions from new residential buildings in cities by as much as 90%. However, according to Seto et al. (2023), the implementation of CCS has not been successful due to the high costs involved. Studies by Bass et al. (2015) and Grafakos et al. (2020) concur that incorporating green infrastructure, such as walls and green roofs, can help reduce heat island effects and mitigate stormwater runoff. Finally, Lomas et al. (2022) summarise green building technology as one that relies on design, space, and materials such as solar, reinforced concrete and steel to positively curb climate change’s impact.
2.4 Research Gap
The literature reviewed shows a research gap in examining the effectiveness of specific adaptive features in mitigating climate change in city residential new builds. While some studies have explored the potential of various eco-friendly features in reducing the carbon footprint of buildings, there needs to be more research that evaluates the actual impact of these features in real-life settings. Additionally, limited research analyses the cost-benefit trade-offs of incorporating adaptive elements in new builds and the potential barriers to adoption by builders. Further research is needed to fill this gap and provide insights into the most effective and feasible ways of incorporating adaptive features into city residential new builds to mitigate climate change.
The theoretical framework section focuses on the behaviour change theory and its relevance to encouraging eco-friendly building design and construction practices. The literature review critically analyses existing literature to identify effective strategies for promoting sustainable behaviour among stakeholders involved in the building process. The conceptual framework of the literature review examines the challenges posed by non-eco-friendly traditional city residential buildings to climate change. It identifies eco-friendly features in city residential new builds that positively impact the environment. It also assesses whether city residential new builds can mitigate climate change through adaptive features. The literature review critically analyses existing literature to identify gaps in knowledge and propose areas for future research that can help improve the sustainability of city residential buildings.
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
The methodology chapter is crucial in a research paper as it describes the methods used to achieve the research objectives. It details the research approach, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques employed in the study. The methodology section is organised into subsections describing specific methods, such as qualitative or quantitative research. Its significance must be considered since it guarantees that the investigation is carried out methodically and effectively.
3.2 Research philosophy
A research philosophy refers to the collection of convictions and suppositions that direct the researcher’s attitude towards understanding and investigation. In the context of this investigation, the research philosophy is pragmatism, a philosophical approach that emphasises the practicality and relevance of knowledge to real-world problems and situations. Pragmatism is a practical philosophy for this investigation because it recognises the value of both theory and practice in generating knowledge that can address real-world problems. Pragmatism will allow study into mitigation methods in reducing carbon emissions in city residential new builds, along with identifying challenges faced by the construction industry and potential policy interventions that aim at adopting low-carbon building practices. Therefore, the pragmatic approach allows for a flexible and adaptive research process that can account for the unique contexts of the research problem.
3.3 Research approach
The research approach is a fundamental aspect of the research process that directs the overall plan for data collection and analysis (Bryman, 2016). For this investigation, the research objectives will be achieved through a qualitative research approach. Qualitative research involves gathering non-numerical data, such as words and images, to investigate and comprehend social phenomena (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). Semi-structured interviews will be used to collect data from key stakeholders in the construction industry, policymakers, and residents. Qualitative research is highly beneficial in examining complex and multifaceted social issues, such as the difficulties encountered by the construction industry in implementing sustainable building practices in urban areas (Bryman, 2016). Qualitative methods offer an opportunity for a thorough investigation of the experiences and perspectives of key stakeholders, providing a comprehensive knowledge of the research problem.
3.4 Research design
The approach chosen for this investigation involves using a case study design, which comprehensively examines a specific case. This design fully understands the context, processes, and outcomes of the research problem (Yin, 2018). In this case, the case study design will investigate sustainable building practices of the Elephant and Castle regeneration project and The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) in London. In this investigation, the case study will also focus on constructing new residential buildings in urban areas, emphasising adopting sustainable building practices. Data will be collected from multiple sources, including key stakeholders in the construction industry, policymakers, and residents, using semi-structured interviews.
3.5 Participants and Sample
The research design’s vital elements are the participants and the sample, as they significantly impact the study’s validity and reliability (Creswell, 2014). The participants and sample will be selected in this investigation based on their relevance and expertise in the construction industry, policymakers, and residents. The selection of participants and the model will be based on purposive sampling, which involves selecting individuals with specific characteristics relevant to the research objectives (Patton, 2015). As Guest et al. (2020) suggested, the sample size will be determined based on data saturation, achieved when no new information is obtained from additional participants.
3.6 Data collection methods
Semi-structured interviews will be utilised to collect data from various sources, including industry professionals, policymakers, and residents conducting this research. As per Fontana and Frey (2019), semi-structured interviews will be preferred. The researcher will moderate the interview and involve a maximum of eight participants per group (Krueger & Casey, 2015). A comprehensive search strategy will be developed using online platforms like LinkedIn and research databases like Scopus and Web of Science to identify potential participants. Inclusion and exclusion criteria will be developed so that participants meet the requirements of the research objectives. Overall, these data collection methods will ensure that the data collected are comprehensive, reliable, and valid.
3.7 Data Analysis methods
NVivosoftware application for qualitative data analysis will be used in analysing the data gathered from the semi-structured interviews, as shown in Appendix C. NVivo allows for the organisation and analysis of qualitative data, enabling the identification of patterns, themes, and relationships within the data (Bazeley & Jackson, 2013). The data will be transcribed verbatim and imported into NVivo for analysis. The data will be coded to identify themes and patterns, and relationships between the codes will be identified to develop a conceptual framework for the study. The framework will be developed iteratively, allowing for refining and revising the themes and relationships as the analysis progresses. Various techniques will be employed to ensure the validity of the data analysis, including member checking and triangulation. Member checking involves verifying the analysis and findings with the participants to ensure the accuracy and validity of the results. Triangulation involves using multiple data sources to corroborate the findings, such as combining the results of the interviews.
3.8 Ethical Research Considerations
This segment describes the ethical considerations that were considered during the research process. Firstly, participants in the semi-structured interviews were given a consent form that specified the research’s objective and nature, the voluntary nature of their participation, and the right to withdraw at will. Additionally, the participants were assured that their information would be used exclusively for research and that their confidentiality would be upheld. The participants’ names were pseudonyms, and no personal identifying information was recorded to ensure confidentiality. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (2016) sets out specific requirements for collecting, storing and using personal data through signing an ethical consent form, as shown in Appendix D.
3.9 Strengths and Weaknesses of the Methodology
The methodology for this research provides several strengths. Firstly, the mixed-methods approach allows for triangulation, which is the process of cross-validating data collected through different methods. This strengthens the overall findings and conclusions drawn from the study (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2017). Secondly, using NVivo for data analysis is a rigorous and systematic approach, ensuring the findings are reliable and valid (Bazeley & Jackson, 2013). Thirdly, the sampling strategy, which involves selecting participants from different backgrounds, provides that the data collected is diverse and representative of the studied population (Patton, 2015). However, using a case study approach limits the generalizability of the findings to other contexts (Yin, 2018). Secondly, the small sample size may limit the transferability of the results to the broader population being studied (Patton, 2015). Thirdly, the potential for researcher bias may arise due to the researcher’s involvement in the data collection and analysis process (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2017). In conclusion, while the chosen methodology for this research has its strengths and limitations, it provides a comprehensive approach to investigating the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation methods in combatting climate change in city residential new builds.
The methodology chapter of this study presented the approach and techniques adopted to accomplish the research objectives. The case study method was selected as the primary research design to evaluate the efficacy of existing mitigation and adaptation strategies in mitigating carbon emissions and improving the resilience of residential buildings in urban areas to climate change. Data were collected from crucial building and construction industry players through semi-structured interviews to obtain their viewpoints and insights on sustainable building practices. The research methodology aimed to ensure the credibility and dependability of the study outcomes while upholding ethical standards. Using a case study and semi-structured interviews, the study aimed to comprehensively understand the challenges and opportunities for sustainable building practices in city residential new builds.
CHAPTER 4: RESULTS
This section presents the findings of a study on the strategies employed to mitigate and adapt to climate change in urban residential construction. The study examined sustainable building practices in reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable buildings. Also, it identified challenges faced by the construction industry, explored policy interventions that can incentivise the adoption of low-carbon practices, and assessed the role of residents in promoting energy-efficient behaviours. The following sections provide the main themes from the data analysis, including the essential findings and their implications for theory and practice.
4.2 Data Analysis
The data from the document analysis and semi-structured interviews were analysed using Nvivo software to identify themes related to the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation methods, challenges faced by the construction industry, and the role of residents in promoting energy-efficient behaviours, as shown in Appendix A. One central theme from the data was the importance of using green building materials in new residential construction. Several participants noted that using materials such as bamboo and recycled steel can significantly reduce carbon emissions during the building process and contribute to sustainable development. Another important theme was the challenge of implementing sustainable building practices in urban areas, where space and resources are limited. Participants identified a need for more government support and financial incentives as significant barriers to adopting low-carbon building practices. Finally, the data revealed residents’ important role in promoting energy-efficient behaviours in new residential builds. Many participants highlighted the importance of education and outreach programs to encourage residents to adopt low-carbon lifestyles, such as using public transportation and reducing energy consumption. Figure 1 shows a word cloud generated using NVivo software, highlighting the most common themes from the data. As can be seen, “efficient residential,” “urban sustainable buildings,” and “sustainable building practices ” were among the most frequently mentioned topics in the interviews and documents analysed.
Qualitative results of the study on improved energy efficiency and optimisation of microclimate in city residential new buildings revealed several mitigation and adaptation features that can enhance buildings’ resilience to climate change impacts. These include using green building materials, such as eco-friendly insulation and roofing, and improving buildings’ energy efficiency while reducing carbon footprints (Kosonen et al., 2021). Additionally, incorporating natural ventilation systems and shading devices can optimise the microclimate within buildings, reducing the need for energy-intensive cooling systems and improving indoor air quality (Sahebjamnia et al., 2021). Furthermore, integrating renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and geothermal systems, can reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and improve energy efficiency (Bianco et al., 2020). However, implementing these mitigation and adaptation features is often needed by the need for more awareness, technical expertise, and financial resources among building stakeholders (Zhang et al., 2021). Therefore, addressing these barriers is critical in ensuring the widespread adoption of sustainable building practices in city residential new builds.
4.3 Case Studies Findings
4.3.1 The Elephant and Castle regeneration project in London
The case study of the Elephant and Castle regeneration project in London provided insightful findings on the current mitigation methods for reducing carbon emissions of city residential new builds to climate change, as shown in Figure 2. The project incorporated several sustainable building practices, such as using green roofs, rainwater harvesting, and renewable energy sources, resulting in a 35% reduction in carbon emissions (Smith, 2021). However, the case study also revealed several challenges and barriers to implementing sustainable building practices in city residential new builds. The most significant challenge was the high upfront cost of sustainable features, which can be a deterrent for developers and investors. Additionally, there needed to be more precise regulatory frameworks and incentives for sustainable building practices, leading to a need for more consistency in implementing such procedures across the city. A study by Sharifi (2021) proposed several strategies, including the development of clear regulatory frameworks, financial incentives for sustainable building practices, and the involvement of stakeholders in decision-making processes.
4.3.2 The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) in London
According to Evans (2022), BedZED is a mixed-use development designed to be carbon neutral, focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, and sustainable transport. As shown in Figure 3, the project included passive solar design, on-site renewable energy generation, and a car-free policy for residents. A case study by Yu et al. (2020) of the project examines the feasibility and effectiveness of these measures in achieving carbon neutrality and promoting sustainable living. According to Shiers (2018), the Beddington Zero Energy Development in London is a pioneering zero-energy housing development designed and constructed to minimise carbon emissions and energy consumption. The case study analysis revealed that BedZED has successfully achieved its goals of reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption.
According to the data collected during the study, BedZED’s carbon emissions are 60% lower than the average for development of similar size and density (Smith, 2021). In addition, (Wang & Chen, 2020) discovered that the energy consumption of the housing units is approximately 45% lower than the average for similar housing units in the UK, as shown in Appendix B. According to Patton (2021), the energy-efficient design and incorporation of renewable energy, such as solar panels, wind turbines, and biomass boilers, are the factors that have led to the achievement of these reductions. Moreover, the case study revealed that residents of BedZED are actively engaged in reducing their energy consumption through various means, such as monitoring their energy use and participating in community initiatives to promote sustainable living. Residents also reported high satisfaction with the quality of their housing and living environment.
CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION
The literature review discusses the relevance and effectiveness of the theory of behaviour change (TBC) in promoting sustainable behaviours and practices in the residential sector. According to Laskari et al. (2021), the TBC can help identify key drivers and barriers to adopting sustainable practices by developers, builders, and homeowners. Studies by Foster and Lawson (2016), Maier et al. (2019), and Xiong et al. (2020) demonstrate that applying TBC can help understand the factors influencing sustainable behaviours and create awareness of the benefits that come with their adoption. Social norms, social support, and influence are key drivers of sustainable behaviour, as found by Grafakos et al. (2020), who suggest that TBC identifies these factors in adoption patterns. Effective behaviour change interventions must target individual and structural factors influencing behaviour, such as norms, values, beliefs, and incentives.
This dissertation’s conceptual framework is built upon a thorough analysis of peer-reviewed articles and government reports on mitigation and adaptation methods to combat climate change in city residential new builds, as shown in Appendix A. The reviewed literature highlights various methods for reducing carbon emissions in the construction industry, such as using green building materials, incorporating green roofs, and adopting renewable energy sources. The authors’ findings are consistent across multiple studies, including Baker et al. (2020), Xiong et al. (2020), Zhao et al. (2020), Wang et al. (2020) and Wong et al. (2021). However, several challenges exist in implementing sustainable building practices, particularly in urban areas, according to Grafakos et al. (2020) and Dinu and Hassler (2019). These challenges include the high cost of sustainable building practices, which can be prohibitively expensive for developers. To overcome these challenges, standardised building codes and regulations for sustainable buildings can lead to consistency in implementing sustainable building practices, as suggested by Baker et al. (2020). Moreover, the importance of adaptive measures, such as building design and urban planning, in constructing sustainable residential buildings in urban areas is emphasised in the study by Steg and Vlek (2019). The study by Wang et al. (2021) further identified critical factors in reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, including building envelope design and energy-efficient equipment.
The two case studies presented, the Elephant and Castle regeneration project and BedZED in London, demonstrate successful attempts at reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable living. However, they also highlight several challenges that must be overcome to achieve widespread adoption of sustainable building practices. The Elephant and Castle project shows that sustainable building practices like green roofs and renewable energy sources can significantly reduce carbon emissions in new residential builds. However, the high upfront cost of sustainable features and the need for clear regulatory frameworks and incentives remain significant barriers to implementation. Sharifi (2021) proposes several strategies to overcome these challenges, including developing clear regulatory frameworks, financial incentives, and stakeholder involvement in decision-making processes. On the other hand, BedZED has successfully achieved its goal of reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption, thanks to its energy-efficient design and renewable energy systems. Moreover, the active engagement of residents in reducing their energy consumption demonstrates the importance of community involvement in promoting sustainable living.
After conducting semi-structured interviews on the effects of climate change on new residential buildings in urban areas, it became apparent that the participants held comparable opinions. According to most participants, climate change significantly impacts new builds, with specific consequences such as flooding, heat waves, and extreme weather events. They also pointed out that these effects are distinct from those experienced by older buildings and that new builds require adequate preparation to mitigate the effects of climate change (Liu et al., 2017). In terms of measures being taken to alleviate the impact of climate change on new builds, respondents cited the use of sustainable building materials, green roofs, and high-efficiency HVAC systems. However, they also agreed that more needs to be done to improve the resilience of city residential new builds. The interviewees agreed that the design of buildings plays a vital role in how climate change affects them, and the current building codes and standards are insufficient in dealing with this issue. One of the respondents cited examples of climate change’s impact on new buildings from their professional experience. Moreover, the interviewees expressed their worry about the consequences of climate change on the inhabitants of newly constructed urban residential buildings, especially those with low-income backgrounds who may need extra support to mitigate the impact.
This literature review examined the effectiveness of zero energy buildings (ZEBs) in mitigating climate change in city residential new builds. Several case studies were reviewed to assess the potential of ZEBs in reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings. DeSimone and Frankel (2021) found that a ZEB in Massachusetts could achieve net-zero energy use through passive solar design, photovoltaic panels, energy-efficient lighting, and HVAC systems. The study also reported a 70% reduction in energy consumption compared to a typical code-compliant building. Similarly, Torcellini et al. (2018) investigated the energy performance of a ZEB in Colorado and reported a 73% reduction in energy consumption compared to a typical code-compliant building. Satterthwaite (2020) also found that a ZEB in the US could achieve net-zero energy use through photovoltaic panels, a geothermal heat pump, and energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Lastly, the findings were consistent and showed that ZEBs have the potential to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings significantly. However, several challenges include high initial costs, lack of technical expertise and policy hindering its widespread adoption.
Green building practices have gained significant attention as a way to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings. Several case studies have investigated the effectiveness of green building practices in different contexts. Imteaz et al. (2021) found that using green building practices in an office building in Australia resulted in a 42% reduction in energy consumption compared to a similar conventional structure. Similarly, Kusumastuti et al. (2019) reported a 34% reduction in energy consumption in a high-rise residential building in Indonesia through energy-efficient lighting, HVAC systems, and passive design strategies. In contrast, Sassi et al. (2018) investigated the effectiveness of green building practices in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a residential building in Italy. The study found that while the building achieved a 26% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to a similar conventional building, this was lower than the expected reduction of 44%. Despite the varying results, it is clear that green building practices can effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions in buildings. However, the effectiveness of these practices may vary depending on the context and specific building design. When implementing green building practices, it is essential to consider factors such as climate, building size, and building function. Therefore, careful consideration is needed when implementing green building practices to ensure their effectiveness and sustainability.
Passive ventilation strategies involve using natural ventilation to improve indoor air quality and thermal comfort in buildings. Several case studies have investigated the effectiveness of passive ventilation strategies in different building types and locations. The studies show that passive ventilation strategies can effectively reduce energy consumption and enhance thermal comfort in buildings. The consistency of the findings across the different studies suggests that passive ventilation can be implemented in various building types and locations to achieve significant energy savings and improved indoor environmental quality. The consistency in the findings of these studies suggests that passive ventilation strategies can be an effective and sustainable solution for thermal comfort in buildings. However, the effectiveness of passive ventilation strategies may vary depending on the climate and building design. Hence, further research is required to determine the most effective passive ventilation strategies for different building types and environments.
Smart technology is an intelligent, automated system that manages and controls energy consumption and indoor environmental quality. Several studies, including Wijaya et al. (2020), found that integrating smart technology can reduce energy consumption in residential buildings by up to 35%. In contrast, a study by Al-Hussein et al. (2018) found that the energy savings achieved by smart technology were relatively modest, ranging from 10% to 20%. However, both studies agreed that integrating smart technology can improve indoor environmental quality by regulating ventilation, managing building temperature and humidity levels, and monitoring indoor air quality. Smart technology can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, crucial factors in mitigating climate change. A study by Firth et al. (2018) found that integrating smart technology can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 30%. Additionally, smart technologies can provide real-time data on energy consumption, allowing building owners and managers to identify areas of inefficiency and implement targeted energy-saving measures. Therefore, integrating smart technology can improve indoor environmental quality and reduce energy consumption to mitigate climate change.
CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Mitigation and adaptation methods have demonstrated effectiveness in mitigating carbon emissions and improving the resilience of city residential new build’s positive impact on climate change. Mitigation measures such as adopting sustainable building materials and renewable energy sources have been proven to decrease carbon emissions significantly. Adaptation approaches to green roofs and building designs that consider extreme weather events have also been shown to improve the resilience of city residential new builds to climate change impacts. However, implementing these measures is hampered by various challenges and obstacles, including lack of awareness, education, and funding. Therefore, it is essential for urban planners, architects, policymakers, and other stakeholders to work collaboratively to address these challenges and implement effective mitigation and adaptation measures in city residential new builds. Promising strategies and technologies, such as smart home technology and 3D modelling, can help achieve this. Overall, implementing sustainable building practices in city residential new builds is crucial for mitigating the effects of climate change and ensuring a sustainable future for urban areas.
Implementing sustainable building practices in city residential new builds faces various challenges and barriers. These include a need for more awareness and education among stakeholders, higher upfront costs, a lack of regulatory frameworks, and resistance to change. It is necessary to increase awareness and education about sustainable building practices to address these challenges, provide financial incentives and regulatory frameworks to promote sustainable practices, and involve stakeholders in the planning and implementation process. Collaboration among architects, urban planners, policymakers, and other stakeholders is crucial to address these challenges and promote sustainable building practices in city residential new builds.
Integrating effective mitigation and adaptation measures in city residential new builds is crucial to combat climate change. Urban planners, architects, policymakers, and other stakeholders have a significant role in promoting sustainable building practices that reduce carbon emissions and enhance urban areas’ resilience to climate change’s impacts. To achieve this, stakeholders must collaborate and adopt a holistic approach that considers the local context and engages the community. The most promising strategies and technologies for achieving this include energy-efficient equipment, green building materials and renewable energy sources. Technology such as energy monitoring systems and virtual reality can also help optimise sustainable design features. The barriers in implementing sustainable building practices in city residential new builds must be addressed through education, awareness, and incentives.
After investigating the methods of mitigation to combat climate change in city residential new builds, the following recommendations can be made to promote sustainable development, including using zero-energy building design to reduce the carbon footprint of residential buildings. This approach can help mitigate climate change by reducing the energy needed to operate a building, as demonstrated by the study conducted by Alshaikh et al. (2021), which found that zero-energy building design can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also, encouraging eco-friendly building materials is an essential consideration for mitigating the environmental impact of construction. Research by Yang et al. (2020) has demonstrated that adopting eco-friendly construction materials can substantially decrease carbon emissions during the building process. On the other hand, passive ventilation systems reduce energy consumption while maintaining indoor air quality. The study conducted by Adanur and Güngör (2021) demonstrated that passive ventilation systems reduce energy consumption in residential buildings. They finally incorporated smart technology to reduce building energy consumption through automated controls and optimisation. Studies such as that conducted by Wijaya et al. (2020) have shown that integrating smart technology can contribute to significant energy savings in buildings.
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8.1 Appendix A
8.2 Appendix B
8.3 Appendix C
8.4 Appendix D