Sustainability the challenges faced by humanity in 21st century.

refers to the ability of a system to survive. Climate change, Natural Disaster,
Population growth, overconsumption of resources, increasing energy demands and
production are the challenges faced by humanity in 21st century.

Sustainability and sustainable development was addressed first time in 1987, by
the United Nations World Commission on Environment in report called “Our common Future” usually known  as Brundtland report . It defines
sustainable development as a development that meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of the future generation (Bruntland Report,
1987). ). There is a growing pressure form governments and clients to achieve
maximum sustainability in built environment. The aim of sustainability is to
create a built environment that provides sustainable solutions with better
whole – life performance by using less primary materials thus minimising the
Twenty- first century challenges for humanity which includes, climate change,
natural disasters, population growth, overconsumption of resources, over
production of waste and increasing energy demands.

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More than half of the population 6.5 billion in 2007
inhabitants lived in cities marking the first time in human history that more
people inhabited urban rather than rural compare to 1950 when less than one –
third of the world’s 2.5 billion population lived in the city.( Tall Buildings
: From Engineering to Sustainability). According to the population Division of
the United Nations Development and Social Affairs it is reported that by 2050
nearly 80% of the world’s 9 billion population will live in massive urban
fabrics. As the population of cities have grown so has the height of their
buildings. Since ancient times building heights have been seen as a symbol of
the power and prosperity of a city. We can see that as population grows and
consumption increases worldwide. To cope with the problems of per capita space
and depleting resources, tall building are offering a possible solution for
housing people and activities in a sustainable way with many real estate
developer preferring to create building that can be promoted as “green”. While
it can increase the front-end cost of construction by 2% to 5% these increase
cost can be recovered through different technique and technologies in long term
with every one benefiting from this – from developer to user and off course
future generations.

order to understand sustainability thoroughly we have to talk about its three
main strands which are environment, economic and social benefit. With
increasing sensitivity towards environmental, social and economic issues and
shareholder concerns, companies are striving to become better corporate
citizens. By an examination of processes and products, companies can more
broadly asses their impacts on the environment, society and economy and finding
out the intersection between improving sustainability and increased long-term
financial performance.


Figure 1 three strands for sustaibility


New technologies,
materials and methods can contribute to slowing down the growth of energy
consumption without slowing down the economic growth essentially maintaining
the world’s social, political, and economic order.






















As far as the
essay’s main goal is concerned, the methodological procedure used integrates
two different apparatuses. First, a qualitative approach was undertaken in
order to obtain data on why sustainability is important to the environment,
different methods of sustainable construction of skyscrapers, materials and
technology. The objective is to clearly define natural capital and connect it
to sustainability.

Second, an
analytical approach was used in order to conceive different ratings methods
which will be discussed to give an Idea on how they operate and compare these
system to understand the purpose and the goal of them. Likewise a research of
how every material like concrete, timber steel and many others will be done to
compare and conclude which one is the best for the desirable results. Further
research on various technology like green roofs solar panels, water system and
others will take place. Books, online journals and publications will be used
for the collection of data to give and idea on what sustainability, how it
works and how it can implemented into various projects.

 Case study is important because it consists of
a class phenomenon that will provide a more analytical a more analytical frame
within which the research is being conducted. It is also helps the author to
understand what’s happening and why is it happening. For this project some of
the case studies will include London most iconic building The Shard and also
The Gherkin.

At the end of the
report I will be assessing all the information to design a building in central
in respect to with the best technique materials and technology.















3.1 Building materials

Material and
product production, interacts with the environment in two distinct ways with
the earth being the source of all material resources and a sink for emission,
effluents and solid wastes. For materials to be sustainable they should be
produced in required volumes without depleting non-renewable resources and
without disrupting state equilibrium of the environment and key natural resources.

Concrete, timber
and steel are the three of the most common building used today, so which one to


Concrete has
developed into the most important building material in the world during the
last century. This is due to facts that concrete is produced from natural
material and widely available in all parts of the globe and also being
versatile giving architectural freedom. Production of concrete totals to 1.5-3
tonnes per capita per annum in the industrialised world enabling all of its
supplier a major player in the building sector. Improving the sustainability of
the concrete industry will automatically lead to improvements in the building sector.

Production of cement is an energy –intensive process primarily using fossil
fuels. A typical concrete mix composites about of 10% but accounts 92% of its
energy demand.


The primary
constituent of concrete Portland cement is produced in large quantities about
2.6 billion tones worldwide (US Geological survey, 2006) and about 237 million
tonnes is used in European Union (ERMCO,2006), with each 1kg generating
approximately 0.8-1.2 kg CO2 emission.

Table 1 Typical Constituents of Concrete


Average Percentage

Portland cement


Fly ash


Coarse aggregate


Fine aggregate






Source: Adopted from PCA


The use of recycled
construction rubbles as aggregate for concrete occurred for the first after the
Second World War. this can be evidenced by the publication in 1951 of German
standard DIN 4163. When a concrete has 20% of waste products as aggregate that concrete
can be called “Green concrete”. Recycling is the best solution for waste disposal,
with the use of alternative aggregate processed from waste materials being a
sensible solution. With crushed granite coarse aggregate reserves are fast depleting
in some desert regions of the world, the need to develop concrete with non- conventional
aggregates rose.


Table 1 total emission to Air from cement
Manufacture by process type source Medgar et al 2006



is the world’s most recycled material. Many steel applications remain in
service for decades. Even though two out of every three pounds or kilograms of
new steel are produced from “old” steel, the fact that cars, buildings,
appliances and bridges have such long service lives makes it necessary to
continue to mine virgin ore to supplement the production of new steel. Economic
expansion, here and abroad, also creates additional demand that cannot be fully
met by available scrap supplies. A Car to a Can to a Roof and Back to a Car…

Steel possesses a unique material property unrivaled by other materials since
it can be recycled both up and down the product value chain. Open loop
recycling allows, for example, an old car to be melted down to produce a soup
can, and then, as the new soup can is recycled, it is melted down to produce a
new appliance, car, roof or perhaps a structural beam used in a bridge.

Recycling in the steel industry is second nature. Steelmaking Process Today’s
steel is produced using two technologies both of which require old steel to
make new steel. The combination of these technologies enables us the
flexibility to produce a variety of steel grades for a wide range of product
applications. Basic oxygen furnace (BOF) technology uses approximately 25
percent steel scrap to make new steel. Steel manufactured by the BOF method is
used to produce products that require formability as the primary
characteristic. These products include automotive outer body panels, exterior
panels for refrigerators and stoves, residential door skins, architectural
panels, and packaging such as soup cans. Scrap-based electric arc furnace (EAF)
technology can use nearly 100 percent steel scrap as its feedstock and is used
to produce products that require strength as the primary characteristic. Steel
from the EAF process is used to produce products such as structural beams,
steel plates and reinforcement bars. Of the recycled steel used for both
technologies, up to 50 percent is postconsumer generated material, and the
balance is pre-consumer and home scrap. In addition, regardless of the technology
used to make steel (BOF or EAF), both types of steel are fully recyclable, and
one type should not be favored over the other. Design decisions by architects
and engineers can help decrease the impact of steel production on our
environment. The development of new high-performance steel and increasingly
more accurate ways of analyzing steel properties are allowing professionals to
arrive at more efficient designs and reduce resource use.As steel reuse becomes
more economical, design professionals must begin to consider the future
deconstruction of buildings as carefully as they consider their construction.

This will allow structural components to be reused, and will help minimize the
amount of building waste sent to landfill.

Structural steel is a building
material that has allowed engineers and architects of the 19th and 20th centuries
to achieve remarkable feats of design and construction. While steel continues
to be of the utmost importance to modern industrial economies, we must remember
that it comes at a relatively high environmental price. Efficient and
conscientious design can help reduce waste, encourage recycling and enable the
reuse of structural steel while ensuring it is produced and used in a
sustainable manner.