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Urban Design Compendium

Energy and Resource Efficiency

Sun, rainwater, ground, wind can all be used to create renewable energy resources. It is important to minimise environmental demands and ensure the efficient conversion or disposal of waste.

Solar Design:

  • Use daylight to reduce need for artificial lighting
  • Use passive solar gain to reduce need for space heating
  • Use photovoltaic modules to generate electricity from solar power
  • Use active solar panels for water heating


Collect, store and recycle surface water to reduce the need for drainage infrastructure and energy pumping.


Utilise underground energy resources for heating and cooling:

  • Heat pumps can be use the temperature differences between the ground and the air for heating and cooling
  • Aquifers can be used to cool the temperature of buildings that produce a great deal of heat internally.


Design to harness the natural potential of wind to ventilate buildings and minimise heat loss through funnelling. Utilise wind as an energy source.


Consider how to deal with waste using less energy, less land and less water. Reed bed filtration, recycling, use of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants are all ways this can be achieved


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