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Top-Down Sustainability Framework


Year: 2021
Duration and Role: 4 months group project
Typology: sustainability framework
Location: Wakefield, UK
Site area: 15,230m
Total build area: 7,280m²

Brief: To provide a plausible framework to adapt the current care housing stock towards climate emergency and potential future pandemics.


Climate change is one of the biggest global challenges facing humanity since the industrial revolution. The UK is ranked 16th in global emissions contributing 1.1% of the total carbon emissions. Of this 1.1%, 40% is provided by the UK housing stock. In light of these alarming statistics, SYHA has opted to employ decarbonisation strategies to upgrade their existing care home facilities. We aim to provide a plausible top-down framework that caters to decarbonisation strategies but more importantly, human delight and well being. The priority of the framework shifts from ‘decarbonisation’ to sustainability goals - in particular, Future and global responsibility. SYHA’s Whinn Dale building in Wakefield is the project for which we establish the framework, but the aim is to ensure its transferability across the entire housing stock.

The Framework

Project Overview

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The Framework

The framework begins with the diagram for continuous sustainability assessment and subsequent improvement. It starts with the end-user before moving to the building through a circular motion of understanding, identifying, and proposing. The end-user was understood in relation to their behaviour both currently and in the future. Key issues were then identified and proposals made to improve SYHA’s principles of sustainability for their end-users.


Building Level

End-User Level

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Sustainability Network


By setting the green infrastructure at the heart of the framework, both the blue and social infrastructures instantly link up to form a network. Biophilic design, rewilding and the strategic placement of the bioswales cater to neighbourhood level flood risks, the ecosystem & biodiversity, decarbonisation and the physical and mental well being of the residents of Whinn Dale.The green infrastructure is developed with the help of the residents and the staff. This activity would improve their interpersonal connections. At the same time, because they are directly involved in taking care of the site and the neighbourhood, a sense of social responsibility, purpose and ownership would be established.









Landscape Proposal

Landscape Proposal and Location of Bioswales

Environmental Section

Environmental Section

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Building Proposals

Sustainable & Ethical Food Sourcing

These farms and distributors utilise carbon offsetting methods in order to reduce their emissions which could help in offsetting embodied carbon in transport.

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Removal of one Lift Shaft

to facilitate a natural ventilation with heat recovery system

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to inform the residents of whinndale on the new strategies that were put in place as a part of the sustainable masterplan

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