The prototype design proposes a structural material hybrid of steel, concrete, and wood, a strategy with multiple sustainable design benefits. The hybrid structure recognizes the inherent benefits of each material and attempts to match materials with both structural function and sustainable design objectives.
The prototype includes a dedicated service zone which provides for a simplified flexibility to change both the building program and the mechanical/electrical systems. â€œServicesâ€ include any systems related to energy, potable water, waste water, and HVAC as needed. This zone connects the buildings users to services outside of the building envelope, provides physical space for the housing of internal equipment and acts as the main or trunk line prior to distributing any services further within the building.
The Prototype s Green Objectives are to pursue, meet and exceed LEED criterion as appropriate to a given phase and site condition in conjunction with associated partners. This document shows how the Building Prototype meets various LEED objectives (based on LEED Version 2, 2000),.
A flexible building will have a long life, make the most of initial resource investment, and limit material/energy use in future renovations. Leading-edge design concepts permit maximum flexibility in terms of construction and usage. Integrating these building elements with the design concepts constitutes a whole new Building System that can be replicated anywhere in the world. Sized and arranged to adapt to varying uses, the prototype may be used in the development of lively, mixed use neighbourhoods. The prototype diagram consists of four zones permitting flexibility of unit size, circulation, program, servicing and technology.
The flexibility of the design concept permits adaptations to suit almost any size, terrain, and personal taste preferences. Any building material can be used to complete the exterior envelope. As part of the Prototype research, a sustainable material selection methodology was developed. Materials and assemblies, including roofing, glazing, shading, and solid panel were considered relatively more sustainable if they met with criteria including extraction/production/installation, lifespan, recycle/deconstruction, social/other benefit, and cost.
The flexible prototype presents a framework for the creation of user friendly, adaptable, mixed-use neighbourhoods. Through an allowance for flexibility of both space and service distribution, the prototype allows for varying sizes and types of residential, business and assembly uses, aligning with the fundamental principle that sustainable land use involves the creation of complete and diverse communities.