Water Supply Infrastructure & Settlement Patterns

By Nalanie Mithraratne and Robert Vale.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The state of the physical sustainability of any residential development is influenced by its spatial organization. The design most suited for the infrastructure systems which serve a particular development in turn would depend on the number of dwelling units in a settlement and the number of occupants in each dwelling unit. Infrastructure development could either be a new installation or an addition to an existing system, and the best option for either case would be quite different. This paper evaluates the extent to which the spatial characteristics of residential developments determine the kind of infrastructure system that can be employed based on water supply for a series of urban settlements with varying residential densities, in Auckland, New Zealand. The true cost of water supply systems is assessed using a life cycle approach, which incorporates not only the initial construction but also maintenance, replacement and final demolition of systems over the useful life. Residential density/settlement patterns with the least environmental impact for mains water supply are identified in terms of life cycle energy and carbon dioxide emissions by detailed analysis of various land use patterns and the existing mains water supply system in Auckland.

Keywords: Life Cycle Analysis, Life Cycle Energy, Embodied Energy, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, Water Supply Systems, Residential Density, Spatial Organisation, Reticulated Supply

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.141-152. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 794.733KB).

Dr. Nalanie Mithraratne

Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Ecosystem Sustainability, Landcare Research, Auckland, New Zealand

Nalanie Mithraratne has been a practising Architect and a university lecturer; and is presently a research fellow at Landcare Research, New Zealand. Her doctoral thesis examined the life-cycle energy issues of common New Zealand houses. Her research interests include energy use, building performance and life cycle studies. Her current research focuses on residential infrastructure development and identifying environmentally friendly alternatives.

Dr. Robert Vale

Senior Researcher, Centre for Urban Ecosystem Sustainability, Landcare Research, Auckland, New Zealand

Robert Vale is a Senior Researcher at Landcare Research, New Zealand and he is also an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is the co-author of The Autonomous House (1975), Green Architecture (1990) and The New Autonomous House (2000), and was the architect of the UK’s first zero-emissions settlement. He has been working in the field of sustainable architecture for over thirty years.

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