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Soft Landings based Design Management as a tool to enhance Sustainability: A case study of non-residential buildings in the UK

Gana, Victoria Fatima Granny (2017) Soft Landings based Design Management as a tool to enhance Sustainability: A case study of non-residential buildings in the UK. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,.

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Abstract

This thesis charts the rise of sustainable buildings and traces the evolution of design management from a process used in design to its current position in the construction industry in the UK. The established fact that design plays a vital role in achieving sustainability in building presents itself from different perspectives. For projects to achieve their sustainability targets, the industry must understand the issues surrounding sustainability. The industry can look to Soft Landings to be the next step in the evolution of design management. With the industry having to deal with ever stringent targets from policy makers, and the uncertainty surrounding the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, how can Soft Landings be positioned to be effective in closing the performance gap in non-residential buildings? 'Intellectual inquisitiveness' should lead us to ask how we can get the best out of the current processes.

The thesis looks at the working processes of Soft Landings projects at the design stage to discover how the interactions between the design team and other team members can foster collaborative working. It also aims to develop a framework for quality communication and information flow. Using case studies and interviews with the professionals involved in the projects, the research uncovers important elements for achieving sustainability. Analysing the data using cross comparison analysis, the thesis is able to unveil the layers surrounding the design process to get the elemental issues. By recognising where the weaknesses lie in information flow, this thesis strengthens the areas where adjustments will be effective. Discovering that the key to sustainable buildings do not lie in complex technological attachments but in the basic interactions between teams.

The research concludes that although the framework for Soft Landings is comprehensive and can enhance the sustainability of buildings when used in projects, it does not adequately address communication between teams especially during the design process. The teams must not only be prepared to share information, they must also be prepared for the flow of quality information. From the case studies, it is apparent that the construction companies are not fully prepared to embrace Soft Landings as proposed by the government. Instead they pick aspects that suit them as a company. This can be as a result of inadequate information and unpins the reason for this research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Renganathan, Giridharan
Thesis advisor: Watkins, Richard
Uncontrolled keywords: Soft Landings, Design Management, Sustainable design, Sustainability, Non-residential buildings
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > Architecture
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 09:10 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 10:43 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/67098 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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