Green Building Construction

Energy Efficient Technologies in Buildings

Green Building Construction also known as sustainable building is an energy efficient building technology that is founded on a plan that enhances the efficiency of saving not only energy but also building materials and water. Sustainable building helps to promote the well being of the residents by providing a healthy and safe living and working environment. Over the years, the construction of commercial buildings has had massive impact on the environment; it not requires large quantities of energy and resources but also leads to the production of dangerous atmospheric emissions that cause environmental pollution. Owing to the increasing demand for buildings to accommodate the enormously growing businesses and population as well as having in mind the imminent risk of global warming, construction engineers and architect have come up with new building technologies that would render both residential and commercial buildings less harmful to the environment.  As an energy efficient building technology, sustainable building has been instituted to solve major environmental problems (Johnsons Control, 2012).

Lately, several residential and commercial buildings have been switching to energy efficient technologies which according to Kibert (2008) are both cost efficient and save on the environment. Such technologies comprise of solar and wind energy among other sources of energy that will not destroy the environment. Statistics from a research carried out by Bauer (2009) on sustainable building revealed that commercial buildings are known to account for over 68% electricity consumption much of which is used to heat and ventilate a building. Furthermore, Bauer defines a sustainable building technology as the one that should several architectural and design strategies, which deal with the energy conservation in terms of air conditioning and cooling, ventilation as well as passive solar heating.

Global warming is a serious crisis that is greatly affecting the world. In order to reverse or end this menace, the society must take proactive measures, such as learning to adjust what they use in order to be less dangerous to the environment. Constructing “green” buildings would significantly solve this problem. There exists several ways of averting environmental degradation and additional ways are being embraced daily. As these fresh developments crop up, the returns associated with embracing green building becomes more evident and reasonable for the consumer (Projects by Students for Students, 2012).

Both fresh and innovative developments have been made in the engineering field with the aim of helping protect and save the environment. It is imperative for each and every person to be to be cognizant of energy consumption, owing to the detrimental effects of global warming. While the implementation green building construction may be associated with huge capital outlays, new construction developments have been linked to cost-effective solutions. Although green “engineering” and sustainable building has been on the media spotlight lately, the technology is however as old as civilization itself. Solar energy is definitely the most popular form of energy conservation.

Green Building Construction
Green Building Construction

Solar panels have been known to decrease the consumption of energy in several commercial buildings through the production of alternate energy from the sun. However, as ideal as the solar power might be, the technology is only restricted to places that receive direct sunlight every single day in a year. The Kurilpa Bridge at Brisbane provides a perfect example of how solar energy has been implemented to cut on cost and reduce pollution. Equipped with 85 solar panels, the sun is able to account for over 85 percent of the bridge’s energy needs as well as eliminate annual carbon emissions by over 39 tonnes (Esagawa, 2003).

Apart from the significant solar energy, other technologies that offer sustainable developments have been cropping up. For instance, wind is considered as a major source of energy. The major reason why wind turbines are being preferred is because it is an efficient and cleaner way of generating electricity. Actually wind turbines do not need any fossil fuels to produce any sort of electricity and is fully reliant on the wind. This guarantees that there are no carbon emissions. As the winner of the prestigious LEAF “Best use of Technology” award, the 240 meters tall Bahrain world trade center has beaten them all to be the best striking model for green building. The commercial building has massive wind turbines that generate electricity for the mega building. Definitely, Bahrain world trade center strikes out as the best environmental friendly building in the world.

In addition, the use natural light as an energy efficient technology has been greatly embraced by new large commercial buildings. Modern eco-friendly building is being designed with several windows and skylights so as to tap natural light deep into the structure. This saves on energy as artificial lights are made to turn off once there is sufficient amount of natural light. This technology has been implanted by the California Academy of Sciences at golden gate park in San Francisco. The corporate office at Luck Stone in Goochland is another building that has fully implemented the use of natural light. The building has several skylights and windows allow natural light.

Green Building Construction

Green and sustainable construction may be realized through the various choices of building material. While non-renewable materials rapidly deplete the environment, opting for renewable resources to build is significantly decreases the amount of pollution related to construction as well as slows the exhaustion of non-renewable resources. In addition, the use of renewable building materials is economically viable, environmental friendly and energy efficient. However, it would even be greener, not to cite cost-effective, to renovate an already existing building as opposed to constructing a new one. This would save the ecosystem by avoiding the production of all new materials (Kibert, 2008).

Despite the fact that most green engineering methods give back to the environment by lowering the amount of energy used, a number of techniques usually support the local habitat more directly. For instance, the use of green roofs is becoming more successful and efficient. A green roof is made up of a layer of soil and vegetation and is beneficial to the building in several ways. Most important is that the runoff water from the top of a green roof drains cleaner as compared to before it hit the roof. Furthermore, green roofs provide great insulation by blocking out the scorching sun during the hot seasons such as summer, or preventing the heat from escaping the building in the winter. Since their inception more than five years ago, Green roofs been implemented in major large commercial buildings. For instance, Sun Trust Bank in Richmond transformed the top of a four-story building to a lovely 11,800-square-foot ‘green roof,’ complete with drought-resistant plants that absorb storm water and guzzle carbon dioxide (Bauer, 2003).

One technique that is still developing is the conservation of clean hot or cold air. The California Academy of Sciences building has vents that open on the domes to let out hot air as well as motorized windows to let in cool air. While this can control the temperature in a building efficiently, air quality is just as important, “since, on average, people spend 80-90% of their time in buildings” (Bauer, 2003). There is a constant battle between keeping a constant temperature while using the least amount of energy and keeping the air fresh. Most home heating and air conditioning systems advertise providing accurate temperature control as well as filtering mold, moisture, dust, and pollen. There is not yet technology that can meet the same standards while using much less energy.

Although present day practices in green building construction are important, the real success lies with the future. The future is what will transform the entire world into a place that is self-constructive, rather than destructive. Even more beneficial than new technologies arising is the improving of existing technologies to make them greener, more user friendly, and more cost efficient. Geothermal heating and cooling and water conservation techniques appear to be some technologies that will be making major steps to improvement in the near future.

Regulations influence people’s lives, whether those individuals desire to abide by them or not; however, is it feasible to be inspired sufficiently to a point where regulations are not required. This is a fact that engineers and investors argue over. There are not at present numerous compulsory laws and policies to guide people in green building structure, but the intensity are escalating. The verdict to make a structure “bright green” is frequently a responsibility of the engineers and architects of the structure. Occasionally, it may basically amount to paying additional finances for the structure upfront so as to publicize that a structure is “green,” but there are numerous unknown profits that can be disregarded at the outset (Kibert, 2008).

There are presently numerous structures of authorization in existence these days that support green building, and that is what the majority of them do– they support green building, as in opposition to authorizing it. The major one of these is the Leaders in Engineering and Environmental Development (LEED), qualifications. Numerous structures at present are determined to acquire one of the little types of LEED qualifications. 70% of latest LEED qualified structures fit into the latest building or main repairs group. With every range of qualifications, there come diverse stages: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each of the stages of qualifications would achieve the recognized structure recognition in addition to the evident ecological and financial payback. As declared on the LEED website, “LEED is a third-party qualifications curriculum and the nationwide acknowledged standard for the blueprint, construction and operation of high performance green buildings” (2008). A LEED certification is broadly cherished, creating support and speeding up of the implementation of green structure methods. LEED ventures are endorsed by central and national public structures. There are as well LEED structures in 41 diverse nations (2008). The qualifications of a LEED qualification for a new structure are founded off of six groups: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process (Kibert, 2008).

Green building construction is quickly growing in both importance and popularity. There are several businesses that are taking benefiting out of this, whereas at the same time cheering for more change. These are the kind of companies that deal with green products, involve themselves in environmental activities, and encourage the consumer to go green. Uncertainly, it is evident that we must embrace change quickly so that we may avert the environmental catastrophe that is about to condemn our country. Individuals will have to amend their way of life in order to overturn the damage that has already been done. Besides saving the environment, the emerging intelligence of green building construction and engineering will help consumers save money by cutting down the rate of energy consumption. As soon as fresh technologies are invented, there is a steady development of that technology until it has been perfected, making it inexpensive and user friendly. If people were to exploit these advances as they open up and are confirmed sustainable, at that moment they will be following the road that guides back to a healthy successful earth on top of money in their wallet.

References

Bauer, M. (2009). Green Building: A Book for Sustainable Architecture. London: Springer.

Esagawa, T. (2003). Environmentally Sustainable Buildings: Challenges and Policies. New York: OECD.

Kibert, C. (2008). Sustainable Construction: A Green Building Delivery and Design. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Johnsons Controls. (2012). make you Buildings Work: More Efficiently, Sustainably and Profitably.

Projects by Students for Students. (2012). Energy Sources.

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Carbon Footprint

Electrical Power: How to Reduce Consumption during Peak Period with Low Carbon Footprint Energy Technology

The theme of this research paper is the following: Transforming the electricity retailing system to meet future demand, encourage the usage of low carbon footprint energy, thereby contributing to a more sustainable environment for our future. This research paper is composed of four goals: 1). Reduce the rate of electrical energy fluctuation and overall reduction of wholesale privacy by 10%, thereby increasing profit. 2). Reduce peak time demand for electrical power by 5% in 5 years. 3). Reduce electrical power generating operational costs. 4). Increase the ease and reduce the cost to operate PHEV.

Electricity is a secondary source of energy. Electricity is transformed from the combustion of coal and fossil fuels into a secondary source, which can be used and effectively and efficiently transmitted by means of power transmission lines to the consumer. Electricity can also be generated by means of the combustion of biomass. Other primary sources from which electricity is transformed are: natural gas, solar, hydro, geothermal, wind and nuclear sources. The electricity which is generated from the combustion of coal, natural gas, fossil fuels and nuclear sources is non renewable. Electricity is also generated from renewable sources such as: hydropower, wind, biomass, geothermal and solar (need.org 2013).

The cost of generating electricity varies between 2.2 pence per kilowatt hour to 3.2 pence per kilowatt hour. The least expensive means of deriving electrical power is from a combined cycle gas turbine. The most expensive means of deriving electrical energy through combustion is the coal fired integrated gasification combined cycle plant. Open cycle gas turbines which operate on the combustion of natural gas are the most well suited for new electrical generating facilities. The best candidates for fulfilling electrical power generation requisites at peak duty are the open cycle gas turbines. These open cycle gas turbines are adaptive, reliable and are capable of being efficiently ignited when the demand for electricity reaches its peak demand. An open cycle gas turbine can generate electricity at 3.2 pence per kilowatt hour when operate continuously. When operated solely at periods of peak duty, the open cycle gas turbine generates electrical energy at 6.2 pence per kilowatt hour (Royal Academy of Engineering 2012).

The operating cost of renewable energy sources is more expensive than the constant cycle gas turbine, the pulverized fuel steam facility, the circulated fluidized bed steam plant and the integrated gasification combined cycle. Fluctuation of electrical power generation in the renewable energy sources is a limiting factor in the output generation of electrical power. The cost of generation of electrical power varies from 3.2 pence per kilowatt hour to 7.2 pence per kilowatt hour. The cost of generating electrical power is diminished when there is no standby generation from non renewable sources. An onshore wind farm generates electrical energy at a cost of 3.2 pence per kilowatt hour, notwithstanding the standby generation of electrical power from non renewable sources. In the provision of a standby electrical generator operating from non renewable sources, the cost of generating electricity from an onshore wind farm is 5.4 pence per kilowatt hour. The kilowatt hour cost of generating electrical power from wave and marine technologies is consistent at 6.6 pence per kilowatt hour, with or without a standby electrical generation resource (Royal Academy of Engineering 2012).

Carbon Footprint
Carbon Footprint

The analysis of consumer demand for electrical energy requires constant demand data on a monthly, daily and hourly basis. This data may be evaluated by two means: daily and by the maximum or minimum electrical power consumption. The patterns of demand are relatively stable during the months of January through April and October through December. The instability in demand for electrical power occurs between the months of May through September, when consumer demand for electrical power reaches its peak. One method of reducing consumer demand for electrical power is to augment the price per kilowatt hour to the consumer. As the price increases, the demand for consumption of electrical power would be expected to diminish. However, in the short run, large augmentations in the price per kilowatt hour of electrical power only produces small changes in consumer usage. Over a long period of time, consumers have the possibility of adapting their consumption behaviors with regards to domestic appliances, in order to respond to the change in price per kilowatt hour of electrical power (Miller et al. 2002). Demand side management of electrical power consumption may include a variety of venues, inclusive of energy efficiency and conservation. In applying these venues, the impact has been proven to increase the utilization of electrical power efficiently. In California, the savings realized from electrical energy savings and efficiency programs has augmented from 750 MW in 1980 to 3,300MW in 2000. A few recommendations which may assist in the reduction of peak demand for electricity are the following:

  • Residential motivations and expense reductions.
  • Provision of adequate energy saving insulation in residential environments.
  • Residential motivations which include high efficiency lighting (i.e., fluorescent energy saving light bulbs).
  • Provision of Light Emitting Diodes (LED) for traffic signals and street lights.
  • Provision of energy efficient cool roofs.
  • Application of real time electrical meters in residential settings.
  • Application of media usage in declaring anticipated electrical shortages (i.e., Stage 1 and Stage 2 emergencies), in order to increase public awareness and voluntary electrical power conservation (Miller et al. 2002).

The implementation of these recommendations has been demonstrated to be effective in the reduction of peak electrical demand. The supply of electrical power must be correctly assessed with respect to consumer electrical demand. This may be demonstrated in the following equation:

Electrical power generating resources + electrical power transfer capabilities > Peak electrical power demand + electrical power reserve (Miller et al. 2013).

Globally, there is an energy transportation paradox. The global transportation sector is wholly dependent upon the combustion of petroleum as a primary energy source. Plug in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) demonstrate an excellent means by which to diminish global dependency of petroleum for the transportation sector. Plug in hybrid electric vehicles which include hydrogen and fuel cell technology offer a potential to offset a significant quantity of petroleum consumption. These plug in hybrid electric vehicles have the capacity of recharging their energy storage systems with electrical power received from the electrical energy retailers. When fully charged, these vehicles apply the power from the secondary source, being electricity, to mechanical utilization for locomotion. The primary benefit of the PHEV technology is that the vehicles cease to be wholly dependent upon one energy source. These vehicles may deploy a variety of energy mixes which include: coal, natural gas, wind, hydropower and solar energy. The PHEV is an evolution in automotive technology, it allows for the storage of energy and its application to the transmission and wheels of the automobile. The PHEV conceptually operates in two modes: the charge sustaining mode which enables the accumulation of electrical energy and the charge depleting mode which enables the dissemination of electrical energy to mechanical energy in order to provide locomotion for the vehicle. The PHEV are not without obstacles, the energy storage systems significantly increase the vehicles cost. The energy storage systems of the PHEV also present engineering obstacles in the energy storage system’s duty cycle. The PHEV is likely to require one deep recharge per day and is likely to require over 4000 deep recharges over a ten to fifteen year lifetime (Markel & Simpson 2013).

Conclusion

The electrical retailing system is presently undergoing an evolution. The types of electrical generation facilities which were considered in the twentieth century may no longer be feasible. Many electrical generation facilities will not be completed for a variety of reasons. In 2007, the State of Texas had nineteen power generation accords, of which seventeen pertained to wind powered electrical generation facilities. These electrical power accords accounted for 78.6% of the increased  MW capacity dedicated to the regional ERCOT system. In order to comply with the ever increasing demand for electrical power generation, large capital investments will be required in electrical power generation and electrical power transmission. These large capital investments will most likely result in higher electrical power generating costs. The higher electricity prices may result in increased conservation and efficiency methods (Combs 2012). In order to effectively reduce consumer demand for electrical power during peak periods of consumption, the recommendations in this research paper should be implemented simultaneously with the large capital investments being made in electrical power generation and transmission.

Works Cited

Combs, S (2012) Window on State Government Chapter 27 Electricity. Window on State Government Chapter 27 Electricity

Electricity at a Glance, (2013) need.org

Markel, T & Simpson, A (2013) ‘Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Storage Design’ National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/ CP 540-39614.

Miller,R, Griffin, K, Alvarado, A, Weatherall, R, Rohrer, R, Vidaver, D, Belotsky, A et al. (2013)California Energy Commission 2002- 2012 Electricity Outlook. California Energy Commission

Royal Academy of Engineering (2012) The Cost of Generating Electricity: A Commentary on a Study Carried out by PB Power for the Royal Academy of Engineering. Royal Academy of Engineering

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Collaboration within the Architecture Industry

Collaboration within the Architecture Industry

From the oxford dictionary, architecture is the science or art of designing and constructing buildings. Architecture involves a lot of this including the planning construction, designing structures by manipulation of materials so that they can meet a social environmental, functional, technical or aesthetic value. Estimation of construction costs, scheduling and the administration of construction of the buildings is also part of what architecture encompasses. In the past architectures conducted almost everything involving a construction, except the practically building work. As of today, for a building to be constructed, there is a lot of collaboration involved. Interior designers, engineers, electricians, construction managers, governing authority representative and owner’s representatives are only a few of the players that collaborate with architectures to ensure a structure is brought up successfully to meet the specifications and the requirements of the owner. It is therefore very evident that architecture is no longer a one man’s game. The collaborations have brought with them benefits and also a few challenges.

Research suggests that architecture is not a one man’s game. Architecture is old. The very first publication on the topic was in the 1st century AD. This publication was by a roman architect known as Vitruvius. According to this architect, a building had to poses three main principles for it to be considered satisfactory. The three principles were:

  1. Beauty- the building had to be of aesthetic value meaning it had to be appealing to the eye.
  2. Durability- for a building to be termed as satisfactory, it had to stand strong and in good condition for a very long time.
  3. Utility-the suitability of a building to the purpose it was meant for was also a major principle in determining the quality of a building. Over the years architecture evolved from construction of buildings to roads and even bridges.

An architecture industry requires an integrated approach for faster completion and desirable outcome. According to Collins (2011), different teams including the owner, project manager, interior designer and the architect are brought together to ensure that the project outcome is viable and efficient. Coming up with a workable team for delivering successful integrated project requires commitment. All the participants are supposed to: identify a mutually agreeable goal and objective; develop arrangements to define roles of each participant; and recognize the organization structure to avoid conflicting roles.

Every integrated project has stages in which each actor has a responsibility to carry out. From the conceptualization phase through construction, every actor has relevant role (Collins, 2011). Below is a description of each phase and the collaborating responsibility of each of the actors.

Conceptualization

The manager, interior designer, engineers and architect with other stakeholders must come together to define WHAT is to be built, WHO is to build, and HOW it is supposed to be done. The manager is expected to come up with goals that define the performance and function of the project to be executed (Lowe, 2009). He also determines the project procurement process, he gives out data regarding the physical factors of the area in which the project is to be constructed and provide policies and legislative framework affecting the project.

According to Yazici (2010), the prime designer must come up with the project schedule i.e. commencing time through the completion period; visualize the adjacency concerns of the project and its massing; and provide a sustainable design that has the least cost and least impacts on the surrounding. Together with the engineers and the architect, the designers must be involved in cost information, the procurement process and awarding of tender, and validation of the scope of work.

Criteria and Detailed Design

After decisions are made on the scope and schedule of work, the project commences. Each option and decision is analyzed and evaluated, tested and selection of best option is done. It should involve all the actors to finalize the scope of the project, design of the building systems such as the structure and skin, the schedule and cost estimates (Lowe, 2009).

The project manager facilitates site input and reviews of user group. He/she then gives a feedback to the team in regard to revision. Together with the project coordinator, the manager coordinates the overall schedule of performance of every actor, organize and direct the overall team (Collins, 2011). The designers also have a role to play; they integrated the design input, issue regulations required for the project, outline the specifications of the project and refine the design schedule.

In the detailed design concludes WHAT is to be done in the project. All design decisions are made here. All the project systems are defined. Engineers define and coordinate the project elements (Lowe, 2009). The quality levels of materials are established and the project commences after verification of schedule, cost, prefabrication decisions and tolerances by all actors.

Documentation of the Implementation of the Project

At this stage, everything shifts from WHAT to HOW the project is to be implemented. The actors come up with construction methods and means, the schedule, finalized costs, and a document defining and visualizing the final project (Lowe, 2009). The construction health and safety guidelines including control of noise, infection, vibration and injuries are all defined as per the owner and legal standards.

Construction Phase

This is the phase where each actor actualizes the project. Every person has his/her role to play as per the schedule and responsibility allocated. The manager ensures compliance in terms of obligations, organize the procurement required equipment and materials and also coordinates the team (Yazici, 2010). The interior designer is qualified to select and procure all accessories, furniture and materials of a project. At the early stages of construction, the architect can work together with the designer in making the floor plan and placement of artwork and furnishes. Interior designer can also give a helping hand in making the architectural details of cabinetry, lighting and carpentry design.

Use of BIM in the Collaborative Approach

An important model that illustrates the need for a collaborative approach is the Building Information Model (BIM). It is a digitized three dimensional representation of a project and its distinctive characteristics. A door, for instance, with its defined dimensions and material is hosted and related parametrically to the wall of the building. In addition, the BIM provides a consistent view of the representation which saves a lot of time to designers and engineers. According to the National BIM standard, 2010 (as quoted by Post, 2008), this model involves virtual designing and construction through the life cycle of the project.

Collaboration within the Architecture Industry
Collaboration within the Architecture Industry

There are two types of BIM:  the lonely and the social types (Vardo, 2009). “lonely” BIM excludes the construction manager while the “social” involves all actors. The most collaborative BIM is the “social” since it enables architect, engineer, construction manager and the designer to share the model. Moreover, the building information from the model can be shared among the whole team. After collaboration of all actors, the information generated can be used to prefabricate the required products.

According to Post (2008), there is another form of BIM known as “intimate” BIM. This model involves the team members and the owner sharing the project rewards and risks. A combination of “intimate” and “social” BIMs enhances efficiency through reduction of the cost and time in the project and also in production of high quality drawings.

Each project actor can use the Building Information Modelling through the planning, design, construction and operation stages (Kenley, 2010). BIM can be used during the design phase since it has an influence on the cost of the project. The entire team can come together and analyze the projected issues which would otherwise incur extra costs to the owner. This can be done through cost-benefit analysis (CBA).

Kenley (2010) stated that at the design phase, the project engineer and architect are involved in energy analysis and also in testing of their design knowledge. Through the model, the construction manager can come up with value, sequencing and engineering reports. If the team comes up with a 3-dimensional plan, the owner can decide whether he/she likes the design before construction commences.

BIM can also be used at the construction phase for accurate building purposes. BIM can generate survey points for the sight which would allow for accurate positioning of hangers; this eases the work of the contractors (Lowe, 2009). Managers must also plan for transportation, fabrication, installation and coordination during construction; this information can be updated on the model.

According to Yazici (2010), BIM can also be used to monitor and plan for the workforce. The Laser Scanners of the 3D model are used to monitor the location of workers at the site and also monitoring the daily activities. Using the same model, deviations from the original plan can be detected and changes made before any damage.

At the post construction stage, space and asset management, building maintenance, disaster planning and management and record modeling facilitates easy building maintenance through its operation phase (Post, 2008). The model can be used to build system analysis based on lighting, energy and mechanical analysis. Moreover, the BIM can be used to upgrade the components of the building. The table on the following page shows the uses of BIM at each stage of project development:

Planning

  • Examining existing conditions
  • Estimation of costs
  • Phase planning
  • Site analysis and programming

Design

  • Reviewing of design
  • Analysis of energy
  • Authoring of design
  • 3-D coordination

Construction

  • Site planning and utilization
  • 3-D control and planning
  • Record modeling

Operation

  • Maintenance and scheduling
  • Analysis of building systems

Opportunities and Challenges of the Collaborative Approach

Whenever all the actors work together, the intensity of work is reduced. Conflict of interest and duplication of work is also minimized. Through BIM, all work done during construction can be monitored and corrections made in case of divergence from the existing plan; this minimizes emerging issues that would interfere with the whole process. Furthermore, all actors are satisfied due to transparency as they are involved in the whole process. Although collaboration is encouraged, it is undebatable that factors such as culture and consumerism would hinder full participation. Some designers would not be willing to share their materials and knowledge with engineers or architects and vice versa. The upcoming technology has also hindered collaboration as most of the work has been mechanized.

Case Study: Gensler Company Architecture

History and background

Gensler architecture was founded in the year 1965 by Drue and art Gensler and their associate James Follett. At that time the company’s main focus was corporate interiors but with time it has ventured into other numerous areas. They include: architecture and design of retail center, airport, education and recreation centers, urban planning and design, environmental graphic design, sustainable design consultation and brand strategy. The company has its headquarters in San Francisco, United States. The company is responsible for construction of major buildings all over the world and in 2000 it received an award for the architecture firm of the year from the American institute of architects. Structures like the Shanghai Tower in China, Facebook in London and The Avenues in Kuwait are products of this firm. As of today the company is home to a population of more than three thousand three hundred employees.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

The company’s location is one of its strength, since it is easily accessible by customers from all over the world.

The company has built a strong brand that is recognized by people all over especially because of the breathtaking structures that they are associated with all over the globe.

Manpower- with the large number of employees in the company, there is delegation of duties which ensures that everyone produces their very best in the company.

Due to the various collaborations the company has with businesses dealing with interior design, manufacturers of construction materials and engineering companies they are able to come up with structures that are simply exquisite.

The company has a focused team in management meaning that the daily running of the business is under scrutiny and supervision of a very able team.

The company’s position in the architecture industry is also a major strength, since it is involved in setting standards in the industry.

Diversity- the company offers a variety of services having lately ventured into the health and wellness sectors which means they have a large and diverse source of revenue.

Weaknesses

The company has not penetrated the markets in the world in the architecture industry. This means their market is not widespread and therefore there are parts in the world where no one has an idea that the company actually exists.

Dependence on material manufacturing companies- the firm does not produce is own material and therefore if anything goes wrong with the manufacture of materials, it could mean problems to the company.

Prices- the company charges prices that are considered expensive and hence some customers may prefer other companies to them.

Opportunities

The architectural industry is under rapid growth and being the best they can be able to maintain their standards and reap large profits.

Increased interest in real estate- all over the world, people have grown interest in the real estate business providing a booming market for architectural firms. This is a great opportunity for Gensler.

Developing countries- this is a great opportunity for Gensler since as a country develops, it requires lots of structures and infrastructure where the company comes in.

Interior design- this industry is growing rapidly and since Gensler also offers this services. It proves to be a great opportunity for the company.

Threats

The greatest threat for the company is competition. There is great competition in the architectural industry. The company’s main competitors are URS Corporation and HOK Groups Inc.

The other threat is government interference. Policies and regulations put in place by the government for construction of structures are a threat to the company.

Economic crisis- the current economic crisis that has hit the world is another major threat for the success and survival of the company.

Problems brought about by partnerships and collaborations with other businesses is another issue that poses a threat to the company’s success.

Technology- with the everyday of growth and change in technology, the company faces a challenge of keeping up with what’s new in technology.

Issues and challenges

Cultural variances are a challenge for the company since it has to meet a customer’s need despite differences in culture. The company also faces a great deal of problems when it comes to creating customer friendly costs and at the same time making enough profit to sustain the large task force. Managing the large number of staff and ensuring that every one delivers is another issue that is affecting the company.

Divided attention is also a problem though not a major one; it affects the company all the same. With the company venturing into different sectors, it become difficult to ensure every single one performs.

Economic crisis that has caused a recession recently is also a problem for Gensler.

Recommendations

The company should put up strategies that ensure that the company is not shaken by the economic crisis.

By ensuring that the staff is strictly professionally qualified in their area of work, the company will reduce the amount of supervision required and hence making employee management easier.

The company should also evaluate critically any business before getting into collaboration or partnerships with them.

Opinion

One of the main reasons why the company has made it big in the very competitive industry is because they have encouraged collaboration with other sectors such as interior design unlike others who ensure that all the work is done by the architects.

References

Collins, R. (2011). “BIM for Safety, Virtual Design and Construction VDC Application.” Intelibuild

Kenley, R. (2010). Location-Based Management for Construction. Spon: New York

Lowe, R. H. (2009). Construction Lawyer28.1. Associated General Contractors of America.

Post, N. M. (2008). “Building Team Views Technological Tools as Best Chance For Change.” Engineering News Record.

Vardaro, M. J. (2009). “Weighing the Issues on BIM Technology.” Interview by Calvin Lee. Zetlin & DeChiara LLP Review. Web. May 2010

Yazici, O. C. (2010). “BIM, Scheduling and RFID.” Personal interview

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