Academic Structure in a Seismic Zone

Academic Structure in a Seismic Zone


For many years, the environment has been a thorny issue, especially when it comes to construction of large institutional structure in a seismic environment (Lundberg, 2011). For quite a long time, there have been problems when it comes to the development of robust measures to mitigate against the potential impact the environment rules (Akgun et al, 2012). This article covers the ways of minimizing the consumption of natural resources in the environment as well as energy during the construction phase and throughout the life of the project in a seismic environment. It covers the systems in place in minimizing and protecting the immediate and surrounding man-made and natural environment, ways of control wastes emitted during the construction process and site waste management plan. 

It is prudent to put in place the environmentally friendly design for the water drainage system, consider the cultural heritage of the environment where construction is to be established (Oliveira et al, 2013). In addition, the current environmental strategies are vital to the project in accordance with the civil engineer’s contribution and obligations to society (Akgun et al, 2012). Therefore, before the commencement of the project, the above issues are worth putting into consideration as far as the seismic environment is concerned (Rosowsky, 2011).

Impact of environmental assessment

 An engineering project should involve environmental impact assessment, this because it is a vital aspect in establishment of any large scale planning applications (Butler & McGovern, 2012). This process helps the planners in understanding the potential environmental effect of major development proposals to be undertaken in a seismic zone (Oliveira et al, 2013). Even though, the environmental process may sometimes be complex and confusing, leaving local communities uncertain of how a large construction might affect them in the long-run. It is prudent for the constructors to obtain material regulations circulars and guidance that are specifically formulated to assist individuals in understanding , what environmental impact assessment is and under which situations should it be applied in construction (Garrett & Saur, 2012). 

The construction layout should give guidance on how to explain and to prepare a land survey and landscape assessment. The main aim of this is to encourage local communities where the project is constructed, to engage in the process (Garrett & Saur, 2012). This is because ignoring local knowledge may have a disastrous consequence, particularly those people living near development sites (Lundberg, 2011). The construction engineer’s concern environmental assessment with gathering the project carried out and other department involve in the entire project in a particular area. For example, the seismic environment should enable the local authority to understand the environmental impact of the project before they give an authorization for its commencement (Oliveira et al., 2013). 

The project developers are to consider that there is the effective and efficient use of the local available resources (Alexopoulos et al., 2012). In addition, the local people should know the impact of the development to be done in a particular environment. There are laws that govern the environmental impact assessment like, the European law basis is directive 85/337, the UK legislation through the town and country planning regulations1999 among others (Lion et al, 2013). The environmental assessment is procedurally done, including identifying the alternatives of the project, scoping and investigation, the baseline on the construction, consultation and publicity (Butler & McGovern, 2012). It also entails the physical appearance of the construction, the site layout, the materials to be used, which should be environmentally friendly, and the means of accessing the materials (Lundberg, 2011).

Another important issue in environmental impact assessment is what the construction will influence the environment in terms of potential impacts like, noise and disturbance, disruption to other users (Akgun et al., 2012). E.g. sea fishing, emissions to air, the management of waste offshore, the aspect of contamination of soil and ground water and marine pollution as a result of discharges to sea.

Minimizing the consumption of natural resources and energy

The focus of the construction project is sustainability, which is one of the key drivers in the overall process of decision making (Lion et al., 2013). For this to be met, the natural resources were to be used economically for their sustainability. For instance, the selective use of materials for construction i.e. the use of recycled materials and reusability of items for construction (Puettmann & Lippke, 2013). These materials should have energy conservation feature, low emitting features and reduce the construction waste. On the side of energy, the engineers are to ensure the use of energy conserving techniques through orientation and position on site where there is solar supply (Lundberg, 2011). In addition, optimizing of structure, envelope, by utilizing natural climate features in cooling, and the integration of daylight and artificial lighting systems (Alexopoulos et al., 2012). This reduces carbon (IV) oxide emissions. 

The aim should always be to follow the hierarchy of providing ventilation and cooling to structure by natural or passive means before considering active management (Franky et al., 2012). The construction of the project in the seismic zone requires the consideration of energy efficient appliances, for example, high efficiency condensing boilers and application of energy efficient lighting, which allow low energy lamps, timed, movement, or light detecting shut-off devices in its operation (Butler & McGovern, 2012). 

The engineers should consider use of energy sources that emit zero carbon energy to the environment, or using cooling, bio fuel systems (Rosowsky, 2011). In addition, considering renewable and integrated energy sources is not only economical to the project development, but also environmentally friendly. Observation of all techniques that minimises overdependence on the natural resources is important thus design, quantity, production, transport, product life are of great essence during the project process(Lion et al., 2013). Further more lean construction and prefabrication of materials during the construction is worth including in design and manufacturing, this is by ensuring utilization of local materials and suppliers and avoidance of carbon (iv) oxide intensive components(Garrett & Saur, 2012).

Waste management plan and control

Waste management is an important aspect of the construction of a structure in a seismic environment, considering the marine life and the prevention of soil pollution (Oliveira et al, 2013). The use of environmental friendly materials during the construction for instance, the focus should be on the reduction in the amount of wastes that are produced through the design and development of a project waste management plan (Rosowsky, 2011). This is possible through the reuse and recycling methods and promoting the procurement of non-toxic, energy efficient products containing recycled materials and identifying a sustainable waste management strategy and management guidance (Chiarini, 2013). The engineers should consider and identify different waste streams, including general, catering, hazardous, radioactive, that will be emitted when the structure is operational. 

Suitability of sufficient safe storage capacity should be put in place to deal with wastes (Alexopoulos et al, 2012). This should include safe and easy access for staff taking the waste out of the building and the project team (Lion et al., 2013) should install equipment that will be used in collecting the waste the equipment that reduces the amount of waste produced. The use of steel materials in construction is essential as steel materials can easily be recycled without degradation of the environment and is therefore environmentally friendly. The waste control should be geared towards enhancing and protecting existing ecological features in the environment like wildlife, trees, hedges, and water courses (Akgun et al., 2012).

Water and drainage system

The drainage system is a crucial aspect as far as construction in seismic environment is concerned. The designers and engineers should consider and ensure that water conservation measures are incorporated in the project to minimize the wastage and the pollution water through emission of production effluence (Obonyo, 2011). Water should be reserved using water saving devices, such as spray taps and rainwater harvesting and water recycling (Lion et al, 2013). The installation of water conserving equipment, to minimize the use of water cooling, and provision of chilled water and installing recirculation systems.

During construction, the major drainage system should be designed to effectively take care of overland flows because of heavy rainfall (Rosowsky, 2011). There should be reserve for roadways and drainage channels, establishment of a pipeline to be added to serve as a drainage line. The level of the surface of the allotments adjacent to the overland flow path along the construction is recommended to be at least 300mm above the flood level (Chiarini, 2013). Moreover, the project should include major systems of drainage design for heavy flows (Lion et al., 2013). A roadway, a waste divert in a save, a pipeline or a consolidation of the above may go about as a seepage line. The design of the project should be extended across any road passing near the construction or proposed road widening that is adjacent to the development. It ensures that any proposed services within the road reserves are known and that the proposed drainage works can cross these services (Oliveira et al., 2013). 

 Generally, natural watercourse alignment, drains should be designed to follow reserves that are intended for drainage purposes. Great consideration should be given to the construction of drainage system as it should run parallel to a sewer system to avoid contamination. The project should incorporate this aspect at the early of stage design to enable the most economical solution to be adopted (Govender, 2013). 

. The drainage system should be constructed in accordance with regulations in the particular area of construction, for instance, a diameter of 825 millimeter or more with less than a clearance of 500 millimeter (Franky et al., 2012). In addition, there should be a special base for the sewer built into a concrete make-up section.

Carbon accounting

The project developers should put into consideration, the proper way of controlling carbon emissions from the materials and the equipment used during the construction process. (Oliveira et al., 2013). A procedure for carbon assessment of civil infrastructure construction should not only be restricted to the requirements for quantifying carbon emissions for project option appraisals but also should identify a framework for use in managing these carbon emissions (Franky et al., 2012). This will enable validation of early life assumptions and post-implementation to inform future project appraisals. 

The priority should be given to the use of materials that do not emit a lot of carbon dioxide to the environment because this cause air pollution and environmental degradation (Govender, 2013). Any modification that is to be made during the asset life, perhaps resulting from technological advancement and adaptation patterns should be well established (Alexopoulos et al., 2012). Reason for this is to help in facilitating the actions to control and reduce emissions of carbon, as waste products. It is, therefore, important for the It follows that the protocol used should be capable of being used in an audit mode in ensuring that carbon emissions outcomes match planned project expectations.

Consideration of cultural heritage

 It is imperative to consider the cultural heritage if the zone before commencing the construction project (Chiarini, 2013). Place of heritage may be a specific site or a vast area such as a whole region or landscape which the local people consider valuable for its natural and cultural heritage significance in the region. The poor survey may lead to disagreement between the contractors and the community because of high value on the significance that the site holds. Furthermore, the community expects it to be protected by the government and any person that utilizes its utility in terms of natural and cultural heritage (Govender, 2013). 

Therefore, it is prudent for the construction company to ensure that all elements of significance are protected (Butler & McGovern, 2012). In addition, the design, drainage to be constructed should always consider the impact of cultural and heritage assets. In general, the company to ascertain the presence of any assets and ensure the design of the water drainage preserves and promotes cultural and heritage assets (Chiarini, 2013) should undertake necessary investigations.

Compliance with current environmental strategies

Before the beginning of the construction, it is important for the project developers to adhere to the current environmental guidelines in laying their strategies (Malalgoda et al., 2013). This will ensure that all the risks associated with the environment is fully assessed, controlled and properly managed to minimize the effect of a new structure in a seismic environment (Scandizzo & Knudsen, 2012). It also ensures that best practices for sustainable designs are adopted to reduce the cost of new refurbishment projects and maintain the construction strategy (Kozich & Halvorsen, 2012). The main concern for the compliance with the environment is to ensure that environmental laws at construction sites are observed in terms of the methodology used. The developers must liaise with the government and proper negotiations be conducted before the project commences (Wright et al., 2013).

They should ensure that environmental constraints and the standards are maintained, for instance the cost of the project incurred should be relative to the returns expected (Lundberg, 2011). Furthermore, the environmental risks should not be under or overstated in the design process and the laws are designed to tackle only the specific cost associated (Kozich & Halvorsen, 2012). The environmental laws regarding property development is to be followed, for example, the town planning ordinance, the building ordinance, and the environmental assessment ordinance among others (Wright et al., 2013). However, the environmental compliance varies from one country to another, depending on the prevailing environmental constraints.

Civil Engineer’s contribution and obligations to society

The civil engineers play an important role in the society, safety, workforce, and public (Chang et al, 2012). In most cases, they are the main reason behind the construction of structures that are not only presentable but also long lasting. In the institutions, students are taught civil engineering and ways of creating new methods of making make the lifestyles of people in the society more comfortable (Wernham, 2011). This is achieved by constructing of comfortable houses and renovation according to the specification of the people in the society. This enhances the development of the society and the world at large(Lundberg, 2011). In addition, the civil engineers creating job opportunities in the public as they come up with different construction projects and employing the people in various departments within their companies (Lodhia, 2012). 

On the part of the environment, the civil engineering has contributed to the environmental preservation by the ensuring the use of Energy conservation technology such as utilization of solar energy and use of waterconservation features that ensures that the marine life is not destroyed (Lenton & Ciscar, 2013). Moreover, the adoption of biodegradable materials that ensures soil nutrients are improved as opposed to soil erosion. The application of low energy emitting material during the construction helps in minimizing air pollution and global warming.

Mitigation measures

After a critical environmental assessment different way of cubing the impact of construction of large academic structure in a seismic environment were identified. One of the ways is by avoiding the use of design techniques that brings a negative impact on the environment (Akgun et al, 2012). The other solution is by reducing the characteristics that impact on the environment. This is achieved through lowering alignment of the project to reduce the visual impact of the structure on the environment. 

Furthermore, the process of abating the project on site before completion is important. This entails noise impediments and screening of the projects (Lodhia, 2012). In addition, there should be an attempt of restoring the resources that were once destroyed during the construction process. This helps in addressing the impacts that were temporarily caused by construction. Finally, there should be measures in place to compensate for the damages caused during the construction (Oliveira et al, 2013). In case the vegetation was destroyed, more plants should be planted if not, monetary compensation to ensure that there is restoration.            


Appendix A. The  illustration showing how the developers should utilize the techniques and matrials in relation to environmental safety.











Appendix B. An illustration of construction strategy that ensures the project conforms to the environmental issues

Environmental consideration

Sustainable design


Waste management planWater and drainage systemsWays of reducing impact and issues

1. Energy use

 global warming and clinical change   

2.Resources waste and recycling 3.Pollution and hazardous substances

4. Internal environment and   Planning, land use and conservation. 


1.Energy conservation 

2.Solar energy utilization 

3.Water conservation 

4.Incorporation of recycled materials

5.Low emitting material 

6.Reduced   construction waste 

7.Less environmentally destructive site development


1.Reduce design out waste

2.Re-use  of materials on site 

landfill  reduces transport movements.

3.Recycle i.e. look for opportunities 

4.Energy recovery

5.Disposal mechanisms


1.Use of water saving devices


3.Leak detection 

4.Opportunities for grey water recycling and use

5.Rainwater collection 

6.Use of sustainable drainage systems.

1.Lean construction


3.Avoidance of CO2 intensive items


5.Minimize energy use

6.Avoiding pollution

7.Minimizing design







Akgun, A., Kincal, C., & Pradhan, B. (2012). Application of remote sensing data and GIS for landslide risk assessment as an environmental threat to Izmir city (west turkey). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 184(9), 5453-70. doi:

Alexopoulos, I., Kounetas, K., & Tzelepis, D. (2012). Environmental performance and technical efficiency, is there a link? International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 61(1), 6-23. doi:

Butler, T., & McGovern, D. (2012). A conceptual model and IS framework for the design and adoption of environmental compliance management systems. Information Systems Frontiers, 14(2), 221-235. doi:

Chang, Y., Wilkinson, S., Potangaroa, R., & Seville, E. (2012). Resourcing for post-disaster reconstruction: A comparative study of Indonesia and China. Disaster Prevention and Management, 21(1), 7-21. doi:

Chiarini, A. (2013). Designing an environmental sustainable supply chain through ISO 14001 standard. Management of Environmental Quality, 24(1), 16-33. doi:

Franky W.H. Wong, Edwin H.W. Chan, & Patrick T.I. Lam. (2012). Compliance concerns of environmental laws at building design stage. Property Management, 30(2), 157-175. doi:

Garrett, P. R. D., & Saur-Amaral, I. (2012).CRM system as a support tool for international sales team management: case of industrial firm linked to civil construction. Revista Portuguesa De Marketing, 15(28), 48-77. Retrieved from

Govender, R. (2013). Assessing continual improvement of South  African meat safety systems. TQM Journal, 25(3), 259-275. doi:

Heywood, D. (2013). NEPA and indirect effects of foreign activity: Limiting principles from the presumption against extraterritoriality and transnational lawmaking. Brigham Young University Law Review, 2013(3), 691-725. Retrieved from

Kozich, A. T., & Halvorsen, K. E. (2012). Compliance with wetland mitigation standards in the upper peninsula of michigan, USA. Environmental Management, 50(1), 97-105. doi:

Lenton, T. M., & Ciscar, J. (2013). Integrating tipping points into climate impact assessments. Climatic Change, 117(3), 585-597. doi:

Lion, H., Donovan, J. D., & Bedggood, R. E. (2013). Environmental impact assessments from a business perspective: Extending knowledge and guiding business practice. Journal of Business Ethics, 117(4), 789-805. doi:

Lodhia, S. V. (2012). Risk and management of climate induced disasters in coastal gujarat in india. Management of Environmental Quality, 23(1), 82-100. doi:

Lundberg, K. (2011). A systems thinking approach to environmental follow-up in a swedish central public authority: Hindrances and possibilities for learning from experience. Environmental Management, 48(1), 123-33. doi:

Malalgoda, C., Amaratunga, D., & Haigh, R. (2013). Creating a disaster resilient built environment in urban cities. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 4(1), 72-94. doi:

Obonyo, E. A. (2011). An agent-based intelligent virtual learning environment for construction management. Construction Innovation, 11(2), 142-160. doi:

 Oliveira, I.,Silva Dutra, Montaño, M., & de Souza, M. P. (2013). Strategic environmental assessment to improve infrastructure impact assessments in brazil. Journal of Environmental Protection, 4(10), 1189-1196. Retrieved from

Puettmann, M. E., & Lippke, B. (2013). Using life-cycle assessments to demonstrate the impact of using wood waste as a renewable fuel in urban settings for district heating. Forest Products Journal, 63(1), 24-27. Retrieved from

Rosowsky, D. V. (2011). Recovery: Rebuilding a resilient housing stock. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 2(2), 139-147. doi:

Scandizzo, P. L., & Knudsen, O. K. (2012). Risk management and regulation compliance with tradable permits under dynamic uncertainty. European Journal of Law and Economics, 33(1), 127-157. doi:

Wernham, A. (2011). Health impact assessments are needed in decision making about environmental and land-use policy. Health Affairs, 30(5), 947-56. Retrieved from

Wright, A. J., Dolman, S. J., Jasny, M., Parsons, E. C. M., Schiedek, D., & Young, S. B. (2013). Myth and momentum: A critique of environmental impact assessments. Journal of Environmental Protection, 4(8), 72-77. Retrieved from 




Place this order or similar order and get an amazing discount. USE Discount code “GET20” for 20% discount

Order your Paper Now

Posted in Uncategorized