The Use of Eco Efficient Criteria in the Design of Infrastructure Projects

The Use of Eco Efficient Criteria in the Design of Infrastructure Projects

S.H. Saroop D. Allopi 

Durban University of Technology, South Africa

29 February 2016
| Citation



Globally, the construction industry is one of the main contributors to the depletion of natural resources and a major cause of unwanted side effects such as air and water pollution, solid waste, deforestation, health hazards, global warming and other negative consequences. In the area of sustainability, there is an urgent need to apply technologies and methods that deliver better and more sustainable performance in a way that is cost-effective. Sustainability, adaptive and mitigative approaches to climate change, in the design of infrastructure, are therefore important steering elements [1]. A systematic and iterative analysis of the environmental impact of various design solutions is commonly suggested for infrastructure projects, but rarely happens. The lack of appropriate tools and skills for sustainable design was often quoted as a barrier to sustainable design [2]. To stay competitive and to meet upcoming stricter environmental regulations and customer requirements, designers have a key role in designing civil infrastructure so that it is environmentally sustainable. These and other factors have compelled the engineer to design with greater care and in more detail. The changing roles of engineers will be highlighted, to react to changes in climate. This paper aims to demonstrate the importance of eco efficient criteria on infrastructure projects. The use of the proposed criteria would ensure a sustainable design for township infrastructure services through the consideration of scare resources, ecological sensitivity in the design and planning of infrastructure projects. This paper also gives an overview of the proposed Green Township Infrastructure Design toolkit and promotes the use of green practices on infrastructure services design that is environmentally sound, placing fewer burdens on the environment.


eco-efficiency, green infrastructure, green technology, infrastructure design, sustain- able development


[1] FIDIC, FIDIC State of the World Infrastructure Report 2009, FIDIC: Geneva, 2009.

[2] Richardson, J., Irwin, T. & Sherwin, C., Design & Sustainability: A Scoping Report for the Sustainable Design Forum, available at + /http:  // pdf, 2005 [accessed 1 December 2010].

[3] Van Wyk, L., EcoBuilding: towards an appropriate architectonic expression, In Green Building Handbook for South Africa, available at, 2009 [accessed 13 April 2011].

[4] National Housing Board, Guidelines for the Provision of Engineering Services and Amenities in Residential Township Developments, National Housing Board, CSIR: South Africa, 1994.

[5] Saroop, S.H. & Allopi, D., Enhancing sustainable infrastructure with the aid of the Green Infrastructure Toolkit. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 157, 2013, ISSN 1743-3541.

[6] United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Sustainable Infrastructure in Asia, available at ment/mced/singg/documents/Sustainable Infrastructure in Asia.pdf, 2006 [accessed 1 April 2010].