Dynamic modeling of sustainable built infrastructure for education complex neighborhoods in South African cities

Stephen Eromobor of Central University of Technology, Free State, looked at how universities can become forces of good within a city by reengineering their infrastructure to become green buildings.


Most universities are located in cities. They are educational neighborhoods that influence society and policymakers within their surroundings. Universities have a significantly large infrastructure, and their environmental footprint is relatively significant. In this regard the Cities as Forces for Good (CFG) network has asked how city infrastructure can be reengineered to enable the city to act as a force for good, that is, to compensate deliberately and positively for the ills of many other human interventions in nature [1]. Universities being subsets of the city can be leaders in these efforts through research and applied action, and they can become examples to cities by reengineering their infrastructure to become forces of good themselves within the city.


The methodology used in this study follows the assessment (empirical study) of buildings based on green building rating tools, case study analyses, and system dynamic models (development of a conceptual causal feedback loop mechanism and computational model) to map the interrelationships among the parameters to achieve high energy performance in the buildings of the universities.


Energy consumption under interventions is balanced by both building use rate and natural system use rate. However, the energy consumption under normal conditions is a simple function of the normal energy consumption rate of the building based on its normal functions and other parameters such as number of functions areas, duration of function, and use of artificial means of lighting and air conditioning.


This case study revealed that currently the buildings analyzed in the case study do not comply with the energy efficiency standards of green buildings in South Africa. However, the conceptual system dynamics models and stock and flow diagram show that by tweaking various design parameters such as orientation, geometry of buildings, provision of appropriate openings, and use of natural light, energy consumption can be reduced and the energy efficiency consequently enhanced. These are significant in terms of achieving sustainable buildings as envisaged by a holistic approach to design.


[1] Beck MB (2011) Cities as forces for good in the environment: Sustainability in the water sector. Warnell School of Forestryand Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (ISBN: 978-1-61584-248-4).


Michael Bruce Beck, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, USA

Dillip Kumar Das, Central University of Technology Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Michael Thompson, Risk, Policy and Vulnerability Program, IIASA


Stephen Eromobor of Central University of Technology, Free State, South Africa, is a citizen of Nigeria and was funded by IIASA’s South African National Member Organization during the SA-YSSP.

Please note these Proceedings have received limited or no review from supervisors and IIASA program directors, and the views and results expressed therein do not necessarily represent IIASA, its National Member Organizations, or other organizations supporting the work.

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Last edited: 01 February 2016

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