Incorporating Sustainable Approaches in Designing a Technological Innovation Hub in Minna, Niger State.
The increasing utilization of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and related technologies has given rise to more innovative working environments. This shift in work patterns, cognitive approaches, and technology adoption has led to the emergence of novel models for workspaces. As work dynamics evolve, so do the organizational structures that support them. Consequently, the energy demands of these hubs have undergone changes that align with their contribution to elevated atmospheric carbon emissions.
This study aims to incorporate ecologically sustainable strategies into the architectural design of a technological innovation hub situated in Minna, Niger State. Employing a descriptive research approach, a combination of quantitative and qualitative data was gathered through an extensive literature review, observational schedules, surveys, and interviews. A purposive selection process resulted in the inclusion of seven tech hubs for analysis: five local cases and two international cases, enabling a comparative assessment of local and global practices. Respondents within the local cases, including professionals like architects and cost surveyors, as well as facility managers and janitors, participated in the survey, responding to open-ended questions.
The gathered data was subjected to analysis using SPSS, with outcomes presented using graphical representations and tabulations. The research found that all the examined buildings primarily relied on non-renewable energy sources as an alternative to the national power grid. Additionally, all buildings incorporated vertical sun shading mechanisms, while half of them utilized horizontal sun shading devices. Outdoor green spaces were predominantly designed as courtyards (40%), gardens (25%), and covered porches (25%), with sit-outs accounting for the smallest fraction at 10% integration in the design.
In conclusion, the study highlighted a limited integration of sustainable strategies across the five local case studies. The positive effects of these strategies were not proportionately reflected in the energy consumption of the tech innovation hubs. The study recommends the implementation of governmental policies that encourage the adoption of sustainable practices in tech hubs, aligning with standards seen in developed countries. Furthermore, it emphasizes the necessity of raising awareness among built environment professionals about the advantages of incorporating sustainable strategies throughout the design and construction phases, thereby achieving a rationalized approach to energy consumption in buildings.
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