Services

Planning & Analysis

Japan’s urban policies have reached maturity and are now at a major turning point. The advancement of population decline and low birth rates, and a globally unprecedented graying of the population make it necessary to drastically change the urban development scheme that has been based on a population increase. There are also various challenges such as restrictions on energy, increasingly serious global environment issues, an increased risk of disasters, and deterioration of social infrastructure.
With the goal of resolving these issues, we provide support for the administrative policies of specific cities through hypothesis formulation for policy challenges, data analysis and case studies for hypothesis testing, as well as policy proposals based on research results and assessment of these proposals.
NSRI has an advantages of expertise and technological strength in areas including urban development, infrastructure development, transportation planning, architecture and civil engineering design. NSRI provides consulting services that link solutions to outcomes, such as creating compact cities that meet the needs of a population decline.

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We conceive the future vision of a city based on long-term perspectives and formulate plans to achieve that vision from the standpoints of land use, functionality, transport systems, urban infrastructure, environment, landscaping, and disaster mitigation, among others.
In Japan, we are undertaking the formulation of the urban master plan in many cities, which is a municipality’s fundamental policy for city planning, and are also engaged in drawing up various plans that are formulated by local governments and public entities such as the study of future visions, creation of guidelines for urban development, plans for revitalization of city centers, and landscape planning.
Overseas, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, we are providing integral and comprehensive consulting services for urban planning centering on formulation of the master plan for the entire city, including detailed city plans for the city center and design guidelines. And to cities in countries around the world such as China, South Korea, Iran, and Mongolia, we are providing support for the creation of master plans as well as the formulation of overall plans for districts integrated with transportation hubs.

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We provide comprehensive support for the design, planning, and project formulation for urban and regional development in Japan and overseas through ways including analysis of the economic and social situation and market environments, proposal of development concepts, land-use division and infrastructure plans, and examination and proposals for project approach as well as sustainable management methods.
In Japan, we support the creation of attractive mixed-use developments, which can also help enhance international competitiveness and raise urban potential, mainly in highly central areas such as scheduled sites for new stations on the maglev Chuo Shinkansen Line and areas around terminal stations that are regional transport nodes, and redevelopment areas of city centers.
Utilizing our experience and expertise in urban and regional development in Japan, we are now supporting the realization of sustainable and environmentally-friendly urban development in various countries including the rapidly growing Asian countries of China, the Republic of Korea, and ASEAN countries, as well as Russia.

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One major cause of global warming is the concentration of the population in cities around the world. The urbanization rate (the percentage of the population living in cities) in developed countries had already reached 70 to 80 percent in 2010; by 2050 it is expected to be 90 percent, with a huge portion of the population living in cities. The concentration of the population in cities brings economic growth, but it also increases energy consumption. 
In order to resolve rapid urbanization and increased energy consumption, there is a pressing need for urban development that is low-carbon and sustainable.
Through comprehensive and optimal combinations capitalizing on our expertise and technological strengths in urban development, infrastructure development, transportation planning, architecture and civil engineering design, NSRI provides total consulting services from introduction to project formulation of smart cities both in Japan and abroad.

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With the progress of global warming and increase in urban population around the world, it will be inevitably necessary for cities to become low-carbon and smart. One means of doing that is to make urban functions compact; in particular, transit oriented development (TOD) around public transportation stations is becoming a global trend as a concept for urban planning. In addition, for Asian countries including Japan, the issue of “how to make cities compact” becomes an ever more urgent task in the face of challenges such as the graying of the population and the burden of renewing extensive existing infrastructure.
By analyzing the approaches and knowhow relating to compact cities and TOD in Japan, NSRI aims to propagate these concepts to the world from various angles including spatial composition, promotion structure and legislative systems, to address the challenges of cities.

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Issues such as the arrival of a society that is super-aging and declining in population, and global warming measures are intricately related to urban transportation networks, land-use and urban area formation.
At NSRI we go beyond traditional plans for development of urban transportation networks to propose the direction of urban mobility from a comprehensive perspective of urban and transit policies, such as renovation of areas along railway lines.
In Japan, to respond to the sudden changes in social environment (e.g. aging and population decline), we make proposals for effective use of existing transport infrastructure from the perspective of maximizing the value added to urban spaces. The contents of our proposals are not limited to the realm of transport infrastructure but include use of land along railway lines and urban structure to provide an optimal urban transport plan from a comprehensive viewpoint.
Overseas, we leverage our expertise in transit oriented development (TOD), which Japan is famous for, to make proposals that integrate transit systems and urban planning best suited to the needs of that country.

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The impending risk of a massive earthquake, such as an earthquake directly hitting Tokyo and the Nankai trough earthquake, and the consequent enormous damages estimated to occur in urban areas, make it vital to prepare during normal times for a large-scale disaster.
To meet these needs, NSRI utilizes its expertise and experience in areas such as urban analysis, urban planning, disaster management planning, energy planning, and area management to offer both area-scale and comprehensive disaster prevention solutions.
We carry out investigations and analysis and help draw up plans to formulate district continuity plans (DCP) for industrial and commercial districts, as well as district energy plans and area disaster prevention plans (safety plans) such as measures at main train stations in major cities to help people such as commuters who have difficulty returning home. We also provide consulting on issues such as improving the fire resistance of neighborhoods with close-set houses in major cities and development of these areas \ in through block rearrangements in order to advance the formation of a safe cities.

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With the advance of population decline and a super-aging society, there is an urgent need to promptly engage in a wide range of issues such as medical care, health, welfare, child-rearing support, local community, and crime and disaster prevention within urban planning.
As the costs of social insurance such as health care and pensions continue to soar, forestalling the need of long-term care for the elderly, promoting healthy living, and creating a sense of life purpose become challenges that must be addressed. It is also becoming necessary to build communities where households with elderly citizens and small children can be located within walking distance of medical, welfare, child-rearing support and commercial facilities.
To answer these issues, we support urban development that responds to needs of the times such as by proposing cross-cutting solutions based on objective data analysis while also taking advantage of the network of experts we have both in-house and outside the company.

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A zero energy building (ZEB) is a building that has zero net energy consumption through use of renewable energies.
Initiatives at the construction level are essential to realize a sustainable city and society. The zero emission of architectural structures has been a topic of discussion since around 2008, and ZEB has become a national level initiative with, among other efforts, the establishment of the ZEB study group by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
NSRI had started research on zero carbon architecture even before the ZEB study group was set up by METI. We have been identifying the international trends and technological issues for ZEB. And after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, we have been implementing ongoing research on the necessity of energy independence in buildings through studies such as assessing the trends in Europe and calculating feasibility.
On the basis of the knowledge and technologies we have accumulated through such research, NSRI provides support for creating scenarios and creating guidelines to achieve ZEB by calculating the amount of effect by method of ZEB technology and through visual rendering of ZEB effects.

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Cities, where many activities are happening simultaneously and large quantities of energy are consumed, emit a vast amount of greenhouse gases, which are the main cause of global warming. The Kyoto Protocol Target Achievement Plan also calls for urban policies to address this issue.
As various activities are implemented in an integral manner in cities, wide-ranging measures need to be taken to address global warming. It is thus necessary to clarify concepts on what types of measures should be implemented and demonstrate methodologies for understanding the current state of city-level emission and absorption of greenhouse gases and for forecasting the effect of reduction measures.
NSRI supports the efforts of local public bodies by showing the basic concept for initiatives and matters that need to be considered when promoting the creation of a low-carbon city, the formation and planning of policies for countermeasures, and methodologies to measure the effects of policies for creation of a low-carbon city.

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To achieve a shift to low-carbon emissions at the district level, it is vital to include economy in the consideration of both the conversion of energy-consuming buildings to energy saving buildings and the plans for district heating and cooling plants which, after understanding the energy demands of building clusters, can supply energy efficiently. We form district energy plans by utilizing simulation tools and our experience in building and plant design.
For low-carbon societies, it would be necessary to consider how urban structure should be, including the perspective of energy use. NSRI utilizes its own databases and knowhow in energy consulting to prepare environmental energy maps at the district level and support the formulation of highly feasible energy policies.

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Management & Consulting

In Japan’s cities, which have reached their maturity, an important matter would be how to effectively use the stock of buildings, cities and communities, which were developed during the period of growth. Also, both in Japan and overseas, in these times when competition is increasing between cities and between communities, urban planning that grows sustainably and enhances its value is essential. To this end, an effective method is the introduction of area management, in which various players such as local residents, local groups, government and private business operators participate and collaborate in revitalizing the area and enhancing its value.
NSRI offers suggestions and consulting relating to area management design and planning such as fundraising, forming organizations, and project design that are in line with the features of each respective area. In addition, while coordinating with other companies in the Nikken Group, we participate in the creation of plans from the initial stages of urban development to area management after construction, providing services to support the planning, preparation, and business implementation of area management activities such as the maintenance and management of facilities and public spaces and their utilization.

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Nikken Group has begun a service called Life Cycle Design (LCD), which supports the customer’s building from the planning stage to the operation stage. NSRI provides the energy management services of LCD.

■ Building area energy management
After confirming the specifications and operating conditions of a customer’s building, we quantitatively evaluate the current energy performance and clarify the problems. Next, according to the customer’s needs, we propose an energy saving target and the means to achieve that target taking cost-effectiveness into account. To provide better real time support, we developed the Intelligent BEMS. As there are no BEMS or analysis experts on-site in the customer’s building, this makes it possible to quickly and economically eliminate waste of energy.

■ DHC energy management
Higher efficiency in the supply of energy is an major challenge facing DHC operators, which is directly connected to successful management. NSRI has created a model of a facility system that constitutes a plant. Making use of a simulation tool that accurately evaluates energy performance and the expertise of plant designers, we make proposals for improvements that take cost-effectiveness into account.

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To achieve a sustainable society, an appropriate division of roles is also required for urban transport between private vehicles and public transit (e.g. rail and bus). However, as a result of economic growth, in Japan as well, the spread and use of private vehicles rapidly outstripped that of public transport , causing many social problems.
NSRI uses the knowledge it has gained through many years of consulting on urban transport policies to support the achievement of optimal transport demand management policies that take into account urban structure and scale.
In recent years, in countries overseas with positive growth, which have vigorous demand for private vehicles, along with assisting the shift in demand from private vehicles to public transit, we have been aiming to develop a sustainable transport demand management model by supporting the shift in demand from private vehicles to public transport while also registering this as the world’s first Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), a bilateral emissions trading scheme.

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Commissioning is one way to ensure that a customer’s building achieves the performance expected of it. Commissioning is used in many buildings in Europe and the United States, and is a requirement to obtain LEED certification. In Japan, too, the number of customers adopting commissioning is on the rise.
Commissioning requires defining the target performance and target values and the conditions to achieve the same in the planning and design stages in a document called the Owner’s Project Requirement (OPR), and on the basis of the document, the building design, construction, and operating conditions are reviewed. Air-conditioning systems in particular are greatly affected by climate and use conditions, making it important to quantitatively evaluate the level of performance achieved.
NSRI uses LCEM and other simulation tools for highly accurate evaluation of the performance achieved and offers highly effective proposals for improvement.

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Utilizing the expertise accumulated within the Nikken Group and our wide-spanning network that extends beyond the group, we provide consulting for project plans centering on areas related to construction, real estate, the environment, and energy, which are feasible and see future trends from an engineering point of view. Our consulting menu includes support for market research, selection of business form, business plan proposals, drawing up business income and expenditure plans, building a business operation system, and analysis and evaluation of business risks; we offer services that answer client needs. Business plan consulting services focus on verification based on quantitative analysis such as statistical analysis and analysis of various simulations. This helps improve explanation and enables a review of the plan. In carrying out our services we also collaborate with attorneys, public accountants and other outside experts to provide the highest standards of service.

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Public-private partnership (PPP) is a business style where the national government, local governments or other public entities, collaborate with private enterprises in providing public services. PPP includes many different methods such as PFI, the designated administrator system, market testing, and develop-build-operate (DBO) systems, in addition to comprehensive consignment to private entities and the outsourcing of municipality services, among others. There are currently numerous businesses operating under the PPP style. Among these, PFI is a style where private sector funds, management skills and technological skills are used for the construction, maintenance, management, and operation of public facilities. It is felt that this can reduce public financial burden compared to direct implementation by the national government, local governments or other public entities.
NSRI offers services to support PFI and PPP with the aim to form win-win relationships between the public sector and private enterprises in areas including educational facilities such as universities and school lunch centers, public housing, halls and exhibition centers, urban development, and manufacturing facilities.

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Energy service companies (ESCO) are businesses that offer comprehensive services for energy-savings. Their main feature is a performance-based contract that guarantees the amount of energy saved. ESCO businesses offer an all-encompassing service including energy-saving assessments of facilities, design and execution of energy-saving policies, maintenance and operation management of installed equipment, and procurement of capital, and they guarantee the resulting energy-saving effects. The costs of energy-saving retrofitting work are completely redeemed through expenses reduced over a set period from the energy saved, and the rest becomes the owner’s profits.
Prior to the implementation of an ESCO project, it is important to select the facility and implement an energy-saving assessment, and examine the feasibility of the project by sorting out the project conditions. In addition, when accepting public applications from ESCO operators for a business proposal, a fair examination of the proposals would be necessary.
NSRI provides support for pre-examination and implementation of ESCO projects and projection implementation based on knowledge and experience we have accumulated to date.

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Evaluation & Visualization

The main methods to evaluate and rank the environmental performance of a building include Japan’s Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE) and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification. Both systems are third-party certification programs. Certification helps brand a company as being environmentally aware, and is also one means of risk management in the field of environment where tighter regulations are expected.
NSRI provides support for obtaining CASBEE and LEED certification.
We also provide support throughout Japan in formulating a notification system for building environmental performance using CASBEE. We also provide consultations on building evaluation systems that take in the local characteristics of each municipality and on environmental policies in building administration.
In addition, NSRI is involved in designing the international smart city evaluation system spearheaded by the APEC Low Carbon Model Town Task Force and is building the APEC Low-Carbon Town Indicator(LCT-I).

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Urbanization is expected to progress around the world. In both developed and developing countries, more substantial urban functions on the triple bottom line of social, financial and environmental criterion, as well as an appropriate division of roles between the major urban stakeholders of residents, corporations and government are sought in internationally competitive cities and cities achieving sustainable growth. Japan is considered to have become a mature society, and the strong demand now is to achieve urban renewal and urban management that makes good use of each city’s individuality and existing stock. In recent years, areas where socio-economic statistics and other data are used and applied as spatial data are expanding and trial runs of next generation urban information such as big data are underway.
At NSRI, based on our abilities to provide solutions in urban and environmental areas, which we have accumulated to date, we are making urban assessments (city checkups) and making urban structure visible using advanced urban information, and are actively promoting initiatives in information analysis and information infrastructure for urban management that contributes to proper urban management.

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Temperatures in cities continue to rise as global warming progresses. In Tokyo temperatures have risen by almost 3.0℃ in the past 100 years. As the IPCC report projects, if global temperatures rise by 1 to 4℃ over the next 100 years, temperatures in major urban regions can be expected to rise even more. This trend will be even more distinct in China where there are many huge congested cities with populations exceeding 10 million. Alleviating the heat island effect in cities will improve the quality of the urban environment, and on the regional level, will contribute to a reduction in energy consumption. As such, plans for ”breeze corridors“ that contribute to lowering temperatures are vital.
Along with breeze corridors, NSRI is developing tools that enable quantitative and visual representation through urban analysis, modeling and simulations. This model is already in use for smart city planning both in Japan and abroad.

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Interest in zero energy buildings (ZEB) and energy saving measures is on the increase. Quantitatively evaluating the introduction of various ZEB technologies and energy saving systems in the planning and design stages of buildings, make it possible to successfully introduce effective methods. In the operation stage after completion of the building, it is important that these introduced technologies are performing as designed and planned. It will be essential to ensure efficient operations that have minimum impact on the area by conducting preliminary studies on the construction of an efficient energy supply system during the planning stage for not only the building but also at a broader district level.
NSRI employs a variety of environmental and energy simulation tools to examine measures and systems that can contribute to energy self-sufficiency at the building and district level. Specifically, we quantify energy saving results, support the realization of ZEB, and conduct performance verifications of energy supply systems.

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