These days, with the rapid climate change and environmental degradation, one very important method of designing buildings has taken the world by storm. It is called Sustainable Architecture, and trust us when we say, it is the best thing that has happened to humanity in a while.
Before we indulge in different ways of incorporating sustainable development into existing buildings and designing sustainable buildings, let us first understand the essence of Sustainable Architecture.
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What is Sustainable Architecture?
Sustainable architecture is an all-encompassing terminology used to describe sustainable designs. These architectural specimens involve the use of energy consumption in the building design in order to reduce the carbon footprint of each structure.
Sustainable architecture starts with choosing building materials that are ecological and have a minimum negative environmental impact. The design process incorporates green architecture, built environment design, renewable energy resources, recycled materials, heating and cooling systems, natural light and natural ventilation, zero-waste system, and advancements to support modular living.
Basically, sustainable architecture reduces energy consumption and improves your standard of living by simply incorporating natural materials. Green architects have been certified by BREEAM or LEED, popularly known as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. These certifications extensively specify the necessities for assessments of sustainability metrics. It is important for any green building to abide by the standards set by BREEAM in order to qualify as sustainable development.
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Components of Sustainable Architecture
Now that you understand what sustainable architecture is, let us discuss the main components that every sustainable development needs to have. Regardless of whether it is a residential property or a commercial skyscraper, you can incorporate these elements and reduce the carbon footprint of your design.
The best part is, sustainable architecture is on par with modular living and supports country themes and other motifs at the same time. Therefore, you can simply incorporate these changes in existing buildings at a one-time cost to reduce the environmental impact and your utility bills.
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9 Best Sustainable Architecture Design Ideas:
1. Installing green roofs
We start with the head of the building design.
A green roof is many things. It supports rainwater harvesting by gliding the falling water off of slanted surfaces. It is a space that celebrates the conjugation of the natural environment and man-made design, and it presents an opportunity for social interactions.
You can instigate a terrace garden if you have an open plan, line it with plants and succulents for ridding the air of pollutants. Consider incorporating a seating area in your architectural design for social gatherings.
If you have a closed roof system, install slanted surfaces and rain screens that slide the water into pipelines for rainwater harvesting.
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2. Sustainable Design for the walls
Designing a sustainable building means creating something that will last for an extended period of time. The lifecycle of your structure should not only last for decades without any need for upgrades but it should also support natural intake and circulation of light and air.
The walls of sustainable development need to withstand climatic changes and extreme conditions. Therefore, using materials that allow the natural breeze to flow through and the water on the surface to run down smoothly without affecting the integrity of your building is a huge necessity.
Consider composites that support rainwater harvesting and energy efficiency for the walls of your sustainable architecture. These materials require very little maintenance and almost no need for replacements or fixing for long periods of time.
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3. Energy efficiency with Hydraulic dynamism
Norway, Copenhagen, and most European regions are quickly substituting the use of nonrenewable energy sources for hydraulic dynamism which is a renewable energy source.
The extraordinary means of providing electricity is run on water instead of oils. Thus, the environmental impact is not only reduced but also celebrated.
These advancements are great for a paradigm shift where oils will no longer be used to drill holes in the natural ecology. Instead, renewable sources can be used to provide the necessary power and water for sustenance.
Any urban architectural system that can incorporate these immensely helpful technologies is sustainable for longer periods of time.
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4. Eco-friendly interior design
You can easily incorporate sustainable architecture in your interior design as well.
Consider the reuse of wood pellets to build DIY furniture, install pieces made of reclaimed wood, and open up the interiors for better air circulation and natural light.
You can use natural wood for your flooring, decks, etc. you can also incorporate a rock garden in the exterior pathway leading up to the house. Sustainable options such as houseplants and succulents are also excellent additions.
Consider installing LED lights and zero-waste technology. You can also install greywater systems to recycle used water for an eco-friendly solution.
The conceptual benefit of these designs is to reduce the use of non-renewable sources and improve your standard of living. The greenery controls the emissions in your natural environment thus producing clean air, which is good for the residents and the ecosystem.
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5. Natural ventilation
If you can reduce your energy consumption then the environmental impact of your building design is already cut down by half.
Opt for natural ventilation with open spaces and large windows. You can easily incorporate these in existing buildings as well with a little thought into the interior design of each room.
You will often find skyscrapers in Australia, particularly in Sydney utilizing these natural ventilation techniques. What they do is, allow cross ventilation with a series of large, open windows around the perimeter. The coastal Australian weather calls for it.
Of course, with the threat of falling off the building, it is ideal to build balcony settings with glass and stainless steel rails. Your open windows and doors can lead out to another open space, thus exaggerating its capacity for air circulation.
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6. Natural lights and LED systems to reduce energy use
An excellent solution to reduce the energy use in your building is by introducing tons of natural light.
This method of sustainable architecture works well with modular designs wherein you use glass windows and frames on the exterior walls to allow the natural light inside. These methods are particularly helpful in reducing the carbon footprint in industrialized areas of New York, Washington, and other supremely evolved cities across the globe.
Of course, the natural light is only available during the day so for nighttime, you can incorporate a series of LED lights throughout the building. The benefit of using LEDs is that they reduce your energy consumption due to sustainable sourcing.
These elements are important components of a green building.
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7. Utilizing natural and recycled materials for building
You can build state-of-the-art designs using simple natural materials such as wood planks. More effectively, you can use recycled materials in order to keep the natural environment from being torn down.
Take a look at the hexagonal pavilion by Kreod which is an innovative design using sustainable materials. It is a perfect example of sustainable architecture.
Let’s simplify this concept. Do you remember the treehouses built in your backyard?
Well, using titanium bolts and screws, which tend to hold the flimsiest of materials in place, you can further expand these design ideas into sustainable development. Reuse wooden planks in the interior and exterior walls and hold them together with innovative technological and mechanical advancements. These materials work like any other but they also provide good ventilation.
The best part is that you can create just about any design with these sustainable natural materials.
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8. Keeping the ecosystem intact
The natural habitat has a huge impact on your standard of living and in maintaining the ecological balance. So don’t interfere with it unless you absolutely have to. In fact, sustainable architecture can easily incorporate these impressionable ecological components in a green architecture design.
For starters, think about building around your ecosystem. Let the natural habitat remain as it is and create an environment around it. You can take inspiration from the public designs in Denmark wherein the green architects have carved seaters and walkways from the natural path. They even have dedicated play areas for children that are ensconced in natural wood and architecture.
The benefit of these designs using natural resources promotes positive environmental impact and clean air for the residents in the surrounding regions. Children play in fresh air rather than interacting with pollutants. It is a highly effective environmental design for any urban development.
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9. Efficient heating and cooling system
We cannot stress enough how useful it is to utilize natural building materials for ay structure.
A sustainable wood installation for the sides of a building helps the building design interact freely with the ecosystem. Couple that with vertically stacked walls on the inside and you’ve got yourself a natural cooling system. It is particularly helpful in warmer, coastal regions like Los Angeles, Miami, and more.
Another excellent choice is to install solar panels for self-sufficiency. The solar shading options also help with the heating and cooling milieu reducing the overall carbon footprint to a bare minimum. Sustaining humankind on solar energy is the next big thing for power conservation which makes this an apt methodology for your existing buildings and new sustainable developments.
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Thus, your building design is all-encompassing and completely off the grid with its own sustainable ecology which largely affects its lifecycle.
There is so much more you can do with sustainable architecture. The whole concept relies on finding innovative ways to use renewable sources and methods of energy efficiency.
The current advancements supported by technology and architectural vision use sustainable development as their baseline. Therefore, if you can incorporate these incredible design ideas then we can expect the oil energy consumption and carbon footprint to reduce by 35% in the next 5 years on a global scale. Who knows, your efforts may end up with you winning the next Pritzker. Try Foyr Neo for 14-day free trial and redesign your home into eco-friendly.