Sustainable architecture has been a hot topic ever since we humans have experienced the tangible effects of climate change.
We architects have an important role to play for our environment.
In this post, we will uncover the various aspects of sustainable architecture and how you can start to integrate these ideas into your project.
What is sustainable architecture?
Sustainable architecture can be described as an ecological design.
There are numerous ways in which we can design our buildings to be more eco-friendly. Sustainability has introduced a new pattern to the architecture practice in order to provide more comfort for present and future generations.
Pillars of Sustainability
There are 3 pillars of sustainabile development:
Economic, Social and Environmental.
The economic pillar or ‘profit pillar’ is one that most businesses are familiar with.
Every fit out needs to be economically viable, as a business it’s difficult to focus on the environmental or social aspects if the financial costs are unsustainable.
Some economic design choices to consider in a fit out include:
- The upfront costs of materials vs. the long-term costs of maintenance
- Sustainable material choice vs. the lifespan of these materials
- Design choice vs. actual and perceived value
The social pillar of sustainable development is a focus on ‘people’.
Sustainable businesses have the support of their employees, customers, stakeholders and the community in which they operate.
The environmental pillar of sustainable development is usually known as the ‘planet’ pillar and refers to reducing our impact on the environment to preserve it for future generations.
Don’t miss this
Want to learn more architecture and get a headstart? Get your copy of the exclusive PDF download - 400 pages, 20 topics, crisp diagrams and searchable text!
The Impact of Sustainable Design
Sustainable design ensures minimized negative impact on the environment by reducing the use of synthetic materials such as plastic, molded fiber, and resin.
We implement many features such as heating, air-conditioning, ventilation and lighting, which are not necessarily eco-friendly.
Principle of sustainable design are: form, function and usability and cost effective solutions.
Sustainable Architecture Tips
Sunroofs in areas of low light is an energy-saving option.
LED lights are low on power consumption and can save on the electricity bill.
Minimising Carbon Footprint
The larger your room, the more heating, cooling, lighting, it needs. That’s why designing rooms that are of a comfortable size is a part of environmental consciousness.
Solar energy can supplement some of the energy requirement of the building.
Buildings that are well-insulated use less energy for heating and cooling.
Adding more Greenery
Buildings in warm locations should consider making flat roofs with terrace gardens. Planting trees or shrubs on the roof can help keep the building cool and reduce expenditure on cooling.
Recycled materials can be used for various parts of the building
Examples of used materials:
- Straw bale
- Rammed earth
- Barn wood
- Newspaper wood
- Recycled glass
- Cork panels
- Recycled plastic
Types of Natural Building Materials
Adobe is sun-dried bricks which are made of mud.
Cob is also made up of mud and water with the additives of straw and clay.
Bamboo has excellent compressive strength and low weight.
The non-edible part of grains, rice, oats etc. are used for construction.
Cordwood construction or the more famously “firewood” construction is the one in which small roundly cut pieces of wood are used as basic masonry units. Mud or cement plaster is required to give the finishing.
The natural masonry includes the stones and the bricks which have been used from prehistoric time
- Top 10 Natural Building Materials For Sustainable Architecture by Sai Kumar