Architecture is forever evolving, and popular designs have always been influenced by the industry and what technological advances are available. In the 1950s, we saw a surge in mid-century modern design because of produced mass materials. Likewise, present-day architecture is addressing the environmental and social impact that humans have on the earth.
The concept of creating buildings that don’t impact surrounding communities has been an important part of sustainable architecture. It is essential that designs take into consideration the surrounding ecosystem and natural climate of a location and be sympathetic toward it.
Experienced architectural consultant and designer – Toyin-Ann Yerifor, claims that sustainable architecture strives to design buildings that use energy efficient technology and renewable materials. Here are some ways eco-conscious architects meet that goal.
Passive and Active Design
One of the most effective ways in which architecture can work towards sustainability is to create both passive and actively efficient buildings. By taking into consideration which direction the sun faces and using that to be thoughtful about door and window placement, an architect can use nature to reduce the energy requirements for the building.
Creating then transporting building materials to a job site can increase the carbon footprint. Not only are building materials heavy, but they also have to be transported thousands of miles sometimes. With the innovations of structure 3D printing, it has become much easier to reduce to environmental costs of shipping and transporting.
Another way in which architectural design can be sustainable is to take into consideration the waste it can create. For example, the use of things such as composting toilets and greywater systems help to reduce sewage. Greywater can be used for irrigation and to supply toilets with water, reducing the need for fresh water. When combined with composting food waste and the use of recycled materials, buildings waste can be kept minimal and have a less negative impact on the environment.
Alternative Energy Sources
According to Toyin-Ann Yerifor, technological advances in clean energy mean that now entire buildings can generate their energy through the use of natural resources. This is achieved by taking into account the natural aspects of the area and using them to the design a building which uses them. The use of photovoltaic panels on rooftops is particularly a popular alternative energy source for many residential and commercial buildings.
Reducing the Carbon Footprint
We must take care to choose building materials that reduce the buildings environmental footprint and impact. This can be achieved in several ways, either by selecting materials that are close and require shorter transportation lengths or materials are in abundance of the local area.
Not only is sustainable architecture beneficial to the environment, but it is also helpful to the owners of the building. By being eco-conscious, a homeowner can save thousands of dollars a year on their power bills.
Creating buildings that are pleasing on the eye but with low energy consumption and carbon emission production, can be challenging. By bringing together technological advances and skilled architects, the way we view sustainable design will be changed forever.