Climate change and its effect on our infrastructure have moved from a possible concern to an essential part of our design work. As industries work together to fight the growing climate issues, a new field of building design has been created known as green architecture. With the building and contracting sector accounting for around 38% of all current related CO2 emissions, it only makes sense that we develop new ways of creating livable, usable, and sustainable spaces.
What is Green Architecture?
Green Architecture, sometimes referred to as green design, is a new method of building structures into their surrounding environments while minimizing the harmful effects of actual contract work. The overall goal is to create low-impact, adaptable, and healthy spaces that use renewable resources and energy consumption as efficiently as possible.
This type of design goes further than just adding a small array of solar panels to the roof of a building. Certified designers are coming together to make buildings engaged in the unique typography of the location they use as sites. Some common project concerns might be designing natural ventilation systems to offset air conditioner use or integrating rainwater harvesting by leveraging rooftop gardens. The overall goal is to increase sustainability while building.
Here are 6 excellent ways green architecture is improving lives and environments around the globe.
1 – Self-Generating Renewable Energy
One of the easiest methods for green architecture to be utilized is to design buildings that create their own energy. This practice lessens their reliability on the greater electrical grid. Most of these methods involve leveraging renewable energy like placing solar panels on top of the building or over their parking structures. Owners may also ensure their tenants use energy star-compliant appliances and lights for less dependence on fossil fuel driven power plants. Some buildings have begun integrating highly efficient insulation to reduce cooling and heating costs. Others have started placing motorized blinds on a schedule that keeps the building at an average temperature throughout the day.
2 – Solar Alternatives
Solar and wind alternative solutions can be integrated into the building’s design to lessen the need for heating water. This creates a smaller carbon footprint investors can celebrate and push when securing media and regulatory support. It takes a lot of energy to heat the water for a multi-unit structure. Between showers, dishwashers, and washing machines, we use a lot of energy that relies on traditional gas or electricity. Many building renovations can be tweaked by changing a building’s design to integrate new, more efficient methods of heating water.
3 – Plumbing Conversation Goals
It used to be common practice to build a structure from the outside in or through the framework first. Now, green construction focuses more on efficiency from the inside out. This focus requires considering the most proactive design of plumbing systems. Modern architects consider devices like low-flow toilets, faucets, and showers with wireless water consumption monitors to best manage where and when water flows throughout the building. This could also include large fill rainwater collection tanks and the proper use of groundwater for irrigation and toilets.
4 – Innovative HVAC Systems
Heating and cooling a building takes a great deal of energy consumption. As the temperatures and weather systems worldwide change more dramatically, having a calm interior setting is necessary for construction. There are two main goals in HVAC green design. First, there are wireless monitoring devices so the different systems can be maintained as quickly as possible. The other is the architecture that considers airflow and the natural environment of the earth around the building. Suppose there is a way to keep the building at a proper ambient temperature utilizing existing natural elements. In that case, they should be formally integrated into the overall construction.
5 – Sustainable Construction Materials
While larger buildings still rely on materials that create a safer load-bearing result for consumer peace of mind, there are ways to improve the new construction’s overall green impact. Building the interior of the walls, floors, and ceilings using green materials could include bamboo flooring, reclaimed wood, cork, mycelium, ferrock, steep’s wool, and even recycled steel. Using thinner walls is an excellent trick to leveraging the natural thermal inertia, keeping the building cool in summer and warm in winter.
6 – Using Fewer Toxic Substances
Architects are now integrating waste management systems that encourage tenants to recycle and compost. This reduces the overall volume of waste ending up in space-eating landfills. In addition, many interior designers inspire builders to consider reclaimed and reusable materials to reduce general waste. Contractors can now reduce waste on a larger scale by recycling as much of their building materials as possible for other projects in relatively close proximity.
Where to Learn More
The goals of green architecture are becoming more common. The cost savings to construction and yearly maintenance alone are high motivating factors for firms to change their design structure. There are numerous online resources for finding out about how to start using green architecture in your future project designs. Both the University of Michigan and Harvard University have excellent lists of current goals, companies, and initiatives supporting green architecture. There is a non-partisan group of designers and experts who support the World Green Building Council that are worth visiting. Of course, you can always come back to our blog for more information as it becomes available.
Wrapping it up
The demand for green buildings and construction projects seeking green certification is growing exponentially worldwide. Tenants are becoming more socially conscious of how their daily lives impact the environment around them. Countries all over the world are integrating many of the garden, waste, and energy savings practices of low or off-grid buildings experts to reduce their carbon footprints. Be a part of the new movement and consider how your next building project could save costs and energy needs, all by embracing green architecture.