Green Architecture has become a popular concept in recent years among other important disciplines. This is an architecture that advocates the reduction of the number of resources used in building construction and minimizes the negative environmental impact on human health by moderating the use of materials, energy, space, and other resources.
This concept can also be referred to as sustainable architecture, green building, eco-friendly architecture, eco-design, natural architecture, or green design. The building engineer or architect or designer that engages in green architecture makes frantic effort to protect the water, air, and even earth by meticulously selecting environmentally-friendly building materials as well as safe construction methods.
In a nutshell, Green Architecture makes use of natural and treated building materials, and sustainable energy sources in building construction, and siting of a house with consideration of the impact it will have on the environment. The idea behind sustainable architecture is to make sure that the use of available building materials does not harm the total wellbeing of human life in the long run.
Benefits of Sustainable Architecture
Green design is highly beneficial in building construction as it produces a lot of benefits.
Socially, it is meant to be beautiful and cost manageable pressure on the local infrastructure. Environmentally, it helps to minimize pollution, prevent environmental degradation, and conserve natural resources. Economically, green home reduces the amount of money the builder used on water and energy resources, and boost the productivity of those using the facility.
A well-designed green home offers comfort as it is highly energy efficient, has additional sunlight from the window which makes it cheerful especially during the winter period.
Characteristics of Green Architecture
Sustainable architecture defines a concept of eco-friendly architecture based on every classification and has some generally accepted understanding. It has the following attributes:
- There is room for alternate power sources such as solar or wind power.
- The ventilation systems are designed for proper heating and cooling of the house.
- It has water-saving plumbing fixtures.
- Green building uses locally-obtained wood and stones and recycled architectural wastes.
- The landscapes are well-planned in such a way to maintain optimum passive solar energy.
- It creates minimal harmful effects on the natural environment.
- It uses energy-efficient appliances as well as lighting.
- Sustainable Architecture allows for efficient use of land space.
Be that as it may, most green buildings may not be privileged to have all these features, but the major aim of green architecture is to have complete sustainability.
Qualifications for Building Green House
A very important event that took place in 1994 was the development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards which were established and is being administered by the U.S. Green Building Council. These standards offer the required conditions for designing and building eco-friendly houses.
The council created a rating system that every builder, architect, and designer must adhere to and register for certification. So, any work looking for LEED certification needs to earn points across many groups, of which air quality and energy use are included. Anyone pursuing the LEED certification will have to pay a fee but it is not a mandatory requirement.
Sustainable architecture involves considerations in five major areas namely:
1. Energy Efficiency
You can increase energy efficiency in diverse ways such as positioning the buildings in such a way to harness properly the changes in the season of the sun’s position. Another way is by using diversified and right energy sources which invariably include solar, geothermal, biomass, wind, natural gas, or even water.
Energy efficient designs can help to create a robust and convenient environment. You can tap the available natural resources as well as technologies to improve productivity and reduce operational costs on the long haul.
2. Site Development
This involves the preservation of the natural environment and reuse of already constructed buildings. Sustainable site development also entails the addition of roof gardens, earth shelters, and planting around the building.
Site development helps to reduce the impact of development on the natural environment. You can position the buildings to use solar, shading, and wind patterns which will minimize heating and cooling loads.
3. Recycle and Renewable Materials
These materials are the most desirable as they require a little amount of energy to produce. You can get them locally and they contain no deadly chemicals nor harmful raw materials. They are rather strong and easy to recycle.
So, you need to select your materials carefully. Look for those ones that can reduce significantly the harmful environmental impacts and there is a good market for high quality recycled materials at a cheaper rate.
4. High Indoor Air Quality
Green homes should be designed to provide high indoor air quality which affects how an individual lives in a space and interacts with all the factors that support life including ventilation, temperature regulation, and good smell.
Good air quality guarantees good health condition which is devoid of diseases and infections.
5. Waste in the Construction Site
Reduction in the amount of waste generated in the site and demolition processes will go a long way to beautify the site and make it safe. You can recover materials and reuse or recycle them.
The individual and government can enforce or abide by LEED’s standards through any of the following ways: recycling materials locally, ensuring energy supply comes from off-grid sources, and building smaller and more efficient homes.
Although these efforts may not preserve the ecosystem, they can help to conserve natural resources.
How Sustainable is the Future?
Green architecture has come to stay as it is the trending concept of today and the future, little wonder it has adopted several names. Sustainable architecture in the 21st century connects successfully with smell, touch, and sight in the design as well as the construction of buildings.
Continued advancements in the area of environmental technology have greatly supported the objectives of sustainable building over the past years. This growing support is one of the major pointers that there is an agreement between stakeholders in the philosophy of the environmental movement.
So, a building can be constructed from an expensive point of view or look aesthetically beautiful yet not green. In the same manner, a building can be green but looks ugly. The aim of today’s architect is to design and construct a build that is both visually appealing to the eyes as well as very environmentally-friendly. This is what green architecture is all about and the only way to sustain the future!