You must have received a long, uninteresting seminar or lecture on sustainability, and must have seen the word used repeatedly as speech themes and lecture topics in by most scholars and learned men, but do you really know what it is all about?
Sustainability in architecture is being highly propagated around the world but very few persons truly understand what this style of design and construction aims at achieving.
With the increase in natural disaster happening all over the world today like the most or the heavy flooding in Huston America, Edo and Benue states of Nigeria, there is an urgent need for architects to salvage our dear planet earth by the use of their designs and plans for the built environment.
Sustainable architecture is simply the practice of designing buildings while taking into consideration sustainable development and environmental growth. Sustainable architecture is the newest trend in the world of architectural designs in the world now. Many architects are now aligning themselves to this new found love of Mother Nature.
The aim of this wonderful style of architecture is to minimize the environmental impact of buildings through moderation in the utilization of energy and development space as well as building components and materials. To be able to cue in and promote this practice as an architect, you should know these basic elements:
- Natural And Native Materials
The basic elements of green architecture are the use of natural materials. In their abundance, nature has provided us with a wide range of materials that we can use in building construction- mud plasters, lime, glass, bamboo, grasses, reeds, tiles and natural fibers. Using local materials for construction minimizes transportation costs and wastes that arise from the use of synthetic materials which are harmful to the environment.
Natural materials are also very useful in enhancing the natural ambiance of living space. Considering that green materials not only saves the environment, it helps you save on costs. So when next to a client wants to get a building done, you might want to suggest building a greener home.
- Renewable Energy
One of the precepts of sustainable architecture is the use of natural, renewable energy. The use of fossil fuel over time have produced adverse effects on our environment today. This has led to serious environmental mishaps and pollution which is threatening the existence of man.
The good use of natural and renewable sources of energy like solar, wind and water will on the long run, reverse the damages that are already existing as a result of the use of fossil fuel and will ensure that our environment is free from pollution.
Sustainable architecture makes use of the solar energy as the major source of energy and power instead of the conventional fossil fuel. Solar energy when properly harnessed can be recycled and provides clean, environmental- friendly power both actively and passively.
- Water Conservation
Water consumption and recycling are highly taken into consideration when building for sustainability. Toilets, flow restrictors, shower heads and faucet aerators are carefully selected to prevent unnecessary use and a waste of water.
- Space Conservation
Gone are the days when architect design leaving big unnecessary spaces which take up a tremendous amount of energy and cost of maintenance. Right now, spaces are designed to the required function and smaller houses are now preferred as these facilitate energy conservation and reduces depletion of the natural resource.
Finally, as we move into the era of sustainability in architecture and building design, we ought thoroughly understand the rudiments of this great message and apply these elements in our practice in other to fully achieve the goals of green architecture.