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Sustainable Design

Introduction

Sustainable building design is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction.
Sustainable building design aims to reduce the negative impacts of buildings on the environment and human health, while enhancing the well-being and productivity of the occupants.
Some of the benefits of sustainable building design include:
Lowering energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by using renewable and efficient sources of power, such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass.
Conserving water and improving water quality by using rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, green roofs and permeable pavements.
Reducing waste and pollution by using recycled, biodegradable and non-toxic materials, minimizing construction and demolition waste, and implementing proper waste management practices.
Improving indoor environmental quality by using natural ventilation, daylighting, low-emission paints and finishes, and plants.
Enhancing social and economic aspects by creating healthy, comfortable and accessible spaces that foster community, diversity and equity.

Basic Strategies for Sustainable Design

Design for Disassembly: This strategy aims to make products easy to take apart and reuse or recycle their components.
Design for Longevity: This strategy aims to make products durable, repairable, and adaptable to changing needs and preferences.
Design for Reusability: This strategy aims to make products that can be used for multiple purposes or by multiple users.
Design for Dematerialization: This strategy aims to reduce the amount of material and energy used in the production and consumption of products.
Design for Modularity: This strategy aims to make products that consist of interchangeable parts that can be updated or replaced.
Design for Efficiency: This strategy aims to optimize the performance and functionality of products while minimizing their environmental impact.

Architectural Environmental Design Strategy

Environmental science strategy for architecture is an approach that applies the principles and methods of environmental science to the design and construction of buildings and other structures.
Environmental science is the interdisciplinary study of the natural and human-made systems that affect the environment and human health.
Some of the goals of environmental science strategy for architecture are:
To minimize the environmental impact of buildings by reducing their energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, waste generation, and pollution.
To enhance the environmental quality of buildings by improving their indoor air quality, thermal comfort, natural lighting, acoustics, and aesthetics.
To promote the environmental awareness and responsibility of building occupants and users by providing them with information, feedback, and incentives to adopt sustainable behaviors and practices.
To contribute to the environmental restoration and conservation of natural resources and ecosystems by integrating buildings with their surrounding landscape, biodiversity, and culture.

Some examples of environmental science strategy for architecture are:
Using passive design techniques that utilize natural ventilation, daylighting, shading, insulation, and thermal mass to reduce the need for mechanical heating and cooling.
Using renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass to generate electricity and heat for buildings.
Using rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, green roofs, and permeable pavements to conserve water and improve water quality.
Using recycled, biodegradable, and non-toxic materials to construct buildings and minimize construction and demolition waste.
Using plants, green walls, and vertical gardens to improve indoor air quality, reduce noise, and create a pleasant atmosphere.

Architect Roles

Architects play a crucial role in environmental science strategy for architecture. They are responsible for designing and constructing buildings that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout their life cycle.
Architects can contribute to a healthier planet by:
Building with timber, which can sequester large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and store it within a building for as long as it stands.
Making buildings carbon-neutral or, better still, carbon-negative architecture by reducing emissions generated through construction and operation.
Using passive design techniques that utilize natural ventilation, daylighting, shading, insulation, and thermal mass to reduce the need for mechanical heating and cooling.
Using renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass to generate electricity and heat for buildings.
Using rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, green roofs, and permeable pavements to conserve water and improve water quality.
Using recycled, biodegradable, and non-toxic materials to construct buildings and minimize construction and demolition waste.
Using plants, green walls, and vertical gardens to improve indoor air quality, reduce noise, and create a pleasant atmosphere.

3 Basic Approaches

There are 3 basic approaches that architect need to consider:
Building Orientation and Layout
Natural Lighting
Natural Ventilation

Building Orientation and Layout
Building orientation is important because it affects the amount of natural light, heat, and ventilation that a building receives. By choosing the right orientation, a building can reduce its energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, waste generation, and pollution.
It can also improve its indoor environmental quality, thermal comfort, natural lighting, acoustics, and aesthetics.
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