Sustainable design is the new rave for building design that’s gaining fast acceptance across the world. It adheres to certain basic objectives, sustainable design principles, and operational and maintenance practices and promotes environmental sustainability. Sustainable design also comes with numerous benefits – it improves building performance, enhances the comfort and health of the building occupants, improves indoor environmental quality, minimizes waste, reduces carbon emissions, and so many more.
Let’s dig deep into sustainable design, how it’s a major driver for new urbanism, and what it means for future generations.
Concept of Sustainable Design
This can also be named energy and environmental design or eco-design. It simply involves the construction process of the built environment, services, and physical objects in compliance with the principles of environmental performance or sustainability in mind. The purpose of this concept is to leverage its design process to lessen negative environmental impacts. Sustainable design strategies come with certain principles that must be adhered to.
The following sustainable solutions are the defining factors of a green building:
The Design Itself
For a design to be deemed sustainable, it must be centered on the reduction of environmental pollution and energy efficiency. While the former can be achieved through the use of recycled materials and natural resources, the latter can be realized through the adoption and utilization of renewable energy. It’s best to work with an environmental sustainability consultant while working on sustainable designs for your building.
The plan for energy generation and consumption should yield environmental benefits. A perfect example is solar energy because it perfectly aligns with a green design and reduces negative impacts on your immediate environment. The more energy-efficient your home becomes, the less carbon dioxide it emits because it won’t rely on non-renewable energy consumption to power the home. The fewer greenhouse gas emissions that come from homes, the less it contributes to climate change.
These principles apply to the equipment used in building the house as well as the building materials and appliances that are being used in the home. For the materials, there are low-emissivity windows, insulating concrete forms, and structural insulated panels. This also comes down to the lighting being used in the home. Your design considerations should factor in indoor solar lights for illumination in the home. They provide illumination with more energy efficient than conventional lighting.
The full life cycle of the raw materials used to construct a building, if long, will yield environmental and economic benefits. The more environmentally preferable products are being used in the construction of buildings, the less maintenance the building will need, This is because these sustainable products will not need to be replaced or repaired in the manner and frequency materials of lesser quality are.
Let’s take roofing, for instance. Using solar shingles for your roof is ideal because they can last for up to 35 years before needing replacement. They generate renewable energy for the home as well, which helps with a positive environmental impact. A sustainable building will have a long life cycle and be there for future generations to meet. The hack is to use more materials to benefit your building in the long run.
Indoor Air Quality
Your indoor environment is just as important as your outdoor space. Your interior design should enhance the airflow in your home. Indoor pollution is caused and worsened by restricted ventilation in the home because enough air from outside can’t come in to aerate the house properly. This can even get worse during hot weather conditions and high humidity periods. To work on this, consider heating and ventilation systems that allow minimal exposure to particles as well as extractor windows and fans. Planting trees close to the windows can also help with the airflow.
The more adaptable and reusable buildings are, the less need there will be for demolishing buildings in urban areas. When buildings are demolished, it generates a huge amount of environmental waste. Unfortunately, many materials that are harmful to the environment are not under any regulation, but construction companies can play their role by ensuring that low-impact materials are abundant in the supply chain. This is an important aspect of green building construction or development because it helps to reduce waste and optimize the site potential.
Fresh water supply is one of the earth’s resources that is diminishing thanks to environmental pollution and climate change rapidly. Measures should be taken to conserve water. we recommend the following;
- Using top-quality water pipes to reduce leakage and ensure less waste of water
- Installing a meter that will give readings of water usage in various parts of the home and give you an overall picture of water consumption
- Using pressure-reducing valves in your toilets, shower, and kitchen
- Carrying out leak detection tests at regular intervals
Using Building Materials that Enhance Sustainability
For a building material to be described as sustainable, it shouldn’t use non-renewable resources and directly impact the environment. Good examples of such building materials include concrete with natural fibers, timber, bales of straws, and plant-derived geotextiles. Sustainable design materials are sourced from our natural systems, and they improve the well-being of the building and its residents.
Applications of Sustainable Design in Technology
Applying sustainable designs in digital technology helps to create healthy, productive environments that get the job done but are not at risk of the depletion of natural resources. It also ensures the constant improvement of building design standards that will consume less energy and satisfy functional needs without sacrificing the visual appeal a building should have.
Technological applications, such as intelligent sensors and smart metering, is a holistic approach to sustainable design. Firstly, intelligence sensors make the home more energy-efficient. For instance, if your indoor solar lights are connected to a motion sensor, the light bulb will only come on when you walk into the room instead of staying on every time.
Smart metering makes it easier for the homeowner to keep track of electricity and water consumption in the home. The more aware they are of the quantity being consumed, the more likely they will contribute to its sustainability.