Sustainability is often thought of as a buzzword, something that you throw around to make your building sound green. But it’s much more than that. Sustainable architecture is about using materials in a way that reduces the footprint of the building itself, which also makes it more energy efficient and healthier for occupants.
In this article, we’ll cover some common mistakes people make when considering sustainable architecture, and how you can incorporate these principles into your design process in order to create buildings that are better for the planet and its inhabitants.
Use green materials.
You can make a difference by using materials that are sustainable and easy to recycle, reuse or repair. Sustainable building materials should be natural, recycled, or locally sourced.
Here are some examples of sustainable building materials:
- Wood – Use wood that is treated with non-toxic chemicals and grown without pesticides or other harmful chemicals. There are many types of wood available in the market today, including bamboo, cedar, and teak. If you want an even greener option, consider using green roofs which absorb carbon dioxide while they cool the air around them (and look good too). You can also build garden beds out of old pallets or wooden crates—this is an excellent way to turn waste into something useful!
- Clay bricks – Bricks made from clay tend to last longer than concrete blocks because they’re naturally resistant to fire damage and usually do not need to be painted as often either! A great way for kids at home on summer vacation is by making their own out of mud collected from nearby streams/rivers etc… Be sure though not to use any type of chemical additives when mixing your own batch up so as not to contaminate any drinking water sources nearby – just plain old dirt & sand should suffice just fine for this purpose since we’ll already have plenty going around anyways 🙂
Incorporate recycled materials.
Incorporating recycled materials into your building project is a great way to reduce waste and save money. Recycled building materials can be used in the same way as new ones, with some benefits including:
- Saving natural resources
- Reducing landfill waste
- Lowering carbon footprint
Seek out certified wood.
Certified wood is from forests that are managed in a way that is good for the environment. The forest area must be managed for at least 15 years, with attention paid to several factors:
- The forest must be recognized as a high conservation value area by an agency such as the United Nations or World Wildlife Fund.
- The land must not have been significantly altered since its last harvest, which means no planting of new trees or other changes to the land’s surface. In addition, only native species may be harvested and replanted within five years after harvesting occurs.
- Only mature trees are harvested—those at least 20 years old—and they can only be harvested when they’re mature enough to support themselves without further growth (this prevents overcrowding).
Ensure the design of the building prioritizes energy efficiency.
- Ensure the design of the building prioritizes energy efficiency.
- Use passive design, renewable energy sources and natural light to reduce electricity use on a building level.
Include efficient heating and cooling systems that will work with you during cooler months without an excessive cost required during hot months.
Always be looking for ways to reduce water usage.
Over the past few years, bathrooms have been getting a lot of attention when it comes to sustainable design. The most obvious way to reduce water usage in the bathroom is by using low-flow shower heads. These showers save water by using less than 2 gallons per minute—and that’s a big deal when you think about how many people use the same shower every day!
Another way to save on water and energy is with an eco-flush toilet that uses no more than 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF). This will help you use 45% less water per flush than traditional toilets and reduce the number of chemicals required for cleaning them.
A rainwater collection system allows rainwater from roof runoff or gutters to be collected for nonpotable uses like irrigation or flushing toilets instead of contributing to storm drains where it would normally go into local bodies of water and cause pollution problems such as algae blooms due to excess nutrients in runoff areas like lakes and rivers; this also helps prevent flooding during periods of heavy rainfall which are becoming more frequent due to climate change causing extreme weather patterns around the world.”
Practice indoor air quality, which is essential for health and wellbeing as well as sustainability.
Indoor air quality is essential for health and well-being, as well as building sustainability.
- How to improve indoor air quality: Good ventilation, good materials, and building design with few openings (windows or doors) are all important factors to consider when designing for better indoor air quality.
- How to test for indoor air quality: There are many tests available for assessing the quality of your home’s indoor environment, including dust levels, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon dioxide levels, and mould growth. It’s a good idea to test regularly so that any problems can be addressed quickly before they get out of hand.
- Maintenance tips: Regularly sweep or vacuum floors; don’t leave shoes on in the house; clean up spills immediately; open windows whenever possible; use natural cleaning products instead of aerosol sprays etcetera…
This will help reduce emissions and keep our planet healthy.
A sustainable building is one that is designed to minimize its environmental impact, which can be measured in many ways. Some of these include:
- Reducing carbon emissions by using renewable energy and reducing waste
- Using less water and energy in the building’s operations
- Reducing pollution from construction materials
We hope this post has inspired you to think about the environmental impact of the buildings in your neighbourhood. If you’re interested in learning more about sustainable architecture and how it can benefit your community, check out our free guide!