None of us can deny that sustainability plays an important role in building design. As the desperation for a better world takes center stage, the value of sustainable living practices gains more traction by the day.
The Urban Ecosystem faces new challenges every day due to climate change. And simple sustainable solutions and sustainable materials for these problems are around us, everywhere.
It is important that we are a part of the solution and not the problem. Learning to apply sustainable principles right from our initial design projects at college will be good practice for when we begin to design for the real world.
It is evident from the ancient Indian Stepwells to Roman Baths that sustainable practices don’t require fancy mechanisms to be effective.
Buildings through time have incorporated these simple sustainable methods with interesting variations to suit their design. Taking inspiration from the existing methods, we can find the right ones to suit the needs of our own design.
By simply observing what’s around us and their characteristics, we can produce efficient and sustainable design solutions.
By discovering locally available materials around the site, vernacular building practices can be encouraged along with other added benefits.
This Urban Design initiative was taken to provide a safe haven in the more unsafe parts of the city for all. Materials are locally sourced from Orange Farm. Seating made of bagged brick and structure made of telephone poles are some strategies they incorporated.
Maximum exploitation of natural lighting and shade can be cost-effective and sustainable. Compensation for the loss of lighting and ventilation with artificial means can be avoided with the right construction practices.
Incorporation of natural light through skylights in the living area of the residence reduces the need for artficial lighting in the commonly occupied spaces of the residence.
By incorporating sustainable natural ventilation techniques, not only will you be increasing your building’s energy efficiency, but also cutting down on overall expenditure.
Openable windows and low height windows are incorporated to let in cool natural breeze into the building at all times.
Existing vegetation in and around the site can prove to be extremely resourceful, especially in order to create an energy efficient design.
The residence richly incorporates vegetation in every nook and corner of the site and building for both functional and aesthetic purposes.
When we’ve got naturally replenishable energy that has no means to harm the environment, we must suck the most potential out of it.
Climate responsive strategies to shade the west facade are incorporated in an interesting manner.
Beyond what’s available, there are certain choices we make that affect just how sustainable our building is.
Rethinking the drainage and water supply system of all buildings has become a growing need. There are several methods to improve water efficiency in your design.
The university gathers all sewage water from the whole campus and uses it for various other purposes like irrigation, cooling tower water, toilet flush and so on.
Monitoring of our day-to-day energy consumption rate can be performed with ease, thanks to modern technology. There are several energy rating systems that you can follow as well.
The building incorporated technology advanced automated central system for temperature control, solar protection and so on.
Active strategies that are a part of these unconventional solutions are often more expensive. But the same result can be achieved through simpler and cost-effective passive strategies.
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To avoid the lack of natural light due to the construction of a twelve-story building nearby, the architects maximized solar passive design by giving multiple skylights and opening the entire building into natural light.
A building cannot be considered sustainable if it has been built as a result of the consumption of materials in amounts more than necessary.
Keeping furnitures at a minimum and use of materials sparingly helps create a more efficient, functional and low-maintenance space.
By keeping track of the annual consumption of energy in buildings, methods can be implemented in the future to maintain or lower energy and expenditure.
The sustainable practices mentioned in this article are just a few among the countless many. And it’s not always about implementing as many techniques of sustainability in a building. It’s choosing the right ones that affect the efficiency of the building positively.
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