Architecture | Building Design

The Challenges

Evidence abounds that population growth and associated development are radically affecting the ecological balance of our planet. Buildings contribute substantially to the depletion of our planet’s resources and the reduction of quality of our environment. For example, the largest proportion of the total greenhouse gas emissions arising from fossil fuel combustion in Australia are attributable to energy consumption for manufacture of building materials plus the heating and cooling in buildings. (Refer Australia State of the Environment 2001-16+ and others ) 
Built Environment references

Architecture is well placed to influence the built environment through applications of energy efficient and responsible design principles. By combining efforts with the construction industry, urban and landscape planners, and related research communities, opportunities exist to develop and harness processes and materials which will significantly reduce impacts on the environment.

The Solutions

Practical strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions include comparing materials and components, construction systems and products, energy/water saving features and devices, and includes industry strategies applicable to various building life cycle phases.

Whilst the larger issues of pollution and energy consumption of industry and agribusiness are more challenging to address, simple actions in our homes can assist with reduced energy consumption, such as installing pelmets to windows over heavy curtains, draft excluders to external doors, insulation in the roof space, and use of energy and water saving devices are a good start to changing our resources consumption habits plus systematically update and revise current best green practice.

Strategies & Solutions

Passive Design Strategies
Passive design is about taking advantage of natural energy flows to maintain thermal comfort. This can be placement of the building to harness the sun’s warmth in winter and catching the cooling breezes during summer, sheltering it from driven rain and buffeting winds. It is also about using the appropriate building materials for the location and landscaping.

Life Cycle Strategies
Every product goes through a series of stages, know as its life cycle. These stages generally include material extraction, manufacture of product, packaging and distribution, product use, and disposal of the product. By designing for adaptability and extended use, disassembly, recyclability, and standardisation of components, designers can minimise impact on the built environment.
Ecologically Sustainable Development
Environmental Impact and Whole of Life Cost

Material selection
Selection of materials used in the design of buildings can make a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emission by choosing environmentally preferable products. EcoSpecifier is a database set up to help architects, designers, builders and specifiers shortcut the materials sourcing process. Ecospecifier is a joint initiative of the Centre for Design at RMIT, EcoRecycle Victoria and the Society for Responsible Design.

USA reference : A developing resource with case histories, links and materials catalogue.

Further topics include: Technological Strategies, Renewable Energy/Co-generation, Energy smart appliances, Lighting technologies, Water technologies of conservation and reuse, Integrated Heating/Cooling Systems.

Thanks to Ingrid Pearson and Josephine Vaughan for their original contributions for above (06dec2010) and later editors and researchers  for the balance.

Architecture | Building Design

Rethink Everything

Assessing green design

Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) on sustainability
AIA Sustainable Design Strategies
The Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society
Awards for Sustainable Construction

the Rocky Mountain Institute is catalyzing massive market growth for buildings that are more productive, valuable, healthy, and safe for the people who occupy them, society, and the planet. USA

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural & related works are worth reviewing. Building with local materials, new tech, DIY, experiments & working with nature, things to interest all. Articles by Metropolis Mag & MoMA exhibition to 01oct 2017, NewYork + +

Oslo airport is one of the most energy efficient airports in the world, so it was important for architects Nordic to think in terms of a sustainable extension. The shape of the building takes advantage of passive solar energy and sunlight, and features low-carbon technologies like district heating and natural thermal energy web :: Norway / Global relevance.

Tilted, zero energy house. In a continued effort to produce ecologically conscious structures, the research center on zero emission buildings and design office Snohetta developed this pilot house. The dwelling also serves as a platform for assisting knowledge of ‘plus houses’, which produce more energy than they use. via designboom web :: Norway / Global relevance.

Creating ‘greener’ buildings will help address climate change… right?
Green buildings can make a difference, but only if we start asking the right questions. If we can start to see the whole story of how our buildings impact the climate then we can start to make strides toward real ‘net-positive’ change. The technology isn’t new, the strategies aren’t rocket science – the hard step is shifting our thinking about what it means to build ‘green’.

Wikihouse is developed by an open community of architects, designers, engineers and builders around the world. You are invited to participate and Print ‘inHouse’ ! :: Designers (short) Guide 1.’Be lazy like a fox’. Avoid solving problems from scratch, adapt & credit 2. Design for low-cost, low-carbon & fully recyclable or biodegradable 3. Design assembly for minimal formal skills & without power tools 4. Make habitable year-round, & as efficient as possible 5. Design for maximum safety, security & health 6. Design for climate, culture, economy & legal / planning (local + known) 7. Share your work 8.”It is easier to ship recipes than product” 9. Design to dismantle 10. Design for mistakes, make it impossible to get wrong or won’t matter if they do. Wikihouse

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