Sustainable Architecture: Need of the Hour

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Man-made interventions have created a huge impact on global warming and climate change. With the rapid increase in population, there has been an exponential increase in construction. This has caused an overexploitation of nature and its resources. While sustainable architecture is still emerging in the country, India ranks 3rd. Buildings certified by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) use 40-50% less energy and 20-30% less water. This sector is growing at the rate of 20% each year.

Sustainable Architecture

More and more public buildings are being designed using sustainable architecture strategies. Although the initial costs are high, sustainable strategies provide significant savings over time, improve air quality and well-being, and result in a healthier environment. Sustainable architecture relies on using resources sparingly while maintaining improved efficiency. Buildings built according to sustainable architecture are called green buildings.

A green building is one that has minimal impact on the built and natural environment. They work with energy-efficient resources and are environmentally friendly. These structures are designed to harness energy from water, the sun and other natural resources. Apart from this, green buildings also use energy efficient systems, which makes them environmentally friendly.

Compared to conventional structured buildings, sustainable structured buildings produce less waste and emit greenhouse gases in a lower proportion, allowing people to live or work in good health. While seeing the rapid increase in environmental problems, the implementation of sustainable architecture to create living becomes critical. Environmental standards such as Lead and Breeam offer guidelines for the design of sustainable buildings. Sustainable architecture is important for the environmental stability of our planet. It is the need of the hour.

Energetic efficiency

Energy efficiency is one of the most important characteristics of sustainable architecture. A green building is said to be energy efficient because it uses energy-saving methods to be environmentally friendly, while producing a well-structured building. The structuring of green buildings is done with care taking into consideration even the smallest measure that uses energy; from preventing air leaks to using renewable sources.

Some of the techniques used to save energy in green buildings are the installation of energy efficient lights, street lamps with a timer function, the use of solar panels, etc. Additionally, green buildings use non-exhaustible resources such as hydroelectric and tidal power.

Uses renewable resources

Sustainable buildings use passive design and renewable energy to create environmentally friendly solutions. This reduces the use of non-renewable materials by implementing an appropriate and moderate level of construction and engineering methods. Using renewable energy helps reduce construction waste by using efficient recycling. Apart from this, the use of renewable resources helps reduce the environmental impact by using construction waste and recycled engineering materials.

glass solution

A building made of glass gives an impressive appearance while being environmentally friendly. It gives the building a comfortable and modern look and maintains the environmental safety factor. The glass used in these buildings optimizes the diffusion of light inside the building and helps to reflect heat waves, thus providing comfortable indoor living. This feature allows a cooler temperature inside the building and makes profitable use of the luminosity received from the sun. Apart from this, the glass used reduces the use of lighting gadgets and artificial temperature as this glass allows the solution of using natural resources. Implementing this glass solution helps in reducing electricity bills and also provides people with a healthy living space.

Smart bricks

The smart brick is 9a REB (Resource Efficient Brick). It’s a combination of technology and durable construction. Fast construction is achieved through this process, which saves a lot of time. Apart from that, this process is user-friendly and does not require sand or water in its structural process. With the use of fewer resources, it offers consumers a quality structure.

Environmentally friendly solutions

Sustainable architecture, being environmentally friendly, helps the environment in many ways. Planning takes into account climate, landscape, energy and stormwater management, and then environmentally friendly systems and materials are used during construction. The materials used to build the structures significantly reduce environmental impact, creating a safer and healthier life. Several strategies can be used to implement environmentally friendly solutions.

Unconventional sand

This type of sand is made by crushing hard granite stones which are widely available. As these stones are crushed, it significantly reduces transportation costs. These stones are found in conventional rivers and they give a stronger foundation to the building.

Environmentally friendly metals

Metals such as aluminum produce high energy from the production process to transportation. However, sustainable architecture uses metal again and again by recycling or reusing metal, thus saving a lot of energy. Due to recycling and reuse, the energy used by the metal decreases and makes the material sustainable. The materials created are water resistant, durable and do not need to be replaced.

Green buildings contributing to a 7% increase in asset value compared to non-green buildings, they also contribute to general well-being with better ventilation and natural light. It is estimated that green buildings can remove the overall negative impact on the atmosphere by reducing up to 84 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions by 2050.

(The author is a partner of the Archohm studio)

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