Tag: eco-friendly

Architecture & Building

What are the benefits of Sustainable architecture?  

Firstly, sustainable architecture is also referred to as green architecture or environmental architecture. It is architecture that seeks to minimise the negative environmental impact of buildings. Through improved efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, development space and the ecosystem at large.   

Why is sustainable architecture so important?  

With global warming increasing, it is important to create buildings that decrease the negative effects of carbon use and emissions. This is achieved via materials, construction and internal systems. Building and construction account for more than 35% of global final energy use and for nearly 40% of energy related CO2 emissions. 

Material impact and waste –  

The goal of sustainable architecture is to create buildings that have low carbon footprint throughout their life cycle.  

Every material used contributes significantly to a building’s embodied carbon footprint, as the manufacturing, transport and installation of materials produces greenhouse gas emissions.  

Furthermore, green architecture minimises the environmental impact and waste of materials by prioritising recycled and recyclable materials.  

Sustainable building features –  

  • Energy efficient  
  • Water efficiency  
  • Green roofs  
  • Stormwater management 
  • Solar power 
  • Recycling  
  • Landscaping  

Benefits of sustainable architecture –  

  • Conservation and restoration of natural resources  
  • Reduction in energy consumption and waste  
  • Protection of ecosystems and environmental biodiversity  
  • Improvement of air and water quality 
  • Competitive advantage  
  • Upgrade asset and property values  
  • Reduction in long term costs and dependence on traditional energy sources  
  • Minimises demand on local utility infrastructure  
  • Improve the living conditions, health and comfort of inhabitants 

Overcoming challenges –  

Finally, it is proven that sustainable architecture benefits everyone, from businesses, individuals, the economy and the environment. However, although there are benefits to sustainable architecture there are also challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the cost. While sustainable building might save you money in the long run, the materials and methods are way more expensive than traditional construction.  

Image: WOHA
Architecture & Building

How Green architecture impacts the modern world  

It is commonly known by now that the world as we know it has become endangered over the years. In the architecture industry the response has been the growth of green architecture.  

What is green architecture?  

Green architecture is a philosophy that advocates for architects to produce smart designs and use of technologies to ensure that structures generate minimal harmful effects to the ecosystem and the communities.  

The rise of green architecture –  

The green architecture movement gained momentum in the late 80s/ early 90s when the American Institute of Architects collaborated with the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new guidelines for architectural design. 

What makes a building green? 

Any building can be green if it is made with these features:  

  • Good indoor environmental air quality  
  • Use of renewable energy, such as solar energy  
  • Efficient use of energy, water, space and other resources 
  • Use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable 
  • A design that enables adaptation to a changing environment 
  • Consideration of the environment in design, construction, and operation 
  • Pollution and waste reduction measures, and the enabling of re-use and recycling 
  • Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in design, construction, and operation 

Why is green architecture important? 

While cities are continuously expanding, the Earth itself is not getting any bigger. This growth has a huge impact to the environment because the process of developing new habitats for our communities constantly requires a huge chunk of our natural resources. 

According to the UN Environment Global Status Report 2017, building and construction account for more than 35% of global final energy use and for nearly 40% of energy-related CO2 emissions. While these numbers are lower than those in 2010 due to a higher awareness regarding sustainability, there’s still a long way to go. 

Here are some examples of sustainable architecture –  

One central park, Sydney Australia –  

One central park is a mixed use dual high-rise building located in Sydney. A park at the foot of the building continues up the structure. Vegetation of 250 species of Australian plants and flowers cover one central park. The plants stretch over 50 meters high, and it has become the world’s tallest vertical garden. In 2013 the building was awarded a 5-star green star by the green building council of Australia.  

Image: Sardaka

Shanghai tower, Shanghai China –  

The world’s second tallest building at 2,073 feet, Shanghai Tower is an architectural wonder as well as a sustainable one. A transparent second skin wrapped around the building creates a buffer of captured air that serves as natural ventilation, reducing energy costs, and 270 wind turbines incorporated into the facade power its exterior lights. 

Bosco Verticale, Milan Italy –  

The project was named Bosco Verticale, or in English “Vertical Forest”, because together the towers have 800 trees, 5,000 shrubs and 1.5000 perennial plants, which help mitigate smog and produce oxygen. With more than 90 species, the buildings’ biodiversity is expected to attract new bird and insect species to the city. It is also used to moderate temperatures in the building in the winter and summer, by shading the interiors from the sun and blocking harsh winds. The vegetation also protects the interior spaces from noise pollution and dust from street-level traffic. 


The two types of green roofs: extensive vs intensive

If you’re interested in installing green roofs but are unsure of the different types, this blog is perfect for you. Carry on reading to understand the difference between extensive and intensive.  

Extensive green roof –

What are extensive green roofs?  

They are designed to be low-maintenance, lightweight systems with no general access. Typically, they have thin layers of the substrate to keep depth and weight to a minimum.  

The substrate depth of extensive green roofs is smaller than that found in intensive roofs, usually around 100-150mm. Because of their shallowness, extensive green roofs usually provide aesthetic ad environmental purposes. Rather than functioning as accessible roof space.  

Usually, extensive roofs use sedum vegetation due to its ability to flourish in harsh environments. They are able to withstand weather, especially wind, droughts, flooding, and extremely high or low temperatures.  

How to get the vegetation on the roof –  

Extensive green roof installations often come ready-made. They are rolled up in mats containing 10-22mm of growing medium and vegetation, meaning that it’s easily transportable to the installation site. These mats are usually laid upon another shallow layer of growing medium, which is then placed on the filter sheet and protection mat.  

The cost of extensive green roofs –  

This type of green roof tends to be a lot cheaper to buy and install compared to the intensive green roof. It is also often one of the most popular choices for residential properties because they are much lighter. They cost around £50 – £100 per square meter, however, they cost £75 on average.  

Green roofs - advantages a handful of the most important information

Intensive green roofs –  

What is an intensive green roof?  

They consist of much deeper substrates which give far greater scope to design and grow more complicated and elaborate gardens onto concrete structures. Intensive green roofs involve intense landscaping. They are suited to roofs with a highly visible presence or public access. 

The substrate depth of intensive green roofs is at the very least 120mm, and usually over 200mm, making it a lot deeper than the extensive. Because the substrate depth is deeper, they are able to support more vegetation. Such as: 

  • Flower beds 
  • Trees 
  • Shrubs 
  • Lawns 
  • Water features  
  • Benches  
  • Gravel paths  

Intensive green roofs are intended to replicate what can typically be found at ground level in the natural landscape, and in places such as parks and gardens. In fact, they are often referred to as roof gardens or parks.  

The cost of intensive – 

They are the more expensive type of roof; this is because they resemble conventional gardens. The maintenance and the running costs will be higher than extensive. They can also be highly expensive to install because they require elaborate drainage systems.  

Intensive green roofs can cost between £60 – £200, however, they average around £130.  

Advice Center, The science of a happy home

Everything to know about an Eco-house

What is an eco-house?   

An eco-house is an environmentally low-impact home. Designed and built using materials and technology that reduces its carbon footprint and lowers its energy needs. Eco-homes are important to the environment because they meet the sustainable needs. For example,  

  • Reducing waste by re-using and recycling materials.  
  • Energy generation  
  • Controlling pollution  
  • Water conservation 

Why are they important?  

There designed to have little impact on the planet. Standard homes burn fossil fuels for power and heat; however, the fuels are the leading cause of climate change. Whereas, eco-friendly homes are all about being energy efficient and using natural materials.  

The 3 key elements to most eco homes –  

Renewable energy –  

Firstly, a renewable electricity supply is vital for an eco-house. The most popular way to generate your own electricity is by installing solar panels. Initially, solar panels can be quite expensive, however, in the long run, you will be saving loads.  

Insulation –  

Eco-houses hold onto heat better. In addition, insulation, airtightness, and double/ triple glazed windows are important in sustainable designs. By creating an insulated, airtight house regulates its own temperature. In addition, meaning you won’t need a boiler or a heating system. 

Sustainable materials –  

Finally, an eco-house is one fully built from sustainably sourced and natural materials. Wood is used to build timber frames of eco-houses. It is best to use recycled materials, instead of getting brand ones.  

Benefits of eco-houses –  

  • Lower energy bills  
  • Less maintenance works  
  • Better air quality  
  • Higher property value  
  • Innovative design  

How much does it cost to build an eco-house?  

The price of your eco-house will depend on the size, location, and whether you’re starting from scratch or renovating an old property. In addition, Eco-houses can be very expensive. However, it is proven that in the long term they are actually cheaper.  

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