Sustainable design is important because it creates a more comfortable and healthier built environment for you.
It also minimizes the impact construction has in our natural resources, thus protecting our ecosystems of extreme abuse.
It’s also a way to guarantee future generations to be able to benefit from the natural resources we enjoy nowadays.
What is Green Building?
A green building or landscape is a healthy environment designed, built, operated, and disposed of in a resource-efficient manner using ecologically sound approaches that aim to protect the environment on the long term from our consumerism driven culture.
How Green Design works?
In a conventional process the architect, landscape designer, engineer, lighting designer, contractor (and others) work relatively independently, usually called when each phase of the project is completed. Step 1, the 2, 3, and so forth. This spreaded energy, and linearity on the process, limits the chances of better integrated solutions and synergy.
But, on a sustainable design, the process is more integrative. Ideally, all the parties that will take part on the project are already chosen and are involved since the conception of the design. Everyone is participant on the definition of the sustainable goals and help to brainstorm of innovative solutions when uncommon issues arise at any phase. This inclusive approach keeps aware of the constrains and the budget, and is able to create a better flow on the technical parts thanks to the open dialogue.
What elements are to be considered on a sustainable design?
Examples of measures that can be taken to improve building performance include:
• Incorporating the most efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, along with operations and maintenance of such systems to assure optimum performance
• Using state of the art lighting and optimizing daylighting
• Using recycled content building and interior materials
• Reducing potable water usage
• Using renewable energy
• Implementing proper construction waste management
• Siting the building near public transportation
• Using locally produced building materials
Do you know?
The building industry in US accounts for 39% of CO2 emissions.
United States buildings alone are responsible for more CO2 emissions annually than those of any other country except China.
Most of these emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels to provide heating, cooling and lighting, and to power appliances and electrical equipment. By transforming the built environment to be more energy-efficient and climate-friendly, the building sector can play a major role in reducing the threat of climate change.
– Excerpt from an USGBC report based on EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) 2008 annual study.
When you embrace sustainable approaches in your project(s), not only you’re giving yourself a healthier environment, which studies have proved over and over to influence on the productivity of the users.
You’re also contributing to spread the benefits of this practice and making your friends want to jump on that Green Design wagon too!
Your actions will definitely have a positive ripple effect on many layers that not only will benefit you, but also everyone and everything on this planet.