How Architecture Can Tackle Global Warming
Today’s architectural companies are well aware that they can have a huge impact on reducing carbon footprint and global warming.
Here’s why, and how responsible architects are addressing this major issue.
Building in isolation needs to be addressed:
For far too many years we have been building in isolation and not taking into account environmental issues.
This is seen in the fact that the vast majority of buildings are currently consuming far more energy than they require to deliver services to occupants.
Indeed, industry estimates put figures of building consumption at 35% of generated energy and nearly double that (60%) of all electricity used.
These figures show that although initiatives to reduce global warming and carbon footprint are gathering pace, there is still lots of scope to improve the situation.
5 ways in which architects are assisting:
Here are 5 ways in which responsible architects are addressing environmental concerns in relation to new building projects.
- Pre-development: Architectural knowledge and assessment of how the building consumes will likely affect the climate before the project commences is a must.
Once this is understood, the architect(s) concerned can look for possible alternatives and consider resources that are more efficient than those originally tabled.
- Efficient lighting: When it comes to commercial buildings, it is estimated that lighting requirements account for about 40% of the energy used.
Daylight is obviously the most sustainable lighting source available, but it goes without saying that electrical lighting must always be used to complement natural light.
Environmentally conscious architects are now concentrating on building design that makes full use of daylight penetration. By doing so they are reducing the reliance on electric lighting.
- Water efficiency: This must be viewed as a major environmental issue. The challenge for architects is how to reduce the amount of energy expended in terms of supplying, treating and the use of a building’s water supply.
In this respect, two innovative design inclusions are gaining credence: Rooftop gardens and Rain gardens.
These positive steps allow rainwater to penetrate the ground rather than simply having it run off.
- Use of recycled materials: It is well known that millions of tonnes of construction waste are generated each year.
While the challenge is not always an easy one, responsible architects are now looking at innovative ways to reuse on-site materials wherever possible.
- Procure material as locally as possible: It is fully understood that this may not always be possible, but it is certainly something that should not be overlooked.
The procurement of required materials for a project from quality sources close to the site can have a significant impact on carbon emissions and the closer the better.
Through the reduction of material transportation distances, the carbon footprint caused by material delivery is being reduced accordingly.
When considering a building project consider the environment!
Project managers and/or individuals who are tasked with new building projects need to be aware of how important it is to consider the environmental impact of the task in hand before any project work commences.
In order to complete a building project that is as environmentally friendly as possible it is strongly recommended that they liaise with an environmentally aware and astute architectural firm.
Establishing such cooperation from the pre-planning stage to project completion will ensure solid advice on ways to tackle the very real environmental issues that currently exist.