What is Sustainability in Architecture?
Sustainable architecture is one that takes into account the environment and that values when projecting buildings efficiency of materials and building structure, building processes, urban planning, and the impact that buildings have on nature and the society. It aims to promote energy efficiency so that these buildings do not generate unnecessary energy expenditure, take advantage of the resources of their environment for the operation of their systems, and do not have any impact on the environment.
The energy crisis and climate change are just some of the global challenges experienced by the environmental landscape. Sustainability in architecture was born as an alternative to take advantage of natural resources and minimize environmental impact. To further explain this topic, we will expose the 7 elements of sustainable architecture that every architect must take into account for the implementation of these trends.
Sustainability in architecture: 7 elements of Sustainable Architecture
Sustainable architecture consists of a form of architectural design in which natural resources can be used to minimize environmental impact.
In fact, the European Union has established the Europe 2020 Strategy with the aim that its member states contribute to the creation of an environmentally friendly community habitat. And in this fight for sustainable, intelligent, and inclusive growth, the Architecture and Building sector has a lot to say.
Among the benefits of this new way of conceiving the design, we find the optimization of resources, energy savings, reduction of environmental impact, and the well-being of the population.
In this context, it is worth highlighting some of the most pioneering innovations in the sector that are already being implemented in new architectural designs nationally and internationally:
1. Natural lighting
Guaranteeing spaces that are nourished by natural light is the main premise of energy saving. It is also an architectural quality highly valued by users in buildings and homes, as it favors well-being and comfort.
2. Harvesting technology
Another purpose of this type of architecture is to avoid the excessive use of heating. Computer simulation is responsible for the solar analysis of surfaces in order to take advantage of the heat of radiation.
3. ECCN buildings
Renewable sources allow almost zero energy consumption and their use in homes gives name to what today is known as ECCN buildings (from the acronym Almost Zero Energy Consumption Buildings) . According to the European Directive on Energy Efficiency of Buildings, by 2020 all public buildings of new construction will have to be ECCN.
4. Home automation
The unstoppable advancement of new technologies has made connected homes and smart homes possible . Thus, through automation, energy management, safety and comfort in a home are enhanced.
Of course, these facilities must ensure compliance with the regulations and the quality endorsed by AENOR. Specifically, and as the Spanish Association of Home Automation and Real Estate assures, they should comply with a specific procedure before they are launched on the market.
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5. Elimination of thermal bridges
They are also called “temperature leaks” and, as the name suggests, they impede both energy efficiency and waterproofing. To combat them, it is necessary to proceed with insulation techniques based on thermal materials.
6. Vertical gardens
They are beautiful and very fashionable, but they also contribute to the recovery of the environment and the environment and promote isolation since they cover walls, walls, and facades. Among other advantages, vertical gardens filter harmful gases, regulate temperatures, and produce oxygen.
7. Reuse of materials
Reducing the human impact on the environment is another of the basic pillars of sustainable architecture. That is why he advocates the recycling of materials from nature (slate, stone, wood, etc.) and some plastics or aluminum.
Ultimately, architecture professionals will have to work towards the implementation of these trends to curb pollution, global warming, and the scarcity of natural resources. Sustainability in architecture is gaining more importance: What are you waiting to retrain as an architect and use the training you need to adapt to new environmental requirements of the sector?
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