Sustainable architecture is important because...
it uses environmentally friendly techniques and materials and optimises the energy efficiency of buildings.
- Eco-buildings, the environment, and architecture
- What is sustainable architecture?
- Sustainable architecture projects
- Sustainable architecture materials and techniques
- Sustainable architecture equipment
- Why hire an architect specialising in sustainable architecture?
Eco-buildings, the environment, and architecture
Eco-buildings made their debut in the 1960s, and since then their popularity continues to rise alongside increased environmental concerns. The implementation of eco-buildings has become indispensable to architecture in recent years.
Climate change is affecting many sectors such as transportation, fashion, energy, and architecture. Professionals in these fields are devoted to providing greener and more ecological solutions, and this ecological transition is transforming industries around the world.
A variety of new methods and a change in the use of certain materials make it possible to reduce the carbon footprint of architecture and construction on the planet.
What is sustainable architecture?
Sustainable architecture aims to be more efficient in terms of its ecological impact. It is now a sector in its own right with an overarching goal to design buildings with the smallest ecological footprint possible.
To achieve this, sustainable architecture uses environmentally friendly techniques and materials and aims to optimise the energy efficiency of buildings. Specific design and construction methods are essential to sustainable architecture.
Sustainable architecture projects
The first step in an eco-building project is to choose the best location and orientation for a building. Elements determining this choice include:
- the amount of sunlight
- wind exposure
- proximity to a wooded area
An orientation that adapts to the particularities of the land will increase natural energy input and minimise energy loss.
The more compact the building, the less energy it consumes. With this type of building, the ratio between the surface area of interior space and the facades exposed to the weather is important.
Particular attention is also paid to windows, both in terms of location and type of glass. For instance, whether the glass is double or triple glazed will influence its energy efficiency. Thermal insulation, water and heat management and recovery systems (i.e. geothermal heat pumps) are other important aspects of eco-construction.
Sustainable architecture materials and techniques
The choice of materials used in the construction of an eco-building is essential. Green architecture favours natural and recyclable materials. Materials such as clay, wood, earth, straw, lime, flax, hemp, cellulose wadding, recyclable bricks, and natural paints are all effective and have a low environmental impact.
Eco-construction utilises natural, reusable, healthy, and locally produced materials.
Sustainable architecture equipment
The thermal insulation of a building and the eco-materials used in its construction give it a durable structure. The building must then be fitted with energy-efficient equipment.
An efficient and ecological heating system is part of the equipment of a sustainable structure. Photovoltaic solar panels and air-water heat pumps do not emit CO2, therefore installing these systems will save energy and reduce the carbon footprint of the building.
Finally, an efficient ventilation system helps to avoid humidity issues. A double-flow ventilation system promotes a healthy environment.
Why hire an architect specialising in sustainable architecture?
The design and construction of an eco-responsible building requires the intervention of a specialist who will optimise the building’s ecological virtues.
The challenges of sustainable construction remain in the forefront of architects’ minds. Building Information Modeling is increasingly used to present an architectural project by creating a 3D model that takes into account a building’s environmental impact and assesses its energy performance from the design phase.