In our developing society in recent decades, the issue of preserving the environment has become extremely paramount and at the forefront of the worlds architecture. Modern architects have started to concern their role in the environmental protection and sustainable processes required in design and build construction. They have began to invent new ways and concepts to make the already existing urban environment more environmentally friendly.
“Green buildings” is a term referring to energy efficient and ecological buildings where renewable energy resources are used to the maximum affect. In addition to this, the “green” architecture contributes to the designed buildings comfort and restores the natural environment, which makes an unconditional contribution to the ecology protection and improvements on our planet.
To achieve this goal in modern day architecture, environmental studies and innovative solutions are considered to understand new developed concepts and ideas. Fully understanding the various construction components post-design play an important role in the construction of ecological and energy efficient buildings. The positive impact of green architecture on human health, environmental impact and the world as a whole is something all architects should have a clear understanding of. Architects should try to implement “Green” concepts in their designs as much as possible.
The building components for the “green” architecture development
The natural environment provides a person with serenity, peace of mind and soul. The modern city with its high-rise buildings, cars, exhausts and waste all contribute to the maintenance of inner harmony. We should all live in a healthy environment and continue to evolve for generations down the line. These days, design concepts now take in to account a whole new array of various environmental factors which were not part of a design feature or priority just 50 years ago.
The development of “green” architecture began in the 70-80s due to the realization of an energy and global warming crisis. The Western world began to develop the idea of “green” architecture and put a huge amount of effort and recourses to change the way we design and develop modern architecture.
There are various components playing an important role in an ecological construction process.
- Energy efficiency: This is one of the key factors, it is aimed at the use of energy in the construction process, which minimizes the non-environment negative impact. The use of alternative energy sources (solar, wind, tides, etc.) helps to reduce the cost of heating, air conditioning and ventilation along with the negative impact on the environment.
- Non-waste product: This component is not new. It is based on the adaptation of new functions an older converted building will play in modern buildings and how to re-use the various existing material while conforming with new designs to ensure the eco-friendly aspect is bought forward. For example, the conversion of an old factory to a museum, or public space.
- Organic material: Use of organic materials in construction play an integral role in the design process. There must be consideration in the materials suitable for recycling or the use of recycled materials in any design. This mission is constantly being improved and developed with new ideas to ensure the aesthetic look and cost affective aspect are not compromised.
- Reasonable and economical use of water: There are various ways to save water. In some European cities, the method of recycling water is used, that is, the use of grey water (unpolluted water from sinks) for watering plants and for draining toilet. Possible option of the intake and use of rainwater for cooling buildings is another recent development.
Nowadays, more and more new technologies are being introduced into the construction industry as the world evolves and considers future generations and the environment they will be inhabiting. Green architecture is energy efficient, economically and environmentally well- developed architecture that is always evolving. Modern architects create with an artistic viewpoint and have to interact landscape, engineering, and architectural solutions to be a viable construction project. On the back of this they will consider viable technology to create as little impact on the environment as possible. Currently there is already developments of environmentally friendly buildings, as well as ecological cities (eco-cities) and structures that minimally pollute the environment, have renewable energy and almost no-waste technologies. There is already advanced projects that prove that architecture can solve the environmental problems and ensure people are connected to nature. Several buildings around the globe are an exemplary example of “green” architecture development.
The eco-friendly skyscraper
Pearl River Tower, China
In China, a nature-friendly skyscraper was built. Although this country is not a leader in the field of planet protection, the Pearl River Tower office building (300m high), is fully capable of providing itself with energy. The building is designed in such a way that the turbines suck in the maximum amount of air, the generated energy is used to power the heating and cooling building systems. Also, there are reservoirs for collecting rainwater, photovoltaic panels and mechanical facade blinds in the building (they allow to maintain the desired temperature in the rooms, as well as ventilation).
Office building of the Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China.
This building was carefully designed to maximise its energy efficiency.
Gardening façade building
Science Foundation Headquarters, Poland
This landscape design technique has been known since ancient times. The first mention of the vines use as vertical gardening is contained in the description of the “hanging trees of Semiramis” (one of the seven wonders of the world, 9th century BC). In the modern world, vertical gardening is a common phenomenon and many buildings use this concept. In Poland, the walls of the Polish Science Foundation headquarters in Warsaw are decorated with live vegetation. Vertical gardening is an interesting decorative solution that changes with the seasons. “Live” gardens regulate the temperature and offer thermal insulation, reduce noise levels; provide protection from the wind and retain heat longer. The building of the science headquarters is also equipped with heat pumps, wind turbines, as well as stores for collecting rainwater.
Headquarters of the Polish Science Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.
Visually this building conveys natural elements to conserve energy.
Dubai Sustainable City, UAE
The UAE has long been at the forefront of following in the footsteps of the western world and “Green” architecture has been widely used, particularly in the past 10-15 years. With so many new technologies from around the world being collaborated on large scale projects, the UAE is fast becoming an eco-friendly environment. Due to its proximity within a sun-drenched desert landscape the UAE has put major investment into Solar energy along with other innovative solutions. Near completion, Dubai sustainable city will host a full residential community that encompasses various “green” solutions while keeping modern day design and artistic viewpoint to satisfy consumers investing and living in the community. Along with the various construction methods mentioned above the community has been designed to be a car free city and has situated various designated car parking areas which are fully covered with solar panels to produce electricity to the city. Also situated at the parking locations are charging areas for electric cars. The community also has an organic farm for food production, 11 bio-dome greenhouses while each building in the community will host its own solar panels at roof level.
Overhead plan of Sustainable City, Dubai, UAE
This project is a large scale fully encompassed eco-friendly city
As we see, humanity can solve the environmental pollution problem, and the “green” architecture aimed at interacting and abandoning the human consumer attitude is definitely changing the design concepts of the future.