Why Architects Are Paying More Attention to Sustainable Architecture/ Construction
Sustainable construction is becoming famous more and more as time passes. Contrary to popular belief, this is not just a fad; instead, it's an emerging field that has all the signs of dominating the future construction industry. Hence, it is understandable that people from different professions are paying attention to the rising phenomenon. Among them, the architects are the leading figures, along with engineers.
What is sustainable construction? To summarize, it refers to the process of building an infrastructure from renewable and recyclable resources. Additionally, the structure will have the capability of preserving energy, and the carbon footprint should also be reduced. The end goal of sustainable construction is to protect the surrounding environment. Consequently, this leads to the decrease of the harmful impact the construction process leaves on the environment. Also, energy consumption has always been a big concern to be dealt with in these types of infrastructures.
Additionally, any waste or by-product produced during the whole process should be dealt with in the least harmful way possible. In other words, the wastage should be reduced.
Reasons Why Architects Are Paying Attention To Sustainable Construction:
- Decrease Of Energy Consumption And Relevant Costs:
Energy consumption has always been at the forefront of everyone's mind. This is understandable, considering that there are not many renewable energy resources being used at a mass-production scale. All the common energy resources produce a lot of emissions per year, which is heavily impacting the environment in a negative manner. Additionally, the more energy is consumed, the more it costs.
However, sustainable construction provides a working solution to all of these problems. According to recent statistics, energy consumption can be reduced by at least 25 to 50 percent. It doesn't stop there, though. By integrating the solar cells and other renewable energy initiatives for these individual buildings, the infrastructure will possess the ability to produce its own energy. In conclusion, the structure is not just sustainable, and it will also be self-sufficient. And what self-respecting architect doesn't want that?
- Reducing Emissions:
It is a well-known fact that global warming is a hanging sword on our heads. Even skeptical people will admit that air pollution still exists even if global warming is a hoax. Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly, the construction industry accounts for at least 40% of the total carbon emissions, which is a lot. For example, the seemingly harmless concrete is responsible for a whopping 2.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide emission. Reducing that number to a respectable level is a priority for engineers and architects, which is why they turn towards sustainable construction.
- Building From Recyclable Materials:
It is an unfortunate fact that many buildings are demolished every year due to one reason or another. The problem is, the materials used in the construction for the first time are, more often, not exactly sustainable. They can't be reused. Hence, all that mass becomes a weight. Additionally, these materials on their own produce enough harmful emissions that any sane man would balk. In short, construction materials are a source of dangerous emissions and can't be reused.
Architects are not just responsible for designing, planning, and construction. They are also supposed to take into account all the available resources before producing the final design. If most of the material from the demolished building can be recycled, the strain will be lessened.
- Beautiful Architecture:
Architects value beauty in their creations. For them, their buildings and projects are no less than art, and what artist doesn't want to produce a beautiful masterpiece?
At present, there are numerous sustainable infrastructures that are, to put it simply, a piece of art. Just look at the Pixel Building in Melbourne, Australia. The 4 story building is the first carbon-neutral building in the country. However, it's not just its sustainability. It is distinguished by its colorful façade, which is not only aesthetically pleasing, it also provides natural lighting and ventilation. To summarize, it is sustainable, but it is also beautiful.
If that is not enough, then check the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava created a masterpiece. Or look for Vancouver Convention Centre West, Vancouver, Canada.
What we are trying to say here is that architects always combine functionality and beauty in the perfect way possible. Sustainability has just opened more doors for them instead of creating any obstacles.
- Impressive Legacy Of The Architects:
Like we said earlier, sustainability is the way to achieve the goal of reducing harm to the environment. It also results in impressive masterpieces, which speak of the ability of their architects and builders.
The architect's projects are their brainchild. Hence, it is their legacy. Most of the past legacies of old architects are famous due to their beauty or historical value. In short, the completion in the past was about who could make the most significant or most beautiful infrastructure. Currently, being the largest or tallest might be impressive but not uncommon. However, achieving sustainability with success is much more impressive. Hence, the current sustainable constructions will be the tangible legacies of the present generation of architects. They are not just designing an infrastructure; they are opening the path to sustainability and green building initiatives.
- Statistics For Sustainable Construction:
Sometimes, words are not enough to convince others. On the other hand, numbers do. By looking at the following statistics, you might realize why sustainable construction should be and is preferred by many architects.
- 25% - 62% reduce in energy consumption
- 11% reduction in water consumption
- 50% improvement in of the overall project
- 75% cases supported the fact that sustainability leads to better use of all resources
- 19% lower costs for maintenance
- 34% decrease in greenhouse emissions
- 27% increase in occupant satisfaction
- 87% customer retention
- The expectation of saving up to $410 billion through green building and energy efficiency initiative
Keep in mind that the above information does not only refer to the business field; it also applies in residential areas. Right now, not many actual sustainable houses are available, but flat buildings are hotels are.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What Is An Architect?
An architect is responsible for planning a particular building or infrastructure in a given space. They have to make designs by maneuvering the surrounding structures while maximizing the best features of the new one.
What Precaution Should I Take When Hiring An Architect?
Make sure that the architect is licensed. They are responsible for planning and designing a building, which means that their work has to be safe for the occupants. In other words, they are responsible for making sure that the structure will be safe for you and any other occupant. Thus, making sure that they are licensed is a must.
Why Is Sustainability Important In Construction?
It's straightforward. Currently, the construction industry is responsible for a lot of harm that is being done to the environment. Translating it in scientific terms, the industry accounted for 40% of carbon emissions and 36% of energy usage worldwide. Additionally, the waste produced during the construction, scavenging of raw materials, and manufacturing new ones put a lot of strain on nature. All of that harm can be reduced through sustainable construction. The carbon footprint can be reduced, energy and resource consumption can be significantly decreased, and the rate of emissions can be lowered. This will also lower the strain on the existing resources for both material and energy.
Are There Any Challenges For Sustainable Construction?
Unfortunately, there are. The first and foremost challenge is affordability. Building sustainable infrastructures are expensive. As a result, these buildings are used mainly by businesses instead of the general public. However, the operating expenses are lowered significantly. Thus, research is being done to achieve the first time construction at economical rates.
Sustainability is an emerging trend of the recent century that is here to stay. It is not just a science project done on a massive scale; it is a future requirement. Therefore, architects are also adapting to the relevant requirements, just like they have been doing throughout history. Research has clearly shown how sustainability is helping us in reducing the negative impact humans have on the planet. Like the professionals from other fields, architects also understand. As they play critical roles in the construction process, they have the most influence on the result after the owner. By incorporating sustainability, they play their own part as individuals in saving the planet's future.