The climate is changing, there’s no doubt about that, so awareness of our ecological footprint is on the forefront of everyone’s minds. This is especially true for the building sector, where sustainable building practices are not only ethically responsible but are also necessary to combat rising energy costs and extreme weather conditions such as earthquakes, fires, and rising temperatures. Some nations are even passing laws which require new buildings to be Nearly Zero net energy (NZEB) or Net Zero carbon to adapt to and fight climate change. But even for countries which have not enforced such measures, green building is becoming increasingly researched and practiced, and it’s changing the approach towards the design of homes, buildings, and public spaces. But before looking at how, it’s important to understand two important terms related to it.
What does it mean to go green?
There are a lot of terminologies tossed around regarding sustainability, but what does it mean in regard to the building sector? Here are two important terms to understand:
- Net Zero carbon – for construction, this is when the carbon emissions during construction is zero. Once a building is complete, it retains its Net Zero status when its renewable energy equals the amount of net carbon that it emits.
- Climate positive building – when a building goes further and adds elements to its structure which remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
How is sustainable architecture providing a new approach to the design of homes, buildings, and public spaces?
For a building to be considered sustainable, it must meet the following characteristics:
- Energy and water efficiency, that means boosting the use of renewable energy forms as well as reduced water consumption
- Use natural and/or recycled materials
- Have minimal impact on the environment during and after the construction (with the disposal of materials)
- Stand up to extreme weather conditions
These requirements are shaping the way architects are now approaching their designs by using local, natural resources, recycled materials, and technical innovations. Many architects, understanding the importance of vegetation in the absorption of carbon dioxide, are incorporating greenery as integral components of their urban designs by inserting vegetation wherever they can, from vertical forests to rooftop gardens to verdant walls. Others are opting to use only or mostly recycled when realizing their designs. Another trend is that of the so-called adaptive reuse, where existing structures or areas in states of disrepair are given new life to become functional to society. And of course, let’s not forget the necessity of using innovative methods to heat, cool and protect structures while staying off the grid.
Sustainable architecture is the name of the game, and it is here to stay. Not only does our future depend on it, but it is also responsible and has the benefit of saving – and in some cases even making – money. That is why we pride ourselves on working with brands which offer luxury products and materials which use recycled content so you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for sustainability.
If you are looking to utilize sustainable products for your building or renovation project, contact us today to find out which of our products can provide the solutions you are looking for.
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