Sustainability

Topics: Architecture, Sustainability, Natural environment Pages: 11 (3459 words) Published: December 18, 2013


Table of Contents

1: Introduction

Every day people are increasingly realizing the choices they make in their everyday lives, affect the people and the environment around them. They are buying local, organic food to reduce the use of pesticides, support their local community, and reduce the fuel costs associated with producing what they eat. They are choosing to ride their bike or take the bus instead of driving a car. However, much is changing. We are seeing a push to create buildings and spaces that do not require external energy to heat, cool or power them. There are efforts to reduce the use of materials that have a high ecological cost and to increase the number of recycled/reused and recyclable/reusable materials. The built and the natural environment has been a space of constant and continuous negotiation and contestation, one that tells a specific story when referred to a developing country such as India. It’s a constantly changing place to tread into as it lures one into territories of mystical past struggles; a labyrinth of environmentalism and stories of economic expansion which carry its effects into the present environmental crisis. It’s a choreography of unrestrained motives, one that is laden with power and interests, is disputed yet unpredictable; the power and interests of various actors, i.e. society, state, national and transnational institutions. Jong-Jin Kim (1998) says in his research paper “It is not my intention to delve into this rather volatile territory to simply tell a grim tale of North/ South exploitation but to understand the ways in which this exploitation occurs. The tread that I pull out from this tale is one that ties to ‘sustainable development’” [1].

2: Sustainability in Architecture
Architecture is one of the most conspicuous forms of economic activity. It is predicted that the pattern of architectural resource intensity (the ratio of per-capita architectural resource consumption to per-capita income) will generally follow the same patterns. A country’s economic development will necessitate more factories, office buildings, and residential buildings. For a household, the growth of incomes will lead to a desire for a larger house with more expensive building materials, furnishings and home appliances; more comfortable thermal conditions in interior spaces; and a larger garden or yard. During a building’s existence, it affects the local and global environments via a series of interconnected human activities and natural processes. At the early stage, site development and construction influence indigenous ecological characteristics. Though temporary, the influx of construction equipment and personnel onto a building site and process of construction itself disrupt the local ecology. The procurement and manufacturing of materials impact the global environment. Once built, building operation inflicts long-lasting impact on the environment. For instance, the energy and water used by its inhabitants produce toxic gases and sewage; the process of extracting, refining, and transporting all the resources used in building operation and maintenance also have numerous effects on the environment. Architectural professionals have to accept the fact that as a society’s economic status improves, its demand for architectural resources — land, buildings or building products, energy, and other resources — will increase. This in turn increases the combined impact of architecture on the global ecosystem, which is made up of inorganic elements, living organisms, and humans. The goal of Sustainable Design is to find architectural solutions that guarantee the well-being and coexistence of these three constituent groups [2].

3: Principles of Sustainable Design
To educate architects to meet this goal of coexistence, Jong-Jin Kim & Brenda Rigdon (1998) have developed a conceptual framework. The three...


References: [1] Jong-Jin Kim, Brenda Rigdon, “Introduction to Sustainable Design” Sustainable Architecture Module
[2] Tania Katzschner, “Sustainable Architecture, Planning and Culture – Beyond the Mechanical and unambiguous”
[3] Fatima Ghani, “Issues in Sustainable Architecture and Possible Solutions” International Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering IJCEE-IJENS Vol: 12 No: 01
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