Research Paper Example: Sustainable Environmental Design in Architecture
The theory of sustainable architecture originated during the energy crisis in 1970. Nowadays, the theory has become popular all over the world. The concept of “green buildings” is meant to meet the challenges in saving energy and to avoid the extinction of modern man. A special vocabulary appeared with such new concepts as sustainable architecture, eco-home, bioclimatic design and systems of “smart home”. Nowadays, ecology is the determining criterion in selecting of the winners for the prestigious architectural awards.
Ideally, green home is designed to combine the achievements of urbanization with the natural environment, where life can be most convenient, is close to nature and minimally disturbs the natural environment. Man is a harmonious and natural part of the biosphere. Therefore, “Green Architecture” helps to optimize the development of urban planning and building design. It improves the environment inside and outside, and helps to improve the environment and climate. Human habitation then becomes more comfortable and healthy. Lighting, heating, cooling and air conditioning, are the subjects of careful design. By the means of architecture, construction and maintenance of the buildings, we can save our Earth. To this end, a balance is achieved by reducing energy consumption and air pollution in buildings.
“Green Architecture” uses the most advanced scientific and technological tools for the research and development of energy efficient, and renewable, energy sources. It is adapted to local climatic conditions, to the landscape, and to the specific characteristics of its residents, in the best possible way.
Modern high-rise buildings, in which we live today, have developed engineering infrastructure, provide good living conditions and meet all hygiene and health standards and requirements, but do not contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Scientists have found that living in such homes contributes to the emergence of numerous diseases (allergies, depression, etc.), poor health due to isolation from nature, the lack of physical labor and the general deterioration of environmental conditions.
The main features of green buildings:
1. Natural surroundings. The house is integrated into the surrounding landscape. During the building of eco house, the architect should take into account the natural phenomena (sunrise, sunset, etc.), using “flora” and “fauna” in the interior.
2. Energy efficiency. The use of energy-efficient appliances and engineering systems.
3. Minimum energy losses. The green building is characterized by the use of new building technologies, improved thermal insulation and improved ventilation systems.
4. The use of complex engineering systems with a single control system. Ideally, the engineering systems should be based on natural infrastructure (solar, wind).
5. The use of modern high-tech products, as well as products using natural elements – solar panels, heat pumps, etc.
6. Less exposure of the inhabitants of the house to devices. For example, low levels of “electro smog” and the reduced impact of electric and magnetic fields.
7. Advanced management system of the house. The use of new heating concepts, in which the central feature is a thermal control system, using “free” heat sources (solar heat, heat appliances, etc,).
8. Ecological style of interior elements and appliances. That is, products made without the use of toxic substances. There is the possibility of further processing of materials (recycling).
The passive house is the model of the future. The passive, or energy-efficient, house is an environmentally friendly facility, the main feature of which is the low energy consumption achieved by the installation of an independent power system. The passive House gets the required heat from passive sources, such as solar radiation and heat from waste – the result of human activities, or the operation of technical equipment. A clever ventilation system supplies fresh air, which is heated to the desired temperature using the heat, or the coolness of the exhaust air.
One of the largest passive offices in the world is a building located in Ulm, Germany. It bears the name, Energon. The main source of heating and cooling, in-house, is the temperature control in the canals of concrete blocks. Thus, the soil acts as both heat and cool storage.
To sum up, sustainable environmental design has become a necessary feature of architecture. The green building concept impacts on human health, surrounding nature and Earth, as a whole. People, all around the world, have to realize the consequences of reckless usage of our natural resources and minimize its impact.
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