Several environmental problems are being faced by the world today. Global warming, human-caused climate change, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and polluted waterways are just few of the repercussions that humanity is currently suffering as a result of our current way of life. This article will discuss the effects of buildings on the natural world and how studies in ecological architecture can help shape a more environmentally friendly future.
What is ecological architecture?
A building is said to be ecologically designed if it is constructed with the environment in mind. It’s the method of building that takes into account the cultural and natural factors of the places where those buildings will be constructed. These architects care deeply for the well-being of the local ecosystem and landscape, as well as the people who will be living in the structure they propose.
Why do we need more environmentally friendly buildings?
In addition to being the largest user of water, energy, and greenhouse gases, the built environment is also responsible for 40% of global emissions. Over 70 percent of the world’s energy use goes toward heating and cooling buildings. Cities and structures need to be planned and built quite differently from how they are today if they are to house the world’s expanding population and do their part in reducing global warming.
One of the most energy- and material-intensive industries today is building. When created with sustainability in mind, they can lessen the effects of climate change, conserve water and soil, reduce waste and energy use, and lessen pollution’s toll on people and the planet.
Research in ecological architecture
Studying how to apply ecological principles to the design, construction, and operation of buildings is the focus of ecological design for the built environment. Site, materials, and design must be carefully considered, as well as the local climate, water supply, and any other factors that may be relevant.
Ecological layouts have been practiced for some time. Many 19th-century architects were interested in the way that man-made constructions affected their natural surroundings. But ecological design for modern structures is a recent development. After WWII, people started thinking about the consequences of their actions on the built environment for the first time.
In the 1970s, a movement for greener building practices began. A number of factors contributed to its rise to prominence, including the recognition that environmental degradation was linked to rising industrialization and the impact of ecological theories, most notably deep ecology. Those who came before us in the field of ecological architecture were heavily influenced by bioconstructivism, organic architecture, and bioconstructivism.
More eco-friendly building materials
Flooring – Because it is created from natural cork trees, which can renew every 9 years, cork is a particularly environmentally friendly flooring material. Unlike many other natural resources, the cork tree is a sustainable resource and is not in risk of extinction. Cork flooring has a very little carbon footprint and an extremely small ecological impact. Additionally, it is tough, long-lasting, and simple to clean. Additionally water-resistant and anti-static, cork flooring offers these qualities. Since cork flooring is naturally anti-microbial, it doesn’t require any hazardous chemical treatments.
Curtains – 100% natural fiber curtains, including cotton and linen, are an environmentally beneficial option for curtains since they provide good insulation and UV protection. They also appear lovely when fashioned from a range of patterns, materials, and hues. Contrary to popular belief, curtains made of synthetic materials like polyester and acrylic can actually be more environmentally friendly. Selecting synthetic fabrics can help the environment because many of them are manufactured from recycled resources. Consider adding natural touches to your curtains, such as wooden poles or tiebacks in earth tones, to make them more environmentally friendly.
Eco-friendly building designs
Large-scale wind turbines — These are commonplace in modern architecture. Rooftops or poles in open areas close to the building are suitable locations for these turbines. Wind turbines in open regions can produce anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of an area’s electrical needs, whereas rooftop turbines can produce anywhere from 1 to 10 percent.
Solar panels – These panels convert sunshine into electricity and can supply all or a portion of a building’s energy demands.
Bioreactors are a system that can be utilized for the purification of wastewater and the collection of biogas, a source of renewable energy. Bioreactors can be installed in homes and other buildings to treat greywater and generate biogas for household usage.
Because of the significant impact of the built environment on the natural environment, sustainable building design is of paramount importance. Ecological architecture is an approach to architectural design that prioritizes a harmonious coexistence between manmade structures and their natural environments. Ecological revitalization and environmentally responsible building practices are emphasized. Greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and energy consumption all increase as a result of the built environment.
To alleviate these environmental stresses, it is crucial to construct buildings in more environmentally friendly methods. A building’s environmental effect may be substantial due to its design, although greener building designs are conceivable. The concept of “ecological architecture” refers to a set of architectural principles that aim to increase a building’s sustainability.