Sustainable Design

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Architecture ・APA ・8 Sources

The major purpose of this paper is to explain extensively the ideas for sustainable design in architecture, describe the goal achieved by means of these principles and how these principles will be applied to my design projects henceforth. The paper will also provide full-size information on social justice, environmental stewardship and economics in architecture. This is a manifesto, a statement I believe in, and will entail 5 principles of sustainable design in architecture summarized in 5 pages. This paper will identify the five main standards of sustainable design and will further explain the significance of these principles and why they are crucial to the wellbeing of people and the goals to be achieved by making use of these principles. The reader will gain an in-depth knowledge of the principles of sustainable design in architecture.

The manifesto

I believe that principles for sustainable design ought to be followed to the letter for a more positive result oriented architecture. The principle for sustainable design should be applied in all projects where academic or professional. This will raise the architectural standards and practices. Architecture should have a positive impact on social justice, environmental stewardship and ethics and economics. To achieve the benefits of principle for sustainable design in architecture, every stakeholder involved in the design field should use the principles as a blueprint in their projects and put the interest of the architectural industry before the interest of individual associations or self.

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Learning from natural systems (Biomimicry Principles)

It is often said that nature is the best designer, and this is not far from truth. When we look around us we see nature’s way of impeccable design around us from trees to rivers to insects. Biomimicry involves the imitation of various models, elements and systems from nature (Fuad-Luke, 2013). This is done with an aim to improve or solve various problems faced by humans. Nature is well known for adapting and rooting out what it deems as not beneficial. Biology has a way in solving problems in a way that is totally different from engineering or architecture. Scientist reiterate that, nature’s way of solving problems is quite different from the way humans think. Nature is more minimalist and “lazy” as more scientist put it. Design solutions that emanate from man are more likely to be additive and unrefined; and are likely to be more economically inclined. Sourcing from nature can inspire architectural designers to design with nature as a blueprint to achieve a more refined and geometric properties. By applying this principle of biomimicry to my design projects I will be in a position to achieve quite a lot. First and foremost this will help me in streamlining my designs to be more refined and efficient in use of natural resources like energy, water (GhaffarianHoseini et al, 2013).

Biomimicry is quite beneficial in that anything that aligns with nature is most if not all the time environmental friendly and resource friendly. We have seen numerous skyscrapers come up today which are tall and have a large surface area at the top to trap more sunlight that is used to meet the power needs of the structure. This is drawn from the amazon rainforest where in order to adapt the trees grow tall with long narrow stems with no branches. However, just near the apex of the tree, the branches emerge forming a canopy. This is based on the availability of sunlight and adaptation to achieve most from this resource by the tree.

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Respect for energy and natural resources (conservation principle)

The sun is the main natural source of energy. Nature has a way of being self-sufficient as witnessed in plants. They get their nutrition needs from nature and do not necessarily need external non nature help for survival. This should be a benchmark in design. To maximize the reliance on natural resource while at the same time conserving them. The world is going green and every aspect of design is geared to this (Gliessman, 2013). This is evident in the recent adaptation of natural energy sources with solar power being on the front row. Many buildings currently being built have designs that ensure that they maximize of natural energies. For instance solar energy in the recent times has mainly been used in many buildings so as to cut down on the use of electricity which not only cuts energy expenses but in the long run results to the reduction of pollution. My designs will therefore take into account the importance of environment for our future generations and therefore as a result will yearn to come with designs that take into account the use of green energies.

Water is slowly being regarded as a depleting commodity in some countries and proper use of it has seen it being incorporated in design projects. Structures that reuse and recycle water have been advocated highly and it is becoming a norm. Respect for energy and natural resources has been evident even in avenues where we see structures trying to alter as little as possible their natural surrounding and implementing design that creates a cohesive unification between coexistence of nature and the manmade structure. This principle will be applied to my project designs by making sure all my design projects take into consideration the natural surroundings. Respect for energy and natural resources is ethically correct and measures have been taken to ensure a streamlining of design and respect for energy, natural resources and design of structures.

Respect for people (human vitality principle)

Most design structures of the twentieth century were more utilitarian and were very unfriendly for human inhabitants (Kibert, 2016). The structures were designed with the sole purpose of meeting their use and little regard was placed on what is now referred to as human vitality. Many structures were built to serve as structures where man was to adapt and were not habitable. However with the progress in architecture we have witnessed more human friendly designed structures that take into consideration the needs both comfort and usability in their design architecture. It is certain we have come a long way in the designs that currently being effected and the future evidently seems to be bright. Factories in the early twentieth century have been likened to machines for humans to work and produce results with little or no regard to human comfort or need ever put in their structural design. This are compared to what architects call “sick buildings”. In the recent decades we have seen more concern put on the human friendliness of the design of a structure. Architects are now incorporating human friendly elements in the design of structures and are more than ever before striving to designing healthy and nourishing spaces for human usage. I will utilize this principle of respect for people in making sure my design projects are geared to more human comfort and utilization than mere structures that meet structural needs. Human vitality principle focusses on implementing human rights in workplaces and home settings. It is a human right to be in a structure that is design to be habitable and comfortable. Also an emerging issue on respect for people is the respect for people with disability. This is designing structures that are friendly to people who are physically challenged.

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Respect for place (Ecosystem principle)

In the recent years design has been highly influenced by traditional cultures and place. Ecosystem principle brings to picture the use or inspiration to design from various cultural backgrounds and places for sustainability (Legrand, Sloan & Chen, 2016). Most of the traditional building techniques involved use of locally naturally occurring natural materials and often adapting to the local environment to ensure a fitting in type of designed structure. This can be witnessed in Bali where structures in the traditional setting used bamboo, the most locally available raw material in the area for construction, to build structures. This has led to architects to incorporate this raw material in their design projects to ensure ecosystem principle is met. Same case applies in area where local natural stones are locally available like European countries like Belgium. These are incorporated in the design of structure to take advantage of this abundant easily available resource. In my design projects I will take into consideration the ecosystem principle by closely identifying the endowment of the area and what cultural or resource advantages that my design can incorporate. Ecosystem principle has proved to be an economical way of maintain aesthetics of a design project and still minimize cost. In the long run projects that embrace respect for place principle of sustainable design save on cost and maintain their locality’s identity.

Respect for future (“seven generations” principle)

A famous scientist once said for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction force. This too applies to nature. What we waste away today will impact the future. In the twentieth century most structures were designed with a utilitarian perspective and not much concern was placed on waste management or resource conservation (Mazzoleni, 2013). The respect for future principle for sustainable design states that decisions pertaining energy, natural resources and water in design are for literally seven generations in the future. Architectural designers should work with nature to maintain this seven generations principle. A good example is the living bridges located in India (Mumovic & Santamouris, 2013). These are just tree twigs intertwined together to form bridges that the locals use. This is a good example of respect for future, as future generations will still use this bridges. Also proper waste management should play a key role in design projects as this will contribute to the principle of respect for future. In my design projects I will incorporate interrelationship between my design and the nature surrounding to come up with structure that respect the temporal rates that govern nature (Szokolay, 2014). The “seven generation” principles champion environmental stewardship in maintaining a balance between nature and manmade structures.

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Fuad-Luke, A. (2013). Design activism: beautiful strangeness for a sustainable world. Routledge.

GhaffarianHoseini, A., Dahlan, N. D., Berardi, U., GhaffarianHoseini, A., & Makaremi, N. (2013). The essence of future smart houses: From embedding ICT to adapting to sustainability principles. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 24, 593-607.

Gliessman, S. R. (2013). Agroecology: researching the ecological basis for sustainable agriculture. In Agroecology (pp. 3-10). Springer New York.

Kibert, C. J. (2016). Sustainable construction: green building design and delivery. John Wiley & Sons.

Legrand, W., Sloan, P., & Chen, J. S. (2016). Sustainability in the hospitality industry: Principles of sustainable operations. Routledge.

Mazzoleni, I. (2013). Architecture follows nature-biomimetic principles for innovative design(Vol. 2). CRC Press.

Mumovic, D., & Santamouris, M. (Eds.). (2013). A Handbook of Sustainable Building Design and Engineering:" An Integrated Approach to Energy, Health and Operational Performance". Routledge.

Szokolay, S. V. (2014). Introduction to architectural science: the basis of sustainable design. Routledge.

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