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Sustainable architecture is
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...

architecture
that seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, development space and the ecosystem at large. Sustainable architecture uses a conscious approach to energy and ecological conservation in the design of the built environment. The idea of
sustainability Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the capacity for Earth's biosphere and human civilization to co-exist. For many, sustainability is d ...

sustainability
, or
ecological design Ecological design or ecodesign is an approach to designing products with special consideration for the environmental impacts of the product during its whole life cycle assessment, lifecycle. It was defined by Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan as " ...
, is to ensure that our use of presently available resources does not end up having detrimental effects to our collective well-being or making it impossible to obtain resources for other applications in the long run.


Background


Shift from narrow to broader approach

The term "sustainability" in relation to architecture has so far been mostly considered through the lens of building technology and its transformations. Going beyond the technical sphere of "
green design Environmentally sustainable design (also called environmentally conscious design, eco design, etc.) is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of ecology, ecological sustainab ...
", invention and expertise, some scholars are starting to position architecture within a much broader cultural framework of the human interrelationship with nature. Adopting this framework allows tracing a rich history of cultural debates about our relationship to nature and the environment, from the point of view of different historical and geographical contexts.


Changing pedagogues

Critics of the reductionism of modernism often noted the abandonment of the teaching of architectural history as a causal factor. The fact that a number of the major players in the shift away from modernism were trained at Princeton University's School of Architecture, where recourse to history continued to be a part of design training in the 1940s and 1950s, was significant. The increasing rise of interest in history had a profound impact on architectural education. History courses became more typical and regularized. With the demand for professors knowledgeable in the history of architecture, several PhD programs in schools of architecture arose in order to differentiate themselves from art history PhD programs, where architectural historians had previously trained. In the US,
MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private land-grant research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, hi ...

MIT
and
Cornell Cornell University ( ) is a private, statutory, Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research universities in the Northeastern United Stat ...

Cornell
were the first, created in the mid-1970s, followed by
Columbia Columbia may refer to: * Columbia (personification), the historical female national personification of the United States, and a poetic name for the Americas Places North America Natural features * Columbia Plateau, a geologic and geographic regio ...

Columbia
,
Berkeley
Berkeley
, and
Princeton Princeton University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two ...

Princeton
. Among the founders of new architectural history programs were
Bruno Zevi Bruno Zevi (22 January 1918 – 9 January 2000) was an Italian architect, historian, professor, curator, author, and editor. Zevi was a vocal critic of "classicizing" modern architecture and postmodernism Postmodernism is a broad movement th ...
at the Institute for the History of Architecture in Venice, Stanford Anderson and Henry Millon at MIT, Alexander Tzonis at the
Architectural Association The Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, commonly referred to as the AA, is the oldest independent school File:Share enrolled in private institutions at the tertiary education level, OWID.svg, Share enrolled in privat ...
, Anthony Vidler at Princeton,
Manfredo Tafuri Manfredo Tafuri (Rome, 4 November 1935 – Venice, 23 February 1994), an Italians, Italian Marxist architect, historian, theoretician, critic and academic, was described by one commentator as the world's most important architectural historian of ...
at the University of Venice,
Kenneth Frampton Kenneth Brian Frampton (born 20 November 1930) is a British architect, critic and historian. He is the Ware Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University Columbia Univers ...
at
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a in . Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of in , Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in and ...

Columbia University
, and Werner Oechslin and Kurt Forster at
ETH Zürich (colloquially) , former_name = eidgenössische polytechnische Schule , image_name = ETH Zürich Logo black.svg , image_size = 300px , established = , type = Public university, Public , budget = Swiss franc, CHF 1.897 billion (2019) , rect ...

ETH Zürich
.


Sustainable energy use

Energy efficiency Energy efficiency may refer to: * Energy efficiency (physics), the ratio between the useful output and input of an energy conversion process ** Electrical efficiency, useful power output per electrical power consumed ** Mechanical efficiency, a rat ...
over the entire life cycle of a building is the most important goal of sustainable architecture.
Architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that h ...

Architect
s use many different passive and active techniques to reduce the energy needs of buildings and increase their ability to capture or generate their own energy.M. DeKay & G.Z. Brown, Sun Wind & Light, architectural design strategies, 3rd ed. ''Wiley'', 2014 To minimize cost and complexity, sustainable architecture prioritizes passive systems to take advantage of building location with incorporated architectural elements, supplementing with renewable energy sources and then fossil fuel resources only as needed. Site analysis can be employed to optimize use of exploit local environmental resources such as daylight and ambient wind for heating and ventilation. Energy use very often depends on whether the building gets its energy on-grid, or off-grid. Off-grid buildings do not use energy from provided by utility services and instead have their own independent energy production. They use on-site electricity storage while on-grid sites feed in excessive electricity back to the grid.


Heating, ventilation and cooling system efficiency

Numerous passive architectural strategies have been developed over time. Examples of such strategies include the arrangement of rooms or the sizing and orientation of windows in a building, and the orientation of facades and streets or the ratio between building heights and street widths for urban planning.M. Montavon, Optimization of Urban Form by the Evaluation of the Solar Potential, ''EPFL'', 2010 An important and
cost-effective Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) is a form of economic analysis that compares the relative costs and outcomes (effects) of different courses of action. Cost-effectiveness analysis is distinct from cost–benefit analysis, which assigns a monetary ...

cost-effective
element of an efficient
heating, ventilation, and air conditioning File:Control circuit in household HVAC unit.jpg, The control circuit in a household HVAC installation. The wires connecting to the blue terminal block on the upper-right of the board lead to the thermostat. The fan enclosure is directly behind th ...
(HVAC) system is a well-insulated building. A more efficient building requires less heat generating or dissipating power, but may require more ventilation capacity to expel polluted indoor air. Significant amounts of energy are flushed out of buildings in the water, air and
compost Compost is a mixture of ingredients used to fertilize and improve the soil. It is commonly prepared by decomposing plant and food waste and recycling Organic material, organic materials. The resulting mixture is rich in plant nutrients and Ben ...

compost
streams.
Off the shelf Off or OFF may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * ''Off'' (album), by Ciwan Haco, 2006 * ''Off'' (video game), a video game by Mortis Ghost. *"Off", a song by Royce da 5'9" from ''Layers (Royce da 5'9" album), Layers'' *Off! (band), an Ame ...
, on-site energy recycling technologies can effectively recapture energy from waste hot water and stale air and transfer that energy into incoming fresh cold water or fresh air. Recapture of energy for uses other than gardening from compost leaving buildings requires centralized . HVAC systems are powered by motors.
Copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...

Copper
, versus other metal conductors, helps to improve the electrical energy efficiencies of motors, thereby enhancing the sustainability of electrical building components. Site and building orientation have some major effects on a building's HVAC efficiency.
Passive solar building design In passive solar building design, windows, walls, and floors are made to collect, store, reflect, and distribute solar energy Solar energy is Solar irradiance, radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolvin ...
allows buildings to harness the energy of the sun efficiently without the use of any
active solar Solar trackers may be driven by active or passive solar technology Solar hot water systems use pumps or Mechanical fan, fans to circulate fluid (often a mixture of water and glycol to prevent freezing during winter periods) or air, through solar ...
mechanisms such as
photovoltaic cell A solar cell, or photovoltaic cell, is an electrical device that converts the energy of light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be visual perception, perceived ...

photovoltaic cell
s or solar hot water panels. Typically passive solar building designs incorporate materials with high
thermal mass In building design, thermal mass is a property of the mass of a building which enables it to store heat, providing "inertia" against temperature fluctuations. It is sometimes known as the thermal flywheel effect. For example, when outside temperat ...
that retain heat effectively and strong that works to prevent heat escape. Low energy designs also requires the use of solar shading, by means of awnings, blinds or shutters, to relieve the solar heat gain in summer and to reduce the need for artificial cooling. In addition,
low energy building Low-energy building upright=1.5, alt=See caption, A thermogram compares the heat radiation of the windows and walls of two buildings: a sustainable, low-energy passive house ''(right)'' and a conventional house A low-energy house is characterized ...
s typically have a very low surface area to volume ratio to minimize heat loss. This means that sprawling multi-winged building designs (often thought to look more "organic") are often avoided in favor of more centralized structures. Traditional cold climate buildings such as
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
colonial Colonial or The Colonial may refer to: * Colonial, of, relating to, or characteristic of a colony or colony (biology) Architecture * American colonial architecture * French Colonial * Spanish Colonial architecture Automobiles * Colonial (1920 auto ...
saltbox A saltbox house is a traditional New England style of house with a long, pitched roof that slopes down to the back, generally with timber framing. A saltbox has just one storey, story in the back and two stories in the front. The flat front and ce ...
designs provide a good historical model for centralized heat efficiency in a small-scale building. Windows are placed to maximize the input of heat-creating light while minimizing the loss of heat through glass, a poor insulator. In the
northern hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remain ...

northern hemisphere
this usually involves installing a large number of south-facing windows to collect direct sun and severely restricting the number of north-facing windows. Certain window types, such as double or triple glazed
insulated windows Insulating glass (IG) consists of two or more glass Paned window (architecture), window panes separated by a vacuum or gas-filled space to reduce heat transfer across a part of the building envelope. A window with insulating glass is commonly kno ...
with gas filled spaces and low emissivity (low-E) coatings, provide much better insulation than single-pane glass windows. Preventing excess solar gain by means of solar shading devices in the summer months is important to reduce cooling needs.
Deciduous trees In the fields of horticulture and botany, the term ''deciduous'' (; ) means "falling off at maturity" and "tending to fall off", in reference to tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (bo ...
are often planted in front of windows to block excessive sun in summer with their leaves but allow light through in winter when their leaves fall off. Louvers or light shelves are installed to allow the sunlight in during the winter (when the sun is lower in the sky) and keep it out in the summer (when the sun is high in the sky).
Coniferous Conifers are a group of cone-bearing seed plants The spermatophytes (; ), also known as phanerogams (taxon Phanerogamae) or phaenogams (taxon Phaenogamae), comprise those plants that produce seeds, hence the alternative name seed plants. They ...
or are often planted to the north of buildings to shield against cold north winds. In colder climates, heating systems are a primary focus for sustainable architecture because they are typically one of the largest single energy drains in buildings. In warmer climates where cooling is a primary concern, passive solar designs can also be very effective. Masonry
building material Building material is material used for construction Construction is a general term meaning the and to form , , or ,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) Oxford Universit ...

building material
s with high thermal mass are very valuable for retaining the cool temperatures of night throughout the day. In addition builders often opt for sprawling single story structures in order to maximize surface area and heat loss. Buildings are often designed to capture and channel existing winds, particularly the especially cool winds coming from nearby
bodies of water A body of water or waterbody (often spelled water body) is any significant accumulation of water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known l ...

bodies of water
. Many of these valuable strategies are employed in some way by the
traditional architecture Stone and clay houses in rural Nepal Vernacular architecture is architecture characterised by the use of local materials and knowledge, usually without the supervision of professional architects. Vernacular architecture represents the majorit ...
of warm regions, such as south-western mission buildings. In climates with four seasons, an integrated energy system will increase in efficiency: when the building is well insulated, when it is sited to work with the forces of nature, when heat is recaptured (to be used immediately or stored), when the heat plant relying on
fossil fuel A fossil fuel is a hydrocarbon In , a hydrocarbon is an consisting entirely of and . Hydrocarbons are examples of s. Hydrocarbons are generally colourless and hydrophobic with only weak odours. Because of their diverse molecular structure ...
s or electricity is greater than 100% efficient, and when
renewable energy Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resource File:Global Vegetation.jpg, Global vegetation A renewable resource, also known as a flow resource, is a natural resource which will replenish to replace the portion resou ...
is used.


Renewable energy generation


Solar panels

Active solar Solar trackers may be driven by active or passive solar technology Solar hot water systems use pumps or Mechanical fan, fans to circulate fluid (often a mixture of water and glycol to prevent freezing during winter periods) or air, through solar ...
devices such as
photovoltaic Photovoltaics (PV) is the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect, a phenomenon studied in physics, photochemistry, and electrochemistry. The photovoltaic effect is commercia ...

photovoltaic
solar panel A solar cell panel, solar electric panel, photo-voltaic (PV) module or just solar panel is an assembly of photo-voltaic cells mounted in a framework for installation. Solar panels use sunlight Sunlight is a portion of the given off by ...
s help to provide sustainable electricity for any use. Electrical output of a solar panel is dependent on orientation, efficiency, latitude, and climate—solar gain varies even at the same latitude. Typical efficiencies for commercially available PV panels range from 4% to 28%. The low efficiency of certain photovoltaic panels can significantly affect the payback period of their installation. This low efficiency does not mean that solar panels are not a viable energy alternative. In Germany for example, Solar Panels are commonly installed in residential home construction. Roofs are often angled toward the sun to allow photovoltaic panels to collect at maximum efficiency. In the northern hemisphere, a true-south facing orientation maximizes yield for solar panels. If true-south is not possible, solar panels can produce adequate energy if aligned within 30° of south. However, at higher latitudes, winter energy yield will be significantly reduced for non-south orientation. To maximize efficiency in winter, the collector can be angled above horizontal Latitude +15°. To maximize efficiency in summer, the angle should be Latitude -15°. However, for an annual maximum production, the angle of the panel above horizontal should be equal to its latitude.


Wind turbines

The use of undersized wind turbines in energy production in sustainable structures requires the consideration of many factors. In considering costs, small wind systems are generally more expensive than larger wind turbines relative to the amount of energy they produce. For
small wind turbine Small wind turbines, also known as micro wind turbines, are used for microgeneration of electricity, as opposed to large commercial wind turbines, such as those found in wind farms. Small wind turbines often have passive yaw systems as opposed t ...
s, maintenance costs can be a deciding factor at sites with marginal wind-harnessing capabilities. At low-wind sites, maintenance can consume much of a small wind turbine's revenue.Brower, Michael; ''Cool Energy, The Renewable Solution to Global Warming''; Union of Concerned Scientists, 1990 Wind turbines begin operating when winds reach 8 mph, achieve energy production capacity at speeds of 32-37 mph, and shut off to avoid damage at speeds exceeding 55 mph. The energy potential of a wind turbine is proportional to the square of the length of its blades and to the cube of the speed at which its blades spin. Though wind turbines are available that can supplement power for a single building, because of these factors, the efficiency of the wind turbine depends much upon the wind conditions at the building site. For these reasons, for wind turbines to be at all efficient, they must be installed at locations that are known to receive a constant amount of wind (with average wind speeds of more than 15 mph), rather than locations that receive wind sporadically. A small wind turbine can be installed on a roof. Installation issues then include the strength of the roof, vibration, and the turbulence caused by the roof ledge. Small-scale rooftop wind turbines have been known to be able to generate power from 10% to up to 25% of the electricity required of a regular domestic household dwelling. Turbines for residential scale use are usually between 7 feet (2 m) to 25 feet (8 m) in diameter and produce electricity at a rate of 900 watts to 10,000 watts at their tested wind speed.


Solar water heating

Solar water heater Solar water heating (SWH) is heating water by sunlight, using a solar thermal collector. A variety of configurations is available at varying cost to provide solutions in different climates and latitudes. SWHs are widely used for residential a ...

Solar water heater
s, also called solar domestic hot water systems, can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for a home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use—sunshine—is free. There are two types of solar water systems: active and passive. An active solar collector system can produce about 80 to 100 gallons of hot water per day. A passive system will have a lower capacity. There are also two types of circulation, direct circulation systems and indirect circulation systems. Direct circulation systems loop the domestic water through the panels. They should not be used in climates with temperatures below freezing. Indirect circulation loops glycol or some other fluid through the solar panels and uses a heat exchanger to heat up the domestic water. The two most common types of collector panels are flat-plate and evacuated-tube. The two work similarly except that evacuated tubes do not convectively lose heat, which greatly improves their efficiency (5%–25% more efficient). With these higher efficiencies, Evacuated-tube solar collectors can also produce higher-temperature space heating, and even higher temperatures for absorption cooling systems.John Randolph and Gilbert M. Masters, 2008. "Energy for Sustainability: Technology, Planning, Policy," Island Press, Washington, DC. Electric-resistance water heaters that are common in homes today have an electrical demand around 4500 kW·h/year. With the use of solar collectors, the energy use is cut in half. The up-front cost of installing solar collectors is high, but with the annual energy savings, payback periods are relatively short.


Heat pumps

Air source heat pump An air source heat pump (ASHP) is a type of heat pump A heat pump is a system used to heat or cool an enclosed space or domestic water by transferring thermal energy Thermal radiation in visible light can be seen on this hot metalwork. Therma ...
s (ASHP) can be thought of as reversible air conditioners. Like an air conditioner, an ASHP can take heat from a relatively cool space (e.g. a house at 70 °F) and dump it into a hot place (e.g. outside at 85 °F). However, unlike an air conditioner, the condenser and evaporator of an ASHP can switch roles and absorb heat from the cool outside air and dump it into a warm house. Air-source heat pumps are inexpensive relative to other heat pump systems. As the efficiency of air-source heat pumps decline when the outdoor temperature is very cold or very hot; therefore, they are most efficiently used in temperate climates. However, contrary to earlier expectations, they have proven to be also well suited for regions with cold outdoor temperatures, such as Scandinavia or Alaska. In Norway, Finland and Sweden, the use of heat pumps has grown strongly over the last two decades: in 2019, there were 15–25 heat pumps per 100 inhabitants in these countries, with ASHP the dominant heat pump technology. Similarly, earlier assumptions that ASHP would only work well in fully insulated buildings have proven wrong—even old, partially insulated buildings can be retrofitted with ASHPs and thereby strongly reduce their energy demand. Ground-source (or geothermal) heat pumps provide an efficient alternative. The difference between the two heat pumps is that the ground-source has one of its heat exchangers placed underground—usually in a horizontal or vertical arrangement. Ground-source takes advantage of the relatively constant, mild temperatures underground, which means their efficiencies can be much greater than that of an air-source heat pump. The in-ground heat exchanger generally needs a considerable amount of area. Designers have placed them in an open area next to the building or underneath a parking lot. Energy Star ground-source heat pumps can be 40% to 60% more efficient than their air-source counterparts. They are also quieter and can also be applied to other functions like domestic hot water heating. In terms of initial cost, the ground-source heat pump system costs about twice as much as a standard air-source heat pump to be installed. However, the up-front costs can be more than offset by the decrease in energy costs. The reduction in energy costs is especially apparent in areas with typically hot summers and cold winters. Other types of heat pumps are water-source and air-earth. If the building is located near a body of water, the pond or lake could be used as a heat source or sink. Air-earth heat pumps circulate the building's air through underground ducts. With higher fan power requirements and inefficient heat transfer, Air-earth heat pumps are generally not practical for major construction.


Sustainable building materials

Some examples of sustainable building materials include recycled
denim Denim is a sturdy cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus '' Gossypium'' in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cell ...

denim
or blown-in fiber glass insulation, sustainably harvested wood,
TrassTrass is the local name of a volcanic A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's sur ...
,
Linoleum Linoleum, commonly shortened to lino, is a floor covering made from materials such as solidified linseed oil (linoxyn), pine resin, ground cork dust, sawdust Sawdust (or wood shavings) is a by-product or waste product of woodworking oper ...

Linoleum
, sheep wool,
hempcrete Construction block made from hempcrete Hempcrete or hemplime is biocomposite A biocomposite is a composite material formed by a Matrix (chemical analysis), matrix (resin) and a reinforcement of natural fibers. Environmental concern and cost of ...
,
roman concrete Roman concrete, also called , was a material used in construction in Ancient Rome. Roman concrete was based on a hydraulic cement, hydraulic-setting cement. It is durable due to its incorporation of Pozzolana, pozzolanic ash, which prevents crack ...
, panels made from paper flakes, baked earth, rammed earth, clay, vermiculite, flax linen, sisal, seagrass, expanded clay grains, coconut, wood fiber plates, calcium sandstone, locally obtained stone and rock, and
bamboo Bamboos are a diverse group of evergreen In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in th ...

bamboo
, which is one of the strongest and fastest growing
woody plant A woody plant is a plant that produces wood as its structural tissue and thus has a hard stem. In cold climates, woody plants further survive winter or dry season above ground, as opposite to Herbaceous plant, herbaceous plants that die back to t ...
s, and non-toxic low-
VOC VOC, VoC or voc may refer to: Science and technology * Open-circuit voltage (VOC), the voltage between two terminals when there is no external load connected * Variant of concern, a category used during the assessment of a new variant of a virus * ...
glues and paints. Bamboo flooring can be useful in ecological spaces since they help reduce pollution particles in the air. Vegetative cover or shield over building envelopes also helps in the same. Paper which is fabricated or manufactured out of forest wood is supposedly hundred percent recyclable, thus it regenerates and saves almost all the forest wood that it takes during its manufacturing process. There is an underutilized potential for systematically in the built environment.


Recycled materials

Sustainable architecture often incorporates the use of recycled or second hand materials, such as reclaimed lumber and recycled copper. The reduction in use of new materials creates a corresponding reduction in
embodied energy Embodied energy is the sum of all the energy In , energy is the that must be to a or to perform on the body, or to it. Energy is a ; the law of states that energy can be in form, but not created or destroyed. The unit of measure ...
(energy used in the production of materials). Often sustainable architects attempt to retrofit old structures to serve new needs in order to avoid unnecessary development. Architectural salvage and reclaimed materials are used when appropriate. When older buildings are demolished, frequently any good wood is reclaimed, renewed, and sold as flooring. Any good
dimension stone Dimension stone is natural stone or Rock (geology), rock that has been selected and finished (e.g., trimmed, cut, drilled, ground, or other) to specific sizes or shapes. Color, Texture (geology), texture and pattern, and surface finish of the st ...
is similarly reclaimed. Many other parts are reused as well, such as doors, windows, mantels, and hardware, thus reducing the consumption of new goods. When new materials are employed, green designers look for materials that are rapidly replenished, such as
bamboo Bamboos are a diverse group of evergreen In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in th ...

bamboo
, which can be harvested for commercial use after only six years of growth,
sorghum ''Sorghum'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circum ...

sorghum
or wheat straw, both of which are waste material that can be pressed into panels, or
cork oak ''Quercus suber'', commonly called the cork oak, is a medium-sized, evergreen oak tree in the section ''Quercus'' sect. ''Cerris''. It is the primary source of cork for wine bottle stoppers and other uses, such as cork flooring and as the core ...
, in which only the outer bark is removed for use, thus preserving the tree. When possible, building materials may be gleaned from the site itself; for example, if a new structure is being constructed in a wooded area, wood from the trees which were cut to make room for the building would be re-used as part of the building itself.


Lower volatile organic compounds

Low-impact building materials are used wherever feasible: for example, insulation may be made from low VOC (
volatile organic compound Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are organic chemicals , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen chemical bond, bonds. Due to carbon's abilit ...
)-emitting materials such as recycled denim or
cellulose insulation The word cellulose Cellulose is an organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen chemical bond, bonds. Due to carbon's abi ...

cellulose insulation
, rather than the
building insulation materials Building insulation materials are the building material Building material is material used for construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Constructi ...
that may contain carcinogenic or toxic materials such as formaldehyde. To discourage insect damage, these alternate insulation materials may be treated with
boric acid Boric acid, also called hydrogen borate, boracic acid, and orthoboric acid is a weak, monobasic Lewis acid A Lewis acid (named for the American physical chemist Gilbert N. Lewis) is a chemical species that contains an empty orbital which is ...

boric acid
. Organic or milk-based paints may be used. However, a common fallacy is that "green" materials are always better for the health of occupants or the environment. Many harmful substances (including formaldehyde, arsenic, and asbestos) are naturally occurring and are not without their histories of use with the best of intentions. A study of emissions from materials by the State of California has shown that there are some green materials that have substantial emissions whereas some more "traditional" materials actually were lower emitters. Thus, the subject of emissions must be carefully investigated before concluding that natural materials are always the healthiest alternatives for occupants and for the Earth.
Volatile organic compounds Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are organic chemicals , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen chemical bond, bonds. Due to carbon's abilit ...

Volatile organic compounds
(VOC) can be found in any indoor environment coming from a variety of different sources. VOCs have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility, and are suspected of causing
sick building syndrome Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a condition in which people in a building suffer from symptoms of illness or become infected with chronic disease from the building in which they work or reside. The outbreaks may or may not be a direct result of ina ...
type symptoms. This is because many VOCs have been known to cause sensory irritation and central nervous system symptoms characteristic to sick building syndrome, indoor concentrations of VOCs are higher than in the outdoor atmosphere, and when there are many VOCs present, they can cause additive and multiplicative effects. Green products are usually considered to contain fewer VOCs and be better for human and environmental health. A case study conducted by the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Miami that compared three green products and their non-green counterparts found that even though both the green products and the non-green counterparts both emitted levels of VOCs, the amount and intensity of the VOCs emitted from the green products were much safer and comfortable for human exposure.


Materials sustainability standards

Despite the importance of materials to overall building sustainability, quantifying and evaluating the sustainability of building materials has proven difficult. There is little coherence in the measurement and assessment of materials sustainability attributes, resulting in a landscape today that is littered with hundreds of competing, inconsistent and often imprecise eco-labels,
standards Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrology), an object that bears a defined relationship to a unit of ...
and
certifications Certification is the formal attestation or confirmation of certain characteristics of an object, person, or organization. This confirmation is often, but not always, provided by some form of external review, education, assessment, or audit. Accr ...

certifications
. This discord has led both to confusion among consumers and commercial purchasers and to the incorporation of inconsistent sustainability criteria in larger building certification programs such as
LEED is the first LEED Platinum community in the world. Pictured is 1812 N Moore, the tallest LEED Platinum building in the Washington metropolitan area, and other towers of various LEED status. in Pittsburgh is the first convention center in the ...
. Various proposals have been made regarding rationalization of the standardization landscape for sustainable building materials.


Sustainable design and plan


Building


Building information modelling

Building information modelling Building information modeling (BIM) is a process supported by various tools, technologies and contracts involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. Building information ...
(BIM) is used to help enable sustainable design by allowing architects and engineers to integrate and analyze building performance. BIM services, including conceptual and topographic modelling, offer a new channel to green building with successive and immediate availability of internally coherent, and trustworthy project information. BIM enables designers to quantify the environmental impacts of systems and materials to support the decisions needed to design sustainable buildings.


Consulting

A sustainable building consultant may be engaged early in the design process, to forecast the sustainability implications of
building materials Building material is material used for construction. Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, rocks, sand, and wood, even twigs and leaves, have been used to construct buildings. Apart from naturally occurring materials, many man-mad ...
, orientation, glazing and other physical factors, so as to identify a sustainable approach that meets the specific requirements of a project. Norms and standards have been formalized by performance-based rating systems e.g.
LEED is the first LEED Platinum community in the world. Pictured is 1812 N Moore, the tallest LEED Platinum building in the Washington metropolitan area, and other towers of various LEED status. in Pittsburgh is the first convention center in the ...
and
Energy Star Energy Star (trademarked ''ENERGY STAR'') is a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that promotes energy efficiency. The program provides information on the energy consumption of produ ...

Energy Star
for homes. They define to be met and provide
metrics METRIC (Mapping EvapoTranspiration at high Resolution with Internalized Calibration) is a computer model developed by the University of Idaho, that uses Landsat satellite data to compute and map evapotranspiration (ET). METRIC calculates ET as a re ...
and testing to meet those benchmarks. It is up to the parties involved in the project to determine the best approach to meet those standards. As sustainable building consulting is often associated with cost premium, organisations such as aim for equity of access to sustainable and resident design.


Building placement

One central and often ignored aspect of sustainable architecture is building placement. Although the ideal environmental home or office structure is often envisioned as an isolated place, this kind of placement is usually detrimental to the environment. First, such structures often serve as the unknowing frontlines of
suburban sprawl Urban sprawl (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is the unrestricted growth in many urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. U ...
. Second, they usually increase the
energy consumption Energy consumption is the amount of energy In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order ...
required for transportation and lead to unnecessary auto emissions. Ideally, most building should avoid suburban sprawl in favor of the kind of light
urban development Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created throu ...
articulated by the
New Urbanist New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating Walkability, walkable neighborhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types. It arose in the United States in the early 1980s, and has gr ...
movement. Careful mixed use zoning can make commercial, residential, and light industrial areas more accessible for those traveling by foot, bicycle, or public transit, as proposed in the Principles of Intelligent Urbanism. The study of
permaculture Permaculture is an approach to land management and settlement design that adopts arrangements observed in flourishing natural ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with ...
, in its holistic application, can also greatly help in proper building placement that minimizes energy consumption and works with the surroundings rather than against them, especially in rural and forested zones. Water Usage dit'' Sustainable buildings look for ways to conserve water. One strategic water saving design
green buildings Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to both a structure and the application of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from planning t ...

green buildings
incorporate are
green roofs A green roof or living roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a Waterproofing#Construction waterproofing, waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional lay ...

green roofs
. Green roofs have rooftop vegetation which captures storm drainage water. This function not only collects the water for further uses but also serves as a good insulator that can aid in the
urban heat island An urban heat island (UHI) is an urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized ...

urban heat island
effect. Another strategic water efficient design is treating wastewater so it can be reused again.


Urban design

Sustainable urbanism takes actions beyond sustainable architecture, and makes a broader view for sustainability. Typical solutions includes eco-industrial park (EIP),
urban agriculture Urban agriculture, urban farming, or urban gardening is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, anim ...

urban agriculture
, etc. International program that are being supported includes Sustainable Urban Development Network, supported by UN-HABITAT, and Eco2 Cities, supported by the World Bank. Concurrently, the recent movements of
New Urbanism New Urbanism is an urban design While many assume urban design is about the process of designing and shaping the physical features of cities A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, lo ...

New Urbanism
,
New Classical architecture #REDIRECT New Classical architecture#REDIRECT New Classical architecture {{redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalization{{R from move ...
{{redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalization{{R from move ...
and
complementary architecture Complementary architecture is a movement in contemporary architecture Contemporary architecture is the architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted).jpg, uprig ...
promote a sustainable approach towards construction, that appreciates and develops
smart growth Smart growth is an urban planning Planning is the process A process is a series or set of Action (philosophy), activities that interact to produce a result; it may occur once-only or be recurrent or periodic. Things called a process include: B ...
, architectural tradition and
classical design
classical design
. This in contrast to
modernist Modernism is both a philosophical movement A philosophical movement refers to the phenomenon defined by a group of philosophers A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and ...

modernist
and globally uniform architecture, as well as leaning against solitary
housing estate A housing estate (or sometimes housing complex or housing development) is a group of homes and other buildings built together as a single development. The exact form may vary from country to country. Popular throughout the United States an ...
s and
suburban sprawl Urban sprawl (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is the unrestricted growth in many urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. U ...
. Both trends started in the 1980s. The
Driehaus Architecture Prize The Driehaus Architecture Prize, fully named The Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame, is a global award to honor a major contributor in the field of contemporary traditional A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attit ...
is an award that recognizes efforts in New Urbanism and New Classical architecture, and is endowed with a prize money twice as high as that of the modernist
Pritzker Prize The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually "to honor a living architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with th ...
.


Waste management

Waste takes the form of spent or useless materials generated from households and businesses, construction and demolition processes, and manufacturing and agricultural industries. These materials are loosely categorized as municipal solid waste, construction and demolition (C&D) debris, and industrial or agricultural by-products. Sustainable architecture focuses on the on-site use of
waste management Waste management (or waste disposal) includes the processes and actions required to manage waste Waste (or wastes) are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use, or is worthles ...

waste management
, incorporating things such as
grey water Grey water (spelling differences, also spelled gray water in the United States) or sullage refers to wastewater generated in households or office buildings from streams without fecal contamination, i.e., all streams except for the wastewater from ...
systems for use on garden beds, and
composting toilet A composting toilet is a type of dry toilet A dry toilet (or non-flush toilet, no flush toilet or toilet without a flush) is a that operates without flush water, unlike a . The dry toilet may have a raised pedestal on which the user can sit, o ...

composting toilet
s to reduce sewage. These methods, when combined with on-site
food waste Food loss and waste is food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional Nutrition is the biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organism I ...

food waste
composting and off-site recycling, can reduce a house's waste to a small amount of
packaging waste Packaging waste, the part of the waste that consists of packaging and packaging material, is a major part of the total global waste, and the major part of the packaging waste consists of single-use plastic waste, plastic food packaging, a hallma ...
.


Criticism

There are conflicting ethical, engineering, and political orientations depending on the viewpoints. There is no doubt Green Technology has made its headway into the architectural community, the implementation of given technologies have changed the ways we see and perceive modern day architecture. While green architecture has been proven to show great improvements of ways of living both environmentally and technologically the question remains, is all this sustainable? Many building codes have been demeaned to international standards. "LEED" (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) has been criticized for exercising flexible codes for building to follow. Contractors do this to save as much money as they possibly can. For example, a building may have solar paneling but if the infrastructure of the building's core doesn't support that over a long period of time improvements would have to be made on a constant basis and the building itself would be vulnerable to disasters or enhancements. With companies cutting paths to make shortcuts with sustainable architecture when building their structures it fuels to the irony that the "sustainable" architecture isn't sustainable at all. Sustainability comes in reference to longevity and effectiveness. Calculation methodologies of zero-energy buildings may vary. Energy stemming from inputs such as building materials, on-site production, and transportation of resources is often not accounted for.Hernandez, P., & Kenny, P. (2010). From net energy to zero energy buildings: Defining life cycle zero energy buildings (LC-ZEB). ''Energy and Buildings'', ''42''(6), 815–821. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2009.12.001


See also


References


External links


World Green Building Council

Passivhaus Institut
German institute for passive buildings {{DEFAULTSORT:Sustainable Architecture Low-energy building Sustainable building Sustainable design
Environmental social scienceEnvironmental social science is the broad, transdisciplinary study of interrelations between humans and the natural environment. {{DEFAULTSORT:Social science Environment and society Environmental science, *Social science Environmental studies Socia ...
Sustainable development Sustainability