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Sustainable Architecture

  • Date Submitted: 12/15/2010 10:40 AM
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Sustainable Architecture

What is sustainable design?
Sustainability has been defined by the Brundtland Commission, 1987, as “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.”

Sustainability represents a balance that accommodates human needs without diminishing the health and productivity of natural systems.

In these times of rapidly rising world population, increased demand on resources, continued pollution, sustainability is quickly becoming the dominant issue of the 21st Century. It is an issue that each of us, as individuals need to address in our daily life and work.

While environmental and economic sustainability is the goal, sustainable design is the means we as designers have to contribute to that goal. Sustainable design moves away from extractive and disposable systems that are energy- intensive, resource-inefficient, and toxic, towards cyclical, closed-loop systems that are restorative, dynamic, and flexible.

The construction and operation of buildings contributes significantly, directly and indirectly, to most of our environmental challenges. Buildings are enormous consumers of resources and generators of waste. The industrial processes used to manufacture building materials and equipment contributes to waste and pollution as well.

Sustainable Design Goals
Sustainable design recognizes the interdependence of the built and natural environments; it seeks to harness natural energy flows and biological processes, eliminate reliance on fossil fuels and toxic materials, and improve resource efficiency. The impact of these changes will be to reduce the environmental impact of our designs and create buildings that are not only harmless but actually part of natural systems and restorative of those systems. Sustainable design is concerned with the quality of our environment as a whole system and this is the main global goal.

A summary of sustainable global goals...

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