In the current times, where climate change is not just a future prospect but a present-day reality, the adoption of sustainable practices has become more crucial than ever.
As the planet grapples with the repercussions of a changing climate, the significance of sustainable and eco-friendly approaches has never been more pronounced. Architecture is one such domain where these practices are being actively employed.
Find out more about green, sustainable architecture, which is the need of the hour.
What is Sustainable Architecture?
Sustainable architecture follows a holistic approach to construction. It incorporates the three pillars of sustainability – planet, people, and profit. A sustainable building not only minimises its environmental footprint but also ensures the occupant’s long-term well-being and the project’s economic viability.
Sustainable architecture follows a conscientious approach that spans the entire lifecycle of a building. It aims to ensure minimal environmental impact, while also ensuring a harmonious blend with the surrounding ecosystem. Sustainable architecture has different phases, such as planning, design, construction, operation, and even demolition.
Commencing with the planning phase, the process emphasises using land without disrupting natural landscapes. In the design stage, sustainable architecture uses designs to promote long-term sustainability. For example, a sustainable house will use the right window placements to optimise natural ventilation and reduce the occupant’s reliance on air conditioners and other electronic items. This will lower the energy load of the house, and the ventilation will help enhance indoor air quality.
Sustainable architecture also focuses on the materials used and the construction process employed during construction. It prioritises using environmentally safe materials and eco-friendly resources to minimise waste. When the building transitions into the operations phase, sustainable architecture uses energy and water-efficient tools like smart technology.
Finally, in the event of demolition, sustainable architecture uses environmentally responsible practices for demolition. It also ensures the waste is disposed of properly and the remaining material is recycled.
Sustainable Architecture Examples
The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabad, inaugurated in 2013, stands as a pioneering example of sustainable architecture. The airport has earned the distinction of being the first Asian airport to receive a LEED Silver rating for new construction. RGIA integrates numerous sustainable features, such as a remarkable achievement of 3.97 kWh of energy savings, an impressive rainwater net recharge of approximately 1.729 million cubic metres per annum, and more.
The airport adopts an innovative approach by converting food waste generated on-site into compost, replacing the need for chemical fertilisers. The airport has also been awarded the Certificate of Merit in National Energy Conservation.
What is Green Architecture?
In contrast to sustainable architecture, green architecture specifically focuses on environmental initiatives. It encompasses individual practices of occupants that promote environmental sustainability.
For example, it centres on minimising the carbon footprints of the occupants by issuing specific criteria and guidelines for the occupants.
Green Architecture Examples
An exemplary model of green architecture is the Action for Social Advancement office building in Bhopal. Constructed in 2019 by Biome Environmental Solution, the building uses diverse eco-friendly approaches.
For example, to combat heat gain, the building incorporates deep overhangs and courtyards that have been designed to minimise reliance on external cooling agents. The bricks used in the construction are all locally sourced and include a blend of black cotton soil, fly ash, cement, and lime.
The roofing insulation is achieved through a waterproofing course using locally available brickbat Coba. The building also uses renewable energy with a 20kVA solar PV system installed on the rooftop.
Differences Between Green Architecture and Sustainable Architecture
While often used interchangeably, the terms green and sustainable in the context of architecture and building design carry distinct connotations.
Green architecture typically focuses on individual environmentally friendly practices within the design and construction of buildings. This may include initiatives like using renewable energy sources, smart technology and more to reduce the carbon footprints of the occupants.
In contrast, sustainable architecture takes a broader approach. It uses a comprehensive approach to create structures that minimise environmental impact on the surroundings, prioritise occupant well-being, and promote economic viability.
To Sum it Up
Sustainable and green architecture has never been more critical in the contemporary world than now. More and more builders need to incorporate these practices, and more and more buyers need to consider these aspects when investing in properties.
Piramal Realty has already taken a step in this direction and offers luxurious, environmentally friendly homes. Take a virtual tour of sustainable homes from Piramal Realty today!
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