A REGENERATIVE FUTURE FOR ALL
Sustainable building design is about decision making & strategic planning to balance environmental, economic & occupants needs. One of the key principles to achieving sustainable development is to ensure the health, diversity & productivity of the environment is maintained & enhanced for future generations & that in doing so, ecological integrity is conserved.
Some of the considerations when designing a sustainable building are:
- Optimal orientation-for favourable sun & breezepaths
- Good solar access
- Shading from unwanted sun
- Fresh air supply, free of toxins & allergens
- Thermal comfort- adequate insulation, minimising air leakage & thermal transmission (Thermal bridges), high quality windows.
- Thermal mass, required for Passive solar design but not required for ‘Passive House’
- Materials that are Sustainable, ie.from renewable resources, have longevity, non toxic, recyclable at end of use, & the benefit they bring to the overall energy performance of the building weighted against the carbon produced in their manufacturing
- Economically sound- source & recognise systems that save money as well as the environment that have a payback period shorter than their life expectancy.ie, ‘Passive House’. Challenge the status-quo on home size, ie can rooms have a multi-purpose & therefore reduce the footprint of the house? The larger it is the more it costs to build, operate & maintain. Establish the true cost of a building project, upfront cost+ running costs + maintenance cost over its life period. When we do this analysis it becomes evident that sustainable buildings make better economic sense.
- Carbon neutral- energy efficient, zero energy, energy positive.
- Waste-free, be part of the circular economy-reduce/reuse/recycle/return to earth as contrast to the current liner economy of take/make/dispose in the buildings full life cycle.
- Healthy – air quality, natural lighting, reduce exposure to radio-frequency radiation, noise minimisation, social & community interaction, provision to grow food, more tolerant to extreme weather conditions
- Socially responsible- utilise materials & labour that has been equitably & ethically sourced
- Have Longevity- consider the visual appeal, a sophisticated building will far outlast an ugly counterpart, consider the expected maintenance & lifespan, adaptability for changes in future use
- Avoid the depletion of natural resources- water, minerals & metals
- Toxic free- Avoid chemicals that are known to be harmful to humans, animals & the environment during construction & the full life of the building, take measures to eliminate risk of mould growth ‘Passive House’ building methodology
- Are universally accessible- wheelchair friendly
- Interact with nature & the natural elements- biophilic design, sunlight, natural ventilation, access to nature & gardens
- ‘Passive House’ methodology. This systematic approach to designing & building has the solutions. Take a look at this link What is Passive House & what are its benefits?
Sustainable Buildings give more than they take. My goal is to collaborate with others to reverse the environmental damage that humans have inflicted on our planet & provide a truly regenerative future for all.
If you would like to know more about how you could build or extend ‘Sustainably’ I would be happy to guide you.