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Architecture and design both play a huge role in determining the state of the natural environment. There is a mounting pressure on the architecture industry to seek out greener practices and whilst there have been advancements in terms of alternative building practices there are ways that architects can better serve the natural environment.
There is a massive carbon footprint left behind by the construction industry due to the heavy reliance of fossil fuels. To help make this process greener, designers and architects have begun using biodegradable materials. Biodegradable materials that have been used in the construction industry include mycelium, cork, bamboo, and even sand.
Although locally sourced materials can have limitations when it comes to cost, due to reduced competition, where materials originate from to where they’re used in building and construction, and the distances travelled between, plays a massive role in determining a project’s environmental impact. The transport of these materials produces greenhouse gas emissions, so by reducing the distance travelled a project can leave a much smaller carbon footprint.
The construction industry is responsible for sending millions of tons of waste to landfills each year. Most of this waste actually comes from the demolition of a site before new construction begins. Reusing these discarded materials will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and transporting new materials, it will also help to cut costs.
The natural environment must be considered when planning a new architectural project. Designing homes in a way that mutually benefits both humans and nature will help combat the climate crisis.
Biophilic design is a style of architecture that connects the occupants of a building more closely to nature. These buildings incorporate things such as natural lighting and ventilation, natural landscape features and other similar elements.
Rather than looking at the traditional timeframe of an architectural project, we need to view time from a biological perspective. In order to fully understand our impact on the environment, we must take into consideration a project’s broader implications for the natural environment around it.
Steve Jackson Design is an architect in Essex with more than 25 years of experience, in all manner of building types and forms of construction, including both residential architecture and commercial architecture.