Sustainable Architecture I by Helen Pangestu
Sustainability, in general, is the capacity to endure. Our environment logically needs to be enduring to make a better life, both for the sake of humans and our earth. Urban architecture is our environmental challenge. In order to create a more sustainable architecture, this action equals creating a more sustainable environment. To create a more sustainable urban architecture, this equals creating a more sustainable environment. We live in a world full of architecture, whereas architecture dominates our environments in today’s oil-powered life style. Therefore, this essay is about sustainable urban architecture and sustainable architectural environments.
Sustainable architecture can be defined as a general term that describes environmentally conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. In the broad context, sustainable architecture seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space.
The Bruntland Commission may have set back sustainable urban design by half a century with a definition: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. This statement is a basic concept of sustainability. Sustainable development means that the current generation uses only what it needs and does not borrow from future generations. Basically, sustainability is a relative concept, we have no absolute definition, like big or small. The earth is big enough for humans, but the earth is small in comparison with the universe. We should think about how to make a ‘more sustainable’ city instead of making a ‘sustainable’ city. In order to achieve that, architects should think of designing a city with fewer inputs and fewer outputs.
The role of individual architecture in the urban environment is quite important. Before creating a sustainable urban architecture, we should design the lower level of sustainability, the sustainable architecture. Sustainable architecture means sustainable energy use. That is probably the main consideration. The most important and cost effective element of an efficient heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is a well-insulated building. A more efficient building requires lower heat generating elements. More ventilation capacity is required to expel polluted indoor air. There are alternative devices that help us create a sustainable architecture by making renewable energy generation such as solar panels that help to provide sustainable electricity. Wind turbines help circulate the air. Solar water heating may be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for our house. Heat pumps can act as a reversible air conditioners. Therefore, green buildings are needed in order to design a sustainable urban architecture. Green buildings aim to reduce the environmental impact of buildings and human health. Buildings generally require a large amount of land use, energy and water consumption, and air and atmosphere conditioning.