Julian Mills - Blogs
Sustainability has become a buzzword. And it’s often banded about so generally that its true meaning can be watered down, or even lost. So firstly, we’d like to be clear what we mean when we’re talking about sustainability and sustainable architecture.
What is sustainable architecture?
Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future. It has three main pillars - economic, environment and social - and these pillars need to work in equilibrium for a sustainable system to succeed. But what has architecture got to do with sustainability and why is it so vital that we consider it in our designs?
Design is a powerful tool and, when used with knowledge based around creating a sustainable system, design has the ability to make change. This can be through buildings, community or social change including:
- low energy houses
- public social spaces
- jobs provided through development
It’s difficult to ignore the fact that we’re currently living in a climate emergency and that the world is changing through environmental damage. But don’t just take my word for it – find out more, here. Without a huge change in the way humans currently build, we are in danger of creating irreparable damage to the planet.
The built environment accounts for around 40% of all global carbon emissions. That means architects have the ability to have a positive effect on the planet using intelligent design.
How can we utilise eco friendly architecture?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to a sustainable architecture practice. At Märraum, we incorporate these eco-friendly ideas into our process, including:
Reducing energy consumption
One of the key areas where we can make improvements when we design houses is reducing energy consumption within our existing and future building stock.
Insulation, windows and doors have a big part to play and we can work with you to find a cost-effective solution to implement changes that will benefit the planet, your pocket (good insulation makes for lower heating bills) and your comfort (no more need to wear two pairs of socks around the house).
Better material choices
When we’re designing, architects have a choice of materials. Finding and using better and improved building fabrics within our designs is a key way we can make impactful changes.
Stopping design for single use is one way to be smarter. By designing for reuse, or easy recycling, we lessen the burden on finding virgin materials, as well as reducing our production of waste.
Improving your environment
Designing to connect to the outdoors realises the mental and physical benefits of being close to nature. Landscape design on any size project can help to improve habitats and create a peaceful place to enjoy. Re-wilding by planting additional trees and areas like wildflower gardens can also benefit the planet as well as making your own environment more pleasant. Trees help provide cleaner air whilst wildflowers provide more diverse habitats for wildlife to thrive.
Green architecture in Cornwall
At Märraum, we believe that sustainability isn’t just something to consider as an add-on, but should ideally run through the veins of every project. This is our mantra for design and we believe that on any scale these eco-architecture ideas can be introduced and bring a benefit to your project.
Sustainability is an important part of our culture and we’ve introduced an initiative called My Green Hour to encourage staff to take an hour out of their week to do something personally sustainable. Find out more about the scheme, here.
Many of the architecture trends for 2020 are concerned with sustainability. Find out more, here..