Sustainable Architecture

As its name suggests, sustainable architecture is a conscious approach to designing a building that promotes energy conservation and sustainability. The goal? To maximize energy efficiency through design and reduce the negative impact and of building materials and energy usage. Basically, let’s design buildings that keep the Earth beautiful for future generations.

What are some specific attributes for sustainable design and, more importantly, why should you care?

1. Roofs:

Using aluminum or steel to make a roof promotes sustainability because these materials are very strong, are highly reflective and conserve a lot of energy. This is incredibly beneficial for your:

    1. Safety: These materials are more resistant to fires and severe thunderstorms than your typical roof. A more durable roof keeps your home and family safer.
    2. Wallet: Because your roof isn’t as likely to be damaged, that means a sigh of relief for insurance companies. You’ll probably have lower insurance premiums.

2. Electrical Systems:

A sustainably designed electrical system uses the latest technologies that are safer and more reliable than older designs. This is important because of :

    1. Safety & Cost: Faulty electrical systems lead to a lot of fires. The average claim for these systems going faulty, often because of outdated fuse boxes and wonky power outlets, is $30,000. A newer system with safer technology will severely reduce the risk of these cost-creating fires.

3. HVAC Systems:

Modern day heating, ventilation and air conditioning system technologies are safer and more efficient than ever before. Sustainable HVAC systems are good for your:

    1. Safety: Old Air Conditioning systems result in nearly 3,000 fires every year. These newer HVAC designs use technology that makes them safer and at less risk for fires.
    2. Wallet: Pipes bursting. Fires starting. These things all cost a lot of money to fix. Modernized piping and systems use technology to prevent these problems for happening, saving you money.

4. Renewable Energy Generation:

Why not turn to the most green of green energy systems? Using energy efficient green energy systems reduces carbon footprint and lowers your monthly utility bill, potentially to zero! There are variety of green energy possibilities to choose from. Some of the top ones include:

    1. Solar panels
    2. Wind turbines
    3. Solar water heating

5. Recycled Materials:

Producing new materials using a lot of energy and releases harmful chemicals into the environment. You can use recycled materials to build your home instead.

    1. For example, when a building is demolished the material is often resold. You can get materials such as:
      1. Reclaimed lumber
      2. Recycled copper
      3. Reusable doors, windows & mantels
    2. You can also look to materials that are replenish quickly. Such materials include:
      1. Bamboo (can be used for flooring & wooly carpets)
      2. Sorghum (essentially a wood substitute that is great for interior design, furniture, construction cabinets and more)
      3. Core oak (ideal for floor tiles and insulation sheets)

To Learn More

As you can see, there’s a lot of options when it comes to sustainable architecture. To learn more about building green, we invite you to visit our Directory of Green Architects for a designer near you!