What is sustainable architecture?

Posted on December 27 2019
in # Market Insights# Housing# Commercial Real Estates
3 min read
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Sustainable Architecture and delivery of affordable housing.

Energy demand in developing countries is increasing as witnessed by the ever-growing number of new buildings, and rising electrical gadgets’ sales. What’s more, the cost of energy and fuel is also increasing. This is why citizens and most companies are jumping into initiatives that seek to reduce gas emissions and cutting on the cost of power.

How is sustainable architecture related to affordable housing? Image: no9.ca

Eco-friendly houses are good examples of such initiatives. The idea is gaining traction among a lot of consumers and developers as its environmental and financial benefits can never be underestimated. Well, this concept of eco-buildings can only be achieved through sustainable architecture.

What is sustainable architecture?

This is a type of architecture that seeks to reduce the negative impacts of buildings on the environment. It ensures that energy, construction materials, development space and the ecosystem are moderated in an effective way.

A conscious approach to ecological conservation and energy is used in designing buildings as well as the built environment. The idea of eco-designing is to make sure that any available resources presently don’t end up having adverse effects on our well-being. Making some non-resources available in the long run is also a significant focus on sustainable architecture in Kenya.

In simple terms, Sustainable architecture strives to meet human wants and ideal conditions of life without having to compromise life resources in the future. The practice is therefore, an essential piece in the topic of sustainable development and a concern in today’s designing and planning.

Sustainable architecture in use

Many professional architects and town planners are currently employing an eco-building mind-set. The number of sustainable architectural projects are increasing day by day. As mentioned, the practice seeks to improve energy efficiency over the entire cycle of a house. Below are some examples that demonstrate the use of sustainable architecture in modern society:

• Generation of renewable energy:

Solar Panels, Wind Turbines, Solar water heaters, and heat pumps are used to cut the cost of electricity.

What is sustainable architecture-2 Image: Construction Review online

• Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems (HVAC):

A building might be insulated effectively to reduce energy dissipation. However, this would require a lot of ventilation to expel out the indoor air. Copper and metal conductors are incorporated into HVAC motors to help reduce electricity consumption

• Use of sustainable building materials:

Some of these include harvested wood, sheep wool, baked earth, recycled denim, trass, linoleum, paper flakes panels, flax linen, local stones and rocks, bamboo, non-toxic paints and glues, coconut, wood fibre plates, clay, vermiculite, sisal, calcium sandstone, rammed earth and so on.

• Recycling: recycled materials are used, which results in reduced embodied energy (amount of energy used in producing new stuff).

For instance, when old buildings are demolished, parts such as windows, wood, doors, mantels and other hardware can be reused. Also, if a new building is being put up in a wooded area, the cut trees can be used as part of the structure.

• Waste management:

Sustainable architecture believes in the on-site management of waste. Systems such as greywater and compositing latrines/toilets are employed to reduce sewages.

• Building placement:

New structures are built in an area close to an excellent transport system that is accessible by people travelling on foot, bicycles, and public transport. This lowers energy consumption.

How is sustainable architecture related to affordable housing?

So how is this concept related to affordable housing in Kenya? Well, sustainable architecture focuses on saving on the cost of building materials, electricity and fuel bills. A house built with cheap recycled wood dust or coconut leaves is less expensive than one made with sand, cement and mined stones.

Though the cost of installation of some systems such as solar panel roofs, wind turbines, and heat pumps is high. In the long run, it is cost-efficient in that you will never suffer huge electricity bills and humdrum power cuts by the KPLC.

As a technology-driven company, Hao Finder adulates sustainable architecture as it reduces threats of biodiversity, manages non-renewable reserves, ensures material efficiency, cuts down power costs and most importantly, ensures the availability of affordable housing.

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