The work of factories, the process of building, and any human activity in general lead to severe damages caused to the functioning of the planet Earth. Climate change, air and ground pollution can change the lives of future generations. Green architecture is a developing trend that can bring a range of benefits to the environment. This trend involves the approach to building, where the harmful effects of construction are minimalized regarding human health and the environment.
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Principles and Main Material of Green Design
It is necessary to start with the advantages and principles of green architecture. According to Ragheb et al. (2016), the main pillars of green architecture are the following: “the involvement of water features and their management; natural building design; passive solar design; green building materials; living Architecture”. All the mentioned principles have to be implemented in a sustainable way to create an eco-friendly building. Of course, not all building materials might be used during the construction in green design. Traditional building materials require diverse adaptations to meet the requirements and be chosen for green buildings construction. These materials have to be environmentally friendly, natural, and cost-effective. The materials must have low toxicity, be sustainable, and be made of renewable harvested sources with high recyclability (Cullen, 2010). Furthermore, green materials have to meet the standards of strength and durability.
In addition, it is required to introduce edge-driven building technologies and tools, such as ICT automation and brand new building materials. The possibility to implement technological advancements and newly developed materials leads to the enhancement of the sustainable building process. The essential goal of this implementation is reducing the impact of a particular building on the environment. The same goes for the consequences of the building process itself.
As for advantages, green design means that this type of buildings has such characteristics as comfort, economy, aesthetics, being eco-responsible. Furthermore, most of the green buildings are free of drafts and have some extra sunlight, which can be also be transformed into solar energy. Ragheb and other researchers (2016) mention Kats’ study implying that the south windows of the green building appear to be much more cheerful during the winter months than a conventional house (Ragheb et al., 2016). As can be seen, green architecture is beneficial in terms of recyclability, durability, extra light, and economy.
Advantages of Green Architecture
The first and the most important advantage of green architecture is being environmentally responsible. The presence of green plants helps to decrease the overall level of CO2, while the presence of solar batteries can drastically change the amount of fuel and electricity spent on lighting and heating. Moreover, Ragheb et al. (2016) also mention Woolley who admits that passive cooling strategies can be used to significantly reduce summer air conditioning costs. As can be seen, green design can reduce the usage of natural resources and help families to save money on fuel and electricity bills. In addition, the implementation of passive solar construction does not cost a fortune anymore. The price of passive solar construction does not surpass one of the conventional constructions. Another essential characteristic of green architecture is aesthetics. Passive solar buildings covered by a lot of green plants can be perceived as both stylish and cozy on the outside. At the same time, it can be noted that the passive solar features make the interior of the apartments bright, warm, and pleasant.
Different Types of Green Buildings
There are different types of green architectural segments, including green roofs and green walls. Green roofs assist in such functions as “absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, creating a habitat for wildlife, increasing benevolence and decreasing stress of the people” (Ragheb et al., 2016).
The last rather psychological benefit is achieved thanks to the created aesthetically pleasing landscape. Furthermore, people can feel more comfortable and relaxed thanks to lower air temperatures, which can be adjusted by the heat island effect (Ragheb et al., 2016). It is also possible to create a tiny park on the green roof.
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Another type of green design is the segment of green walls. These walls are vertical greenery made of diverse plants placed on the façade of the green building. In comparison to green roofs, green walls can cover exposed hard surfaces (Ragheb et al., 2016). It should be also mentioned that the types of green walls can vary a bit: Wall-climbing Green wall, Hanging-down Green Wall, Module Green Wall (Ragheb et al., 2016). It is possible for a conventional building to become a little greener by adding some vegetation to its walls. As a result, this change will increase the organic mass on the site and decrease the amount of CO2. Therefore, green architecture standards can be available for a different already existing building. For example, skyscrapers might be eco-friendlier constructions providing that some plants are added to their walls.
As can be seen, the advantages of green architecture can be divided into environmental, social, and economic. In terms of environmental benefits, green architecture leads to the reduction of air pollution and CO2, conservation of natural resources, and prevention of general environmental degradation. As for the economical aspect, green architecture can reduce the budget spent by the building’s operators on such sources as water and energy. In addition, it makes the building look better in terms of its design.
Cullen, Howe J. (2010), Overview of Green Buildings. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Web.
Ragheb, A., El-Shimy, H., & Ragheb, G. (2016). Green architecture: A concept of sustainability. Procedia. Social and Behavioral Sciences, 216(6).