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From Concrete Jungles to Sustainable Havens: The Changing Face of Urban Architecture

As we all know, sustainability has become a top priority for most of the world. Climate change is something that has affected our lifestyles and the planet we live in. Like most things, architecture is changing so it is far more sustainable. 

Design and functionality are always at the front of the architect’s mind as well as functionality. Now, they need to carefully consider sustainability as well when constructing buildings. These buildings need to be the most energy-efficient they have ever been before. Let’s look at how modern architecture is changing to be a more sustainable haven rather than just another building in the concrete jungles in which we live. 

What Is Sustainable Architecture? 

It is important to understand sustainable architecture as there is a lot more to it than just energy efficiency. Sustainable architecture is also about the design and the construction of the building. It is so the buildings impact the environment less and reduce the number of resources used during the construction process. There are many ways to achieve this such as using energy-efficient machinery to reuse materials from other construction sites. It also considers involving more green spaces in these buildings while improving the insulation in the walls, windows and ceilings. 

One of the primary goals of developing energy-efficient buildings is to ensure they are self-sufficient and reduce their impact on the environment. There are several ways to achieve this such as using materials which are recycled, including natural elements such as vertical gardens and green roofs, installing energy-efficient technology to improve overall operations, improving building design so natural light is used more than electric, considering the use of solar panels and wind turbines. All of these will make the building far more sustainable in our city centres. 

What Are The Benefits Of Sustainable Architecture? 

There are many benefits which involve sustainability and the construction of modern buildings. One of the main reasons why sustainability is carefully considered with modern design is to reduce their carbon footprint. It is also to reduce energy consumption which will also impact the environment less. Thanks to this, it will reduce building costs significantly and help to reduce the use of non-renewable energy. 

Sustainable architecture isn’t just a design to reduce building costs and be more eco-friendly. It can also help to improve the economy and social behaviours. Redesigning existing buildings so they are far more eco-friendly helps create more construction jobs in the future. Additionally, for those who occupy these new buildings, their health and well-being will improve because of clean air and natural lighting. 

Examples Of Sustainable Architecture

There are numerous examples of sustainable architecture already across the world so it isn’t anything new. Let’s look at some of the wonders which have been built in the last 20 years to support the sustainable architecture movement. 

One Central Park – Sydney, Australia

Starting with this twin tower, One Central Park has a park at the bottom of the building before climbing up the side of it. It has over 250 species of different plants and flowers. At the top, you will be able to see a hovering cantilever which holds some of the most luxurious penthouses in the city. It is also believed that this building uses 25% less energy consumption compared to other buildings of its size. 

Bahrain World Trade Center 1 and 2- Bahrain

Up next is another phenomenal building and that is the World Trade Centre in Bahrain. Both buildings reach heights of up to 787 feet and this modern design doesn’t stop there. These buildings take advantage of the fast winds from the desert, with three turbines on the bridges of each building, helping to provide electricity for the building. 

Due to its well-researched and technical construction, these buildings reflect the wind to these turbines, helping to increase the renewable energy provided to the building. This then provides 15% of its electricity to those buildings, helping to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used for their energy. Although that may not seem a lot, this building was built in 2008 and was one of the first of its kind. 

Shanghai Tower – Shanghai, China

Up there with being one of the tallest buildings in the world, it is also one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. This building has a transparent layer on the outside where it captures air, helping to provide natural ventilation for the building. There are also 270 wind turbines which are buried into the facade which helps to power the exterior lights of the building. This reduces energy costs significantly for such a building of its size. Not to mention that it also has a platinum LEED certificate. 

There are many more buildings around the world which are similar to those mentioned. There is also a lot of variation in how they can be more sustainable. Now, with some of those being built over 15 years ago, there is no doubt that sustainable architecture has improved. 

Sustainability and Modern Infrastructure

As we all know, sustainability is becoming very important with modern buildings. Each architect is aiming to be creative with their designs and provide a more eco-friendly environment when designing these buildings in city centres. However, the main reason for this is not for their own desire but for the world. It is a task set by the world to reduce the environmental impact on these buildings all around the world. Not to mention that it aims to improve the health and wellbeing of those who use those buildings. 

To ensure these buildings are more sustainable, they have to do many things during construction. Using sustainable, recycled materials that are locally sourced is one of the primary priorities. Introduce more green space to these buildings by adding green roofs and verticals along the interior and exterior of the walls. 

As we all know, LED lights are a step forward for sustainable homes and are too with commercial buildings. These buildings will also look to use solar panels for those lights. Plus, these buildings are designed to ensure they are energy-efficient by making use of natural light and improving ventilation throughout the building. 

Summary

Modern architecture has changed a lot in the last 20 years and you could say it is for the better. The government is introducing green zones so the use of modern car parks such as Hyde Park parking lots in London has decreased. To counteract this, car park companies are introducing more EV charging points in their car parks to attract those with electric vehicles instead of using the train. 

Many buildings are now making adjustments to their way of living and reducing their carbon footprint which is positive to see however, there is a lot more that can be done. 

 

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