Essay of green architecture

Green building with concrete

The up-front cost of installing solar collectors is high, but with the annual energy savings, payback periods are relatively short. Air-source heat pumps ASHP can be thought of as reversible air conditioners.

What is a Green Building?

Like an air conditioner, an ASHP can take heat from a relatively cool space e. However, unlike an air conditioner, the condenser and evaporator of an ASHP can switch roles and absorb heat from the cool outside air and dump it into a warm house. Air-source heat pumps are inexpensive relative to other heat pump systems.

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However, the efficiency of air-source heat pumps decline when the outdoor temperature is very cold or very hot; therefore, they are only really applicable in temperate climates. For areas not located in temperate climates, ground-source or geothermal heat pumps provide an efficient alternative. The difference between the two heat pumps is that the ground-source has one of its heat exchangers placed underground—usually in a horizontal or vertical arrangement. Ground-source takes advantage of the relatively constant, mild temperatures underground, which means their efficiencies can be much greater than that of an air-source heat pump.

The in-ground heat exchanger generally needs a considerable amount of area. Designers have placed them in an open area next to the building or underneath a parking lot. They are also quieter and can also be applied to other functions like domestic hot water heating.

Importance of Green Building

In terms of initial cost, the ground-source heat pump system costs about twice as much as a standard air-source heat pump to be installed. However, the up-front costs can be more than offset by the decrease in energy costs. The reduction in energy costs is especially apparent in areas with typically hot summers and cold winters.

Other types of heat pumps are water-source and air-earth. If the building is located near a body of water, the pond or lake could be used as a heat source or sink. Air-earth heat pumps circulate the building's air through underground ducts. With higher fan power requirements and inefficient heat transfer, Air-earth heat pumps are generally not practical for major construction. Some examples of sustainable building materials include recycled denim or blown-in fiber glass insulation, sustainably harvested wood, Trass , Linoleum , [15] sheep wool, concrete high and ultra high performance [16] roman self-healing concrete [17] , panels made from paper flakes, baked earth, rammed earth, clay, vermiculite, flax linnen, sisal, seegrass, expanded clay grains, coconut, wood fiber plates, calcium sandstone, locally obtained stone and rock, and bamboo , which is one of the strongest and fastest growing woody plants , and non-toxic low- VOC glues and paints.

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Vegetative cover or shield over building envelopes also helps in the same. Paper which is fabricated or manufactured out of forest wood is supposedly hundred percent recyclable. Sustainable architecture often incorporates the use of recycled or second hand materials, such as reclaimed lumber and recycled copper. The reduction in use of new materials creates a corresponding reduction in embodied energy energy used in the production of materials. Often sustainable architects attempt to retrofit old structures to serve new needs in order to avoid unnecessary development. Architectural salvage and reclaimed materials are used when appropriate.

When older buildings are demolished, frequently any good wood is reclaimed, renewed, and sold as flooring. Any good dimension stone is similarly reclaimed. Many other parts are reused as well, such as doors, windows, mantels, and hardware, thus reducing the consumption of new goods. When new materials are employed, green designers look for materials that are rapidly replenished, such as bamboo , which can be harvested for commercial use after only 6 years of growth, sorghum or wheat straw, both of which are waste material that can be pressed into panels, or cork oak , in which only the outer bark is removed for use, thus preserving the tree.

When possible, building materials may be gleaned from the site itself; for example, if a new structure is being constructed in a wooded area, wood from the trees which were cut to make room for the building would be re-used as part of the building itself. Low-impact building materials are used wherever feasible: for example, insulation may be made from low VOC volatile organic compound -emitting materials such as recycled denim or cellulose insulation , rather than the building insulation materials that may contain carcinogenic or toxic materials such as formaldehyde.

To discourage insect damage, these alternate insulation materials may be treated with boric acid.

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Organic or milk-based paints may be used. Many harmful substances including formaldehyde, arsenic, and asbestos are naturally occurring and are not without their histories of use with the best of intentions. A study of emissions from materials by the State of California has shown that there are some green materials that have substantial emissions whereas some more "traditional" materials actually were lower emitters. Thus, the subject of emissions must be carefully investigated before concluding that natural materials are always the healthiest alternatives for occupants and for the Earth.

Volatile organic compounds VOC can be found in any indoor environment coming from a variety of different sources. VOCs have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility, and are suspected of causing sick building syndrome type symptoms. This is because many VOCs have been known to cause sensory irritation and central nervous system symptoms characteristic to sick building syndrome, indoor concentrations of VOCs are higher than in the outdoor atmosphere, and when there are many VOCs present, they can cause additive and multiplicative effects.

Green products are usually considered to contain fewer VOCs and be better for human and environmental health. A case study conducted by the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Miami that compared three green products and their non-green counterparts found that even though both the green products and the non-green counterparts both emitted levels of VOCs, the amount and intensity of the VOCs emitted from the green products were much safer and comfortable for human exposure. Despite the importance of materials to overall building sustainability, quantifying and evaluating the sustainability of building materials has proven difficult.

There is little coherence in the measurement and assessment of materials sustainability attributes, resulting in a landscape today that is littered with hundreds of competing, inconsistent and often imprecise eco-labels, standards and certifications. This discord has led both to confusion among consumers and commercial purchasers and to the incorporation of inconsistent sustainability criteria in larger building certification programs such as LEED.

Various proposals have been made regarding rationalization of the standardization landscape for sustainable building materials. Waste takes the form of spent or useless materials generated from households and businesses, construction and demolition processes, and manufacturing and agricultural industries.

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These methods, when combined with on-site food waste composting and off-site recycling, can reduce a house's waste to a small amount of packaging waste. One central and often ignored aspect of sustainable architecture is building placement. Although the ideal environmental home or office structure is often envisioned as an isolated place, this kind of placement is usually detrimental to the environment. First, such structures often serve as the unknowing frontlines of suburban sprawl.

Second, they usually increase the energy consumption required for transportation and lead to unnecessary auto emissions. Ideally, most building should avoid suburban sprawl in favor of the kind of light urban development articulated by the New Urbanist movement. Careful mixed use zoning can make commercial, residential, and light industrial areas more accessible for those traveling by foot, bicycle, or public transit, as proposed in the Principles of Intelligent Urbanism.

The study of Permaculture , in its holistic application, can also greatly help in proper building placement that minimizes energy consumption and works with the surroundings rather than against them, especially in rural and forested zones. A sustainable building consultant may be engaged early in the design process, to forecast the sustainability implications of building materials , orientation, glazing and other physical factors, so as to identify a sustainable approach that meets the specific requirements of a project.

Norms and standards have been formalized by performance-based rating systems e.

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It is up to the parties involved in the project to determine the best approach to meet those standards. Critics of the reductionism of modernism often noted the abandonment of the teaching of architectural history as a causal factor. The fact that a number of the major players in the shift away from modernism were trained at Princeton University's School of Architecture, where recourse to history continued to be a part of design training in the s and s, was significant.

The increasing rise of interest in history had a profound impact on architectural education.

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Free Essay: Green Architecture is a method to reduce the impact on our environment by using natural resources like energy, water, and the materials that are. Free Essay: Green Architecture Green Architecture began with the first Earth Day in , and has grown in popularity as awareness of the earth's many.

History courses became more typical and regularized. With the demand for professors knowledgeable in the history of architecture, several PhD programs in schools of architecture arose in order to differentiate themselves from art history PhD programs, where architectural historians had previously trained.

Adopting this framework allows tracing a rich history of cultural debates about our relationship to nature and the environment, from the point of view of different historical and geographical contexts. Concurrently, the recent movements of New Urbanism and New Classical Architecture promote a sustainable approach towards construction, that appreciates and develops smart growth , architectural tradition and classical design. The Driehaus Architecture Prize is an award that recognizes efforts in New Urbanism and New Classical Architecture, and is endowed with a prize money twice as high as that of the modernist Pritzker Prize.

Building Information Modelling BIM is used to help enable sustainable design by allowing architects and engineers to integrate and analyze building performance.

BIM services, including conceptual and topographic modelling, offer a new channel to green building with successive and immediate availability of internally coherent, and trustworthy project information. BIM enables designers to quantify the environmental impacts of systems and materials to support the decisions needed to design sustainable buildings.

Green Architecture Essay

There are conflicting ethical, engineering, and political orientations depending on the viewpoints. There is no doubt Green Technology has made its headway into the architectural community, the implementation of given technologies have changed the ways we see and perceive modern day architecture.

When Trees Meet Buildings - The B1M

While green architecture has been proven to show great improvements of ways of living both environmentally and technologically the question remains, is all this sustainable? Many building codes have been demeaned to international standards. Contractors do this to save as much money as they possibly can.

For example, a building may have solar paneling but if the infrastructure of the building's core doesn't support that over a long period of time improvements would have to be made on a constant basis and the building itself would be vulnerable to disasters or enhancements. With companies cutting paths to make shortcuts with sustainable architecture when building their structures it fuels to the irony that the "sustainable" architecture isn't sustainable at all.

Sustainability comes in reference to longevity and effectiveness. Ethics and Politics also play into sustainable architecture and its ability to grow in urban environment. Conflicting viewpoints between engineering techniques and environmental impacts still are popular issues that resonate in the architectural community. With every revolutionary technology or innovation there comes criticisms of legitimacy and effectiveness when and how it is being utilized. Many of the criticisms of sustainable architecture do not reflect every aspect of it but rather a broader spectrum across the international community.