Despite popular belief, sustainable architecture is highly controversial for a multitude of reasons. Further on we will present you things that you should know about sustainable attitude worldwide , a fragile topic that we must follow and enhance in order to save our planet for the generations to come.
1. Sustainable Architecture Defined
“Sustainable architecture is architecture that seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space. Sustainable architecture uses a conscious approach to energy and ecological conservation in the design of the built environment.
The idea of sustainability, or ecological design, is to ensure that our actions and decisions today do not inhibit the opportunities of future generations.”
In today`s world the apparent materiality can be only described as a widely organized chaos. In a sad manner this form of organization rules everything in the world, it`s a form or organization that follows unwritten rules in order to efficiently exploit every individual and every resource.
Have you ever wondered how an IPhone is produced? Have you ever seen an extraordinary radio or mp3 player created by a famous brand at only 10 dollars? Think about the value, research how these are realized.
Our irrepressible desired for consumption, consumerism, everything is part of a bigger picture, a big picture that leads to our own extinction.
We do think there is another way, another path. Around us thousands, millions of individual are promoting a different lifestyle, a green environment for us and the generations to come, a more responsible attitude towards the little planet that we are about to destroy.
2.Sustainable architecture is highly controversial and contextual subject
Sustainable architecture is a highly controversial subject for absolutely all parties today, whether they`re involved in the process or not. Why? Mainly because there is no right or wrong, the direction to be followed is not drawn and the site dictates everything first hand, these parameters are followed by heritage, economical factors and of course political and social status.
Let`s take for example an historical palace in the middle of London. We have a highly complex building with a highly important profile, a materialization of history an unique, extraordinary monument. All marvelous. Despite appearances and importance this extraordinary building needs 100 servants of different kinds to be taken care off, covers thousands of square meters, it is heated entirely with extraordinary effort for the well-being of a maximum of 15 people. Of course sustainable solutions could be applied to diminish the efforts of sustaining this extraordinary piece of architecture but this would mean alterating the apparent reality. Destroying it`s materiality from the very beginning resulting in a beautiful shell with no meaning. The building would not be used as it was originally designed too. So what is there to be done? Well there has to be a compromise between all parties, the wonderful palace has to accept some kind intervention, hidden ones, that would alterate it as little as possible therefore allowing it to live a while longer.
But what if on the same street with palace, an individual would want to invest in a highly modern green ecological building that would respect the density of a metropolis, a building that would rise up over the palace to make us of its blueprint? How would then all parties react? It`s once again a fragile subject.
3. Sustainable architecture means both innovation fail and progress
As a result there are successful quality investments that will aid our planet and environment and others that are harming more than helping.
Moving a little away from the residential field we have another highly controversial project that recently started cold wars in the sustainable war. It’s entitled The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, it`s the biggest solar power plant in the world at the moment, it has the capacity to generate a whopping 392 megawatts — enough to power more than 140,000 homes annually, according to developer Bright Source Energy, so far so good. But it also costed a whopping 2.2 billion dollars, it covers a huge piece of our planet ,in the desert in truth, but still a massive foot print that cannot be placed nowhere near to a residential area . Also the most unadvertised part of it is the fried birds. The Wall Street Journal’s Cassandra Sweet reported: “The dead birds included a peregrine falcon, a grebe, two hawks, four nighthawks and a variety of warblers and sparrows.” This happens naturally in all solar power plants in the world and while it saves pollution it harms the natural habitat in other ways. The investment along is a huge hole in the bigger picture considering that plant is already called irrelevant, after less than one year online.
Being honest with ourselves every small fail leads to a greater good, to a bigger success, this barely scratches the surface on our possibilities in the sustainable field but you would expect respect a more responsible attitude towards the environment from such huge companies after all, their supposedly models to follow.
4. It is impossible to solve the problem completely
Our context is way too complex to be remade entirely and in this huge chaos researchers are only trying to diminish the damage as much as possible, there is no way method to regenerate all resources or eliminate pollution entirely. Renewable resources are currently under the microscope; by innovating these we supposedly be capable of living in a similar manner on this planet for another 1.75 – 3.75 billion years when Earth will be “annihilated”.
We are well aware off that in New York, Beijing and other highly dense cities of the world there are people living in boxes of 10 square meters. They have a bed and a TV, that`s it. They have public bathrooms and toilets, they`re never eating at home, they`re efficient, economic yet miserable, tied up or well trained. We are also well aware that in Africa you can wonder off easily, they have more space then they need yet nothing to live off it. In which of situation you recall there is sustainable architecture? High density cities that are responsible for pollution massively but are using the fingerprint as much as they can or perishable establishments in Africa?
There is another great party involved that we see at least interesting. There are pieces of heaven on earth like Johannesburg, Singapore, California. Here we find extraordinary examples of sustainable architecture, with LEED approved establishments, with oasis of vegetation and great involvement in sustainable causes. Have you ever thought why a sustainable home is so expensive? Why the buildings that save the generations to come are literally killing the present ones? The energy used to forge the sustainable materials is immense, is hardly worthwhile even for the planet. We are not talking here just about the actually manufacture project but of all parties. If the establishment is not sure of its projection into the future the effort is not justified, it will harm the environment rather than helping it.
5. Researchers are already looking for other planets for us to migrate to for five years now
At the moment Earth is one of the few Universe`s Goldilocks planets, these are planets which are happily close enough to the sun for water to remain unfrozen and in the same manner it is enough away to prevent it from being vaporized, the case of Mercury.
Things are going to change in the future though, according to worldwide scientists, our planet is moving from this happy place every year, further and further away from the sun. This happens because the sun is getting older, it`s transforming from a yellow dwarf into a red sun, this changing the original alignment of the planets, the zone of safety moves outwards at a rate of one meter per year.
We currently have somewhere in between 1.75 and 3.75 billion years to live on our planet before life on earth, oceans, liquid water ceases to exist.
NASA is looking for a planet similar with ours in the Milky Way for five years now, dozens have been found, and from which some have a similar relation with a sun like star. The closest to our planet is 12 light years away.
You are probably thinking that we are not going to live enough to see any of these researches be materialized and you are probably right, but cell regrowth it`s as well researched with significant results.
Our world is about to change massively in our lifetime and we can make a difference; we can be part of the change for better or for worse. We are sailing the boat entitled life trough extraordinary waters and it would be shame to lose it in front of the shore thanks to inactivity.
The sustainable architecture draws attention to planning and anticipation more than before. Architecture is a form or art in which we live in, and if till now it was highly complex to develop, today with the fast advance in technology biology and chemistry this art becomes close to rocket science, an architect must know how to involve all these fields into an efficient piece of art because unless it`s functional it is uselessly beautiful.
However there are a few important directions that sustainable architecture has drawn over the years, there are a few methods of making your home a better place and little by little, the planet a better place. The change should start with us; we are subdued to the bigger image, yet free in our small one.