Things architects can do to address climate change, advice, Home eco tips, Sustainable property guide

Things Architects Can Do To Address Climate Change – Guide

16 Dec 2022

Climate change is a problem that will impact people for generations. The construction industry is often mentioned as one of the contributors to the amount of carbon emissions produced. However, architects can take steps to improve the reputation of builders by designing buildings that are considerate and gentle to the climate. Keep learning and watch the most current trends and recommendations in the sustainability field. It all starts at the drawing board, and you must carefully consider all the building elements and surrounding areas. Here are things architects can do to address climate change.

Things Architects can do to Address Climate Change

10 Things Architects Can Do To Address Climate Change

Broaden Your Knowledge Consistently

As an architect, it is essential that you broaden your knowledge consistently. You should know about all the new materials that appear in modern buildings and keep an eye on any techniques and processes you have not heard of before. However, if you are aiming to make your projects more sustainable, you need to learn more about climate change. For instance, the Business and Climate Change: Towards Net Zero Emissions online short course with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership can help you to understand any risks and opportunities climate change could provide you with. Then, you can use the knowledge to design better buildings.

Work With Buildings That Already Exist

One of the most significant ways architects can make buildings more environmentally friendly is by working with those that already exist. It would allow you to skip any emissions that would get into the atmosphere if you were building a house from scratch. Even though the building already exists, you still have plenty of creative freedom. This way, you can help buildings that are currently negatively impacting the environment to become more sustainable. Explore the different materials and technologies and make them a part of the design you envisioned.

Choose Your Materials Carefully

When you are coming up with a design for a building, you must consider which materials you would like to use. Sourcing building materials can leave behind a significant carbon footprint. Therefore, you should ensure that you incorporate materials that are more gentle on the environment. Remember to use these materials throughout the entire building. Some of the materials you might want to consider are recycled rubber, clay, straw, timber or bamboo. You also need to keep sustainability in mind when you are deciding which textiles should be used in the building.

Bring Ecosystems Back To Life

Wildlife is a significant part of any functional environment. To help your buildings to have a positive impact on climate change, ensure that your designs include nature. Incorporate into the design some green areas that will help bees and butterflies thrive. You can also improve biodiversity by playing around with the concept of rewilding. This way, you will help to rebuild the ecosystem in the area and support any wildlife that is crucial for a healthy environment. With rewilding in mind, the areas of your choice will be left without human interference and will develop naturally. There will be fewer chemicals involved, and nature will have free reign, so the ecosystem can revive itself without any interruptions.

Embrace Renewable Energy

Using and wasting energy resources is one of the most critical factors of climate change. So, you should try to incorporate some renewable energy resources into your project and embrace them. For example, some architects include in their designs solutions such as solar panels or wind turbines. However, which solution you use will, in the end, heavily rely on where the building will stand. By working with renewable energy, you will help future owners cut down their energy bills. In times when energy costs are rising dramatically, it can be seen as a significant advantage, and the building might find new owners faster.

Support Using Materials From Local Sources

Transportation is one of the elements that can have a negative impact on the environment. However, you need to get your materials, tools or machinery to the building site somehow. In order to make you less dependent on lengthy transportation, consider using materials from local sources. You will be able to lower the carbon footprint of your project and support local businesses at the same time. Working with companies over a shorter distance will allow the material to spend less time in the air or on the road. You might be able to find more quality materials than you are used to. Simultaneously, you will be able to save money for the transportation of the material to the building site.

Try To Recycle Water In Your Projects

When we talk about sustainability, it is not all about the carbon footprint. You also need to consider how you use natural resources, such as water. In order to help future owners of the building to waste less water, include in your design some features that will help them to recycle water. For example, try incorporating greywater systems – that is water that has already been used in sinks, bathtubs or washing appliances. Of course, it is not safe to drink such water. However, it can still be used to water the lawn or plants.

Reuse Materials In Good Condition

Constructing buildings comes with a significant amount of waste which could be damaging to the environment. To lower your carbon emissions, consider reusing materials that you already have from past projects. You will be able to cut down your expenses as you will not need to buy as much new material. This will also help you to get closer to Net Zero, as there will not be as much transportation and packaging involved in the process. In the end, the project will also accumulate less waste. However, remember that you need to store all the material securely so it does not get damaged or into the wrong hands.

Consider Exploring Off-Site Construction

To move your project closer to Net Zero, you might want to consider exploring off-site construction. This will allow you to construct elements of the building you designed in a more controlled environment. Like this, less pollution will escape into nature, and the local ecosystem might become less damaged. You will also need to deal with less waste and scraps that would come with construction on-site. The concept of off-site construction is still not widespread, but some companies are making progress. Once there are solutions that will make the logistics easier, off-site construction can make a tangible difference to the environment. For now, it is a popular solution for dealing with elements like doors, windows or wall panels.

Conclusion: Create Sustainable Building Designs

If you are striving to make a significant impact on climate change, all you need to do is start. The more you learn about different approaches and techniques, the easier it will become for you to include them in your designs. Of course, you need to understand the concept of sustainability, too.

Then you will know which problems you are trying to solve and what struggles the future owners of the building might be facing. Do not be afraid to explore the field of renewable energy sources and try to come up with more solutions that will help future owners to waste less electricity and water. Finally, you should always keep nature in mind. A diverse ecosystem is crucial for any healthy environment, and you have the power to improve the current situation.

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Edinburgh Architecture

Rowanbank Gardens, Corstorphine
Rowanbank Gardens Housing Edinburgh
Rowanbank Gardens Edinburgh Housing

West Town Vision
West Town Edinburgh property development site
image courtesy of architects practice
West Town Edinburgh Property Vision

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