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Sustainable Design - Essay Example

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In the late seventies, there were different ideas regarding the conservation and use of energy in buildings, but limited amount of information was available. 'Green', 'ecological' and 'environmental' are labels that were approximately produced in the early 1970s that and that represented the idea that the design of buildings should basically take account of their relationship with and impact on the natural environment.1 From the same era, labels such as 'low energy', 'solar' and 'passive' came out to signify approaches to design with the conception of reducing reliance on fossil fuels in building functionality.2
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Sustainable Design
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Download file to see previous pages It is first remarkable that, as Yeang, p. 413, 2007, puts it concisely - "Nature regards humans as one of its many species. What differentiates humans is their capability to inflict devastating changes on the environment".3 One of the major human activities that hugely and adversely affect the environment is the burning of fossil fuels to produce energy for other down line human activities. It is now notable that fossil fuels, even in the first parts of the 21st century, still remain the major energy source. Thus, it stands to good reason that any project that can run on low energy consumption is a profitable one. This is in two senses - firstly, with low consumption of fossil fuels low emission of harmful gases is possible and, secondly, the low consumption of fossil fuels enables energy planners to buy more time to develop alternate sources for future consumption when it is believed that all fossil fuels on Earth will be completely exhausted.
This paper, thus, is concerned entirely with one such human project - human architectural activity - that is being designed to consume low energy and produce low emissions. This is what is currently being defined as sustainable architecture. The first part the paper discusses sustainability, its definition and global perceptions and the second part is a critical review about a sustainable development in London, called BedZED, as a successful example, its analysis and evaluation of its various environmentally friendly features.
Ecodesign:
Yeang4 defines ecodesign, which may be taken as sustainable design in this case, as a built environment that is fully integrated within its natural environment. It is taken here that the concerned 'built environment' is the sustainable architecture that this paper is in search of. Yeang (2007), furthermore, severely cautions against misconceptions that technology alone can provide sustainable architecture. He states that simply putting a set of technologies commonly acknowledged as green such as solar arrays, photovoltaic, biological recycling systems, building automation systems and double-skin facades into a building can merit the term ecodesign. Also, if a high mark in a green-rating system can hardly be construed as satisfactory reason to call the built environment sustainable architecture(Yeang, 2007). Instead, Yeang (2007) implies that ecodesign, or sustainable architecture, can only be operational when the entire building interacts with its natural environment in such a manner that all its inputs and outputs sustain the ecosystem within which it is built without upsetting its delicate balance of secure survival. In this sense Yeang (2007) believes that not only the building but all its associated activities, such as transportation, for example, must be integrated into its ecosystem where he implies ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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