It seems sustainability is talked about everywhere. When it comes to buildings, sustainable architecture is more than just a buzzword. From protecting the planet to creating a more comfortable standard of living, sustainable architecture has many benefits to offer.
At the moment in Spain, houses generate over 20% of the country’s annual carbon dioxide emissions. That’s without taking into account other types of buildings.
Meanwhile, The EU has a target of decarbonising Europe’s housing by 2050. This links with initiatives that promote sustainable building, such as Spain’s Construye 2020+ that aims to boost green employment in the construction industry through training and accreditation.
Sustainable architecture can help promote environmentally friendly practices both now and in the future.
Sustainable architecture is about creating functional buildings with a minimal environmental impact both now and in the future. This means the building is designed and built to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Here are some examples of elements you might find in a sustainable building:
Renewable energy is key when it comes to reducing a building’s impact on the environment. In sunny Spain, Solar PV is the fastest-growing energy source, accounting for around 6.1% of the country’s energy mix in 2020.
Of course, an energy efficient house needs to be properly insulated from top to bottom. This means you stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter. There are even benefits for noise reduction. It’s important to use the right insulation for your home, and specialists can advise you on this.
Rainwater collection might not be available for every green home, but it is more popular in some areas than others. The idea is to harvest rainwater for reuse through a safe and reliable system. In some areas, such as Catalonia, specific incentives and regulations help encourage the process. If you’re interested in rainwater harvesting, be sure to look at rules in your area.
Most of us will have noticed unwanted drafts from time to time. Did you know that unmanaged air infiltration and leakage can account for up to 50% of a building’s heating load? Buildings that reduce this air leakage will be more energy efficient, retaining hot or cold air as needed and often using a controlled ventilation system.
Sustainable buildings might focus on natural materials and energy efficient practices, but aesthetic design is still a very important part of the process. You can find sustainable builds in a range of styles, with modern, innovative, and eye-catching designs.
Environmental sustainability should ideally be seen at every stage of the process, not only in the final building. This means the construction should be carried out with sustainable practices, too.
Sustainable architecture means using the right materials and incorporating the best design for a building. By regulating temperatures and building on the natural temperature of the building (e.g. through positioning), the comfort levels and quality of life inside should improve.
It’s important to consult a specialist who can advise and assist with sustainable architecture design. Depending on whether you’re building from scratch, renovating, or extending, you might find that only certain sustainable architecture practices can be implemented.
Your team will first need to conduct a site survey to check what’s possible and also make sure that any local laws or regulations are met.
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