Architecture for climate change: Unique structures in future for lower carbon footprint
On account of the risk posed by climate change, there is a growing need for structures designed based on cutting-edge principles that minimize the building’s carbon footprint. As a series of measures to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, architecture for climate change is certainly a must today.
By Hardik Pandit
The science of human contribution to modern warming is quite clear. Likely, half of the observed increase in the global average surface temperature is caused by human activity. Man-made structures have added significantly to the warming of our Planet Earth by piling up over some time. A majority of the country’s greenhouse gas is caused by the construction process and the ongoing energy demands of structures. On account of the risk posed by climate change, there is a growing need for structures designed based on cutting-edge principles that minimize the building’s carbon footprint. As a series of measures to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, architecture for climate change is certainly a MUST today.
The Shanghai Tower in China, the Crystal in London, the Museum of Tomorrow in Brazil, the Pixel Building in Melbourne, One Central Park in Sydney, the Marco Polo Tower in Germany, and our very own Suzlon One Earth in Pune feature as some of the most modern and cutting-edge structures constructed with consideration for climate change. The constructed environment in each of these structures has been shaped by architects in a variety of ways. Designs for controlled usage of natural elements like energy, water, materials, site impact, and landscaping, as well as for things like health, safety, and security.
The planning or construction of more than two-thirds of the buildings anticipated to be in use by 2030 has not yet begun. This remarkable statistic presents a chance to apply strategies that support low-carbon buildings. Resource efficiency, carbon reduction, human health, and wellness must all be taken into account while designing green structures and sustainable communities. So, the question is, what will make a building special in the future for a smaller carbon footprint?
Use of futuristic material
The materials used are very important when constructing a structure that promotes a lower carbon footprint. Their use alone, however, is insufficient to claim a less carbon footprint. Their design and manufacturing process is always conducted by sustainability and environmental care standards. And raw materials are sourced from certified productions. What are the most widely used elements of environmentally friendly structures, then? The list is extensive and includes using stone, cork, raw earth, straw, bamboo, linen, coconut fiber, and cellulose wool in addition to the more traditional materials of wood, steel, and aluminium.
The ideal green building material is wood. Because of its strong static resistance and low processing energy, it is a fantastic insulator, biodegradable, and non-toxic. Steel, an infinitely recyclable metal, is now the second-best choice for the construction of green buildings. This feature improves the circular economy and lowers the cost, time, and environmental effects of deployment. In green structures, aluminium, the third futuristic material, is used for windows, doors, and roofing. Greatly recyclable and reusable, it regenerates indefinitely into new items. According to some calculations, 70 per cent of all aluminium produced is still in use.
Buildings that use less energy include a lot more than just high-tech LED lighting fixtures. The dynamic shape of a building that invites soothing natural light and sufficient fresh air circulation that nurtures several pockets of comforting micro climates via the Venturi effect, etc. within the built masses are also some smart energy efficient practices at the design and planning stage. Climate change architecture has also shown that it can harness wind by strategically placing turbines and providing clean electricity from solar panels that may be oriented to face the sun.
Energy-efficient doors, windows, appliances, and controlled ventilation all make a difference, as do appropriately sized high-efficiency heating and cooling systems. Choosing state-of-the-art building supplies and techniques from chemistry and material science aids architects in achieving their objectives. Typically, these buildings save 30 per cent of the energy they consume, demonstrating their long-term worth.
Depending on the building’s location, the needs of its occupants, and health and performance focus workplace strategy, fritted glass, double-glazed windows, roof vents, window shades, and light-colored roofs to reflect heat are all examples of futuristic architectural designs that can reduce carbon footprints. Recycling demolished material, carpooling and sewer mining are the other sustainable design aspects that can improve a building’s energy efficiency.
It’s high time that we encourage and use new yet best-suited maximum water-saving technology since doing so will help us maintain our current freshwater resources, which is essential for avoiding a future water shortage. For both new and existing buildings, water conservation is crucial as part of green building principles. To conserve water, sustainable practices include low-flow fixtures, energy saving efficient water sensor systems, rainwater harvesting and grey water recycle management via maximum coverage of the building and its campus.
Introduction of Biophilia optimizes cooling and enhances indoor-outdoor connection by maximising exterior shading and collecting rainwater to sustain green spaces and landscaping. Gardening and cleaning can both be done with harvested rainwater, once it is clean. Grey water collected from showers, bathtubs, wash basins, washing machines, and dishwashers can similarly be used to flush toilets, wash clothing, and irrigate gardens. Water efficiency in commercial and residential settings has economic, environmental, and health benefits. Excessive water consumption and waste are producing a serious scarcity as a result of huge freshwater extraction. As a result, water-efficient technologies are crucial to protecting our precious freshwater supplies and saving both potable and non-potable water
Revegetation is a voluntary process for replanting and mending damaged ground surfaces in areas where human activity has occurred. In the fight against climate change, this includes planted roof gardens and is an effective instrument that may be applied on many different levels. Evapotranspiration and shading are two crucial methods by which revegetation or green infrastructure operates. Plants lose water through evapotranspiration while the soil and leaves absorb it. The energy expended causes the atmosphere to cool as water vaporizes. Some of the sun’s rays are blocked by shade before they reach the surface. Architects ensure that buildings shade the ground and their surfaces by incorporating revegetation into every design, which cools the urban microclimate and the neighbouring structures as a result.