Importance of Sustainable Architecture in 21st Century





What is Sustainable Development?

The word “Development ” in this definition implicates two important aspects of the concept: It is omni-disciplinary, it cannot be limited to a number of disciplines or areas, but it is applicable to the whole world and everyone and everything on it, now and in the future. Secondly, there is no set aim, but the continuation of development is the aim of the development.

Save Mother Earth - Aim of Sustainable Development

Save Mother Earth – Aim of Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development is important for the environmental stability of our Mother Earth… The main focus of Sustainable Development is to preserve the natural resources and use them very cautiously so that we can protect our Mother Earth from devastation…!!

The definition is based on two concepts:

  1. The concept of needs, comprising of the conditions for maintaining an acceptable life standard for all people, and
  2. The concept of limits of the capacity of the environment to fulfil the needs of the present and the future, determined by the state of technology and social organization.

Architecture and Sustainability Factors

Architecture presents a unique challenge in the field of sustainability. Construction projects typically consume large amounts of materials, produce tons of waste, and often involve weighing the preservation of buildings that have historical significance against the desire for the development of newer, more modern designs.

Sustainable construction is defined as “the creation and responsible management of a healthy built environment based on resource efficient and ecological principles”. Sustainably designed buildings aim to lessen their impact on our environment through energy and resource efficiency.

It includes the following principles:

  • Minimising non-renewable resource consumption
  • Enhancing the natural environment
  • Eliminating or minimising the use of toxic materials

“Sustainable building” can be defined as those buildings that have minimum adverse impacts on the built and natural environment, in terms of the building themselves, their immediate surroundings and the broader regional and global setting. Thus, the rational use of natural resources and appropriate management of the building stock will contribute to saving scarce resources reducing energy consumption and improving environmental quality.

Solar towers utilize the natural resource of the sun, and are a renewable energy source. From left: PS10 and PS20 solar towers | Sustainable Design

Solar towers utilize the natural resource of the sun, and are a renewable energy source. From left: PS10 and PS20 solar towers | Sustainable Design

Sustainable buildings should:

  • Harvest all their own water and energy needs on site.
  • Be adapted specifically to site climate and evolve as conditions change.
  • Operate pollution free and generate no waste that aren’t useful for some other process in the building or immediate environment.
  • Promote the health and well-being of all inhabitants, as a healthy ecosystem does.
  • It should comprise energy efficient integrated systems that maximize efficiency and comfort.
  • Improve the health and diversity of the local ecosystem rather than degrade it.
  • Be beautiful and inspire us to dream.

Sustainable design is the thoughtful integration of architecture with electrical, mechanical, and structural engineering. In addition to concern for the tradition; aesthetics of massing, proportion, scale, texture. Shadow and light, the facility design team needs to be concerned with long term costs: environmental, economic and human. All in all sustainable design is more of a philosophy of a building than perspective building style.



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  1. #1 by James Reyes on June 23, 2010 - 7:24 am

    I wonder how strong architecture program departments for sustainable development are? Our current spill in the Gulf shows that we have got to stress sustainable development building.

  2. #2 by umofia idongesit on November 6, 2010 - 12:10 pm

    really love this site. keep it up

  3. #3 by Aidy on February 19, 2011 - 8:26 am

    I like architecture

  4. #4 by Walter from Trinkwasserfilter on June 18, 2011 - 2:12 am

    “All in all sustainable design is more of a philosophy of a building than perspective building style.”

    That’s sadly true because we would need more than ever that sustainable design becomes the mainstream approach in architecture. This will only happen if some genius can create a correlation between sustainable design and profits.

  5. #5 by Jeannie on June 19, 2011 - 12:39 pm

    “Sustainable Development is important for the environmental stability of our Mother Earth… The main focus of Sustainable Development is to preserve the natural resources and use them very cautiously so that we can protect our Mother Earth from devastation”

    This is worth working towards, but many people are going to need educated and develop strong enough “whys” as to changing over to this thinking.

  6. #6 by energy on June 27, 2011 - 6:27 am

    great blog. I really hope that all architecture students are taking sustainability into account now.

    • #7 by BenzuJK on July 5, 2011 - 9:53 am

      Sustainability is to be taken into account by every architect when he is thinking about design. it is not a different subject altogether. It is a part of design process which has to be accomplished by every designer…

  7. #8 by Annette on June 30, 2011 - 1:18 pm

    It is being done here and there, but there needs to be a big push to take this mainstream so that more people and businesses are sustainable.

  8. #9 by Architecture In Development on October 12, 2011 - 11:02 am

    Thank you for sharing this!
    We made a nice movie about how Buckminster Fuller’s World Peace Game influenced our website Architecture In Development.
    You can watch it here: http://architectureindevelopment.org/news.php?id=34

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