Sustainable Architecture - Annika Agarwal

When I searched up sustainable architecture in google, the results showed me a building with plants sprouting out from every balcony. This, however, isn’t sustainable architecture. Now, don’t get me wrong, plants are a great way to go green. They help reduce stress and increase the quality of air, but that’s not sustainable. The definition of sustainable is something that can support itself by itself, and plants alone don’t do that. This leads into what sustainable architecture is, why it’s important and its effects.

To start, sustainable architecture is basically a building or area of land that is completely self-sufficient to minimize negative environmental impact. In order to achieve this, some important goals in this concept are to utilize energy, use sustainable materials, and create a sustainable waste management system. In the utilization of energy, the two main systems to implement are the active energy systems and the passive energy systems. Along with this, it would be important to create an arrangement with the surrounding environment rather than against. Sustainable materials are important to use because they would reduce the energy that would go into producing and structuring the actual materials. A sustainable waste management system is important in the way that the living area would not harm the surrounding environment.

As we know, the earth's resources are running out. We’re running out of trees, usable space, oil, etc. Sustainability in architecture is important because we need to minimize the amount of waste that we put out into our environment without thinking about the consequences because of how it affects that same environment. The problems that we created for the environment can be stabilized through sustainability.

How does this affect us in our everyday life? Directly, for our health, studies from American Academy Sleep Academy reported that people with windows in their offices slept better than those without, along with a study from Harvard that green offices that were well ventilated got a 101% percent increase in cognitive scoring than those without. Along with these findings, more windows in the office mean more sunlight which, in turn, means more vitamin D production and thus better health. And in one’s own house, lower concentrations of pollutant cause better overall health and daily life potential.

At the end of the day, the earth is all we have( well, until cities on the moon become a thing). And we need to respect and care for it. We need sustainability in architecture because, whether we’re doing our best or not, the earth is running out of usable space and resources and we need to do our best to utilize what we already have.


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