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Sustainable Design is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the

principles of social, economic, and ecological sustainability. Sustainable design is based on the premise of the following conceptual problems: 1. Limited Resources All seven billion (and counting) humans live in a single planet and shares its limited and increasingly exhausted resources 2. Irresponsible Consumption Human activity has considerably increased to the point where it is starting to have negative effects on everything: the environment, the economy, and our survival. 3. Law of Conservation of Energy All matter is involved in a repeating cycle of conversion. Due to this, all activity in the universe involves the creation of waste. Such designs are achievable through two means: Active and Passive Design Strategies. Passive Design involves design strategies incorporated in the building itself to achieve the goals of sustainable design. In contrast, Active Design involves the utilization of external services and utilities such as the services of a waste treatment plant or the utilization of an external renewable energy plant in order to achieve this end. In the actual design of a building, both strategies are usually utilized. In an effort to facilitate the advancement of Sustainable design, the international community has devised different standards on the efficiencies of energy, water, heating, and other indices. Examples of such standards include EnergyStar, LEED, Carbon Footprint Index, Life Cycle Costing, HERS Index, R-Value, and others It is important to note the distinction between Sustainable design and Green design. Green design is a design philosophy that specifically aims to reduce the environmental impact of a design solution or project. In contrast, Sustainable design aims to resolve the design problem with a bigger perspective of thought. It must be able to sustain. For example, while a Green designed building may have low Carbon footprint it may also be dependent on the national power grid for its energy requirements. Meanwhile, a sustainably designed structure MUST have a low Carbon footprint and MUST be able to fuction with water, electricity, or any utility for that matter, even on the event of disasters or when public supplies such as the power grid or NAWASA are unavailable. As a result, Green design in often treated as just a subset of Sustainable design.

Principles of Sustainable Design in Architecture

Different sources and authorities follow and promote different principles of sustainable design. These include: From Wikipedia:

Low-impact materials: choose non-toxic, sustainably produced or recycled materials which require little energy to process Energy efficiency: use manufacturing processes and produce products which require less energy Emotionally Durable Design: reducing consumption and waste of resources by increasing the durability of relationships between people and products, through design Design for reuse and recycling: "Products, processes, and systems should be designed for performance in a commercial 'afterlife'. Design impact measures for total carbon footprint and life-cycle assessment for any resource used are increasingly required and available. Many are complex, but some give quick and accurate whole-earth estimates of impacts. One measure estimates any spending as consuming an average economic share of global energy use of 8,000 BTU (8,400 kJ) per dollar and producing CO2 at the average rate of 0.57 kg of CO2 per dollar (1995 dollars US) from DOE figures. Sustainable design standards and project design guides are also increasingly available and are vigorously being developed by a wide array of private organizations and individuals. There is also a large body of new methods emerging from the rapid development of what has become known as 'sustainability science' promoted by a wide variety of educational and governmental institutions. Biomimicry: "redesigning industrial systems on biological lines ... enabling the constant reuse of materials in continuous closed cycles..." Service substitution: shifting the mode of consumption from personal ownership of products to provision of services which provide similar functions, e.g., from a private automobile to a carsharing service. Such a system promotes minimal resource use per unit of consumption (e.g., per trip driven). Renewability: materials should come from nearby (local or bioregional), sustainably managed renewable sources that can be composted when their usefulness has been exhausted. Robust eco-design: robust design principles are applied to the design of a pollution sources.

From National Building Museum, USA:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Optimizing use of the sun Improving indoor air quality Using the land responsibly Creating high-performance and moisture-resistant houses Wisely using the Earths natural resources

In general, they usually revolve around solving the three conceptual problems stated before.

Make It Right Foundation is an organization founded by Brad Pitt in 2007 that builds homes, buildings and communities for people in need. The organization is a proprietor of eco-friendly, climateadapted, and sustainable designs. It began when its founder, Brad Pitt, visited parts of New Orleans that were affected by Hurricane Katrina and was surprised by the lack of rebuilding that had happened two years after. At present, Make It Right is involved in projects in New Orleans, Newark, Kansas, and Fort Peck. It is also active in increasing public awareness regarding sustainable design. It maintains a website, http://makeitright.org/ that has a library on topics ranging from Advanced Timber Framing to Tankless Water Heaters. Make It Right Foundation also advocates a design approach called Cradle to Cradle created by architect William McDonough and chemist Dr. Michael Braungart and described in their book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.

Cradle to Cradle design is characterized by the following:


Materials are defined as biological and/or technical nutrients for safe use and reuse Products are designed for disassembly / recovery Uses renewable energy Maintains and enhances water quality Honors social fairness and human dignity Improvement is continuous and aspirational

They are also known for their advocacy of Disaster Preparedness in architecture and constructions. Their projects in New Orleans are designed so as to be Disaster resilient. Guidelines on Home Disaster Preparedness are found on their website.

Solar Paneled Homes Solar Paneling is a design strategy that makes use of solar radiation as a renewable source of energy. It makes use of a solar panel which is a set of solar photovoltaic modules electrically connected and mounted on a supporting structure.

Image: http://www.solarenergyexperts.co.uk/buyersguides/solar-panels-how-do-they-reallywork/ Solar panels produce direct current when photosensitive materials, usually silicon based, are exposed to solar radiation creating a process known as the photovoltaic effect. These are then converted by an inverter into alternating current which is then utilized by the building.

Examples Active House, Austria

Image: http://www.activehouse.info/ Malibu 5 Modern Beach House

Image: Kanner Architects

Modular Prefabricated Compact Houses Modular buildings and modular homes are sectional prefabricated buildings, or houses, that consist of multiple sections called modules. "Modular" is a method of construction (v. "stick-built" and other methods such as off-site construction. The modules are six sided boxes constructed in a remote facility, then delivered to their intended site of use. Using a crane, the modules are set onto the building's foundation and joined together to make a single building. The modules can be placed side-by-side, end-to-end, or stacked, allowing a wide variety of configurations and styles in the building layout.

Examples bluHomes

Image: http://www.bluhomes.com/projects/photo-gallery/

Arado Weehouse

Image: http://www.weehouse.com/?portfolio=arado-weehousee SustainMiniHOME

Image: http://inhabitat.com/prefab-friday-sustain-mini-eye-candy/

Earth House Earth Housing is a design approach that utilizes the sites natural terrain as an integral part of the structures design. The advantages of such an approach are self-sufficiency in insulation, fire and earthquake protection, and potential synergies with landscaping. It, however, produces its own set of problems such as lighting problems, and climactic control (especially humidity control.) Examples Earth house with reflecting surfaces in Novi Sad, Serbia by Veljko Milkovi

Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Veljko_Milkovic_eco-house.jpg Earth House Estate Lttenstrasse

Image: http://www.erdhaus.ch/main.php?fla&lang=en&cont=earthhouse_projects

Rainwater Harvesting Rainwater Harvesting is the act of collecting and storing water for future reuse. It is a common feature of Passive Sustainable Design and is often utilized to meet a buildings water needs. Uses include irrigation, insulation, and water source.

The water is usually collected from the roof through the roof leader and is filtered as it makes way to a collection tank (though other ways of collection exist). Depending on its use, it may undergo further filtration or may simply be used as a normal water supply for the house water line. Care must be observed to avoid contamination with these systems.

Image:http://www.environment.gen.tr/energy-and-architecture/159-low-energy-houserainwater-harvesting-water-collection.html Rainwater Harvesting is a relatively common practice around the world. The practice is maybe as old as civilization itself, with the ancient Romans, Indians, Chinese, and Americans practicing it with at a considerable sophistication for their time.

Images: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rooftop_rainwater; http://www.rwh.in/

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