Sustainable design is a very important concern for our studio, we are aware of the environmental problems and we are always trying to work conscientiously in our projects to be respectful of the environment.
Buildings are responsible for a large percentage of the world’s energy consumption today, specifically covering 75% of the consumption of the earth’s natural resources.
We would like to share some strategies that we believe should be considered when designing a project to minimize the environmental impact problems and make the building’s energy consumption more efficient.
1. Use the concepts of Bioclimatic Architecture
We understand “bioclimatic architecture” as the design of buildings taking into account the available resources based on climatic conditions (sun, vegetation, rain, winds, etc.), optimizing them in the best way to reduce energy consumption, minimize environmental impact and that way creating a more sustainable house.
Ways to take advantage of these climatic factors are through orientation, the layout of spaces, openings, materials used in the building, etc. The good use of these factors will allow them to control the temperature of the building, provide natural light to the interior, etc. This will generate a positive impact on the environment and the health, comfort, and productivity of its inhabitants.
2. Use of rainwater
One of the solutions to address water scarcity is rainwater harvesting, which has been used since ancient times as water for human consumption and other tasks.
Rainwater harvesting provides quality liquid for non-potable uses such as cleaning, industrial and sanitary processes, irrigation, and recharging subway reserves, likewise, by detaining and retaining rainwater runoff.
3. Use renewable energy systems (solar panels, wind energy, etc).
Renewable energies are clean, inexhaustible, and recently competitive sources of energy. Their use does not imply the consumption of raw materials. The environmental impact is meagre because they do not generate pollutants apart from not using finite resources.
The wind (wind energy), the sun (solar energy), or the movements of seawater (tidal or wave power) or rivers (hydraulic energy), among others, contain in themselves large amounts of energy that, if adequate means are used, can replace conventional energies.
4. Local and natural materials
It is essential to consider construction alternatives according to the conditions of each territory. Using local materials and local technologies and thus generate an efficient use of resources that do not need to be transformed by large industrial processing stages and long transfers. And contribute to their community’s social and economic capacity, such as, for example, providing jobs for local labor.
5. Enclosures and insulation
The choice of materials to be used in the exterior envelope is fundamental, considering the thermal exchange.
We can give as an example the situation in warm areas, where it is recommended that the envelope allows proper ventilation and cooling of the interior spaces and thus avoid using air conditioners or fans. And in cold regions, generate thermal insulation to prevent the cold from entering the interior and reduce the demand for heating. In conclusion, good thermal conditioning avoids the high energy consumption involved in cooling or heating.
6. Recycled and sustainable materials
Gradually, the reuse of raw construction materials is gaining importance. If they are processed correctly and given the correct destinations, they can maintain their quality and be totally optimal.
Some of the commonly recycled and more sustainable materials are metal, glass, plaster, wood, etc.
The reuse of wood is a trend nowadays. If hardwood is kept in the necessary conditions, it can last for hundreds of years.
The aim is to achieve sustainable forestry and Daisugi can be a good example of what is possible to achieve with innovative criteria applied to environmental care. It is a 14th-century Japanese forestry technique in which cedar trees specially planted for this purpose are pruned like giant bonsai.
777 Villa, Pablo Luna Studio
7. Low-consumption lighting systems.
Lighting is a broad field that offers many different alternatives. Unlike traditional light bulbs, the lighting industry has developed various systems to improve sustainability. These alternatives are: energy-saving (or fluorescent) bulbs, LED lights, and halogens, branching out into different categories.
The Light Emitting Diode (LED) is positioned as the future lighting system since they are the least polluting bulbs on the market and are highly efficient.
8. Clean Job
One of the most significant concerns is the amount and volume of waste generated by construction.
There are several essential aspects of proper waste management. It is crucial to know and apply current legislation and assign those responsible for the process and establish a plan to be carried out.
Construction waste has a life cycle from collection to separation, storage, on-site treatment, transportation, and final disposal.