What Is Green Architecture and What Are Its Main Benefits?

Recycling and energy saving is a must nowadays, as we are quickly consuming most resources available on our planet. If you want to be eco-friendly, you are probably considering sorting your waste and consuming less energy. However, a building can be green as well, as a new field has just emerged as a way to fight for the environment. What is green architecture, what are the advantages, and what does it consist of?

What Is Green Architecture? – Definition

Just like the name suggests, green architecture is a sustainable way of building. This means it seeks to use as many renewable materials as possible, and not to pollute during the building process. So, what is green architecture in simpler terms? It means thinking of the environment while building and designing energy-saving mechanisms and equipment.

The main principle of green architecture is to use nature as its model. Nature represents a model on the bigger scale, and buildings should be smaller-scale reproductions of the bigger harmony. Therefore, these spaces should be sustainable and powered mostly by endless resources.

Benefits of Green Architecture

Before opting for green methods of building, you should know what green architecture consists of. It’s easy to understand what green architecture means, but you might need some convincing evidence that this method is 100 percent environmentally friendly. Here are several clear examples of green architecture benefits that everyone should know.

Reducing the Impact on the Environment

Whenever we build something, we produce either small or big disruptions in the environment. The main aim of this type of architecture is to minimize these disruptions. However, nature isn’t the only one that gets to benefit from this method of building. The techniques are a lot friendlier for humans as well, as they help us maintain our health.

This is achieved by smaller pollution levels, reduced waste, clever use of energy, and a smaller impact on the surroundings. A green building should bring smaller costs for energy, water, and other resources, and improve the life of the people who live there. There are green office buildings as well, where employees should feel more comfortable and productive.

Recycling, Reusing, and Saving Energy

First of all, green architecture seeks to choose building spots that do not disturb wildlife and the environment. For such projects, architects choose patches of land that are barren, or where they do not interfere with the fauna and vegetation. Therefore, the main idea is to reuse land that otherwise would be without purpose.

Then, the next step is to take advantage of renewable resources. This can start with building materials, and then go on to water or electricity. For instance, architects might choose alternative sources of energy to produce electricity, such as solar energy. as is why you’ll see a lot of greenhouses covered in solar panels or solar cells.

You can save water as well by using several technologies. For instance, instead of using groundwater as the main resource, the focus is on alternative water sources. Gravel is now a preferred material as a ground cover for yards and alleys, as it allows water to pass through and reduce the consumption of ground-based resources. Usually, if there is a huge demand for water, these resources suffer serious damage.

Green roof on top of a glass building, what is green architecture

What Does Green Architecture Consist Of?

If you want to help the environment and adopt the green building techniques, you should know how yours will look. There are some basic principles and elements that are common in green architecture, and being familiar with them is a plus.

Green Roofs

These roofs are roofs made of greens, and they resemble a garden installed on top of a house. During the hot season, they are great, as they keep your rooms cool. Since they act like a natural garden, they release oxygen and improve the quality of air in the area, and might even turn into a habitat for birds or other animals.

They don’t need to be overly complicated either. All you need is a few layers of soil, and then you can add whatever type of vegetation you like. This can be a thin layer of moss or grass so that you won’t need luxuriant plants.

Harvesting Rainwater

To preserve water and do not consume natural resources in excess, you can harvest rainwater. This is easily done through nice systems that can look good. Cast away ugly barrels and get nice containers where you can store the water. You can create beautiful streams as well, and turn your garden into a DIY eco-friendly haven with a catchy design.

Solar Panels

These elements are a must in green architecture since they are the most widespread alternative source of energy. Usually, architects install solar panels on the roof so that they could harvest as much sunlight as possible.

These solar panels can easily be converted into a thin solar film, which allows for a more elaborate and sophisticated design. This fabric can cover any materials, so you can produce energy no matter what you use.

Cob Houses

This is probably the most dramatic idea regarding green architecture, but it’s also the most environmentally friendly. Cob is some clay that you can obtain by mixing straw with wet earth. This is a natural way of building, so it doesn’t produce major disruptions on the environment.

Cob houses are exquisite regarding design as well. Given the soft texture of the material, you cannot produce sharp angles. Therefore, these houses are usually circular and can have built-in features that come in as really handy. If you like, you can even build your own cob house without expert advice.

Summing Up

What is green architecture? It is an eco-friendly way to build houses, as it has a smaller impact on the environment. Also, its focus is on the renewable, so you do not consume many resources. While it might seem greenhouses at first, building green houses is worth it, as you get to reduce your costs and save water and energy.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Show Your Friends!
William E. Eubanks
 

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments