Material Economies

Green Design

What are the specifics of the new material design?

Green architecture, or green design, is an approach to building that minimizes harmful effects on human health and the environment. The “green” architect or designer attempts to safeguard air, water, and earth by choosing eco-friendly building materials and construction practices. Common characteristics of a “green” building are as follow. The green architecture may have many of these features like ventilation systems designed for efficient heating and cooling, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, and water-saving plumbing fixtures.

Also, landscapes planned to maximize passive solar energy, and minimal harm to the natural habitat. Using green design will allow us to alternate power sources such as solar power or wind power and use non-synthetic, non-toxic materials used inside and out. By obtaining local woods and stone, we will eliminate long-haul transportation. We are the responsible for protecting our harvested woods, so we can adaptive reuse of older buildings, use of recycled architectural salvage, and use of space efficiently.

What is the need that is met by the new material design usage?

The single most important green design decision is size. Smaller houses automatically consume fewer resources both during construction and after occupation. Solar orientation is the most important design element. Heating and cooling loads in a home could be cut significantly by orienting the long walls of houses east-west, exposing south facing windows in winter, and shading them in summer, and avoiding expanses of glass on west-facing walls that get the full brunt of the flat afternoon sun.

Regarding durability, moisture control is a huge focus of building science–inspired components like generous overhangs, proper window and door flashings, and rain-screen walls that allow siding to dry, improve paint durability, and avoid water wicking. Using green design will be a lot more energy efficient. Insulation is a job that needs careful detailing. From a green perspective, this is very important.

What are some positive effects, negative effects, and/or disruptive features of this new material economy?

There are several negative effects when we use regular building construction instead of green design. Some examples are the materials use, site preparation use, and the energy use. In the material use; there is a depletion of nonrenewable resources, pollution and byproducts from materials manufacture, and there is a huge construction materials’ packaging waste.

Regarding the site preparation and use; there is the disturbance of animal habitats, destruction of natural vistas, construction-related runoff, soil erosion, and the destruction of trees that absorb CO2. In the aspect of energy use, building with regular building materials will affect the air pollution creating emissions of SO2, NOx, mercury, and other heavy metals and particulate matter from power plants. The building’s energy consumption, and transportation to the building. The greenhouse gas (CO2 and methane) emissions, which contribute to global warming.

There are a lot of benefits from using greening buildings design. It will lower air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions are reduced by decreasing energy use through energy-efficient design, use of renewable energy, and building commissioning. This sustainable design will reduce the unnecessary waste of materials. Erosion and sedimentation control will reduce soil loss during construction, using natural water management approaches instead of traditional sewers, and designing a self-sustaining landscape.

Another benefit is by using rapidly renewable materials. Designers can select environmentally preferable materials that include recycled materials, and they can eliminate unnecessary finishes and make choices that use standard-sized or modular materials. It will help to reduce the use and depletion of long-cycle renewable materials. It will also improve forest management and biodiversity.

How does this issue relate to your readings for this week?

This issue relates to what Jaine M. Benyus said in her article Biomimicry 3.8. She stated that; “In fact, biomimicry works precisely because there is no difference between what we do and what other organisms do—the boundary between us and the rest of the natural world is a false one that dissolves when you consider what is really important, what makes life worth living” (pg. 10). Green design housing is directly related to biomimicry and nature since it is hundred percent made of natural resources. Maybe when we start to take better care of our environment and build more green houses, then we will be able to live in a better world.




Benyus Jaine M. Ask Nature Resource Handbook, “Biomimicry 3.8” pg. 8

Author: Barbaro Baez Alvarez

I am a passionate graphic designer that enjoys what I do. I like challenges and like to share ideas and opinions with the clients to come out with the best solution and best design possible. I have experience in these programs; Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Muse, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Wordpress, Autodesk and Microsoft Office. I am also responsible, fast learner and know how to work as a team if it is required.

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