Engineering Terminology: Sustainable Design
It’s no secret that not all building projects have the environment in mind. Sustainable Design aims to bridge the gap between effective architectural design and thoughtful consideration of the environment. Sustainable Design is not just concerned with strategic building location, but also about the final project’s consumption of resources like energy and water and the generation of waste and harmful emissions that are often produced during the creation, occupation and demolition phases of a building’s life.
Sustainable design has many other goals, including protecting and conserving water before, during and after construction of the building. This is typically accomplished by employing water-safe techniques and protecting any local and native water sources near the building site. Sustainable design also aims to make the most of energy use and consumption while also making the most of more efficient and alternative energy sources like solar and wind energies, depending on the location and building design.
Sustainable design, however, isn’t all structure and planning: there is a great amount of fun and creativity that can go into a sustainable building. Mock rivers that channel gray or wastewater to company gardens or to recycling centers. Gardens strategically placed on top of roofs that feed occupants and offset their carbon footprints can also be a part of sustainable design. Solar panels that are cleverly designed to blend into the rest of the building’s architecture can be part of a building’s sustainable design plan, as well as footpaths, better use of lighting and bulbs and more efficient ways of handling recycling and waste materials.
To learn more about Sustainable Design and how IES can help your project be a little greener, feel free to reach out to one of our engineering professionals.