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“CAN BUILDINGS BRING ABOUT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”
SUBMITTED BY: TANAY JAITHALIA 0271731605
GUIDE: VINOD GUPTA
COURSE CO-ORDINATOR: ASHOK B. LALL
UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING
GURU GOBIND SINGH INDRAPRASTHA UNIVERSITY Kashmere Gate, Delhi - 110006
UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING
GURU GOBIND SINGH INDRAPRASTHA UNIVERSITY Kashmere Gate, Delhi
Dated: 11th January, 2010
CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL
DISSERTATION TITLE: “Can Buildings bring about Sustainable Development”
This following study is hereby approved as a creditable work on the approved subject, carried out and presented in a manner sufficiently satisfactory to warrant acceptance as a pre requisite to the degree for which it has been submitted. It is understood by this approval that the undersigned does not necessarily endorse or approve any statement made, opinion expressed or conclusion drawn therein but approves the study only for the purpose for which it has been submitted and satisfies as per the requirements laid down by the dissertation requirement committee.
Ashok B.Lall DISSERTATION CO-ORDINATOR ORDINATOR
Vinod Gupta DISSERTATION GUIDE
“Just as mankind has the power to push the world to the brink so, too, do we have the power to bring it back into balance?”
- HRH The Prince of Wales addressing UN climate conference COP15, Copenhagen (December 2009)
In the RED or the in the GREEN…?
The typical Modern lifestyle, with its linear metabolism, puts us in the red on the resources scales for future generations. To make the needle swing the other way we must devise circular metabolisms using green principles.
As the dawn of the twenty-first century approaches, the current pattern of unsustainable, inequitable and first unstable asymmetric demographic and economic growth has forced many segments of society to come together in facing a critical challenge: How can societies across the world meet their current basic human needs, aspirations and desires, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs? The development path that we have been taking, in the past few centuries, has been ultimately detrimental to the health of our surrounding ecological context. We are consuming an increasing share of the natural resources available to us on this planet, and we are creating sufficiently large amounts of waste and pollution esources .This is a result of a growing population as well as new technologies which make it easier for us to access natural resources and also require the consumption of more resources. Unsustainable technology has been the the result of linear rather than cyclic thinking. The paradigm shift from linear to cyclic thinking in technological design is the crux of the shift from unsustainability to sustainability. The principal objectives of this paper are to present a brief overview of an overall framework for sustainability and then to discuss the implications of the building design and construction industries. Strategies, technologies, and opportunities are pres presented to improve the sustainability of the built environment. But, Achieving true sustainability will require a paradigm shift that brings together sustainable technologies for built facilities along with lifestyle change which can bring about social change through sustainable patterns of change consumption.
Keywords: Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology, Lifestyle Change, Green Lifestyle.
I would like to thank all the people who have helped me in the successful completion of my Dissertation. I would like to express my in depthn hness to my guide Dr. Vinod Gupta for his guidance throughout this Dissertation. I am also grateful to Prof. Ashok B. Lall for helping me to explore a viable topic for my research and for his guidance at various stages of my work. I would also like to thank all the faculty members for their special interest in my research and valuable comments. I would like to express m thanks to my friends and seniors for their comments during my my research. I am deeply indebted to my family for all their love and emotional support that has been a constant driving force for me.
I. ABSTRACT II. ACKNOWLEDGMENT III. LIST OF FIGURES 1 INTRODUCTION
1.1. 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.5. General Need Identification Scope Limitation Objective 1.6. Research Methodology 2. THE PROBLEM 2.1. General 2.2. Main Enviornmental Issues
• Global Warming • Ozone Depletion • Pollution • Deforestation • Soil Degradation • Waste. • Water • Resources • Population
i ii v 1
1 3 4 4 5 5
2.3. Climate Change 2.4. Causes of Climate Change 2.5. Addressing the Problem 3.
8 10 12 13 14 14
3.1. Introduction 3.2. Objectives of Sustainable 3.3. The New Paradigm: Cyclic Sustainable Development
• Social Sustainability • Enviornmental Sustainability • Ecomomic Sustainability
3.4. Stratergies Towards Sustainable Development
• Thinking Long-Term • Innovation • Population • Changing Lifestyles • Healing Land • The Social Equity Imperative • Economic Stability • Political Stability
4. ADVANCEMENT IN TECHNOLOGY
4.1. 4.2. 4.3. 4.4. 4.5. Background Sustainable Technology The Current Paradigm: Unsustainable Linear System Green Buildings - Building Industry Solution to Technology And Efficiency Green But Not Sustainable
20 22 23 24 26
5. WHAT DO US HAVE AS SOLUTION?
5.1. General 5.2. Grey To Green 5.3. Sustainable Building Technologies
• Minimizing Consumption • Satisfying Human Needs And Aspirations • Avoiding Negative Environmental Impacts
28 28 30
6. CONCLUSION IV. BIBLIOGRAPHY
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1 - A cartoon on Global warming ................................................................................................ .................................................... 6 Figure 2 - A cartoon on Negligence towards C Climate change ................................................................ ...................................................... 8 Figure 3 - Climate change : Global processes and effects ................................................................ .......................................................... 9 Figure 5 - Lining Planet Index, 1720-2005 ................................................................................................ 2005 .............................................. 10 Figure 4 - Humanity's Ecological Footprint, 1961 1961-2005 ................................................................ ............................................................. 10 Figure 6 - World Greenhouse gas emissions by sector ................................................................ ............................................................. 11 Figure 7 - Cartoon on Carbon Emission ................................................................................................ .................................................. 12 Figure 8 - Concept of Sustainable development ................................................................................................ ...................................... 13 Figure 9 - Cyclic Sustainable Development ................................................................................................ ............................................ 15 Figure 10 - Cartoon on Effects of Population ................................................................................................ artoon ........................................... 20 Figure 11 - Think sustainably ................................ ................................................................................................ ................................................................. 21 Figure 12 - Unsustainable linear development ................................................................................................ stainable ......................................... 23 Figure 14 - Relation between Energy Consumption Consumption................................................................ .................................................................. 27 Figure 13 - Relation between Time Spent ................................................................................................ .............................................. 27
Coal and oil paved the way for the developed world’s industrial progress. And now the developing countries are taking the same path in search of improved living standards that leads us in the grip of a dangerous greenhouse gas habit. Our dependence on carbon based energy has caused a significant build carbon-based build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and consequently to environmental degradation. enhouse We don’t just burn carbon in the form of fossil fuels. But, throughout the tropics, valuable forests are being felled for timber and making paper, for pasture and arable land and, increasingly, for plantations to supply a growing demand for biofuels. This further manifestation of our greenhouse gas habit is not only releasing g vast amounts of CO2, infact it is destroying a valuable resource for absorbing atmospheric CO2, further contributing to climate change leading to threats like Global Warming , Pollution ,Ozone Depletion, Soil Degradation and Extinction of flora and fauna . The environmental, economic and political implications of these environmental problems are profound. Ecosystems – from the mountain to the ocean, from the Poles to the tropics – are undergoing rapid change. Low-lying cities face inundation, Foreword fertile lands are turning to desert , and weather patterns are lying deserts, becoming ever more unpredictable.
Climate change is the defining issue of our era. Hardly a day passes without a newspaper, a broadcast or a politician making at least one reference to the threats it poses and the urgency of taking action, to limit the effects and, in the longer term, to adapt to the changes that are sure to come. For climate change, it is upon us, and the problem is here to stay. But it is still in our control – as individuals and communities, to influence just how serious the problem will become. We have the choice how to act and make a difference by supporting the transition to a climate neutral world. Although, there is a huge gulf between where we are now and the climate neutral future that we need if we , climate-neutral are to achieve sustainable development, b the message of this study is that the gulf is not uncrossable and but that there are other gains to. It will require patience, persistence and determination, but it can be done.
Sustainable development is defined as:
"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising on the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." 1
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource consum tion that aims to meet human needs and ensure a consumption better quality of life for everyone while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only veryone in the present, but also for future generations. This requires meeting four key objectives at the same time in the world as a whole: • • • • Social progress which recognizes the needs of everyone ; Effective protection of the environment environment; Prudent use of natural resources and resources; Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment.
Sustainable development is three dimensional process which caters to economical and social development along with environmental development. But this development is hindered by the pressure imposed by human activities on the environment. Hu Human-induced global warming, pollution, deforestation, habitat induced destruction and resource depletion are contributing to an environmental crisis which is threatening the survival of many species, including the human themselves.
Humanity’s demand on the planet has more than doubled over the past 45 years as a result of population planet growth and increasing individual consumption (world wildlife federation) 2. This study focuses on how this human impact can be controlled. In essence, the lesson is simple; reducing the overall impact that people have on the environment can happen in the following ways: • • •
Reducing the number of people on the planet ; educing Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of technology ; and By changing lifestyles.
Brundtland, Our common future , 1987 , WWF, living planet report, 2008
The question of population is clearly critical. We can’t reduce the existing populat population, but can control its growth- rate, which is one of the factors that “scales” humanity’s impact on the planet. Empowerment of women, education and access to voluntary family planning can slow or even reverse population growth growthrate. But, as it is a slow process, it will be less effective through short term planning. stabilize the overall We can improve energy efficiency in industries, buildings and all forms of transport to stabi energy demand and can try to achieve maximum possible gain. But without changing our expectations and aspirations, and though consumption pattern pattern. Advancement in technology will fail and increase in
efficiency will lead to higher rate of consumption. In present situation when environmental degradation is of greater concern, reduction in resource consumption is of greater importance It can only be achieved importance. with a lifestyle change which means adopting a greener lifestyle to become carbon neutral and to achieve the goal of one planet living.
“It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though the limits of our abilities do not exist”
– Pierre Teilhard De Chardin
In the conventional economic view, consumption is the route to human well-being. The more people have, being. the better off they are deemed to be. This notion along with advancement in technology is leading to more resource consumption. With increase in environmental degradation due to higher rate of resource consumption, advancement in technology is viewed as a simplest and faster means to achieve sustainable development. With such a notion, much of burden has been on the Building sector because their construction, use and disposal, have a significant impact on the Natural environment, which is the social fabric of our society. This rest on the fact that buildings are responsible for about 40% of the global energy consumptio It is consumption. huge number for a single sector and obviously this is where a big difference can be made. (Gupta)
But 40% is only a minor ratio of 100% where much greater savings in energy consumption is possible. We spend, out of 24 hours in a day, about 21 hours in a building, which is 87.5% of the time. Buildings that account for 87.5% of our time are associated with just 40% of our energy consumption while other non consumption, building activities account for 12.5 % of the time, with 60% of energy consumption which includes our dieting habits, travel, clothing, entertainment and our waste disposal. Now, can anyone say that buildings an are more energy – efficient than other places where human being spend time? beings Sustainable architecture can help, put into practice and even encourage a sustainable way of life. But that’s ut not the case, in present day scenario sustainable architecture is limited to an individual building rather than scenario; n a community development. This study focuses on the idea - what else is required other than buildings that can bring upon sustainable development.
It is intended that this dissertation will provide the brief introduction on the idea of why only buildings can’t bring about sustainable development and how sustainable lifestyle can cater to the problem of environmental degradation. The research pattern will not only provide the idea of how sustainable development can be achieved, but it will also express the need for the same. So, the study is aimed at an idea that Improvement in building technology is not only the sole idea to achieve Sustainable Development. W have to change our lifestyle too, to reduce our impact on the chieve We nature.
Neither enough secondary data has been collected, nor has any scientific evaluation been made on the present day lifestyle choices. Research is based on the readings and data collected through surveys and the internet.
• • • • • •
To understand the requirement of sustainable development and causes of climate change. To study Sustainable Development as the solution to environmental degradation. To focus on the strategies to achieve sustainable development. To understand why ethnology lack as the solution to achieve sustainable development. To analyze human activities and examine how lifestyle change can reduce resource consumption. To understand how the built environment will help people discard old habits and form heal healthier, greener ones.
To focus on the idea of one planet living and its benefits Also finding a futuristic solution as part of the conclusion.
• • • •
Understanding of environmental degradation as a byproduct of human aspiration and needs n aspirations Defining sustainable development as a solution lopment Queuing the strategies to achieve sustainable development Understanding the role of technology and why it is insufficient. And why the idea of lifestyle change is discouraged.
Understanding Sustainable life lifestyle (Green Living ) with sustainable consumption as the basis Defining the role of lifestyle changes in achieving sustainable development, with major focus on why it is required.
• • •
Emphasizing the idea of one planet living along with lifestyle change as the solution planet Understanding how built environment can respond to achieve green living concept. Concluding, why the built environment is incapable for development and how sustainable lifestyle along with sustainable technologies can lead to better future.
Whether we live on the edge of the forest or in the heart of the city, our livelihoods and indeed our lives depend on the services provided by the Earth’s natural systems. But we are consuming the resources that underpin those services much too fast – faster than they can be replenished. Just as reckless spending is er causing recession, so reckless consumption and growth in human population is depleting the world’s natural capital to a point where we are endangering our future prosperity. Our global footprint now exceeds the world’s capacity to regenerate by about 30 percent3. If our demands on the planet continue at the same rate, then by the mid-2030s we will need the equivalent of two pla 2030s planets to maintain our lifestyle (world wildlif federation) . These overall trends have very concrete consequences, and wildlife we have seen them in form of various environmental problems. For the first time in recorded history, this past summer (2008), the Arctic ice cap was surrounded by open water – literally disappearing under the impact of our carbon footprint.
MAIN ENVIORNMENTAL ISSUES
GLOBAL WARMING describes the process by which greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere in abnormally high amounts, trapping the Earth’s radiation and causing its temperature to raise significantly, leading to environmental problems such as changes in rainfall patter rising sea levels patterns, and expansion of deserts.
Figure 1 - A cartoon on Global warming
WWF, living planet report, 2008
OZONE DEPLETION Ozone layer shields the Earth from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation but its radiation,
depletion, caused by emission of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting substances into ozonethe atmosphere leads to rise in skin cancers, damage to the human immune system, and altered crop yields. cancers,
POLLUTION of air, water and land, resulting from burning of fossil fuels, industrial processes, agriculture, industrial
and other human activities, is endangering human health, biodiversity and the built environment.
DEFORESTATION due to commercial logging, conversion of forest land for agricultural purposes, and
other activities cause the destruction of natural habitats and extinction of plant and animal species, and exacerbates the effects of global warming and pollution.
SOIL DEGRADATION due to Urbanization, construction, mining, war, agriculture and deforestation ,
causes Soil erosion, increased salination, altered soil structure, drainage capacity and fertilization which ion, can diminish crop yields, increase the risk of flooding and destroy natural habitats.
WASTE Increasing amounts of waste add pressure for more landfill sites, which pollute air, soil and
groundwater and for more incineration, which pollutes the air and produces toxic residue.
WATER one third of the world population is still without access to safe water and, as the global population safe
grows, the need for water will grow along with waste and pollution which will increasingly threaten the quality of groundwater and rivers.
RESOURCES some non-renewable resources, including natural gas and petroleum resources, will renewable
eventually be Depleted. The economically viable extraction of some abundant mineral ores may also be . limited. Renewable Resources, such as timber, are also at a risk of overexploitation. , itation.
POPULATION Global population growth is associated with increases in the human human-induced environmental
impacts, as mentioned above.
All these environmental issues lead to one main problem of Climate Change. Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather over periods of time that range from decades to millions of years. It can be a change in the average weather or a change in the distribution of weather events. Climate change is one of the most important global environmental challenges facing humanity with implications for food production, natural ecosystems, freshwater supply, health, etc. 4
Figure 2 - A cartoon on negligence towards climate change
According to the latest scientific assessment, the earth’s climate system has demonstrably c changed on both global and regional scales since the preindustrial era. Further evidence shows that most of the warming (of 0.1°C per decade) observed over the last 50 years, is attributable to human activities5. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chan (IPCC) projects that the global mean temperature may Change increase between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius (C) by 2100. This unprecedented increase is expected to have severe impacts on the global hydrological system, ecosystems, sea level, crop production and related processes. The impact would be particularly severe in the tropical areas, which mainly consist of ocesses. developing countries, including India.
We have only one planet. Its capacity to support a thriving diversity of species, including humans, is large but fundamentally limited. When human demand on this capacity exceeds what is available – when we entally surpass ecological limits – we erode the health of the Earth’s living systems. Ultimately, this loss threatens human well-being.
Wikipedia ,Climate change Geneva, Climate change – synthesis report,2001
Figure 3 - Climate change : Global processes and effects
CAUSES OF CLIMATE CHANGE
The Living Planet Index reflects the state of the planet’s ecosystems while the Ecological Footprint shows the extent and type of human demand being placed on these systems.
The Living Planet Index of global biodiversity has declined by nearly 30 percent over just the past 35 years (Figure 4). While biodiversity loss has ). leveled off in some temperate areas, the overall Living Planet Index continues to show a decline.
Humanity’s demand on the planet’s living resources, its Ecological Footprint, now exceeds the planet’s , regenerative capacity by about 30 per cent (Figure 5). This global overshoot is growing and, as a ). consequence, ecosystems are being run down and waste is accumulating in the air, land and water. The resulting deforestation, water shortages, declining biodiversity and climate change are putting the well being and development of all
Figure 4 Lining Planet Index, 1720 1720-2005
Figure 5 Humanity's Ecological Footprint, 1961 1961-2005
nations at increasing risk.
All human demands on the biosphere the production and consumption of natural resources for food and drink, energy or materials, and the disposal of associated waste products or the displacement of natural ecosystems by towns, cities and infrastructure.
Figure 6 World Greenhouse gas emissions by sector
Humanity’s demand on the planet has more than doubled over the past 45 years as a result of population growth and increasing individual consumption. If we continue as usual, by the early 2030s we will need two planets to keep up with humanity’s demand for various goods and services6 . The Ecological Footprint nets representing human demand on nature and the Living Planet Index measuring nature’s overall health serve enting as clear and robust guideposts to what needs to be done.
Data is for 2000. All calculations are based on CO2 equivalents
While technological developments will continue to play an important role in address addressing the sustainability challenge, much of what needs to be done is already known, and solutions are available today. If humanity has the will, it has the way to live within the means of the planet, while securing human well well-being and the ecosystems on which this depends. h
WWF, living planet report, 2008
ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM
“If not earth than where, If not now than when, If not us than who. If who.”
Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production is a primary cause of climate change and lead to other ecological and social problems. These include: land degradation, air and water pollution and resource problems. depletion. Hence, promoting sustainable consumption and production is one of the key responses to protect the environment and improve human well being through sustainable development. well-being We need to cut down our Green house gas (GHG) emission which are the primary cause of climate change and hence become carbon neutral to achieve sustainable development.
Reducing our GHG emissions means attempting climate change mitigation, trying to reduce the impact we must expect. This will include new policies, innovative technologies and a change in lifestyle for all of us, all of which will certainly come at a price. We also need to go flat out at the same time on a quite different strategy, climate adaptation, preparing to cope with the inevitable changes ahead (inevitable because of the inertia locked up in the atmosphere and the oceans: much of the warming we are experiencing today was caused by GHGs emitted several decades ago).
Climate neutrality is a way to mitigation which will help to reduce the likely damage. This will, in turn, lessen the need for adaptation and alleviate the cost of adapting. Adaptation and mitigation can complement each other .And together can significantly reduce the consequences of anthropogenic climate change – change caused by human hange activities.
Figure 7 - Cartoon on Carbon Emission
Sustainable development is a socio socio-ecological process characterized by the fulfillment of human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. The term was used by the Brundtland commission which became the most often quoted definition of sustainable development as: me
‘Development that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’7
The concept of sustainable development is concerned both with the quality and the quantity of economic growth and encompasses three dimensions of welfare (Mawhinney)8 — economic, environmental and social. It refers first to “needs” in a broad sense, not only economic needs but also needs for a clean environment, for a secure and cohesive society. Second, explicit in the concept is a focus on “interoncept generational” equity, implying that the next generation should be secured opportunities sim , similar to those available to the present one. Third, it puts an emphasis on “social equity”, between all people around the world living today, and also equity between people living today and people living in the future.
The concept of sustainable development is a process of consensus consensusbased decision making in which the impact of Economic activities (the economy), the Environment (ecosystems) and the Health (well-being) of society are integrated and balanced, without compromising the ability of present and future generations to meet mising their needs, so that all three - the economy, the environment, and the health of society - can be sustained into the future.9
Figure 8 - Concept of Sustainable development
Brundtland, Our common future , 1987 , Giovannini, Measuring Sustainable development 9 Mawhinney, Sustainable development – understanding the green debate le
OBJECTIVES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Sustainable development is about ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come. This requires meeting four key objectives at the same time in the world as a whole: • • • • Social progress which recognizes the needs of everyone Effective protection of the environment ective Prudent use of natural resources Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment.
Sustainable development is three dimensional process which caters to economical and social development along with environmental development. But this development is hindered by the pressure imposed by human activity on the environment. Human induced global warming, pollution, deforestation, habitat Human-induced destruction and resource depletion are contributing to an environmental crisis which is threatening the environmental survival of many species, including the human species.
THE NEW PARADIGM: CYCLIC SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Sustainable development offers a new way of thinking which reconciles the ubiquitous human drive to improve our quality of life with the limitations imposed on us by our global context. Sustainability is a relationship, or balancing act, between many factors ( (social, environmental and economic realities and constraints) which are constantly changing. Because sustainability is a dynamic concept rather than a static ly state, it requires decision makers to be flexible and willing to modify their approaches according to changes in the environment, human needs and desires, or technological advances. This means that actions that contribute to sustainability today, either in perception or in reality, may be deemed detrimental tomorrow if the context has changed.
Renewable Resources Non-Renewable Resources Biodiversity Assimilative Capacity Ecosystem Resilence
Needs Preferences Culture Population Politics Equity Goods and Services Efficiency Resource Allocation Consumption Figure 9 - Cyclic Sustainable Development
The next three sections discuss the social, environmental and economic issues which are essential to sustainability.
Sustainability is inherently anthropocentric, since it is the welfare of humans with which we are concerned. There are many socio-cultural issues which influence sustainability. The most prominent issue is inter intergenerational equity, in which we must insure that we leave our progeny with the tools and resources they need to survive and enjoy life. As an African proverb says, “We do not own the earth; we are just taking care of our grandchildren’s inheritance.” Other issues in this realm are: environmental justice, population growth, human health, cultural needs, and personal preferences. These elements have a great deal to do ral with our quality of life and should not be ignored in favor of the more easily measurable economic elements discussed below.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY VIRONMENTAL
The natural environment is the physical context within which we live. Sustainability requires that we Recognize the limits of our environment. There are limits to the quantities of natural resources that exist on the planet. Some of these resources, such as trees and wildlife, ar renewable so long as we leave enough are intact to regenerate. Other resources, such as minerals, are renewed at such slow rates that any use whatsoever depletes the total stock. We need to minimize our consumption of all resources, renewable and depletable.
Another key environmental issue is to minimize our impact on global ecosystems: the earth is like an organism and we must maintain it in a healthy state. Natural ecosystems can survive some impacts, but these must be small enough so that the earth can recover. Protecting ecosystem health may involve the protection of an endangered species, the preservation of a wetland, or protection of biodiversity in general.
Economics is important to sustainability because of its broader meaning as a social science that explains the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The exchange of goods and services Has a significant impact on the environment, since the environment serves as the ultimate source of raw material inputs and the repository for discarded goods. al Economic gain has been the driver for much of the unsustainable development that has occurred in the past. A shift to sustainability will only occur if it is shown not to be excessively costly and disadvantageous.
STRATERGIES TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GIES
The impact of human society on the environment is determined by number of people on the planet and the way in which they live .The equation of the relationship between lifestyle and environment is pretty The straightforward. In essence, the lesson is simple; reducing the overall impact that people have on the environment can happen by follo following ways (The worldwatch institute)10:
THINKING LONG-TERM – Climate change is a uniquely long-range problem; its effects appear gradual on
a human time scale, and the worst effects will likely be visited on our future generation To solve this generation. problem, we must embrace the future as our responsibility and consider the impac of today’s decisions on impact future generations. Just as Egyptians built pyramids to last millennia, we need to start acting as if the future of the planet matters beyond our own short lives.
The worldwatch institute, State of the world , 2009
INNOVATION - The world needs to develop and disseminate technologies that maximize the production
and use of carbon-free energy while minimizing cost and optimizing convenience. An effective climate free pact will offer incentives that accelerate technological development a ensure that renewable energy and and other low-emission technologies are deployed in all countries regardless of ability to pay the costs. We emission need to dramatically increase the efficiency with which we use carbon based energy and lower release into carbon-based the atmosphere of greenhouse gases. phere
POPULATION - It is essential to reopen the global dialogue on human population and promote policies
and programs that can help slow and eventually reverse its growth by making sure that all women are able to decide for themselves whether and when to have children. A comprehensive climate agreement would acknowledge both the impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations and the long long-term contribution, which slower growth and a smaller world population can play in reducing future emissions under an ducing equitable climate framework. And it should renew the commitment that the world’s nations made in 1994 to address population not by pressuring parents to have fewer or more children than they want but by meeting the family planning, health, and educational needs of women. lanning,
CHANGING LIFESTYLES - The world’s climate cannot be saved by technology alone. The way we live
will have to change as well—and the longer we wait the larger the needed sacrifices will be. In the United and States, the inexorable increase in the size of homes and vehicles that has marked the past few decades has been a major driver of greenhouse gas emissions and the main reason that U.S. emission are double those of other industrial countries. Lifestyle chan changes will be needed, some of which seem unattractive today. But in the end, the things we may need to learn to live without—oversized cars and houses, status-based oversized consumption, easy and cheap world travel, meat with every meal, disposable everything—are not necessities or in most cases what makes people happy.
HEALING LAND - We need to reverse the flow of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from
destroyed or degraded forests and land. Soil and vegetation can serve as powerful net removers of the atmosphere’s carbon and greenhouse gases. Under the right management, soil alone could absorb each year an estimated 13 percent of all human human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. To the extent we can make the land into a more effective “sink” for these gases.
THE SOCIAL EQUITY IMPERATIVE - A climate agreement that can endure and succeed will find
mechanisms for sharing the burden of costs and potential discomforts. Per capita fossil fuel CO2 emissions in the developed countries are almost five times those in developing countries and more than 20 times the levels in most of undeveloped countries. An effective climate agreement will acknowledge the past cooptation of Earth’s greenhouse- gas absorbing capacity by the wealthiest and most industrialized countries and the corresponding need to reserve most of what little absorbing capacity is left for countries in development. Most people live in such countries, and they bear little responsibility for causing this problem—though it is worth recalling that small but growing shares of their populations already have large carbon footprints.
ECONOMIC STABILITY - The global economy is raising the obvious question: can a world heading into he
hard economic times add to its burdens the costs of switching from fossil to renewable fuels or managing precious land for carbon sequestration? Any climate agreement built on an assumption of global prosperity is doomed to failure. And as growing and increasingly affluent populations demand more of the resources of a finite planet, we may have to balance the future of climate against present realities of hunger, poverty, , and disease. A robust international climate regime will need to design mechanisms that will operate consistently in anemic as well as booming economic times. And a strong pact will be built on principles and innovations that acknowledge and accommodate the problem of cost— while building in monitoring techniques to ensure that efficiency is not achieved at the expensive of effective and enduring emission cuts and adaptation efforts.
POLITICAL STABILITY - A world distracted by major wars or outbreaks of terrorism will not be able to
stay focused on the more distant future. And just such a focus is needed to prevent future changes in climate and adapt to the ones alre already occurring. A climate pact could encourage preemptive action to diminish insecurity caused or exacerbated by climate change. But unless nations can find ways to defuse violent conflict and minimize the chance that terrorism will distract and disrupt societies, climate change prevention and adaptation (along with development itself) will take a back seat. On the bright side, negotiating an effective climate agreement offers countries an opportunity, if they will only seize it, to practice peace, to look beyond the narrowness of the interests within their borders at their dependence on the rest of the world, to see humanity as a single vulnerable species rather than a collection of nations locked in pointless and perpetual competition.
From various strategies towards sustainable development following are the three major issues, which can help to achieve the idea in large context along with larger gain; • • • Population – Reducing The number of people on the planet Innovation - Improving the efficiency of technology Changing lifestyles
A nation’s total Ecological Footprint is determined by its population, and by its residents’ average footprint. The latter is a function both of the quantity of goods and services the average resident consumes, and the resources used or waste generated in providing those goods and services. On a global scale, both population and the average footprint have increased since 1961 Consumption is directly proportional to population and increase in consumption will lead to green house gases emission which further leads to environmental degradation. So the problem of population growth is very critical.
Since 1987 the Earth’s population has grown by almost 30 per cent, and global economic output has risen by 76 per cent. Average per capita gross national income has almost doubled. And just about everything needs energy to be produced. The global primary energy supply (80 per cent of it supplied by fossil fuels) increased by 4 per cent annually from 1987 to 2004.11 Demand for energy is predicted to continue to grow by at least 50 per cent by 2030, as the fast developing countries like ours continue their rapid economic fast-developing growth.
The question of population is clearly critical. Population is one of the factors that “ Population “scale” humanity’s impact on the planet. We can’t cut existing population but can control the growth. Rapid population growth can be slowed and its negative impacts on human well being alleviated by empowering women with well-being greater education and economic opportunities, and improving access to voluntary family planning er counseling and services for women who want to delay, space or limit births. Promoting good governance, alongside adoption of these strategies, leads to smaller, healthier and better educated families. But this is a healthier slow process and will have less impact in the short term. Also the reduction in carbon emission will be effective in upcoming years and the problem encountered in present day will be the same. So this idea can be used but we cannot depend on it to achieve sustainable development.
“Having one less child is the biggest contribution Having anyone can make to leaving a habitable planet planet”
- Prof John Guilleband, Optimum Population Trust (2008)
Figure 10 - cartoon on Effects of Population
UNEP, Kick the habit
ADVANCEMENT IN TECHNOLOGY
Technology plays a very important role in sustainable development because it is one of the most significant ways in which we interact with our environment; we use technologies to extract natural resources, to modify them for human purposes, and to adapt our man-made living space. Technology is understood to mediate between resources and our goals and objectives. This lead to focus on energy and material efficiency. There is aterial no doubt that more efficient technology will make an important contribution to the sustainable development, but this perspective has limitations. Though efficiency will lead to lesser use of resources but it would be expansive and cannot be afford by everyone. For example, if a hybrid car is introduced in the market which runs 150 km per liter of petrol which brid is more efficient in comparison to a normal car but the question arise can we all have it or can our road normal networks support this kind of innovation. No, certainly not this is the problem mostly faced by developing countries. This is a case for high end innovation but problem do exist, advancement in technology leads to rebound effect. for example , in Indian villages where there was no electricity government provided solar lantern to minimize the use of kerosene oil , but this step towards less consumption of resources proved inefficient because it lead to higher consumption. People started using it for their cooking purposes because it er was cheaper and available. Improving quality of technology doesn’t qualify in economy of transition but works well in a stable economy.
It is through use of technology that we have seen drastic improvements in the quality of life of many people. Unfortunately, many of these short term improvements in the immediate quality of life have also exacted a great toll on the environment. In order to proceed toward sustainability, we will have to be more deliberate and thoughtful in our employment of technology. We need to develop and use technologies with sustainability in mind. We need “sustainable technologies.”
Figure 11 - Think sustainably
A sustainable technology is one that promotes a societal move toward sustainability, a technology that fits well with the goals of sustainable development. Sustainable technologies are practical solutions to achieve economic development and human satisfaction in harmony with the environment. These technologies serve to contribute, support or advance sustainable development by reducing risk, enhancing cost effectiveness, improving process efficiency, and creating proce processes, products or services that are environmentally beneficial or benign, while benefiting humans .
To qualify as sustainable technologies, the solutions must have the following characteristics, in addition to meeting pre-existing requirements and constraints (e.g. economic viability): • Minimize use of nonrenewable energy and natural resources • Satisfying human needs and aspirations with sensitivity to cultural context • Minimal negative impact on the earth’s ecosystems
Minimizing Consumption - The use of nonrenewable energy and natural resources should be minimized
because consumption of resources inherently involves increasing the disorder of materials and energy, rendering them of lower utility for future use. By subjecting materials and energy to consumption processes gy we decrease their potential utility to current and future generations. Therefore, consuming as little matter and energy as possible, or “doing more with less,” is a fundamental objective of sustainability.
Maintaining Human Satisfaction - A sustainable technology must fulfill the needs of the population it is
intended to serve. In fulfilling those needs the technology must account for human preferences and cultural differences. In some cases these preferences may conflict with environmental and economic criteria and a with compromise will have to be worked out. This is does not mean that human preferences should be ignored; fulfillment of our desires means the difference between surviving and living.
Minimizing Negative Environme Environmental Impacts - Finally, causing minimal negative environmental
impacts (as well as maximizing positive impacts) is an important objective of sustainability since the environment consists of ecosystems whose ongoing health is essential for human survival on earth. Sustainability of the human race requires that ecosystems be protected and preserved in a reasonable state of health through maintaining biodiversity, adequate habitat, and ecosystem resilience.
4.3 1.2 THE CURRENT PARADIGM: UNSUSTAINABLE LINEAR SYSTEM
In order to understand the changes that need to be made to develop sustainable technologies it is useful to look at the paradigm which is currently being employed. Despite a wide range of positions and opinions on the subject of sustainability, there is general agreement that the current paradigm of linear development, which general disregards constraints to material or energy consumption, is unsustainable. In Figure 12, a model of the unsustainable linear development approach is shown which has prevailed over the last few centuries. In this model, several systems are linked in a linear process that begins with both renewable and non non-renewable natural resources such as air, water, soil, mineral or biological resources.
Figure 12 - Unsustainable linear development
In this model (D.V.Roberts) 12, exploitation and use of primary natural resources occurs to provide inputs for industrial processes (Subsystem 1). The outputs of this system become the principal inputs for two other systems: the production and use of energy (Subsystem 2), whose output is a critical input to all the systems in the linear process; and resource processing and manufacturing (Subsystem 3), whose output is a set of industry-specific products or services that are transported and commercialized within Subsystem 4. specific n The linear process ends with the use and consumption (Subsystem 5) of the products or services generated by the industrial system across all segments of society. This process has two additional outputs from each of its systems, which are at the core of many problems facing the world today: increasing amounts of hazardous and nonhazardous waste, and increasing levels of environmental impact.
The process is linear because inputs enter at Subsystem 1 and move in one direction through the syste to system Subsystem 5 and then are disposed, going through the system only once with no cycling of materials. To aggravate the situation even more, this linear process is fueled by continuous increases in the demand for, use, and consumption of products and services, creating pressures for further exploitation of natural resources, services, And for continued expansion of energy production, resource processing, and manufacturing capabilities. This unrelenting growth has created three serious problems: Natural resource depletion, Accumulation of waste, and Environmental degradation. atural nvironmental It is these challenges which must be addressed in achieving sustainability.
GREEN BUILDINGS - Building industry solution to technology and efficiency
Green Building is the practice of increasing the efficiency while ensuring healthy indoor environment for the buildings by minimizing their use of power, water, and materials, thus reducing building impact on the environment and on the limited resources of the p planet, through better site selection, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and dismantling - the complete building life cycle .The related concepts of sustainable The development and sustainability are integral to green building.
Effective green building can lead to to: 1. Reduced operating costs by increasing productivity and using less energy and water, 2. improved public and occupant health due to improved indoor air quality, and 3. reduced environmental impact Practitioners of green building often seek to achieve not only ecological but aesthetic harmony between a structure and its surrounding natural and built environment. The sustainable buildings are also environmentally friendly in the fact that they are built out of materials that are good for the envi environment. The appearance and style of sustainable homes and buildings can be nearly indistinguishable from their less sustainable counterparts.
Sustainability or 'Green Architecture' can be interpreted in many different ways. What is desirable for one country may be in excess for another, and vice versa. Its meanings and understanding will vary according to try its context. India has suffered considerably during the past century by adopting directions appropriate for other countries, and using materials not entirely appropriate for their own context, creating enormous entirely pressures on its resources. Most of the Built Environment of the pre independence era can, even today, pass pre-independence through the sieve of what we refer to as 'Green Architecture'. For the Indian context, we believe we should pursue with following principles: • • • Understanding sustainability in the context of India & its regions; Attempting to understand what constitutes 'Human Comfort' in buildings; Questioning the needs, identifying their optimum levels in long term scenario, and taking the design long provisions to that level only; • • • Ensuring that what is sustainable today remains that way in decades to come; Ensuring that sustainability is not only in parts but also that way holistically; Maximizing the use of traditional wisdom in design, wherever applicable, because it represents the traditional knowledge of the long-term behavior of materials, their strengths as well as weaknesses; term • Assessing all new technologies for their long term impact in the context of India & its develop development priorities, before accepting them for use;
• • • •
Being aware of the embodied energies of the materials, before we specify them; Taking the decision making processes to measurable levels, in order to make our choices judiciously; Taking the 'savings' benchmark targets closer to the minimum standards of provisions; benchmark Addressing all the above issues through the sieve of value engineering, for the specific context of the built environment;
Pursuing goals and not just the means.
GREEN BUT NOT SUSTAINABLE
Green buildings seem to have become synonymous with sustainable design although there is evidence available to suggest that green buildings are no more sustainable than other buildings. The case of making green buildings rest on the fact that the buildings are responsible for about 40 of the global energy buildings 40% consumption. It is huge number for one single sector and obviously this is where a big difference can be made. But 40 % is only a small part of 100% where much greater savings in energy consumption should b possible savings be
A typical office worker in a large city in India spends about an hour each way for commuting to work and another hour for outdoor recreational activities every day. The rest of the time is spent in a building, thus, out of 24 hours in a day, an office worker spends about 21 hours in buildings. Housewives and non working or studying population spend about 33 hours in buildings. Buildings that account for 87.5% of our time are associated with only 40% of our energy consumption while other non building activities account for 12.5% of the time but 60 % of energy consumption. Can one say, therefore, that buildings are more energy – efficient than the other places where human being spends time? If this is true, a logical way of dealing with the energy man crisis would be to make people spend more time indoors.
within building Outsite Building
Building related activities Outside Building activities
Figure 14 - Relation between Time spent
Figure 13 - Relation between Energy Consumption
The point is that the focus on energy consumption in buildings is a red herring. It is not buildings per se that consume energy. It is human activity. Energy consumed within the building and the energy used for making buildings in the first place is part of the energy used for different types of human activity. Buildings are not s independent energy users. The part of the activity that takes place within the building uses energy and often the outdoor part of the same activity con consumes the more energy. Energy consumption Via transportation (a road & sea), dietary habits ( non –vegetarian diet, imported fruits (air, vegetarian and vegetables, processed food ), clothing ( leather, synthetic fabric ), entertainment and waste dispos does ssed ), disposal, not have any connection with the buildings, than how can advancement in building technology help. What can y buildings, be done so solve these problems? Only small improvements in efficiency would result fro the building from alone. But buildings are a part of larger system and i order to function properly , buildings are dependent on in the system for bringing goods , services and people to the buildings .supply of energy, water food and other .supply water, goods, transportation for people , disposal of waste etc. are all needed for building to function properly . Obviously these services require energy and material expanses. Making an efficient building in wilderness where the occupant needs to travel long distance by personal motorized transport doesn’t make sense when the efficiency of overall system is examined. The way to reduce energy expense and resource consumption in human habitat is not by focusing on energy intensity and efficiency of the buildings but o human activity. of Another solution is build less, or built only as much required. For this the tool we use to define efficiency are important. The green building movement (LEED, AIA) typically measures resource efficiency per unit of built area. How many units of area the individual requires is never an issue. This argument proves that buildings are not responsible for resource consumption but people are . roves .also sustainable lifestyle has to deal with the overall context and not just buildings.
WHAT DO WE HAVE AS SOLUTION?
The evolution of civilization is under way. The people of this planet are opening to change. Most of us now know that the disastrous consequences of our lifestyles are accelerating. The time has come to take the conversation about sustainability to the nex level. In the last chapter, we have focused on green building next technology, since buildings and technology represent only half of the problem and half of the solution, clearly the present green building movement doesn't go far enough. But we now recognize that half or more of all resource impacts arise from everyday behavior and habits. Our lifestyles must evolve. We have long held by the notion that technology and efficiency will solve the problem of environmental degradation. But we now recognize the need to go further.
GREY TO GREEN
We are responsible for the choices we make. At least half of human impact on the planet comes from our lifestyles - the choices we make every day. Where, and how, we travel. What we eat. What we wear. The stuff we buy, and how we get rid of that stuff when we're done with it. We have to change our present grey lifestyle we're to sustainable green lifestyle to lower our impact on environment and go carbon neutral in an equitable manner. What, exactly, does green or sustainable living mean? Different people use different definitions, but it all different comes down to one fundamental concept: The Earth’s resources shouldn’t be depleted faster than they can be replenished. From that concept comes everything else, including caring for the environment, animals and other living things, our health, our local community, and communities around the world. When we start to ings, look at all the different kinds of resources — from fossil fuels to forests, agricultural land to wildlife, and the ocean’s depths to the air that we breathe — it’s easy to see how everything is interconnected and how the asy actions that we take today can affect the future.
The concept of sustainable living as being a lot like our family budget. If we spend more than we make each month and neglect our bills as a result, the bill collector’s start calling, and if we keep going down the same path, we end up owing so much that we can’t possibly pay it back. On the other hand, if we are careful with our monthly expenses (maybe even saving a little), we will able to live within our means and keep everyone within happy. The planet’s no different. Right now, its resources are being depleted far faster than they can be . replenished. The call of the bill collectors is getting louder all the time, with the clear implication that bankruptcy’s down the road if something doesn’t change. Fossil fuels such as oil are becoming more difficult and more expensive to bring out of the ground, and their reserves are dwindling. Burning fossil fuels to provide energy for homes, vehicles, and industries emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases along with pollutants and its people. Sustainable lifestyle is a way of living and working that is compatible with the planet’s natural limits. It is about not using our fair share of the earth resources, or taking more than the planet’s ecosystem can naturally replace. It is about ensuring that bountiful wealth provided by nature can be enjoyed by every living thing – wild life included13 . It is based on following principles: •
Reduce consumption - Anything that you do to decrease the amount of the Earth’s resources that at
you use from choosing goods with less packaging to turning down your home’s Ac a few degrees in the summer — helps you to lead a more sustainable life.
Choose carefully - Assessing where certain products and services come from by thinking about in
their entire life cycles from manufacture to disposal helps you to make the greenest choices possible. You not only protect the environment but also protect the people involved in the manufacturing process.
Opt for renewable resources - Replacing your use of nonrenewable resources (such as energy
based on fossil fuels) with renewable resources (such as solar or wind energy) is a very powerful green action — and it may be easier than you think.
WWF, One Planet Living
Repair when needed - There are plenty of ways that you can help to fix the damage that’s already
been done to the environment, from supporting tree-planting projects to helping out with community planting programs at home and around the world.
SUSTAINABLE BUILDING TECHNOLOGIES
Consumption of natural resources is at the heart of sustainability. With its large scale use of material and energy and displacement of natural ecosystems, the built environment greatly influences the sustainability of human systems as well as the natural ecosystems of which we are a part. Minimizing consumption of matter and energy is essential to achieve sustainability in creating, operating, and decommissioning built facilities. The following sections highlight several strategies for minimizing consumption of natural resources over the consumption life of built facilities.
Improving Technological Efficiency: Doing more with less - One strategy for minimizing
consumption in creating the built environment is improving the technological efficiency of our materials an and processes. For materials, we need to improve the efficiency with which they meet the needs for which they are used. With respect to processes, technological efficiency means reducing the amounts of input matter and energy required to generate the desired outcome of the process.
Reuse, Rehabilitation, and Retrofitting - Reusing buildings, materials and equipment is a second
strategy for making design and construction more sustainable. By reusing what already exists we save the cost, material, and energy input which would be required to create new facilities “from scratch.” By using techniques such as adaptive reuse, rehabilitation, or retrofitting, old facilities can be modified or improved to meet new use criteria, at a much lower consumptive cost than building a new facility.
Creating New Technologies - Many opportunities exist to increase the sustainability of human activity st
by creating new technologies. Consumption of matter and energy can be reduced by developing new technologies which do not rely on traditional types or amounts of materials and energy to meet human needs. Photovoltaic panels, which generate electricity from solar radiation, are one example of such a technology. Instead of using finite reserves of coal or oil to make the electricity used by humans, PV panels use the essentially infinite resource of solar ene energy. Opportunities for new technologies can be found by observing natural ecosystems: what sources of energy and matter are used by these systems? Particularly promising opportunities exist in the area of waste recovery and reuse.
Modifying Historical Technologies - Technologies have been used over the course of human history to chnologies
meet the needs of people. Many of these technologies have been forgotten or abandoned as new technologies were developed to replace them. While most of these technologies may appear to be obsolete, some may prove to be useful in and of themselves, or to suggest ideas for new technologies.
Reshaping Human Desires - A more fundamental strategy for minimizing consumption is to attempt to
change human desires and tastes. While fu fundamental human needs such as food, shelter, and water are not greatly adaptable, other human wants are often significantly responsive to external influences. The obvious architectural trends in built facilities from decade to decade are an example of how designers can influence consumer demand and thus the consumption of matter and energy. Other mechanisms for changing human consumptive patterns are education and awareness. If people are aware of the impacts of their choices on the ecosystems of which they are a part, they may make more enlightened choices.
SATISFYING HUMAN NEEDS AND ASPIRATIONS
The quality of the facility as a man made environment for people is determined by how well it meets human man-made needs and aspirations for such things as security, non non-toxicity, shelter, aesthetics, and other functional requirements.
Improving Economic Viability. In today’s world, economic viability is an important consideration for any
building project. Indeed, a facility design which is sustainable but too expensive to construct has little value in and of itself. Thus, increasing cost effectiveness of facilities is a critical strategy for creating sustainable built facilities. Economic viability often follows from achieving the objectives of minimizing cost and negative environmental impacts, since less consumption means less cost, and reduced environmental impact means lower liability and remediation costs.
Matching User Needs with Facility Design In creating a facility which is sustainable based on the Design.
human satisfaction criteria, the first step must be to identify the needs of the people who will use the facility. These needs shape the basic functional requirements of the facility, and must be met in order for the facility to be considered sustainable. Opportunities exist in the area of systematic human needs assessment, and adapting those needs as input to the design process.
Creating a Healthy Built Environment. In addition to the basic functional requireme of users which requirements
must be met by the facility, designers and constructors must also strive to include factors which create a healthy environment both inside and outside the facility. Non-toxic materials are an essential component of a toxic healthy built environment, as well as design features which convey aesthetic or spiritual values conducive to nment, the tasks and activities which occur within the facility. Besides the requirements for creating a healthy indoor environment, sustainable design also requires Consideration of the interfaces between the built environment and the natural environment. Non-toxic materials and processes are essential technologies for achieving sustainability throughout the facility life cycle.
Empowering People to Meet their Own Needs. A final strategy for satisfying human needs in the built
environment is empowerment. By including users in decision making for the planning and design of facilities, the final facility will be more likely to meet the needs of those users. Allowing user parti participation at all phases of the facility life cycle creates awareness among the users of the interfaces of the facility with its environmental context, and a respect for the flows of energy and material through the built system over time.
AVOIDING NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
Built facilities impact the natural environment in many ways over their entire life cycles. Four categories of impacts which built facilities have on the earth’s ecological systems and resources: • • Spatial displacement of natural ecosystems, and modification of surrounding ecosystems ecosystems, Impacts resulting by human use of the built environment, and the tendency for that use to spur further human development of the surrounding ecosystems • Depletion of matter and energy resources from natural ecosystems during the construction and use of natural the facility • Generation of large amounts of waste output over the whole life cycle of the facility, which is deposited in and must be absorbed by natural ecosystems. Given their large scale and long life cyc cycles, built facilities have particularly large and long long-lasting effects on the environment as a whole. The following strategies are examples of approaches which can be taken to improve the sustainability of built facilities by avoiding negative environmental impacts over their life cycle. environmental
Recovering Waste: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Various approaches exist to help recover waste from
building construction and operation processes. Pollution prevention, for example, is a strategy which advocates anticipating and eliminating pollution before it is produced. Material recycling is used in prefabrication processes, where careful planning can eliminate waste or enable it to be directly recycled back into the manufacturing process or to other complimentary processes. Construction and demolition waste processes. recycling is also becoming increasingly popular, as disposal options become more expensive.
Reusing Existing Development. Another way of minimizing impacts on the natural environment is by
making better use of sites and facilities which have already been used. Rehabilitation of existing structures for nd similar or adaptive uses, as well as using retrofitted existing sites rather than Greenfield sites for new development, are examples of strategies which reduce negative impacts on the natural environment. By impacts reusing existing sites and/or facilities, we save costs and avoid negative impacts by Avoiding the need to “start from scratch”.
Integrating the Built Environment into Ecological Systems. Sustainability must occur within the
context of natural ecological systems, since it is these systems which provide the resources for all human activity. The built environment can be integrated into the natural environmental context of its site and bioregion by designing material and energy flows into and out of the built system to fit within the yield and assimilative capacities of that context. Integration of built systems into the surrounding ecological context can be mutually beneficial to humans and nature, provided that humans do not exceed the assimilative capacity of natural systems.
A a Id i a s n n id l vu
A aS c t s oi y e
The current state of our planet is really very bad and the pressures imposed by human activit activities on the Environment like Global Warming, Pollution, Deforestation, Habitat Destruction and Resource Depletion are nd contributing to an Environmental Crisis which is threatening the survival of man species, including the Crisis, many human themselves .
It is not only the nature of human activities that threatens the Environment, but also their increasing nvironment, occurrence. The Global Population is growing: currently at 6.2 billion, it is expected to stabilize at around 9 opulation billion by the end of this Century. Currently about two billion humans, without reliable access to safe food, entury. umans, urgently require resources to fulfill their basic needs, while several billions more are rapidly increasing their resource consumption to improve their living standards.
Population Growth and the raising of low Living Standards will require more resources, which will produce rowth tandards more waste and thus increase the impact on the Natural Environment. The Principles of Sustainability aim to address the problems of Environmental Degradation, Lack of Human Equality and Quality of Life, by supporting development that is sustainable in economic and social terms and is capable of retaining the benefits of a healthy stable environment in the long term.
But achieving Sustainable Development in the present day scenario is very difficult, of all various strategies. Solutions like Long Term Thinking and Controlling the Growth of Population, to minimize the rate of consumption are viable because they describe the idea of achieving a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising to the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. But this process is slow enough, in lieu of the rate of Environmental Degradation Degradation.
Improvement of Technology is the present day soluti for sustainability and it has brought mixed results in solution name of development. With its benefits of increase in efficiency, mass production and quality, the economic ss growth of nations has almost doubled. But this increase in the availability of disposable income has brought up the rate of consumption, which is further leading to environmental degradation and waste accumulation. This linear system of development has also created three serious problems: natural resource depletion, accumulation of waste and environmental degradation. Also, Improvement of technology doesn’t qualify in economy of transition because here the idea of sustainability keeps changing with change in human needs and desires. In case of Building Industry, the advancement in building technology alone cannot bring about sustainability because buildings are a part of larger system and in order to function properly, they depend on that system for bringing goods, services and people to the buildings. Also building construction and management consume less amount of energy in lieu of energy consumed by the people inhabiting them.
But we now recognize that half or more of all resource impacts arise from everyday behavior and habits... at resource-impacts and it’s in our hand to be efficient in terms of resource consum tion and to achieve the goal of One Planet consumption Lifestyle by reducing our Ecological Footprint and going Carbon Neutral.
So, to achieve sustainable development we have to first achieve the goal of “One Planet Living through One Living” the medium of Sustainable Technologies which minimize the use of resources and satisfy human needs and aspirations without any negative impact on the Earth’s Ecosystems.
The lesson learnt is simple,
“We are standing at the verge of total destruction, but to remain safe, we have to define what is We e an acceptable lifestyle for most of us .This idea towards Sustainable Development leads us to Development, One Planet Living. ”
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