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WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE?

Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet
their own needs.

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE?

Sustainable architecture is architecture that seeks to minimize the negative environmental


impact of buildings by efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and
development space and the ecosystem at large.

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE ENERGY USE?

Technologies that promote sustainable energy include:

Renewable Energy Overview.


Solar Energy. Photovoltaic Systems. Solar Hot Water. Solar Electricity. Passive
Solar Heating & Day lighting. Space Heating & Cooling.
Geothermal Electricity Production. Geothermal Direct Use. Geothermal Heat
Pumps.
Bio energy. Bio fuels. Bio power. Bio products.
Hydropower.
WHAT MAKES A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY?

1. A flourishing local economy to provide jobs and wealth;

2. Strong leadership to respond positively to change;

3. Effective engagement and participation by local people, groups and businesses,


especially in the planning, design and long term stewardship of their community,
and an active voluntary and community sector;

4. A safe and healthy local environment with well-designed public and green space;

5. Sufficient size, scale and density, and the right layout to support basic amenities
in the neighbourhood and minimise use of resources (including land);

6. Good public transport and other transport infrastructure both within the
community and linking it to urban, rural and regional centres;

7. Buildings - both individually and collectively - that can meet different needs over
time, and that minimise the use of resources;

8. A well-integrated mix of decent homes of different types and tenures to support a


range of household sizes, ages and incomes;
9. Good quality local public services, including education and training opportunities,
health care and community facilities, especially for leisure;

10. A diverse, vibrant and creative local culture, encouraging pride in the
community and cohesion within it;

11. A "sense of place";

12. The right links with the wider regional, national and international community.

What is Sustainable design?

Sustainable design (also called environmental design, environmentally sustainable design,


environmentally conscious design, etc.) is the philosophy of designingphysical objects, the built
environment, and services to comply with the principles of social, economic, and
ecological sustainability.

Architecture and Sustainability Factors

Architecture presents a unique challenge in the field of sustainability. Construction


projects typically consume large amounts of materials, produce tons of waste, and often
involve weighing the preservation of buildings that have historical significance against the
desire for the development of newer, more modern designs.

Sustainable construction is defined as the creation and responsible management of a


healthy built environment based on resource efficient and ecological principles. Sustainably
designed buildings aim to lessen their impact on our environment through energy and
resource efficiency.

It includes the following principles:

Minimising non-renewable resource consumption


Enhancing the natural environment
Eliminating or minimising the use of toxic materials

Sustainable building can be defined as those buildings that have minimum adverse
impacts on the built and natural environment, in terms of the building themselves, their
immediate surroundings and the broader regional and global setting. Thus, the rational use
of natural resources and appropriate management of the building stock will contribute to
saving scarce resources reducing energy consumption and improving environmental quality.
Sustainable buildings should:
Harvest all their own water and energy needs on site.
Be adapted specifically to site climate and evolve as conditions change.
Operate pollution free and generate no waste that arent useful for some other
process in the building or immediate environment.
Promote the health and well-being of all inhabitants, as a healthy ecosystem does.
It should comprise energy efficient integrated systems that maximize efficiency and
comfort.
Improve the health and diversity of the local ecosystem rather than degrade it.
Be beautiful and inspire us to dream.

Sustainable design is the thoughtful integration of architecture with electrical, mechanical,


and structural engineering. In addition to concern for the tradition; aesthetics of massing,
proportion, scale, texture. Shadow and light, the facility design team needs to be concerned
with long term costs: environmental, economic and human. All in all sustainable design is
more of a philosophy of a building than perspective building style.

Principles for sustainable architecture :

1. Think Small
The combined problem of natural resource depletion and population growth is so serious
that its no longer reasonable for anyone to use up more than their fair share of either. Not
only that, but theres something special about creating a home or office that speaks to the
specific needs of your particular family. Small homes are more affordable, use fewer
resources, have less of an environmental impact, and also require less energy to heat and
cool.

2. Heat With the Sun


Speaking of heating, fossil fuels are on the wane but the sun is still going strong. Consult
your local green building expert for the best way to orient your home in order to maximize
solar gain when appropriate (and reduce it when theres too much.) Orientation combined
with a green building material that absorbs the suns energy during the day and then
dispatches it slowly at night can drastically reduce your energy requirement.

3. Keep Your Cool


The same principle works for cooling a home, a particular challenge in the Middle East
where there is no shortage of long hot days. Passive design, digging into the earth, and
insulating a home well will work wonders, as will Islamic design techniques such as
the Mashrabiya screen, which beats the heat at the same time as it promotes natural
ventilation.

4. Use Renewable Energy


We know this is hard in the Middle East, where solar panels are still quite expensive, but an
investment in the short term will pay off in the long run. Plus, who says its necessary to buy
into the most expensive renewable technology? In Cyprus, Egypt and Israel, lower income
people have been using the sun to heat their water for years. Theirs may not be the
sexiest roofs in each country, but their energy bills are smaller, and their ability to withstand
municipal price and supply fluctuations far greater than grid-dependent folks.
5. Conserve Water
There are as many ways to conserve water in your home as there are reasons to do so
particularly in our dry region. Firm up faucets, harvest rainwater, recycle gray water, take
shorter showers, and turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Also consider planting
indigenous plants that dont require a lot of irrigation, and if you must irrigate, trying using
drip irrigation or other modern developments.

6. Use Local Materials


When youre building a home out of materials harvested in some distant land, they have to
travel a long way to make it to your little plot. This creates an unnecessarily high carbon
footprint and also reduces the level of control you have over how those materials are
harvested. But if you use local materials, as will be the case with Gazas 20 new Eco-
Schools, your carbon footprint shrinks considerably and benefits your local economy.

7. Use Natural Materials


Natural materials not only have more aesthetic appeal, at least in our view, but it turns out
that they are better for our health. A home that is built with a porous natural material such as
mud or stone or lime breaths and promotes natural circulation in the home. Anything else
creates a terribly unhealthy internal environment. Natural materials also promote daylighting
and superior acoustics, whereas all kinds of interventions are required in more artificial
surroundings.

8. Save the Forests


Our forests are beautiful and deserve to be protected in their own right. But they also serve
important environmental services including sucking the globes carbon. With escalating
levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere and a bevy of attendant climatic changes,
protecting our trees is more important than ever. The average timber home uses 100
trees and thats not sustainable at all. Kelly Hart recommends using wood carefully for
decoration or for roofing and opting for abundant earthen materials to build the rest of the
home.
9. Recycle Materials
We belong to a throwaway culture something the earths finite resources simply cant
support. Recycling materials not only gives new life to something discarded or disused, but
also provides an opportunity to be creative and resourceful. See how old windows have
been given new life is this wonderful design project.

10. Build to Last


We have showcased several earth architecture buildings that have lasted centuries, such as
Yemens Manhattan and these awesome cave homes in Iran. Despite stringent new building
codes, many materials used in contemporary architecture are designed NOT to last so that
the supplier can prolong their business opportunities. This makes absolutely no sense. Build
to last as much as possible and save the earth while youre at it.

11. Grow Your Food


Growing food at home improves quality control and increases resilience both very
necessary in our region where food security is poor and where environmental regulations
regarding food quality are poorly enforced. We have published 7 agricultural solutions
that will save the Middle East. Take a look and be inspired to start growing your own
food immediately!
12. Store Your Own Food
This is something we havent considered in a long while, but it used to be that most people
built pantries into the earth in order to keep their food cool and fresh. As demonstrated in
Palestines numerous geothermal projects, the earths temperature remains constant even
as our atmosphere warms and cools. If you use the right building material, you can build a
wonderful earthen pantry that will keep most of your food fresh year round. Make sure to
consult a professional until you get the hang of this.

13. Share Facilities

Finally, Kelly Hart promotes co-housing and eco-villages as a good way to save space and
share facilities. He suggests that building common areas (like the Israeli Kibbutzniks have
done for years) in addition to private areas in any housing project saves space and
promotes social activity. Wed also like to add that a shared community is likely to grow into
a more evolved and tolerant community, which promotes all kinds of goodness.
If you are considering building a new home, remember to consult this list to determine
whether you have achieved the greatest amount of sustainability for your time and budget
constraints.