Sustainable building design or architecture is a pretty straightforward concept. The idea is that buildings are designed, and subsequently built with materials, or equipment, in such ways as to reduce their detrimental impact upon the environment. Whatever is used to build commercial and residential properties may use materials that have negative impacts on the ecological balance depending upon how they are made, or how they are transported to the building sites they are needed for.
Traditionally architects designed buildings with little, or no thought about the damage such buildings could, and did cause to the environment. Instead they concentrated upon meeting the design specifications set by their clients. Some architects even liked to come up with outlandish designs just to get noticed, with no regard to whether or not it harmed the environment. Large skyscrapers built with little regard for the local ecosystem, or the environmental costs of transporting building materials over long distances.
Now architectural firms have greater concerns about sustainability, as do the majority of their potential clients. Fortunately improvements in information technology mean that the environmental impact of proposed building projects can be calculated with a high degree of accuracy before a single brick, pane of glass, or concrete block has been put into place. Computer packages can also work out the financial costs involved in designing and then completing environmentally sustainable buildings, extra costs being balanced against lower energy costs for example.
Architects usually had the freedom to choose, which materials were to be used, yet would pick new materials unless they had to stick to tight budgets, and using recycled or reused stock would save them money. Recycled materials, such as bricks and steel can save a great deal of energy, besides saving money, making construction projects less expensive than if completely new materials were used. People that do not design buildings, or build them may not know how many resources are needed for bricks and glass among other items to be made from scratch.
Sometimes sustainable steps may have been taken, yet that was not the primary concern for doing so. Usually sustainable features were chosen as they fitted the design better, or to save money.
Now with many governments, especially in developed countries setting limits to the emission of greenhouse gases, the design of buildings is regarded as being more important as a means of protecting the environment, and not causing unnecessary pollution when the careful choice of design, or materials should be applied to every project. Reducing the things that can seriously damage the ecosystem is the priority of sustainable building design.
Sustainable architecture is being promoted as a response to increased concerns about environmental pollution in general; and global warming in particular. In limited ways it could be argued that some of its practices were occasionally being used prior to raised concerns about environmental damage, as building projects in developed countries adopted rural and urban planning schemes in attempts to control the scope as well as the spread of new buildings. Perhaps the most notable of such steps was the setting up of green belt land, to stop rural land being built on.So sustainable development goes hand in hand with deciding, which land can be built on, and what the buildings that are allowed to be built are actually constructed from.
As more construction projects are designed along the criteria of being environmentally sustainable then the costs involved should fall, as the greener products used become increasingly common. That is a good development in terms of building more eco-friendly homes, or achieving green building design.These actions or steps that make up sustainable building design can reduce the carbon footprint of each; and every building projects now undertaken.
Careful consideration needs to be taken to ensure that designs can be practical enough to be built. Not only is this the case, but to make sure that the selected designs, are as good for the environment as they are intended to be. Computers, and programs that work out the environmental of different materials, or varying levels of energy use are able to indicate, which combination of designs, and what is required to build them are the greenest options that can be selected.