Green Design And Architecture

Read Complete Research Material


Green Design and Architecture

Green Design and Architecture


Over the past century, technological development, urban sprawl, and the exploitation of natural resources have combined to change the world in dramatic ways. On the one hand, the standard of living has improved for millions of people worldwide. On the other hand, ecosystem destruction and pollution have created serious problems. As the huge financial and other costs of these problems have become more obvious, people have grown more aware of the need for a proactive approach to preserving the natural environment through the wise management and enlightened design of the man-made environment. There is a growing conviction that we can deliberately shape human environments and simultaneously promote a greater sensitivity to and respect for the integrity of our natural world.

From initial design to final use, architectural and industrial structures and the systems that support them necessarily draw upon natural resources for materials and energy. Construction makes an enormous demand on resources and raw materials. It is also the single largest contributor to the stream of waste and environmental contamination. Design professionals, who shape our information, our tools, and our built environment, are regarded as an indispensable source of solutions that can prevent further degrading of the environment, if not correct the damage that has already been done. This paper discusses Green Design and Architecture.


In the middle of the twentieth century, many buildings were designed and built without energy efficiency or environmental "friendliness." Houses, office buildings, and factories were often made of materials that were unstable or even dangerous (asbestos insulation, for example). Similarly, some of the most popular architectural styles—for example, the "glass-box" office buildings representative of the International Style—were very inefficient in their energy consumption. These buildings are expensive to operate and are over-reliant on natural resources.

In the late twentieth century many citizens in Western societies began to recognize that if other societies consumed resources at the same rate that they did, the ecosystem soon would be exhausted and unable to reproduce itself. That recognition motivated the United Nations to charter the World Council on Environment and Development (WCED) to investigate ways in which the apparent conflict between economic development and environmental degradation might be reconciled. Under the auspices of the Brundtland Commission, the WCED published its findings as Our Common Future in 1987. That document, long considered the seminal text on sustainable development, defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (World Council on Environment and Development 1987,p. 8). In the conflict between economic development and environmental protection unsustainable development usually is associated with the industrial and transportation sectors. Although industrial wastes and automobile emissions contribute substantially to degraded environmental and social conditions, they are not the largest source of the problem. (Barnett 2005, 25)


Before the 1980s, "sustainable" or "green" was applied to an iconoclastic, fringe approach to building. It was associated with eco-fanatics who wanted to live in the backcountry in naturalistic ...
Related Ads