As indicated in the conclusion of part 1 of this article, green design uses green strategies to attain a project that is more energy and water efficient and provides a healthy environment for the occupants. The next part of this article will concern sustainable design.
As discussed in Part 1, sustainable design must provide a project that is able to maintain itself (conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources).
In order to maintain itself the final project would have to be carbon neutral, net zero energy use, net zero water use and maintain a comfortable and healthy environment.
- Day lighting to lower artificial lighting use.
- Well sealed and insulated building envelope to lower heating and air conditioning requirements.
- Use natural ventilation.
- Use higher reflectance materials on the exterior to prevent absorption of solar energy and heating interior spaces.
- Provide buffers such as vestibules between the exterior and interior spaces at access locations.
- Provide landscape shading of the building.
- Provide operable shutters, window shading that prevent direct sunlight entering the building but allow daylight and views during months that require interior cooling.
- Use thermal mass to slow the movement of exterior extreme temperatures to the interior.
- Use solar energy for heating in the cold months of the year (trombe wall).
- Use of solar heating for hot water.
- Use of low flow faucets and shower heads.
- Use of water closets that use less water to flush or better yet the use of composting toilets.
- Recycle all water including gray and black water by using an onsite constructed wetlands or living machine.
- Provide a water filtering process that allows recycled water to be sterilized for human consumption.
- Collect rainwater and storm water from the site to replace water lost to evaporation in the recycling process.
- Take shorter showers less often.
- Use hydroponics for food growth as it uses 90 to 95 percent less water than gardens.
- Volatile organic compounds
- Perfluorinated compounds
- Flame retardants
- Phthalate plasticizers
- Isocyanate-base polyurethane
- Carbon monoxide
Now that I am at the end of Part 2, have you noted that I have not said a word about being carbon neutral. I have decided that a sustainable design would not necessarily need to be carbon neutral but a regenerative design would. We will get into that in Part 3.