By: Daniel Roman
When the roll of an architect was created into civilization, his or her role was to create a structure that would house and serve a purpose of shelter. Along this job the architect had to work with its surrounding. Material had to be from within the region, since big machinery was not invented, sites could not be manipulated extensively as they are today. At the end of the day these first architects worked with the environmental, which allowed for sustainable architecture and had little impact on the world. As construction methods where invented and after the industrial revolution, architecture took a more modern turn. The way architects used to work with the site to optimize solar gains, and used the land to manipulate the structure so that it could be efficient. All of that went out the window as soon as the air conditioner unit was invented. After many years of non-efficient practice the consequences are showing. As stated by Frampton, architects need to know what type sustainable methods are available as oppose to building in construction methods that can harm the environment even more. Fortunately there is a lot of resources that talk and show various of ways to construct in an efficient way, but the unfortunate manner is that many architects do not do them. According to the book “Sustainable Construction”, by Sandy Halliday, there are six different guidelines to design and build in a sustainable manner; those are Enhancing biodiversity, support communities, use resources efficiently, minimize pollution, create healthy environments, and proper management of the construction process. It is relevant in the manner that one must work with its environment, and possibly use resources from which are local. The unfortunate event is that in today’s construction, materials are being brought from other states or regions of the country, just because it is cheaper than having a local provider.
The argument is to how to change the mindset of the designer to design in a manner from whom which they can be more efficient and sustainable. The issue is always money, it’s always about the money and usually budgets are what determine many decisions on the job site. Possibly, it is important to educate clients in the practice of sustainable design. By educating a client, and allowing them to grasp on to the concept of sustainability and how that will benefit them in the long run, they will be willingly to be open to the idea of investing more money into a building project. Various materials are being created to manipulate construction methods and have them be more beneficial in the long run. Prefabricated concrete panels are a construction method that has been around for a long time, just with the past years it has risen to be a very versatile method of construction. As Frampton mentioned in regards to building in heavy mass walls or light frame, these prefabricated concrete forms have become the best of both worlds. They have been able to fabricate panels with full insulation that could efficiently wrap around a building as its skin. The use of different materials to optimize their strength, and efficiency of rapid erection, will be very beneficial. As a result money will be saved and could be reinvested into a project to allow for more ecofriendly building components. We have the technology and knowledge in regards to why and how to build in a sustainable manner. Perhaps the designer not how has to educate the client as to why invest in to it, but they must also educate themselves along the way of various methods to improve the quality of the system and environment.
Halliday, Sandy. Sustainable Construction. Amsterdam:
Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008.