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Sustainable Design

Sustainable Design

Sustainable buildings use ventilation for natural cooling

Sustainable development is now the stated policy of local, national and international governments, and of much industry and commerce. There is a growing commitment on the part of professional bodies to reverse unsustainable trends in development.

The construction, fit-out, operation and ultimate demolition of buildings is a huge factor in human impact on the environment both directly (through material and energy consumption and the consequent pollution and waste) and indirectly (through the pressures on often inefficient infrastructure). The built environment also has a crucial impact on the physical and economic health and well-being of individuals, communities and organisations. A good building is a delight and will enhance a community or organisation, enhance our ability to learn or increase our productivity. A poor building will do the opposite. Where buildings and built environments contribute to ill-health and alienation, undermine community and create excessive financial liability, they are undesirable and unsustainable.

RIAS Sustainable Design Accreditation

Sustainable building in practice

  • Integrate life cycle
  • Prevention of unnecessary use and promote efficient use of materials
  • Use of renewable energy and recycled materials
  • Selection of materials with the least environmental impact

Issues to be considered

  • Specify locally sourced materials and products
  • Minimise construction waste
  • Minimise water consumption
  • Provide for re-use and recycling of buildings, products and materials
  • Minimise embodied energy
  • Minimise environment impact
  • Increase longevity of buildings, products and materials through design and specification
  • Energy consumption and sources
  • Provide facilities for separation and storage of recyclable waste

Sustainability design strategy

  • "Design-out” the need for building services
  • Work ‘with nature’ to fully exploit passive system to provide:
    • natural ventilation
    • free cooling
    • solar heating
    • daylight