Sustainable environmental design is a broad-based concept that encompasses objectives from both the construction and environmental fields, such as energy efficiency, resource conservation, and human well-being Sustainable environmental design applies to any new or existing space, both indoors and outdoors, regardless of size or use. This design philosophy seeks to create a healthy, prosperous, and equitable environment for all stakeholders, by recognizing the interrelationship between people, the environment, and development.
1. Passive Solar Design: Passive solar design utilizes the sun’s natural energy to reduce the need for artificial heating and cooling. Materials like stone, tile, and concrete absorb and hold the sun’s heat which is then released during the night. Properly positioned windows can also capture solar energy, making them an integral element of passive solar design.
2. Green Roofing: Green roofs are vegetated roofs covered with vegetation and soil, which can provide a variety of benefits including energy efficiency and stormwater management. Green roofs provide insulation, reduce building temperatures, and help to moderate temperatures, as well as reduce wind chill and absorb rainwater to reduce runoff.
3. Solar Panels: Solar panels are a great way to generate renewable energy, reduce emissions, and save money on electric bills. Solar panels are used to capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. They can be installed on rooftops or even on the sides of buildings.
4. Rainwater Harvesting: Rainwater harvesting involves collecting and storing rainwater for future use. This can help to reduce the amount of potable water needed and also prevent stormwater runoff. The collected water can be used for irrigation, washing machines, and toilet flushing.
5. Sustainable Buildings: Sustainable buildings are designed and constructed to be energy efficient and to minimize the use of resources. They are designed to minimize energy loss and to use renewable energy sources. Sustainable buildings use materials that are low in toxicity, that can be recycled, and that are produced according to the principles of sustainable development. They also use efficient lighting and HVAC systems, and are designed to maximize natural light, air flow, and ventilation.