Sustainability is a movement that’s been getting a lot of traction in recent years, and for good reason. Given the current global sustainability issues and the impact different industries have on the environment, different sustainable practices are implemented as a way of avoiding doing any additional damage to the environment. Environmental sustainability is a growing trend, and it’s particularly evident in the architectural industry. Here are some of the most prominent sustainability trends that are expected to shape the future of architecture.
Sustainable building materials
One of the major trends we can expect to see more of is the use of sustainable building materials. When it comes to industrial settings, steel beams are going to be implemented more often. What makes them a great construction material is their sturdiness, which makes them resistant to different weather elements, and they’re also a more durable solution for industrial types of interiors. The best part? Steel beams can be made using recycled materials. What this means is that there’s less need for cutting trees to obtain durable materials. Another way to be more sustainable in constructing is by paying attention to the type of paint that’s being used. Opting for natural paints is an eco-friendly solution as their decomposing doesn’t hurt the environment, and they don’t contain toxic ingredients such as VOCs or formaldehyde like many conventional paints do.
Bringing the outdoors in
Linking indoor spaces to the outdoor environment has become a big trend in interior design and architecture. We’re spending more time indoors than ever before, which significantly impacts the way we function on a daily basis. Because of this, many of us are craving the innate connection with the world around us, which has lead to the rise of biophilic design. An effective way of connecting building occupants with nature, this architectural movement aims to introduce natural elements that will help enhance resident’s wellness as well as comfort. By incorporating more plant life and natural light into a building’s design, companies can help create a healthy, positive work environment. Nevertheless, biophilic design principles can be applied to a number of projects, from offices and gyms to hotels and universities.
Energy-efficient lighting design
Part of creating a productive environment is creating a proper lighting design, and the adoption of energy-efficient lighting is more likely to continue as it becomes more affordable. An effective way to reduce energy usage, the adoption of LED alternatives is a trend that’s steadily growing, and it’s already starting to replace the halogen, fluorescent and incandescent lighting options in regions where these non-energy efficient options are being phased out. Even though proper lighting design is paramount to ensuring adequate working conditions, some time will pass until good lighting becomes a working environment standard in industrial settings. Nevertheless, given how this upgrade can increase the safety and efficiency of the workplace, we can expect this trend to blow up in the future.
Homes are becoming more sustainable, and it’s a trend we can expect to see more of as time goes by. Their self-sufficiency reflects in their ability to generate their own power, relying on clean, renewable sources of energy to reduce carbon footprint and lower monthly energy bills. As a response to climate change and natural disasters, homes are becoming more resilient. As for the increasing electricity costs, homes are becoming extremely energy-efficient with the help of passive solar design as well as efficient insulation materials. Some homeowners are even taking a step further and designing homes that produce as much energy as they use. These new homes are called net-zero energy homes, and they’re becoming a standard in places such as California.
Achieving zero energy is a trend that doesn’t only refer to houses, but to buildings as well. By combining onsite renewable sources generation with energy efficiency, zero-energy buildings are able to produce enough energy to meet their needs. The excess energy that went unused can be fed back onto the grid. The building can rely on the power of renewable sources such as wind, solar power, or hydro energy, which can be very beneficial when it comes to buildings in large cities. Even though zero-energy building projects are quite ambitious, we can expect them to gain traction in the coming years.
With the new decade emerge new trends, and 2020 seems to be the year of changes. We are setting new goals, we’re pushing the boundaries, and with new sustainability techniques, we are creating an environment that is sustainable, productive, and functional.