Not many people are aware that even our smallest lifestyle decision can have a major impact on our ecology. The home that we live in is perhaps the single biggest decision that a vast majority of us take in a lifetime. While it is a major investment, not many people give thought to incorporating certain simple principles that can have a long reaching impact on our environment. Discussed here are some simple principles of sustainable architecture that can go a long way in making our planet greener.
Use solar and wind energy: There is nothing better than living in house which is heated by the power of the sun’s rays. The technology to incorporate both solar , as well as wind energy in a user-friendly manner is progressing by leaps and bounds and today it is no longer a difficult proposition to heat or cool one’s home using either solar or wind energy. Along with using these cheap, greener and renewable sources of energy make sure that you ensure thermal mass insulation using environment friendly materials when building your home. A combination of proper thermal insulation and the judicious use of solar and wind energy can ensure that your home becomes self –sustained when it comes to both its heating and cooling needs.
Go back in time: There was a time when people used to preserve food using the cool of the earth or in their root cellars. The advent of the omnipresent refrigerator had meant that no longer people relied on these methods to preserve food items. It is time to go back to times if you are thinking about sustainable architecture. You can use root cellars to keep provisions fresh for a very long time. Similarly you can also use the cool night breeze to keep food items fresh.
Size does matter : With people gradually shifting in large numbers to cities, space comes at a premium these days. This is in a way keeping in with the principles of sustainable architecture. While a large sized bungalow may be a status symbol, it is extremely expensive to make it energy efficient. Smaller houses are much easier to maintain , as well as consume less energy. With efficient use of space, even a small space can be utilized to the optimum.
Water is precious : Make it a point to conserve water. It is one of the most precious commodities that we have on our planet. Use equipment such as faucet aerators, and low water capacity toilets and use less water. Installing a rainwater harvesting system is a good way to go forward. Similarly, find uses for diverting gray water towards better use.
Go natural, go local : Use natural materials that are produced locally. For one you will reduce the carbon footprint since there will be lesser transportation involved. Secondly it has been found out that locally available naturally materials are often the best suited for the climatic conditions of the particular geographical location.
Recycle : It is our bounden duty to reduce wastage and use every material that we have at our disposal. Wood or glass are good examples of materials that do not degrade much and therefore can be recycled.
Plant a garden : This is yet another simple way in which we can incorporate the principles of sustainable architecture in our homes. By planting a fruit and vegetable garden, we can ensure that we grow our own food.
Durability : Avoid poor choice of materials and shoddy construction techniques are things that need to be avoided at all costs. The modern attitude of constantly changing and chopping can prove to quite detrimental to the environment. It is always preferable that you construct a home that lasts for a long period.