Buildings

Discussion

Buildings provide us with shelter, storage, and a place for cultural and social activities. They should be affordable and safe. Natural resources such as land, energy and water, consumed for building construction and ongoing operation, should be minimised.

Subtopics

Buildings: Embodied Energy - A building's embodied energy includes the energy expended in creating it, eg to extract/produce and transport its construction material, and the energy that will be required to remove it, eg transporting and burying its materials.

Buildings Integrating Nature - Buildings that integrate nature are good for people, wildlife, and energy conservation.

Courtyards - Communal garden spaces within a housing cluster that can enhance medium-density housing.

Energy Efficient Buildings - Energy efficient buildings require less energy for construction and maintenance, heating and cooling, lighting and ventilation.

Passive Cooling - Interior spaces can be kept cool in hot weather without need for air conditioners, by using ventilation, thermal mass, shading, insulation and draught seals.

Passive Heating - Interior spaces can be kept warm in cold weather with minimal need for electric or fuel heaters by obtaining heat from available sunlight and warm outside air when available, and keeping it inside using thermal mass, insulation, draught seals, and double or triple glazing.

Roof Gardens - Roof gardens, located on the tops of buildings, offset loss of land to nature, and provide greenspace in urban environments.

Readings

Green Building Design

Green Building Design. Earthbeat, 5 June  2004 

Whether you’re an enthusiastic home renovator or someone in charge of building the cityscapes of the future, the pressure is on to be as sustainable as possible. But environmentally friendly designs are often expensive to implement. A round of national seminars has just been held to discuss the problem.

Eco-Friendly Buildings

Eco-friendly Building. Earthbeat. ABC. 2004.6.5

A look around the new Lend Lease headquarters in Sydney, a five-star eco-sustainable office building.

Sustainable Buildings

Sustainable Buildings. Earthbeat. 2002.6.8

The Reservoir Civic Centre in the City of Darrebin rates amongst the top five green buildings in the country. About 20% of the building will be clad in solar panels. Not just stuck to the outside but integral to the building, giving the outside of the building a black sort of leathery look. There’s a roof forest running straight through the middle, to channel predominant breezes into the building. Every consulting room will have access to a courtyard. Rainwater will be collected from the roof and used for the toilets. The car park will look more like a meandering forest with a creek through the middle rather than a car park.

Sustainable Building and Construction

Sustainable Building and Construction. UN Environment Program

We need to design buildings and infrastructure that are sustainable, healthy and affordable, and encourage innovation in buildings and infrastructure systems and designs. Energy, materials, water and land are all consumed in the construction and operation of buildings and infrastructure. These built structures in turn become part of our living environment, affecting our living conditions, social well-being and health.

Built and Natural Environments

Balancing the Built and Natural Environments. Chris Johnson. 2002

Vast tracts of land in Western Sydney have fingers of green eucalyptus down the front and back gardens. Three to four story apartments should be inserted between the front and back garden landscape, increasing the density dramatically but retaining the landscape. Terrace gardens on upper floors would ensure that each block had the same amount of landscape as would have existed before European settlement.

Links

Built Environment Australia

2007.8.27