Organic City Project : Moving into a Culture of Sustainability
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Architecture & Urbanism

 
 

Intensive population growth in urban areas has lead to the development of massive structures and buildings. Many of these facilities are designed and constructed without consideration for the environment or the people that will eventually use them. For example, buildings constructed "unsustainably" (without care for the environment), tend to require tremendous amounts of energy in construction and on-going operations. They are also typically built without proper waste management facilities, that would otherwise promote waste reduction, recycling and composting.

To deal with this problem, there is a growing movement in architecture, design and construction to change the pattern or urban construction; to improve the quality of life for people and better protect the environment.

There are many types and definitions of green architecture. For example, the Green Building Council of the United States, the country's leadng green development organization, promotes buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work.

(green building at Zion National Park)

Green architecture projects themselves vary tremendously. One project might be the refirbishing of an old building while another might be the development of a new one. Green architecture projects also range from private homes, corporate office buildgings or public park developments.

The following list describes some of the core principles of green architecture:

* Use low impact materials (local, recycled, recyclable, renewable);

* Use low-impact construction techniques such as low-diesel fuel to power
construction equipment and vehicles;

* Minimize construction waste and maximize construction waste reuse and recycling;


* Integrate and characteristics of the project with the local community and infrastructure;


* Safegaurd water quality during construction and throughout the life of the building;

* Reduce water used during construction and develop systems for on-going water conservation;

* Consider energy efficiency during and after construction, and utilize renewable energy sources where possible;

* Develop sites with great care of human health, particularly indoor air quality;

* Minimize any cultural, social and economic impacts

(this list comes from the New York City Green Building requirements, http://www.nyc.gov/html/moec/pdf/competition.pdf)

 


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Links

Metropolis on Sustainable Development:
http://www.metropolismag.com

Nikos A. Salingaros' Website:
http://www.math.utsa.edu/sphere
/salingar/