Green Remodeling-The Future of Green Building:
In an age of increased focus on environmental sustainability, it is only natural that architects would be trying to change their old modes of building to reflect the push for green sustainable building practices.
Architects focus on the building’s ability to be energy efficient over the course of its lifetime while keeping up the standard of beauty and strength that is characterized in older buildings. This can provide unique challenges to the architect, but it is also something that can be very rewarding for the architect and client alike. It is becoming increasingly more popular to design buildings that will be ‘green’, especially with governments pushing for more energy efficient designs in all aspects of life, including housing.
Architects involved with building ‘green’ have to take more into consideration than before: heating and cooling systems, windows, placement of the building in relation to everything else, and even integrating clean energy systems such as solar panels. Architects also have to be more aware of recyclable materials which are used in the building process such as denim, certain kinds of wood, sheep wool, etc.
This means that architects have to be educated in these things as well as the other aspects of building and design and architects with experience in green design tend to get more work than those without. It is becoming an integral part of any curriculum to include plenty of work with green designs and buildings.
Green architecture is becoming more popular, with architectural groups that focus specifically on the use of green materials and building practices and increased government funding for sustainable building practices. There are also standards being set up for green buildings, such as The NEXT Building Standard which rates buildings on a scale for their environmental soundness as well as lobbying for the continued use of Green practices in architecture.
However, the push for green building practices has its problems too that still need to be ironed out. There is no set standard for what a ‘green’ material is and many companies push for their products to be green without knowing fully what is required.
This leaves it up to individual architects and businesses to determine the ‘greeness’ of the product. While there is interest on the part of the clients to have green housing, they are not actually as interested as they could be when it’s stacked against costs and the livability of the house. As a result, the budget for green building is often slashed while the cost for those same materials remains fairly high. For example, environmentally friendly wood is more expensive than regular wood because of the increased care of the tree in question.
There is also the fact that a green building is still something that is labeled, which makes creates the perception, if not outright reality, of the expense of the product and the label of ‘trendiness’. It will be a long time before this label is ever dropped and green housing will become a mainstay; however, it is by no means an impossible feat and as green homes run through their lifespan, more people will see the benefits and want to have green buildings of their own.
So what is the future of green building? Well, while many would claim that it is a trend that will go away with time, still others, architects included, argue that while it may take a while, green building is here to stay and the longer it stays, the more people will see its benefits, thus feeding into its continuing usage.
Green buildings are safer and happier places to work in as well as being more energy efficient (which means savings in the long run) and gives people a range of recyclable materials to work with which can mean more creative buildings and more memorable workplaces. In short, though it may take time, there are too many benefits to green building for it to fall by the wayside, and there will be more green building done around in the world in the future as a result, not less.