What Is Green Architecture? Criteria, Benefits, Principles

Green architecture is a design trend that many projects are aiming for. The main purpose of this design is to connect people with nature in a closer way. Instead of concrete blocks, massive and rigid steel and iron are the softness of trees and environmentally friendly materials. Let’s find out what green architecture is as well as the criteria, principles in design and benefits that the building brings.

What is green architecture?

Green architecture is a trend in the design and construction of eco-friendly buildings. As a result, minimizing the project’s impact on the environment and natural landscape.

Green architecture trend

Put simply, the formula that creates green architecture is architecture plus green buildings. How to combine the two factors will be a complete lesson for architects. However, before the unpredictable change of climate, this combination is inevitable. The current green architecture trends are:

  • Climate architecture: Established and developed in the 60s of the twentieth century and is applied in many countries.
  • Environmental architecture: Associated with the protection of the living environment.
  • Architectural bioclimate: The architect studies the design and simulates the building shape of the elements of nature.
  • Ecotecture: Architecture will have to be consistent with the surrounding ecological environment.
  • Efficient and energy-saving architecture: This is the architecture associated with energy equipment to help limit power consumption.
  • Adaptive architecture: The building both ensures a place to live, work and adapt to the climatic conditions there.

Important principles of green architecture in the USA

What basic principles are green buildings in the USA currently designed and built? The key principles of green architecture must meet all 4 stages of the construction that is

  • Stage 1: Before construction.
  • Phase 2: While constructing the project.
  • Stage 3: Exploiting and using the project.
  • Stage 4: Dismantling unused buildings.

These principles include:

Save and conserve energy sources

Saving energy is the leading principle in implementing the green architecture. When natural energy is exploited and used effectively, the impact on the environment will be minimized. Minimize the greenhouse effect as well as environmental pollution. Energy saving is done in the form of:

  • Use clean energy and renewable energies to avoid consumption.
  • To take appropriate measures to treat waste and wastewater so as not to pollute the environment.
  • The sun and wind are the most perfectly replaceable sources of energy. They are the most available, safest, most economical source of energy that we should take advantage of.

Symbiosis with the natural environment

Green buildings in the USA today also need to be symbiotic with the natural environment. Exploit natural resources available in the country for use. Both help create an environment, close working landscape, and promote an effective nature conservation role. The use of available building materials such as bamboo, straw, stone, non-toxic products, recyclable after dismantling.

Comfort, comfort  

Green buildings also need to create a comfortable living environment for their users. That is the use and benefits of the product. Not only building beautiful, many trees, using clean energy sources is a useful project. Maintenance during use must also be optimal.

Consistent with regional history and culture 

Consider cultural factors, fine customs, and knowledge of that area. Works must inherit and promote the identity of the nation, but still have to ensure to limit the impact of the environment.

General Green Architecture Principles

In 1994 the one American green architecture or the US Green building Council issued a standard called the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.   The basic qualifications are as follows:

1. Sustainable development 

Attempted to reuse existing buildings and by preserving the surrounding environment.   The availability of land shelters, rooftop gardens, tree planting around the building is also recommended

2. Water preservation 

It is carried out in various ways including cleaning and recycling used water and installing rainwater storage structures.   In addition, the use and supply of water must also be on the coast in a sustainable manner

3. Increased energy efficiency

This can be done in various ways, for example creating a layout with a building orientation that can adapt to changing seasons, especially the position of the sun.

4. Renewable building materials

The best material for green architecture is to try to use recycled materials or you can also use renewable materials so that it requires less energy to produce. Ideally, these building materials are local and are free from hazardous chemicals.   A good property of building materials in green architecture is a non-polluting raw material that can last a long time and can also be recycled.

5. Environmental and room quality

In the room, consider the things that affect how the user feels in a room. This is like an assessment of the comfort in a room which includes ventilation, temperature control, and the use of materials that do not emit toxic gases.

Meanwhile, Brenda and Robert Vale, 1991, Green Architecture Design for Sustainable Future revealed that Green Architecture has the following criteria:

1. Conserving Energy (Save Energy)

It is ideal when operating a building as little as possible using scarce energy sources or requiring a long time to regenerate.

The solution that can overcome this is that the building design must be able to modify the climate and be made to adapt to the environment, not change the existing environment. More details, by utilizing the potential of the sun as an energy source. Ways to design buildings to save energy include:

  • The building is made elongated and thin to maximize lighting and save electrical energy.
  • Utilizing solar energy that is radiated in the form of thermal energy as a source of electricity by using a photovoltaic device that is placed on the roof. Meanwhile, the roof is sloped from top to bottom towards the east-west wall or in line with the direction of the sun’s circulation to get maximum sunlight.
  • Install electric lights only at low-intensity parts. It also uses an automatic light intensity reduction control device so that the lamp only emits as much light as is needed to a certain level of brightness.
  • Using Sunscreen on windows that can automatically adjust light intensity and excessive heat energy into the room.
  • Painting the interior of the building in a bright but not dazzling color, which aims to increase the light intensity.
  • The building does not use artificial heating, all heating is generated by the occupants and sunlight enters through the ventilation holes.
  • Minimizing energy use for air conditioners and elevators.

2.Working with Climate (Utilizing natural conditions and energy sources)

Through the green architecture approach, the building adapts to its environment. This is done by utilizing natural conditions, climate, and the surrounding environment in the form and operation of buildings, for example by:

  • Orientation of buildings to sunlight.
  • Using an air pump and cross ventilation system to distribute clean and cool air into the room.
  • Using plants and water as climate regulators. For example, by making a pool of water around the building.
  • Using windows and roofs that can be partially opened and closed to get the light and ventilation as needed.

3. Respect for Site (Responding to site conditions on buildings)

Planning refers to the interaction between a building and its site. It is intended that the existence of a building both in terms of construction, shape, and operation does not damage the surrounding environment, in the following ways.

  • Maintain site condition by creating a design that follows the existing tread shape.
  • Small basic building surface area, namely the consideration of vertical building design.
  • Using local materials and materials that do not damage the environment.

4. Respect for User (Pay attention to building users)

Between the user and green architecture has a very close relationship. The need for green architecture must pay attention to the conditions of the users that are established in its planning and operation.

5. Limiting New Resources (Minimizing New Resources)

A building should be designed to optimize existing materials by minimizing the use of new materials, which at the end of the building’s life can be reused to form other architectural structures.

6. Holistic

Have an understanding of building design by applying the 5 points above into one in the design process. Basically, the principles of green architecture cannot be separated, because they are interrelated with one another.

Of course, partially it will be easier to apply these principles. Therefore, as much as possible can apply the existing green architecture as a whole according to the potential that exists in the site.

What are the benefits of green architecture?

Green buildings will bring people and the environment the following practical benefits:

Benefits for the environment

This is the first thing that all of us can see in a green architectural product. Green designs will both promote the growth of the ecosystem while protecting biodiversity. Since then, it helps to improve the quality of the environment and air. Reducing types of solid waste and maximizing environmental protection.

According to research by experts in the World Green Council, if comparing conventional commercial buildings with biogas works, green buildings use 26% less energy, 13% maintenance costs, and 33%. greenhouse gas emissions. This shows huge benefits from green buildings.

Economic benefits

If it is to look at economic issues before building a green architecture, it will certainly cost more than the cost of normal construction. However, when put into use, the cost is extremely low.

One example is green buildings that significantly reduce the operating costs of electricity, water, and waste because we take advantage of what’s available in nature. Thanks to that, the ability to recover capital is also faster. Property types also increase significantly compared to conventional buildings. From there, it brings sustainable and long-term value.

Criteria for evaluating green buildings

So how is a building with green architecture? Does applying natural materials to the construction and using trees become green ants? We will evaluate a green architecture based on the following criteria:

Sustainable location

Choosing a construction site is the first step we need to think about in green building planning. The planning site must be a place that is convenient and subject to the little impact of nature to help us reduce costs. Also consider the surrounding climate, soil, geology, geomorphology, landscape, and ecosystem. Make the most of available resources do not interfere too deeply with nature.

After the construction of works is completed, it is necessary to renovate and compensate for the missing ecological environment. This will meet the development needs of nature as well as help the project integrate into the environment more easily.

Use energy resources efficiently

Green buildings in the USA or the world also need to use natural energy resources effectively. This energy source is very rich and varied. These include: the sun and wind are the cleanest energy sources that are easiest to use.

Indoor environment quality

The living and working environment must be really comfortable and comfortable. Because this is housing and work, serving people. Only then will ensure the sustainability and long-term use of the project.

Advanced architecture identity

Each country and locality has its own cultural identities that need to be preserved and developed. How to apply green materials in building construction, we only need to look at the image to know which country’s construction is a success.

Sustainable humanistic society

Sustainable humanity ensures long-term human values ​​and more natural development. How nature and humanization become one, are the factors for mutual development.