We are excited to highlight the work of one our top Host Companies in California, HMC Architects! They also are some the industry leaders in environmentally sustainable design, and the recently posted about the Top 6 Sustainable Architecture Strategies.
Sustainable Architecture Strategies Explained
Sustainable architecture is the use of design strategies that reduce the negative environmental impact from a built environment. Architects take the site landscape, energy management, and stormwater management into consideration when planning, and then use environmentally friendly systems and building materials during construction.
Sustainable design is no longer the way of the future—it’s all-important at present and will reward the communities that embrace it.
When designing public buildings with sustainability in mind, architects use the following top five sustainable architecture strategies:
1. Passive Sustainable Design. Passive strategies, such as considering sun orientation and climate when siting and being thoughtful about window placement and operation, are used to best manage daylighting and natural ventilation and go a long way in reducing energy requirements for the building. In certain climates, thermal mass techniques can be used to harness solar energy. In such cases, thick walls absorb heat from the sun during the day and release it into the building at night.
2. Active Sustainable Design. Architects consult with mechanical and electrical engineers to implement high-efficiency electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and other systems, which are designed to have small environmental footprints.
3. Renewable Energy Systems. Renewable energy systems, including those that harness solar and wind energy, are also great options for some buildings. These systems are often used in conjunction with passive design strategies.
4. Green Building Materials and Finishes. By making it a priority to purchase steel, lumber, concrete, and finishing materials, such as carpet and furnishings, from companies that use environmentally responsible manufacturing techniques or recycled materials, architects up the ante on sustainability.
5. Native Landscaping. Landscaping choices can make a big impact in civic building water consumption. By using trees, plants, and grasses that are native to the area, architects can greatly reduce irrigation needs. Landscaping can also be used as part of a passive energy strategy. By planting trees that shade the roof and windows during the hottest time of the day, solar heat gain inside the building can be reduced.
6. Stormwater Management. When rain falls on an untouched site, the water that doesn’t evaporate absorbs back into the ground, replenishing the natural water table. However, when a building is placed on the site, along with parking lots, sidewalks, access roads, and other hardscaping, rainfall behaves differently. The water runs off these surfaces and into storm drains. By implementing stormwater management strategies, such as pervious pavement that helps to reduce runoff and retention ponds that capture runoff and slowly release water back into the ground, the negative environmental impact of buildings can be reduced.
Sustainable Architecture Strategies
At HMC Architects, they strive to implement sustainable strategies in all of their public building projects. Not only is it the responsible thing to do for the planet, but also the results are often used as teaching tools: building occupants and visitors see first-hand how sustainable strategies work. Designing a sustainable public building should not be a daunting prospect. An experienced architect firm will listen carefully to your needs and concerns and will offer the sustainable architecture strategies that best meet your goals and budget.
If you are interested in learning more about sustainability and how HMC Architects takes on the challenge in all of their projects, you can find more information <<HERE>>.
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