When most people think of sustainability and being eco-friendly, they often think of green energy sources, such as wind and solar. However, the way construction services design their buildings can also have a huge impact on the health of the surrounding environment—hence the so-called rise of green architecture.
But how, exactly, does one design a building to be green? Miller Architects and Builders, a Saint Cloud construction project management and architectural design services company, breaks down the basics below.
It’s Not Easy to Be Green: The Many Pillars of Sustainable Architectural Design
There are countless ways to design a building with the environment in mind; it’s impossible to name them all! However, many conscious architectural design firms like Miller look at the following categories to reduce their environmental impact:
- Maintaining internal temperature. It’s not only your building’s heater that’s bad for the environment. As contradictory as it may seem, cooling a home actually contributes to a warming climate; air conditioners do use electricity, after all. Green architecture works to keep a building’s temperature consistent and to minimize cool or warm air lost to the outside. This means your heating and cooling systems won’t need to expend so much electricity to do their jobs, which reduces your energy consumption.
- The proposed project’s location. Certain geographical features can provide natural heating or cooling properties. For example, around 1.5 meters below the soil’s surface, the earth holds a steady temperature of around 52 degrees. This means that air conditioning these rooms in the summer might not even be necessary!
- The use of natural light. Large windows and skylights mean that you won’t need to invest as much money in lighting. Not only is this easy on your pocketbook, it’s also kinder to the environment. Orientating a building in such a way to work with the sun’s natural movement can also prove helpful in this respect.
- Participating in environmental programs. Because sustainability has become such a pressing issue, numerous organizations have sprung up to help construction companies reduce their carbon footprint, and to help architects design with the environment in mind. Miller participates in the United States Green Building Council, which provides a green framework for construction companies across the country.
Looking for Green Architectural Design? Look no Further than Miller
Our company not only offers construction with the environment in mind, but we also pride ourselves on our innovative, collaborative, client-focused approach to construction. For more information about our services, contact us today at 320-251-4109.