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ecological design fundamentals: comprehensive resource, waste and space management

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+design+fundamentals

What is Ecological Design? comprehensive resource, waste and space management

Featuring: Terreform ONE

Beyond “sustaining” the urban landscape to endure the lifestyles of future generations, ecological design envisions long-lasting urban waste-management techniques and, as the world’s population  climbs, long-lasting urban space-management techniques.

An average of 50 million people migrate to cities around the globe each year. As they do, more and more outside (rural) resources are being transported to cities while more and more waste is being transported out of cities to keep their populations comfortable. As global environmental and social pressures build under this unsustainable system (meaning, it won’t last – we’re drawing resources at a faster rate than they grow, and the waste is building up somewhere faster than it’s decomposing), new visions for urban consumption, waste, and space management are needed. To be clear, urbanism is not the problem we’re facing- the current design of urban spaces is. Built to serve the automobile, urban areas, as they exist today, promote the existence of an artificial boundary between the “city” and “nature” that have made it easy for urbanites to ignore their impressive impact on outside communities. continue reading

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Ecological design fundamentals: responsible materials and construction practices

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+fundamentals+sustainability

What is Ecological Design? Resposible Materials and Contruction Practices
When constructing, In order to encourage stability of environmental and cultural systems that are already in place,  ecological design should utilize the skills and resources available in the nearby areas. I wrote my last post about the necessity for buildings to be engineered so they may evolve in response to environmental changes. Today I will write about how, even more fundamentally, construction process should evolve in response to local contingencies and opportunities.

We can see examples of this practise in the last two examples of ecological design i´ve featured. The first, The Arup designed Druk white lotus school, used both traditional materials and traditional building methods. This supported the local economy, the local culture and avoided harmful environmental effects by limiting the distanace (and carbon-footprint) of material transport. With another take on responsible material usage,  Morphosis’ FLOAT house design for New Orleans, acknowledged poverty pressures in affected flood zones all over the world, by (using local labor) assembling the house on-site from pre-fabricated components with all required wall anchors, electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems pre-installed. The affordable housing was designed as easy-to-transport, easy-to assemble sections so that the design may be reapplied throughout the 9th ward, as well as be adapted to the needs of flood zones worldwide. continue reading

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ecological design fundamentals: evolving, responsive structure

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+design+fundamentals

What is Ecological Design? Evolving, responsive structure

We all know, It´s not enough to engineer a building´s electricity to run on solar panels if it´s not perpetually sunny out. For  temperate, seasonal climates, a variety of ¨green¨ design elements are usually used to lower energy consumption for ¨sustainable¨ building projects.

Beyond utilizing technologies like solar panels and wind turbines, ecological design processes embrace seasonal and environmental changes, planning and designing to meet them halfway. Projects have an evolving, informal structure, and take direction from nature herself. Rather than install bike racks to gain LEED points, ecologically designed architecture is structured, from the very core, to respond to change and challenges of the local environment in which it stands.

My last ecological design fundamentals post featured the Druk White Lotus School, set in the northern heights of ladakh, India. Arup engineers faced considerable climate challenges when designing the campus which, because of it’s 9,000-25,000 ft altitude, is very, very cold. However, because of its 9,ooo-25,000 ft altitude, it is also very, very sunny. The building´s design, which revolved around natural lighting and heating techniques for the local conditions, is another reason to consider the campus a prime example of ecological design. continue reading

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ecological design fundamentals: human-nature interaction

Category: ⚐ EN+design+fundamentals+sustainability


What is ecological design? Human-nature Interaction.

Features  of ¨green¨and ¨sustainable¨architectural design often emerge as solar panels, green roofs and other technologies that make up the checklist for LEED certification. But to identify features of ecological design  is more complex.

Healthy ecosystems exist in a dynamic equilibrium of nutrient cycles and energy flows. To design ecologically is to consider the relationship between built structures and social structures as an evolving support system for environmentally responsible living. Ecological design does not only aim to produce low-impact architecture, but also works to support healthy relationships between culture and natural earth processes. continue reading