The high cost of imported fuels (liquid fuels and gas) and the need for energy independence conduct us towards a strategy of raised use of renewable energy sources. Energy independence of a country is presented as a ratio of renewable energy sources (geothermal, wind, water from hydropower, biomass, solar energy) and the amount of imported energy (liquid fuels and gas). For example, in developed European countries, renewable energy sources make up 10-12% of the total energy balance.
Environmental awareness obliges us to think of living in harmony with our surroundings using technologies that do not joepardize the planet. If we want to save life on Earth, the lifestyle and the way of building have to be changed. Inadequate approach to building is one of the most significant contribution to the global warming. Our ancestors built according to their intuition in harmony with nature, but technical and technological development of civilization created the construction that exhaust fossil fuels, accumulate materials that cannot be recycled, encourage air pollution and alienation of man from nature. Now, it is the turn of developers and investors to design and build “green.”
What is “green architecture”?
Green architecture is the name for architecture that lives in harmony with the natural environment. It respects the environmental laws, not violate them and uses renewable energy. It is designing and building with fully respect to the nature and the environment and the use of natural ecosystems as a macro model of urban planning. Green architecture is planned in accordance with a healthy way of living (proper orientation of buildings, abundant sunshine in rooms, acceptable density of population, lots of green and water areas …) It implies the maximum use of renewable and environmentally clean energy sources, conservation and recirculation of water and energy, use natural and recycled materials during construction, use of energy-saving materials (insulation, heating systems), use of sustainable technology (economically and environmentally) as well as design in harmony with nature.
As a result of green design, smart house was created. From the angle of sustainability of energy it uses renewable energy.For example, it can use geothermal, wind and solar energy, it accumulates and saves energy, integrates and combines the energy systems, saves water and accumulate rainwater, controls the quality of air in the house and the level of harmful emissions from the house.
The history of eco-awareness in architecture
The awareness of decreasing global warming through constructing was created in the second half of the twentieth century. There were several declarations (in the conference of the United Nations World Commission on Environment in 1986 and in Rio de Janeiro in 1992., Expo92 World Exhibition in Seville).
Today, the architects plan and design according to the needs of people, but with awareness of protecting the planet from further contamination. UNESCO, various global environmental organizations and the architectural associations award annual prizes for the “greenest” projects. Thus, green architecture is encouraged to develop and become more popular and spread. The richest countries build most economical building construction and communities.
Some examples of accomplished green projects:
World Trade Center in Bahrain is one of the largest objects of an independent renewable energy sources. It is characterized by three wind turbines placed in gangways between the two towers. Rounded form of building speeds up the airflow and solar panels cover more than half of the facade of both towers. The building is interesting because of the architectural value and the use of modern energy-saving materials.
Public garage, Münster, Germany, designers – Petry Wittfoht Freier Architects
This proves that a green facility can be built even if its purpose is least ecologically. It is a public garage all in glass with a central atrium that provides natural ventilation, the inner garden is rich in greenery that extends through all floors, fountains, streams and pools create a green and healthy micro-climate inside the garage. At the top of the building is office space with a view of the environment.
Green Complex, Singapore, architects – Foster and Partners
Currently being built in Singapore as the largest green complex of business and residential buildings. The buildings will use geothermal water to run heat pumps and the facade will be covered with solar collectors. The position and form of buildings implies the maximum collection of sun rays. The concept of glass and rich green public space provides an opportunity for energy control of the building and the reduce of total cost of the exploitation.