While architecture for many years was solely related to the appearance of a building, there have been many changes in recent years. Given the level of environmental awareness that we are all now expected to have, modern architecture is reflective of this. Today’s new buildings are greener and more energy efficient than ever before. We looked at how modern designs promote this new outlook, and what the long-term impacts and results will be.
No, there isn’t a glut of buildings under construction in a particular part of the world because it has more exposure to sunlight or wind. However, the location of buildings in terms of how they are constructed plays a central role in determining energy efficiency, especially when it comes to relying on solar power.
A building that faces the south, for example, can expect to enjoy more natural light than it otherwise would. These buildings can therefore benefit more from solar harnessing, should they engage in it, or a massively reduced energy bill as they wouldn’t rely on artificial light during the day.
The range of materials used in the construction industry is perhaps the biggest factor when it comes to promoting energy efficiency in new builds. In recent years, products such as ETFE, texlon, and other tensiles have become widely used as designers look to create the most environmentally friendly constructions possible.
The benefits that can be enjoyed from such materials is enormous. As well as the environmental positives that lead to a huge reduction in energy usage and costs, they are also great for bringing down the actual construction costs, too. The low weight of most of these also means that the use of metals such as steel and iron has been reduced dramatically, which is another positive step.
The Bigger Picture
Modern building trends are moving towards completely sustainable constructions, rather than those that may have a solar roof that can heat 50% of a buildings’ water, for example.
Today, initiatives such as carbon capture are high on the agenda of designers and scientists, so that any emissions buildings do create can be re-used positively. The growing use of on-site waste and water recycling practices are also combining to make buildings more efficient than ever before, with owners happy to become accountable for their carbon footprint and act accordingly to reduce this.
In today’s environmentally conscious world, energy efficiency is regarded as a minimum expectation, and any aesthetic or other benefits that extend from this are seen as a welcome addition. How something looks isn’t the beginning and the end of the debate anymore, which can only be a positive for the environment in the end.
This article is written by Vector Foiltec, inventors of the use of Texlon which consists of ETFE that is used during the construction of some of the worlds most modern and impressive buildings.