Steve Palmier Architecture

THE "GREEN" DESIGN APPROACH: TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

To respond to environmental issues as well as the local context in the creation of healthy and environmentally-friendly buildings.

We can use the natural environment and local climate to create healthy buildings which are responsible. There are many
factors to consider in the creation of healthy buildings - and thus be healthy for the occupants - such as:
- Capital and operational savings for owners
- Energy efficient buildings
- Improved indoor air quality
- Improved client profile

Examples of how this can be approached are noted below - of course, each client will have their own concerns to add and tailor
make their building to their own needs...

DESIGN:
- building orientation carefully chosen to take advantage of active and passive solar gain
- employing design devices to act as thermal buffer and which also allow for natural ventilation to minimise heating and cooling costs
- employing shading devices to cut off the summer sun, but which allow summer sun into the spaces
- ventilation powered by solar gain, this a neat equation of the sun powering cooling devices naturally
- lightshelves used to bounce daylight futher into the building, minimising the need for artificial lighting
- highly insulated walls and roofs will impact on the amount of energy wasted into the environment
- high performance windows (low-e, triple glazed etc) will reduce energy waste
- exposed concrete slab can act as a heat sink in the warmer months
- bathrooms and stairs may be located on the external wall, so they can be naturally ventilated saving on installation and running costs
- specification of energy efficient heating systems
- natural ventilation to provide fresh, clean air, using filters where necessary
- specifying native, drought resistant plants and collect and use rain water run off to water our gardens
- planted trellises provide shade while absorbing CO2 and giving off O2
- balconies will act as cooling fins, acting similarly to a motorbike engine
- avoiding a suspended ceiling will give the space back to the occupants; floor to floor heights are less, resultant building costs are less
- by using natural energy, the A/C demands are lessened, therefore the net:gross ratio is more efficient

PRODUCTS:
- use compact fluorescents (energy efficient bulbs) for lighting
- low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, adhesive, and cleaning chemicals specified to ensure clean air
- waterless urinols, reducing the water loads
- use of dual flush toilets, allowing for water efficiency
- specification of quick growing woods such as bamboo or sustainable harvested woods
- minimise CO2 waste in selection of materials
- specify local manufacturers and suppliers where possible to minimise transportation gases emitted

REUSE + RECYCLE:
- reuse of existing materials or structure where possible - salvage, recycle and reuse
- use flyash in concrete thus reducing the CO2 given off to the atmosphere in its production
- specification of products with a high recycled content eg drywall, insulation

WASTE:
- minimise and manage waste on the building site
- choosing long life products minimises waste sent to the landfill
- design of interior which allows the occupants to use recycling methods more easily
- use of greywater systems to reduce the load on potable water

The above are a list of ideas...to be developed further with client input...


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