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Designing for a Sustainable Future: Architectural Innovations at DSCA

Sustainable architecture is a term used to describe the sustainable designs of residential, commercial and public spaces. These architectural structures incorporate aspects such as energy consumption, water conservation and waste management in the design to reduce the carbon footprint.

The concept of sustainable architecture involves choosing building materials that are eco-friendly and have a minimum negative impact on the environment. The green architecture design reflects an environmental-friendly design, usage of renewable energy resources, recycled materials, optimised heating and cooling infra, harnessing of natural light and ventilation and a zero-waste mechanism that supports modular living.

Exclusive certifications can be obtained, by BREEAM or LEED, known as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. These certifications specify the criteria for assessment to achieve sustainability. A green building is expected to abide by the standards set by BREEAM to qualify as sustainable development. Let’s now discuss the components of sustainable architecture.

Green roofs – A green roof offers several distinct advantages. It supports rainwater harvesting as water slides off its slanted surfaces. These roofs present an excellent natural ambience with options to line the edges with plants and succulents, making it an ideal place for informal gatherings.

Sustainable design for the walls – One of the key requirements of sustainable building is its durability with minimum maintenance costs. The structure is expected to last for decades while supporting a natural intake and circulation of light and air. Walls must withstand climatic conditions, harsh summers and intense monsoons and water on the surface must flow down smoothly without seepage. It is important that the integrity of the building does not suffer.

Energy efficiency with Hydraulic dynamism – An increasing number of European nations including Norway, Finland and Copenhagen are quickly replacing non-renewable energy sources with hydraulic dynamism, a renewable energy source. This power generation system runs on water instead of oils thereby reducing environmental impact.

Eco-friendly interior design – One can achieve aesthetic interiors while incorporating sustainable architecture in more ways than one. Reclaimed wood can be used to create partitions or DIY furniture can be built with wood pellets. Natural wood can be used for flooring, decks etc., and an interesting rock formation can be used in the exterior pathway that leads to the house. Sustainable options such as indoor plants and succulents are a good idea. LED or solar lights would be great as a zero waste technology and water recycling can be an eco-friendly option. The idea is to reduce the use of non-renewable sources to enjoy a good quality of life. Greenery minimises emissions in your natural environment producing clean air which is good for the environment overall.

Natural ventilation – One sure indicator of a well-designed space is the amount of natural ventilation it harnesses. The space has to reduce its energy consumption which can only be done by ensuring natural ventilation, open spaces and large windows. You could also incorporate this into existing buildings with a little innovation and give each space a distinct interior. Also ensure there is enough air circulation through cross ventilation
Natural light and LED systems to reduce energy use – You can reduce energy consumption in your building by introducing sufficient natural light. This is one of the key highlights of sustainable architecture and helpful in helping reduce the carbon footprint. As natural light is available only during daytime, one can reduce energy consumption at night by using LED lights or solar lights.
Using natural / recycled materials in construction – Some of the most innovative construction projects around you will use simple natural materials like wood planks, Shahabad stones for flooring, raw, handmade bricks etc. Recycled materials can be extensively used to achieve a unique design while protecting the environment from damage

Retaining the ecosystem in a site – A majority of sites that you plan your construction on, will invariably have some natural elements – a large tree, a well, or a lovely walkway with shrubs. To the best extent possible do not level the site or destroy these entities but design your structure around them. Not only do they add a distinctness to your design, but also help sustain the environment. In fact, if your aim is sustainable architecture, you can easily accommodate these ecological elements to achieve green architectural design.

Efficient heating and cooling system – We cannot stress the importance of natural building materials for any structure. Usage of wood for partitions, vertical gardens in informal balcony areas, wooden partitions, inside and outside, indoor plants to ensure better oxygen levels indoors… we can use a slew of eco-friendly approaches that make living comfortable throughout the year.
Solar panels are another excellent choice. These help in reducing the overall carbon footprint to a minimum. Even existing buildings can be solar powered, helping you conserve energy while ensuring eco sustainability.

Dayananda Sagar College of Architecture (DSCA), part of the Dayananda Sagar group of Institutions offers one of India’s most reputed UG and PG programs in architecture. Our UG program B.Arch is a 5 year full time program, and our PG program M.Arch is a 2 year, full time program. DSCA is equipped with the most modern infrastructure, facilities, and studios, backed by highly qualified and experienced professionals who are supported by a team of professionals with rich industry experience. The department encourages students to innovate and think out of the  box, trying out various concepts in the studio, supported by the staff. Successful graduates from DSCA are highly sought after by some of the leading architecture and design firms and real estate developers.