Sustainability has taken over all the industries in the world and the construction industry is no exception to this. After the widespread increase in awareness about sustainability, it has become essential to create a sustainable building design for new construction projects, from the smallest to the biggest and the most large-scale ones.
To do this successfully, we need to first understand what exactly is sustainable design for buildings, how can it be created and what strategies should be used to do so effectively.
The Requirements of Sustainable Building Design
According to the U.S. General Services Administration, a sustainable building must use environmentally preferred products, minimize non-renewable energy source consumption, optimize the potential of the site and enhance indoor environmental quality. Along with this, it should also optimize operational practices and save maintenance costs. It should also focus on the conservation of water.
A sustainable building design must fulfil the primary objective of low environment impact. It should focus on basic aims of sustainability like the elimination of solid waste, reduction of air, water and soil pollution, replacement of non-renewable energy usage by renewable energy sources like solar generators and heaters. It should protect the environmental life cycle and enhance the natural ecology around the building. Along with all this, care must be taken to create the healthy indoor environment.
Process of Sustainable Building Design
There are 6 steps in the process of creating a sustainable building design:
- Identify Need: The first stage of the project where the need for the degree of sustainability is determined.
- Develop Scope: After identifying what level of sustainability is needed for the project, the feasibility is studied and the scope for sustainability is chalked out.
- Design / Options Analysis: Here, an analysis is done on whether the scope of the project can be achieved and if not various other options are searched for.
- Plan: A detailed plan is made wherein all the sustainability scopes and needs are listed and are submitted to external Green Building Consultants and MEP design services for further drawing.
- Implement: In this stage, the construction begins and the party responsible for that takes care of the sustainability which is specified in the plan.
- Handover: In this stage, the users of the building are explained how the building follows sustainability and what other points should be taken into consideration to continue with it.
MEP Strategies for Sustainable Building Design
MEP Engineers make use of 5 main strategies to develop a successful sustainable building design:
- Maximum usage of renewable energy sources: A sustainable building design starts with bringing in all possible renewable energy sources like windmills or solar generators rather than using hydroelectricity or coal consumption.
- Minimal water consumption: A sustainable design concentrates on how the water can be saved and reused for other purposes. For example, methods like rainwater harvesting and using waste water for gardens or returning it to groundwater are used.
- Reduction in operational and maintenance costs and resources: A sustainable building design should be made in such a way that the maintenance of the building afterward should not cost and consume more resources.
- Usage of eco-friendly products: A sustainable building is constructed by using eco-friendly products and products that have the least impact on the environment.
- Natural and eco-friendly interiors: Sustainable designs are mad in such a way that even the interiors reflect the use of eco-friendly resources. This is achieved by avoiding use of fibre and plastic in the interiors.
Thus, sustainability is becoming essential in the modern day, especially in countries like UAE, USA, etc. The construction project management companies in Dubai are coming up with several new and innovative green building designs that support and promote sustainability. Instrumental in development are the BMS consultants and the BIM service providers in Dubai.