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The Future of Net Zero Buildings : Urban Hubs

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Ayushi Arora
Ayushi Arora
Is an architect, a passionate writer and has a keen interest in UX/UI Designing. Apart from writing, she is fond of exploring the unseen parts of the city through the eyes of an architect.

The future of Architecture is growing more towards sustainability. We need to understand that future of Architecture is not just about the particular green buildings but bigger effects, sustainability is about growing in a fashion that saves for the future generation as well. It is about acknowledging the present demands, necessities, and working towards bettering those.

INITIATION OF SUSTAINABILITY :

Around the 1960s the term sustainable was the gibber-gabber among architects, environmentalists, and informed citizens. The construction industry contributes to 40% of the increment in pollution. Since then, there are reformed methods to achieve sustainability in design. This started with UNDP’s sustainable methods.

NET ZERO SOLUTIONS :

The clear intention should concern the environment, habitation, spatial experience, functionality, and technical advancement. This also includes a self-sustaining rainwater harvesting system and lessening the Urban Heat Island Effect.

Practically approaching the question, livable space would have green architecture, with the implementation of spatial experience while designing.

Some of the features could include :

  1. Green Roofs/ Habitable Terrace Gardens
  2. Rainwater harvesting and Sewage treatment plants, making it sustainable and recyclable as possible.
  3. Underground Farming: Soil-free hydroponic farming produce under high-efficiency LED lights, directly beneath homes and offices.
  4. Biomorphic Urbanism: Local agriculture to reduce the transportation cost, and reducing pollution.
  5. Strategic Landscaping: Local Plants and Xeriscaping ( little or no irrigation) plants may be used.
  6. Transit developed: Scaled transit for the kind of place, the population would reduce the overall travelling of people.
  7. Protecting the Wild: As I have emphasized in earlier answers, also a lesson learned from the Pandemic, that biodiversity needs to be preserved. The only good habitation would be the co-existence of the species.
  8. Employment opportunity inside a certain radius for lowering the transportation cost and expanding the self-sustaining cycle would be better for future purposes, also post-pandemic, people would prefer a zone to work and live in.

INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVE FOR THE GROWTH OF NET ZERO CONSCIOUSNESS :

It is a difficult task in itself, to make a building self-sufficient but as architects, we try new approaches, not only aesthetically but also for the betterment of the environment.

Intensive research on what the vision is, the user group, demands of clients is needed in the initial stages.

Going through all the norms that would define a building as a Net Zero Built is also necessary, applying the creative solutions with the imperative technical aspects could resolve the ideology to proceed. There are a few ways in which a structure could be called Net-Zero. It starts with the measures during the construction process. The transportation of materials, air, and noise pollution on site are as important while moving on to passive techniques, sensor activation shades, LEED glass, natural ventilation to offer once the building is functioning is important.

TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT : 

To an extent we have become robotic and are lured by the inventions, may it be any field. Architecture is one such field, which has climbed the ladder from brick facades to kinetic facades. Clients, user groups, and civilians would demand a progressive attitude in the construction and designing industry as well. Therefore there is a need to research about such digital conventions, technologies and go further into it, while also not exploiting the conventional methods that could be followed by a country for Architecture Practices.

URBAN PLANNING AND DESIGNING : 

The creation of cities that will maintain their own sustainability is not a new concept. It started from the history of Garden City, where the aim was to have all amenities in proximity. While it is easy to go unplanned, a planned and thoughtful process while planning a city will lead to better transportation facilities, proper amenities in a certain radius, a utopian city, if designed while taking care of safety, employment, and criminal activities.

Net Zero Growth has a wide scope, which roller skates through all dimensions in concern. It isn’t about a single building filling up the bottle, but each designer factoring in all the measures from the construction cost, passive methods, spatial experience, mechanical requirement, and transportation & accessibility. 

Technology is used in a form of advancement for the development practices could go a long way rather than exploiting the materials, rushing towards the shortcuts of mechanical operations. Architecture is about the well-being of the people, shaping society in a way it makes it head and shoulders ahead. Though slowly architects are turning it into a business, it more than just a business or profession, it is a lifestyle, a ladder to the progression of countries, in unity and individually while serving value to the users. A better future would require woke(informed) architects rather than businessmen.

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