There are always new buzzwords that make something that has been around for a long time seem like it was just invented. Sustainable architecture is currently trending everywhere — from real estate sites to architectural magazines, we’re seeing how this practice is closely linked to something we must obtain to save the environment for future generations.
Before we continue, let’s set the definition of sustainable architecture as defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development: “Sustainable architecture is reflected in a building’s materials, construction methods, resource use and design; in general the design must also facilitate sustainable operation.”
Now that we are all on the same page on the definition of sustainable architecture, let’s continue. The above is true regarding the saving of the planet and future generations, but the concept of sustainable architecture has been around for a long time. Do any of you remember the skylight?
A form of the skylight itself has been around since the time period between 1763-67 in the Halle aux blés in Paris. The skylight would give some overhead illumination, which is the epitome of what sustainable architecture represents — fulfilling sustainable operation, resources, design, and materials. Then in 1941, a version of the skylight was said to be invented in Denmark.
Then in the 1970’s the skylight or roof windows became very popular. There are different types, but if you live in an older house, you might have the kind that is fixed, which means they don’t open for ventilation but they do illuminate your room. See, you didn’t even know you are already doing your part for the environment — by default.
Fun fact: there’s another way to do your part for an eco-friendly, sustainable home! If you’re a pet owner, make the decision to use tile through your house as flooring because tile is strong and doesn’t buckle. It is also very easy to maintain. You don’t have to use toxic cleaners to keep your tile floors looking beautiful. Just let those paws run up and down the house, and sit back and relax. As a plus, many are made to look like real wood. That’s what we call old-school sustainable architecture.
We’re launching our new Eavesdropping series!
We go behind the scenes with thought leaders in the design trades. Our special guest is Duo Dickinson, a leading architect.
He’ll be talking with Gerald about how architecture might change as a craft after COVID-19.