With just a few years left to avoid climate catastrophe, we need to tackle a massive driver of global heating – our buildings. How we build new ones, how we use the ones we currently have, and how we make old ones more efficient. That’s the message behind World Green Building Week, which ends on Sunday.
Construction and use of buildings is responsible for 39% of global energy-related emissions, according to the World Green Building Council – so a more sustainable approach is crucial as we fight to reach net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible. But focusing on sustainability can also create places we are truly happy to live, work and play in. Buildings that are more comfortable, more beautiful, and that reconnect us with nature.
Building an eco- home makes sense on so many levels – your new abode will boast stunning natural looks, cost less to run, and will be kinder to the environment. Here, an expert outlines the environmental credentials of seven of the most popular eco-friendly building materials in Australia, and how best to use them in the construction of your own home.
The process of designing interior environments has witnessed in recent years a shift in design strategies that have adopted the provision of healthy and sustainable environments, relying on choosing eco-friendly building materials and appropriate design solutions in interior spaces, creating environmentally responsible architecture and interior design. Many studies showed that despite the development of the concept of sustainability, many architects, designers, and even users do not adopt sustainable design strategies, especially concerning the choice of sustainable materials in the processes of design, construction and even furnishing. The most important criteria in the choice of such materials and products are the low footprint and environmental impact, the high and easy maintenance, as well as durability, budget, comfort, safety, and flexibility.
Interior designers should develop solutions to raise the aesthetic and performance level of sustainable materials, as well as encouraging the concerned parties (users) to provide materials and furniture that comply with the concepts of reuse and recycling, to finally raise the level of environmental sustainability of interior spaces, and achieve the health and well-being of occupants, building a better and more sustainable future.
It is a shared social responsibility of all members of society, as each side bears part of it according to its specialization. Environmental responsibility can be represented in the interior design through these issues:
Sustainability is generally defined as “development that addresses current needs while remaining adaptable enough to ensure that the needs of the future can be met”From the practical side was defined as a technical term for facing environmental problems, and it has three dimensions’ economic development, social development, and environmental protection, these dimensions work together and can be mutually reinforcing, the goal of sustainability is to meet the needs of the present without affecting the ability of future generations to meeting their needs.
From this perspective, sustainable environments are every building and space built according to the sustainability criteria, which give environmental solutions and efficient use of materials.
The holistic concept of environmentally Sustainable design (also called environmentally conscious design, eco-design)”is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of ecological sustainability”.  Sustainable interior design is defined as “interior design in which all systems and materials are designed with an emphasis on integration into a whole to minimize negative impacts on the environment and occupants and maximize positive impacts on environmental, economic and social systems over the life cycle of a building”
Therefore, in comparison with traditional design practices, “where designers are primarily focussed on meeting the clients’ aesthetic and functional needs, the sustainable interior design focuses on the materials’ intended application, aesthetic qualities, environmental and health impacts, availability, ease of installation and maintenance, and initial and life cycle costs”
There are a large number of concepts that defined sustainable materials, as these concepts depend on the values of energy consumption and pollutant emissions of production processes, abundance, and renewability of resources, the durability, and permanence of materials and economic impacts. Therefore, it can be defined as “materials with a relatively positive impact on communities and the environment that are used to build products, deliver services and develop environment such as buildings”
In the field of architecture and interior design, a large number of materials are used in large quantities, Building and construction operations in the world each year consume approximately 3 billion tons of raw materials, which represents 40% of the total resource consumption.
Building construction and finishing materials can be classified according to their sources: Natural Materials: It refers to materials that remain in their natural condition with the possibility of conducting some treatments on their surfaces, such as stone and wood. Converted Materials: It refers to materials that result from converting natural materials into converted materials, such as tiles and bricks. Artificial Materials: It refers to materials that result from manufacturing processes and these materials are not present in nature, such as plastic, pigments, and glass.
The selection of materials is a very important issue in the interior design process, as materials are the main component of the elements of interior spaces. The materials can be considered an independent design element since through the way they are used, their quantity and distribution within the inner space can give multiple design ideas. The materials are an important element because the interior design does not seek to achieve the Functionality and the performance aspects alone, but rather seeks to create a mental image consisting of the materials used in the inner space and affects the process of users’ perception of the inner space.
As for the above, sustainable interior design does not only take into account the characteristics of sustainable materials and solutions related to their environmental impacts during their production and disposal operations but also takes into account their effects on the environment and the health of individuals during their operation.
Sustainable interior design is based on the sustainable design principles and strategies common to the built environment as a whole, namely providing physiologically and psychologically healthy indoor environments. Creative ideas require interior designers to have a new vision in designing elements of interior spaces, by adopting modern methods that connect them with elastic fabric, through which these elements can be linked together with future development possibilities
The challenges faced by interior space designers to achieve sustainable internal environments are multiple, and here comes a role in developing smart strategies for the distribution of spaces within the inner space. “Through the interior design process, sustainable interior environments can be obtained, such as when creating flexible, designed spaces that can adapt to space events”. Consequently, the results of reducing material consumption are achieved through the multiple use of elements, flexibility and development and growth capabilities
The sustainable approach in design seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment, and the health and comfort of buildings occupants, thereby improving buildings performance. The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy, productive environments.
To create an efficient business of helping people and environment heal, there are various and difficult goals in a sustainable interior project. There are always significant issues that can be hard to overcome in creating inhabitable spaces.
Through this text, we will outline the latest developments in sustainable design and show how they can be implemented to solve the current building-related and health-related issues in any of the facilities, including our homes.
A good eco friendly interior design and sustainability can make your home warmer, drier, more comfortable and enjoyable to live in. It can also make it healthier and safer, cut your energy bills, save water and help the environment.
A home that is a well-designed has eco friendly interior design and sustainability resources that are conserved and used efficiently in ways that keep your costs down, without taking its’ toll on comfort or convenience.
Passive heating and a break of natural light can reduce the amount of electricity or gas we disperse in our homes. Some of the things that can be equally as useful are solar water heating and energy-efficient appliances. By putting less artificial energy to use, not only you will save yourself a significant amount of money, but you can also help to reduce dangerous greenhouse emissions.
In most homes, heating (water or stoves) is the biggest part of the power bill, but people are still uninformed of the many ways for reducing them.
One of the top complaints in the health settings of a human is the lack of a quiet, healing environment. To address various and many psychological needs of patients, sustainable interior designers look up to nature – and the human response has been more than aspiring. The phenomenon of Biophilia has been defined as the humankind’s biological connection with nature.
It is important to know that Biophilia is not a new phenomenon; in fact, all its’ qualities are based on evolution, and that need for contact with nature is a basic human need because, for the majority of human existence, nature represented and provided everything for us.
It has been pointed out that sustainable design in interior design, especially in the healthcare environment, has the most impact on that basic human needed for survival. Thus, biologically, humans associate nature with survival, life, and wellbeing.
The benefits of nature on one person are related to improved mood – increase happiness and reduced stress levels. This has been proven in field studies of various environments, laboratory, and results were consistent.
Contact with nature can be purely visual or multi‐sensory (touch, smell, hearing), activating the stations in the brain that engage other nerves to fight fatigue no matter what.
Your building interiors are a core part of your business. For office spaces, restaurants, and retail boutiques, interiors can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Your employees are one of your biggest business costs. By creating interiors where they can perform at their best, you get more in return for your investment. In the same way, customers have significant expectations for their retail experiences. By upgrading your retail boutique interiors, you simultaneously improve your profitability.
With our interior services, we support clients of all sizes. Whether you want your office workers to have the optimal setting to perform at their best or you want your boutique or restaurant to offer an unparalleled service for your customers, we have the experience you need. A few of our past office interior projects include renowned brands, banks, and investment firms. Our Commercial Interior Services include Commercial Interior Design Services.
Thanks to optimized interiors, you save costs, improve profitability, and create healthier and more sustainable buildings. Our services include Advisory services to support you in creating interiors that work for your business and goals. Building Interior, High-End Office, and Retail Boutique services are offered to buildings that are in the planning stage, as well as existing buildings.
Alpin is your expert partner in ensuring that your building interiors and fit-outs are properly planned. We start every project by understanding your goals and objectives before moving on to designing improved and optimized spaces.
As a service provider, we offer our services to various building types, such as offices, restaurants, and boutiques. Our portfolio includes some of the biggest banks, investment firms, regional brands, and charitable foundations.
We make sure that your complete interior solutions are the best in the market. This includes your HVAC, lighting, air, acoustics, and choice of materials. By partnering with full-service building service firms as technical experts, we offer an end-to-end service.
We help you create a sustainable and healthy building with our green building services. As part of our offerings, we help you achieve green certifications, such as WELL and LEED.
Our commissioning services support you in verifying every single step, from design drawings and construction documents to fine-tuning systems once your project is operating and occupied.
Building Asset Surveys for new tenants or building owners allow us to inspect the MEPF systems to see what state they are in and to support claims and requests for Tenant Improvement budgets or back charges.
To perform our Energy Modeling services, we use cutting-edge technology to virtually look at your entire building and how all your systems function as a whole. Together with your design team, we analyze different strategies for improving building performance and cost savings.