Conservation is the sustainable use and management of natural resources including wildlife, water, air, and earth deposits.
We as architects believe that, when designing a plant or animal exhibit, it is not just about the conservation of species but there also lies an opportunity in the building itself, by sustainable management of the used natural recources.
Sustainable use and management of natural resources
When looking at a project from a sustainability viewpoint we distinguish one physical aspect and three time related aspects. The physical aspect is the building itself; the materials and elements it is composed of. The three time related aspects are the contruction phase, the daily use and the life cycle of the building.
For these aspects we ask ourselves two simple questions:
- what can be reduced?
- what can be better used instead?
With regard to the building these two questions translate to considerations such as:
- can the design be optimised so to use the available space in a more efficiënt way?
- can we reduce the overall material usage by applying less or lightweight materials?
- how can we apply local materials so to reduce transport?
- are the used materials renewable, reusable or recyclable?
The construction phase
For the construction phase:
- how can we help limit the construction time so to reduce travel, water and energy use?
- what can be prefabricated to help shorten the construction period?
- how can we reduce construction waste?
- can we prevent construction errors by design?
The daily use
- how can we help reduce the use of energy, e.g. by means of better insulation, daylight sensors, presence detection, energy saving devices and lighting?
- can the remaining energy demand be generated by renewable energy sources?
- can the remaining energy demand be generated energy efficient?
The life cycle
The requirements for a building or its use will change over the years. We realize that, as architects, we can make a difference through durable design.
A building basically consists of the structural frame, the outer skin, the MEP services and the finishes. All four with different lifespans. The extent to which these four elements are intertwined determines the extent to which they can be modified or replaced.
Through clever design we make our projects as flexible, customizable and extendable as possible and ready for all changes in the future.