Ecological Building Design


Integrating people and buildings as a sustainable part of the environment.

Ecological Building

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ecological Building is both a design process and the structure that is a result of such a design process.
The Ecological Building design process is a modern architecture variant of permaculture design.
An Ecological Building is a structure that is designed to create and sustain mutually beneficial relationships with all of the elements of its local ecology. A building's local ecology, or environment, is made up of particular physical and biological elements and their interactions.
The abiotic, or physical elements are defined by the local geology and the local climate. The local geology is defined by the soil type, substrata, local land use, and water patterns of the site and its surroundings. The local climate is made up of the weather patterns, wind patterns, solar patterns, and pollution patterns for the site and its surroundings.
The biotic or living elements are all of the local species and local ecosystems - including humans and urban ecologies - that interact with the site.
This concept is distinctly different from green building, or sustainable architecture where the goal is to "minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings"[1]. Ecological building is a positive design goal that sets out to increase beneficial interactions, whereas green building is a negative design outlook that seeks only the reduction of negative interactions. Inherent in green building is the assumption that any human interaction with a site is unavoidably negative, and that mitigating these negative impacts is the best that is possible. With Ecological Building, the designer acknowledges that humans can play an integral, beneficial role in improving and sustaining the health and vitality of their local ecology.




Community capital

Community

Entropy is the enemy

There is an inevitable degradation of matter and energy over time due to increasing entropy. Heat from the earth and light from the sun are the only sources of energy to counteract this. To maintain the environment's resources of energy and materials across the timeframe of human generations, we must rely on accumulated biological resources to counteract natural decay.

Aristotle :
Thus we see that when Socrates said that beautiful houses were the most convenient, he taught plainly enough in what manner we ought to build them, and he reasoned thus: “Ought not he who builds a house to study chiefly how to make it most pleasant and most convenient?” This proposition being granted, he pursued: “Is it not a pleasure to have a house that is cool in summer and warm in winter? And does not this happen in buildings that front towards the south? For the beams of the sun enter into the apartments in winter, and only pass over the covering in summer. For this reason the houses that front towards the south ought to be very high, that they may receive the sun in winter; and, on the contrary, those that front towards the north ought to be very low, that they may be less exposed to the cold winds of that quarter.” In short, he used to say, that he had a very beautiful and very agreeable house, who could live there with ease during all the seasons of the year, and keep there in safety all that he has; but that for painting and other ornaments, there was more trouble in them than pleasure.
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/17490



Tools

Examples and exemplars

Ecological Building Principles


  1. Building materials
  2. cradle-to-the-grave
  3. sourced locally
  4. Construction
  5. efficient energy use
  6. energy sources
  7. efficient water use
  8. waste water disposal
  9. Natural materials
  10. landscape design
  11. toxicity
  12. regulate the humidity
  13. indoor air temperature
  14. breathing, naturally ventilated building
  15. natural heating and ventilation
  16. insulated against unwanted noise
  17. electro-biology
  18. site placement
  19. ergonomics
  20. design and building process
  21. creative expression
  22. healthy family and community relationships
  23. local character
  24. vibrant, living community
  25. socially responsible

Bioharmonic Design

The Village

The Unit
bioharmonic.png

Design of the 'whole building' concept: The High-Performance Building is centered and surrounded by the Intergrated Team Process and the Integrated Design Approach; in the outer ring are the design objectives - Accessible, Aethetics, Cost-Effective, Functional/Operational, Historic Preservation, Productive, Secure/Safe and Sustainable
Design of the 'whole building' concept: The High-Performance Building is centered and surrounded by the Intergrated Team Process and the Integrated Design Approach; in the outer ring are the design objectives - Accessible, Aethetics, Cost-Effective, Functional/Operational, Historic Preservation, Productive, Secure/Safe and Sustainable

A Holistic Design Philosophy

Holism-Interconnectedness-Synergy around a photo of the Earth making 'The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts'
Holism-Interconnectedness-Synergy around a photo of the Earth making 'The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts'


The concept of "wholes" is not new. In 1926, Jan Christian Smuts, a South African Prime Minister and philosopher, coined the term "holism". He believed that there are no individual parts in nature, only patterns and arrangements that contribute to the whole. Buckminster Fuller also said back in 1969 while working on the space program: "Synergy is the only word in our language that means behavior of whole systems, unpredicted by the separately observed behaviors of the system's parts or any subassembly of the system's parts."
Whole Building Design provides the strategies to achieve a true high-performance building: one that is cost-effective over its entire life cycle, safe, secure, accessible, flexible, aesthetic, productive, and sustainable.

Design Objectives of Whole Building Design


In buildings, to achieve a truly successful holistic project, these design objectives must be considered in concert with each other:

  • Accessible: Pertains to building elements, heights and clearances implemented to address the specific needs of disabled people.
  • Aesthetics: Pertains to the physical appearance and image of building elements and spaces as well as the integrated design process.
  • Cost-Effective: Pertains to selecting building elements on the basis of life-cycle costs (weighing options during concepts, design development, and value engineering) as well as basic cost estimating and budget control.
  • Functional/Operational: Pertains to functional programming—spatial needs and requirements, system performance as well as durability and efficient maintenance of building elements.
  • Historic Preservation: Pertains to specific actions within a historic district or affecting a historic building whereby building elements and strategies are classifiable into one of the four approaches: preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, or reconstruction.
  • Productive: Pertains to occupants' well-being—physical and psychological comfort—including building elements such as air distribution, lighting, workspaces, systems, and technology.
  • Secure/Safe: Pertains to the physical protection of occupants and assets from man-made and natural hazards.
  • Sustainable: Pertains to environmental performance of building elements and strategies.


http://www.wbdg.org/resources/rpindex.php

EB links and resources


http://www.buildingbiology.com.au/

http://www.postcarbon.org/report/185976-cities-towns-and-suburbs-toward-zero-carbon

Patterns