The movement towards sustainability and ecofriendly living has created a market for green sustainable architecture. Buildings that are green and sustainable use materials from replenishable sources and are powered by sustainable energy sources. Green sustainable architecture requires a sustainable source of water and can use structural design elements to cut down on the energy needs of the occupants of the building.
Green sustainable architecture utilizes sustainable materials in the construction of buildings. Sustainable woods that come from the local area are a good choice of material because the trees that are cut down for the building can be replanted and do not need to be transported over long distances. Transportation of materials often has a major impact on the environment, so buying locally can be a good way to lower the environmental costs of constructing a building. Bricks made from natural materials, such as adobe, can also be used. When possible, recycling used materials, such as wood from dismantled buildings, can also help in the creation of green sustainable architecture.
The people who live and work in buildings require energy. A building can be powered by a solar array or by a small wind farm. In many cases, the energy collected from these sources can be sold back to local power companies if a surplus is created. A building constructed in an area that does not get enough wind or sun to power itself can still supplement the power purchased from the local power company with power collected from sustainable sources.
A water catchment system can be used to provide a sustainable source of water for a building that uses green sustainable architecture. These systems collect water that comes off the roof of a building and store it in large containers. A building can also be designed to recycle water by reusing water from showers, sinks and laundry facilities into outdoor systems.
The design of a building goes a long way towards making it green and sustainable. Large, open homes take a lot of energy to heat and cool while smaller homes that are well organized can offer as much usable space while keeping energy needs down. Roof design can greatly affect the energy needs of a building, especially if the building is in an urban area. Research has shown that planting a garden on a roof can significantly lower the temperature of a building in the summer and keep it warm in the winter.