Carbon Footprint: Can We Change with Architecture?

A carbon footprint measures the damage caused by human activities to the environment regarding the amount of greenhouse gas produced, measured in unit carbon dioxide. This term, which is defined in the sources, has started to hear more frequently in recent years. So much so that one of the decisive criteria for newly built buildings has become the carbon footprint. So it can be beneficial to learn a little more about this topic.

Benefits of Clean Energy

The carbon footprint was perceived more as a personal effect when it was just beginning to be discussed. While this was true, it was an inadequate description. The energy consumed by every human being on earth and some products they buy and use is useful in forming individual (primary) carbon footprints. If you are an individual who wants to contribute to the planet, you will try to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible.

With the devotion of many sensitive people worldwide, the current to reduce the carbon footprint has become quite common. But there was still a bigger problem. Our workplaces, the transportation systems we use every day, and even the homes we live in, had their carbon footprints, affecting our primary carbon footprint. At this point, attempts began to reduce the carbon footprint by much more significant amounts.

When we talk about carbon footprint in the architectural sense, we mostly refer to buildings’ energy types. The best practice to reduce the carbon footprint of a building is to turn to cleaner energy sources.

Different methods have been developed in other parts of the world for structures built to reduce the carbon footprint. Solar energy is one of the first methods that come to mind when it comes to clean energy. Classification of wastewater as black and gray by reproducing water drain pipes; Reuse of gray waters will also reduce energy use. We can add many more to all these applications, such as household wind turbines, rainwater harvesters.

Recycled Material

Unfortunately, reducing the carbon footprint is not possible only by changing the energy method. For this reason, material selection is of great importance in newly constructed buildings.

Points such as obtaining the selected material, transportation, and technical characteristics determine the carbon footprint. During the construction of a building that wants to reduce its carbon footprint, it is necessary to choose sustainable materials as much as possible. Also, the use of local materials reduces the amount of energy consumed during the transportation phase.

Another solution for buildings with a smaller carbon footprint is recycled materials. In this sense, container houses are recycling projects. Containers that have reached the end of their life in the transportation sector are thus recycled and utilized.

The Future of Energy Use in Buildings

The carbon footprint problem has occupied architecture a lot in recent years. So much so that even environment-oriented competitions are organized that evaluate building designs in terms of energy spent.

Details such as newly developed construction techniques and returning to natural and local materials give positive signals about the carbon footprint.

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