Architecture That Meets Environmental Standards

August 15, 2017 9:08 am Published by

Keeping up with the latest regulations is essential for both businesses and residents, which can have an impact on building design and architecture. For example, providing electrical charge points in new buildings isn’t on many architects’ radars yet, but given that new petrol or diesel cars will not be allowed in the UK from 2040 we need to prepare.

In just 30 years, architects will need to plan for all vehicles to be electric – this means that we will need to change how we plan and build driveways, car ports, and garages to allow for each charging for single or even multiple vehicles. Planning ahead will save on retrofitting costs further down the line, or unsightly work-arounds where the original solution could be covert or elegant.

Communal buildings, in particular, will need to be designed with the expectation that each of the parking spaces will have access to a charge point. Without this, the parking area will no longer be fit for purpose and the owners may struggle to find tenants/buyers.

The London Plan previously required 20% of parking spaces to have charging points, with potential to add a further 20% in the future. Projects from 2013/14 had to meet these conditions, but it is time for architects to go beyond these basic requirements.

Use of intelligent materials and even plants can help architects meet environmental requirements and further improve the urban environment. London breached its legal limit for toxic air in the first 5 days of 2017, leading engineering firms to suggest using green walls or smog-eating facades on buildings to improve the air in the capital. These materials can either bring nature into an urban environment, or introduce new textures and patterns to a building’s exterior, offering aesthetic benefits while improving the health of building users and city dwellers alike.

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This post was written by Dennis Adam

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