Hiring sustainability consultants:

“As an Architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.”

~Norman Foster

Why architects must look into hiring sustainability consultants - Sheet1
Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) designer by Stefano Boeri ©architizer.com

This is an important factor that all Architects must keep in mind while designing, to design for a somewhat unseeable future, to balance the current surrounding situations. This is where the concept of Sustainable design comes into the picture. As Architects and Clients, we often talk about Sustainable Architecture and understand why it is important. But only a few truly know about the fundamental necessity of Sustainable Architecture to protect the future of mankind, as we know it. To understand this better, one must know the answer to the following questions. 

What is Sustainable Development in Architecture? Why is it important?

Sustainable Architecture in a broad sense deals with innovative construction or renovation of buildings using a combination of technology and materials that are energy-efficient and/or renewable and harmless to the surroundings. This approach reduces the waste by-product of construction and uses sustainable items to ensure a healthy and balanced development without bothering nature. The aftermath of Sustainable Architecture not only benefits the present by protecting the environment but also helps in creating energy-efficient buildings for a better future. 

Some parts of this might not seem that relevant but when we consider the overall amount of energy used by the buildings globally, it becomes evident that sustainability is not something that can be ignored, for the sake of our present and future. Sustainable buildings benefit the environment as well as the occupant. The effect of promoting sustainable construction is helpful to the society, community, economy as well as the earth. 

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Sustainable development ©blog.miragestudio7.com

What does a Sustainability Consultant do and why should Architects hire them?

Sustainability in architecture is something that can be achieved in all kinds of projects and at all stages of construction, with little or no alteration to the build mass design. The use of materials and installation of energy-saving materials can aid in a safe and healthy built environment that not only protects the present environmental conditions but also prevents further damage to the environment that might be rendered beyond repair in the future. 

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Sustainability ©quotefancy.com

Nowadays, some agencies specialize in helping architects achieve the initiatives to go green. These sustainability consultants are external help who undertake to transform your existing design into a more sustainable building by using their expertise in the latest material trends and technical prowess. There are many such benefits of hiring a Sustainability Consultant by an Architect a few of which are listed below:

Develop overall strategic sustainability plans

The Architect of a project is the person who is responsible to set the boat afloat and the consultants help him reach the shore safely and efficiently. This is the basic role of a Sustainability Consultant as well, to help the architect take the building designing to another level with their strategic sustainability plans. The involvement of Sustainability Consultants from the very beginning comes into the picture here, as it helps to create a better plan which fits the design and surroundings resulting in a better flow of activities. They provide data-based simulation information that helps in the design development of the building form, spaces with the available materials and sustainability techniques, and a roadmap to a tailor-made project that meets the sustainability requirements of the site.

Skilled in achieving Sustainability with knowledge of the latest trends and techniques

Sustainability Consultants usually have much better knowledge, than the Architect, of the latest trends and features of the design in the market for better output. They hold both theoretical and application knowledge of all aspects of the project, from design to construction, and therefore are better at engineering solutions that benefit both the Architect and the Client. They are well updated with the green building specifications and industry expertise which is a bonus in serving the client’s motive. Their job is to integrate innovative building technologies into the building design all the while staying relevant to the sector they cater to. There are many aspects of sustainability that the Architect might be oblivious to, and the Sustainability Consultants provide the missing pieces for the puzzle and help the architect in creating a building that can sustain itself for years to come. 

The Project becomes more Time and Cost-Efficient 

Besides being aesthetically pleasing, one of the most important factors of building design is to make it cost and time-effective. Contrary to popular belief that adding sustainability specifications to a project incurs additional cost, the involvement of a consultant helps to make sure that the projects get executed within the time frame and the decided budget. Consultants have a better knowledge of the risk and possible mishappenings that can occur on-site and therefore they prepare in advance to account for any missed timeline and overdue expenses. Here the planning skills of consultants can predict better than the Architect and account for any future surprises. It’s the job of a Sustainability Consultant to make sure that the energy efficiency of the building doesn’t hinder profitability during the project’s life. 

Management on site

Irrespective of what stage the project is on, there is a workflow of designing, planning, execution, procurement, and supervision. It’s the role of the Sustainability Consultant to make sure that the project is meeting the standards of efficiency at all stages. They make sure that the project is running on time and the execution is being carried out with all the sustainability materials in place. They also play a huge role in deciding the materials and technologies to be used in the project which would be most efficient given the site conditions and requirements. The Architect doesn’t have the necessary knowledge of the site and thus material procurement becomes a hassle and is often unable to reach the maximum level of energy efficiency throughout the project.

Compliance with environmental legislation

The government these days is becoming more specific when it comes to sustainability rules. The bylaws keep changing and upgrading and so does the requirement to follow up with the prevailing schemes for sustainability certification. The Sustainability Consultants aid the Architect and help in adding real value to the built mass that extends above and beyond just certification. Better knowledge of the laws and current trends makes the job of the Architect a whole lot easier by hiring a reliable Sustainability Consultant. 

Why architects must look into hiring sustainability consultants - Sheet
Sustainability ©twitter.com

With a rapid change in the building trends and competitiveness of Architects, hiring Sustainability Consultants is becoming a necessity. The growth of Sustainable Architecture is not only a choice but a need for the future, and the involvement of specific agencies is nothing but helpful in achieving the goal to design for nature and a better future. 

References:

http://www.eco-officiency.com/sustainability-consultant.html

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/role-green-building-consultant-qa-conserve-pvt-ltd-

Author

Ojaswita is an Architect by profession and a Designer by passion. She is a creative and hardworking individual with a knack for trying new things, one of which is Architectural Journalism. An introvert who gets curious easily, she loves to find out about the different cultures of the world and the many stories they tell.

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