Sustainable lifestyles improve the quality of our lives, protect our ecosystem, and preserve our natural resources for future generations. A holistic approach to sustainability in the corporate world involves considering everything from manufacturing to logistics to customer service. By adopting green and sustainable strategies, the company maximizes both its short-term and long-term environmental benefits.

Today, sustainable design is the essence of architectural design. The mission is to improve health, welfare, and safety in any way possible. The goal of designers should be to find ways to save energy and improve the life cycle. As a part of this plan, one aims to reduce the overall life cycle costs of buildings and structures.

Sustainable Materials Creating Its Identity

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Sustainable Material Lifecycle _©Green Buildings and Sustainable Materials – Yuan Yao (ncsu.edu)

Using sustainable building materials aims towards cost reduction, better use of materials, and waste minimization, with enhanced quality of life ensuring a productive working environment. As one enters one of the most significant talent crises the world has seen, it is also necessary to look at sustainable practices as a differentiator. Looking beyond access to daylight and green materials, one should also look into exciting and intensely green trends embedded into the design and culture.

Sustainable Materials that gain popularity with their utmost use be Bamboo with its use in construction and properties, Cork as an eco-friendly material in home design mimicking hardwood, Natural Stone with characterful cladding, Hemp Crete with good thermal and acoustic insulation qualities, Terrazzo for flooring and many on the list to continue.

Some Trendy Facts for the Materials –

Prefabrication Is Becoming the Norm of the Industry 

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“The Nest” in Stantec’s Sacramento, California_©Bing

Along with labor shortages and the rise in material costs, companies are experiencing an increase in prefabricated materials. Demountable partitions allow offices to enhance daylight, ventilation, and flexibility while reducing the amount of drywall and waste they contribute to landfills. Using prefabrication, the finished product can be shipped directly to the site, reducing the volatile organic compounds (VOC) and air quality concerns associated with traditional drywall and finishing.

The Eco-Display 

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The Green Wall as a Feature_©https://archello.com/product/green-wall-livepanel-indoor

This displays its vital knowledge about investing in sustainability. It understands how liveliness affects one’s aura from eating food until one meets other people. Therefore, it involves presenting exciting discussion topics to clients regarding eco-friendly product manufacturing details, VOC levels, how lighting is harvested, or how water is conserved through design and messaging. 

The Rise of Biophilic Design 

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The Biophilic Café and Bar_©https://mindtheinterior.com/biophilic-interiors-designing-spaces-that-reconnect-us-with-nature/

People and nature are scientifically proven to be connected. “Adding plants or living walls to your space is not all that biophilia is about, it encompasses the interactions between people and nature’s patterns, rhythms, and textures”. It also takes into account views, lighting, and climate concerns within an indoor environment. Thus, the result is a more productive and pleasant working environment.

A holistic approach to wellness 

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A Space Connected with Wellbeing _©Unsplash

Buildings are no longer the only thing being green in terms of design. People are, too. It is no longer simply about supporting physical health. It is also about supporting cognitive and emotional wellness. Therefore, it mentions how the design should be focused on supporting human environments, as the built environment is designed for its users.

Phase in which technology-enhanced its informational capabilities

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Technology Enhanced Learning_©https://www.nacarchitecture.com/portfolio/TEALCenter.html

In today’s society, we are constantly connected to technology, phones, and emails. The result is likely-minded, constructive designs that bring mindfulness, meditation, and thoughtfulness to a space with varied possibilities of design opportunities for human comfort.

Using green business strategies 

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A catalyst for creativity, collaboration, and social interaction _©Bing

The Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health recently conducted a study that examined indoor air quality, CO2 levels, and chemicals that have a direct impact on cognitive function. In strategically-designed green offices, employees’ cognitive function scores were on average 61 percent higher than their non-green counterparts. With more people being paid to think and innovate, investing in their mental health is more important than ever. In addition to color theory, sunlight exposure has also been known to increase cognitive function.

Sustainability is all about community

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Sustainability being Community as a whole _©https://www.sustainlv.org/act-locally/united-stands/sustainability-commons/

The global world is looking for meaningful relationships that support neighbors and countries. As a sustainable and strategic business practice, companies continue to invest in local communities. The world is becoming more thoughtful, and businesses are becoming more connected.

For instance, designing an office no longer involves the luxury of technology. Technology has become a necessity. The intelligent office includes lighting controls, optimized energy use, and adjustable HVAC settings based on movement and space use. The technology in conference rooms is integrated with room scheduling programs, meaning teams do not have to worry about charging the phones and adjusting the lighting for video calls. A holistic lifecycle cost has not historically been analyzed in budgeting. In the future, it will be a significant challenge to consider up-front fees.

It is Time to Reinvent, Reuse, and Recycle

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Promoting Basics of Sustainability with a Cause _©https://www.seversondells.com/blog/recycling

By giving old materials a second life, designers can create unique pieces with a hybrid feel. New apparel of human existence is designed when pieces of different items are pieced and patched together.

Employees will curate their work

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Upgraded employee’s skills _©https://news.blr.com/app/uploads/sites/3/2019/03/Skill-Words-5.jpg

In the coming years, a key trend will be using technology to manage our workdays. Using an app designed by the company, workers can find the right spot to work according to their preferences, manage their workout routines, find healthy recipes, and adjust the heat and lighting accordingly. Time lost due to climate control, or distraction will become outdated as the office shifts around the worker. 

 To adopt a sustainable mindset, HR policies must evolve

Developing a Sustainability Mindset _©https://www.routledge.com/Developing-a-Sustainability-Mindset-in-Management-Education/Kassel Rimanoczy/p/book/9781783537273

Adapting policies within the organization will be necessary as we move to a people-centered sustainability model. Employee health, mental health, and community wellbeing continue to be addressed through new incentives and programs. Well-being and mindfulness will be critical components of the framework for engaging teams. The architecture will adapt to new technologies, and integrated transparency will be expected and valued in the places you design and the culture you create. Sustainable mindsets are at the core of putting your people first, and creating a deeply green culture will yield massive returns in terms of talent, ideas, and innovations. In determining the appropriate business strategies to deliver growth and profit the bottom line, a sustainable mindset demands consideration of both social and environmental needs, in addition to conventional economic needs. Often this requires the active engagement of employees in transforming how the organization is run, which is why sustainable HR is essential. 

Thus, a sustainable mindset is fundamental to putting your people first, and a deeply green culture will yield a huge return on talent, ideas, and innovation. As a result, these Green building materials will cover a wide variety of topics and materials. Additionally, the application and use of these materials further complicate the subject. Green building materials must benefit the environment, but they should also involve human comfort, one of the hottest trends today.

“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, designed or removed from production.”

– Pete Seeger, Folk Singer & Social Activist

 References

  • Barbulianno (2020). 18 Eco-Friendly Building Materials That Help You Save Energy And The Earth. [online] Barbulianno Design. Available at: https://www.barbuliannodesign.com/post/eco-friendly-building-materials-list.
  • Planet, heart F.C.E.F. with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment U. you strongly believe in E.M. idea of making M. as another habitable and universe, do remember that there really is no ’Planet B. in this whole (2020). 15 Sustainable and Green Building Construction Materials. [online] Conserve Energy Future. Available at: https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/sustainable-construction-materials.php.
  • Sinha, A., Gupta, R. and Kutnar, A. (n.d.). Sustainable Development and Green Buildings. [online] ir.library.oregonstate.edu. Available at: https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/41687k01x
  • ‌Fithian, C. and Sheets, A. (n.d.). Green Building Materials Determining the True Definition of Green. [online] Available at: https://soa.utexas.edu/sites/default/disk/preliminary/preliminary/9-Fithian_Sheets-Green_Building_Materials.pdf
Author

Neha Lad, an Architect soon to be, adds a taste of design and creativity to the world of Architecture enhancing Nature as an added sweet dish, bringing unique flavor to the norms of Biology. She aspires to become an architect who depicts life in harmony with nature, where writing is her predominant mode of expression.

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