Sustainable architecture is the architecture that minimizes the negative environmental impact of buildings. It aims at solving the problems of society and the ecosystem. It uses a selective approach towards energy and design of the built environment. Most often sustainability is being limited to the efficient water heater or using high-end technologies. It is more than that. It is sometimes about creating awareness among people and communities how we can coexist in the natural environment. Sustainable architecture is a means to enter the context in a natural way, planning and deciding the materials before the construction that have very few negative effects on the environment.

Here are 20 Thesis topics related to Sustainable Architecture:

1. Urban Park

To make a city livable and sustainable, urban parks play a key role to provide a healthy lifestyle for the residents of the city. It provides transformative spaces for the congregation and community development. The public parks are very crucial within the cities because they are often the only major greenery source for the area.

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URBAN PARK ©FR-EE

2. Neighborhood development

There is always a challenge to implement sustainable development at a very local level. Thus, urban sprawl, environmental degradation, and traffic congestion have made it necessary to look at problems at the basic level. In cities, there is an extra opportunity to develop a sustainable neighborhood that incorporates energy-efficient buildings, green materials, and social infrastructures.

3. Community garden design

Community gardens are the latest trend for sustainable living in urban areas due to rising health issues in the cities. It helps promote farming as an activity where locals can also get involved in the activities and encourage them to use gardens as recreational spaces. The gardens assist in the sustainable development of urban areas.

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Community-Garden-Vancouver  ©vancouver.ca

4. Waste recycling center

Waste recycling is always seen as a burden on the city. But it can be converted into an opportunity by incorporating its function and value into the urban fabric. Waste to energy plants or waste recycling centers can be integrated with public functions that engage communities.

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wastewater treatment plant ©Skylab Architecture

5. Restoration of heritage/old building

Building restoration is the process of correctly exposing the state of a historical building, as it was in the past with respecting its heritage value. India has many heritage buildings including forts, temples, buildings which are in deteriorated conditions and need to be restored. Thus, it helps to protect our heritage of the past.

6. Rehabilitation housing

Rehabilitation housing is a temporary housing made to accommodate people who vacate the colonies that are required to redevelop. Rehabilitation housing also accommodates peoples who get affected by the natural calamity and are displaced due to that.

7. Riverfront development

The development of a riverfront improves the quality of built and unbuilt spaces while maintaining a river-city relationship. It provides an identity to the stretch of the land which can include the addition of cultural and recreational activities. Various public activities and spaces are incorporated to develop the life and ambiance on the riverfront which leads to the environment and economic sustainability.

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Chicago riverfront ©Bob Stefko

8. SMART village

SMART village is a modern initiative to develop rural villages and provide them with basic amenities, education, health, clean drinking water, sanitation, and environmental sustainability. It aims to strengthen rural communities with new technologies and energy access.

9. Net-zero energy building

A lot of energy goes into the building sector which can be reduced by incorporating energy-efficient techniques and innovations. The Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) produces as much energy as it consumes over the year, and sometimes more. NZEB can be applied to various typologies such as industrial, commercial, and residential. Due to emerging concerns over climate change, these buildings are a new trend nowadays.

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net-zero building Indira-Paryavaran-Bhawan-New Delhi ©EQ International
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Berm-home ©Aloni

10. Bermed structure

The bermed structure is a structure that is built above ground or partially below the ground, with earth covering at least one wall. In extreme climatic conditions, a bermed structure protects from both heat and cold. The structure can be any typology be it residence, museum, or exhibition hall. These types of buildings are very energy efficient but extra care is needed to be given to waterproofing.

11. Regenerative design

Regenerative design is active participation in engaging in the natural environment. It focuses on reducing the environmental impacts of a building on the natural surroundings through conservation and performance. While green building improves energy efficiency, the regenerative building improves the ecosystem as it will support habitats for living organisms.

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Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden and Visitor Centre is an example of regenerative design. ©Perkins+Will

12. Urban Agriculture Centre

Urban agriculture centers accommodate the space for cultivating, processing, and distribution of food in any urban area. The center helps to improve the quality of life and provide them healthy options to eat. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat products through the center improves food safety. The center can also be made a learning hub for people to collaborate and share their knowledge of sustainable food production. It can create awareness and improve the eating habits of people.

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urban farm ©www.processjmus.org

13. Revitalizing abandoned mill or industry

Mills and industries are an important aspect of developing an urban area. They invoke the image of industrial development, invention, and success in their times. Thus, by revitalizing the abandoned mill, one can preserve the city’s old fabric.

14. Eco-tourism center

Eco-tourism center caters to the need to maintain the ecosystem with least intervention on the life of plants and wildlife. It also provides responsible travel to the people to the natural areas. The center also consists of research laboratories, data analysis and conducts studies to spread awareness among the locals about the ecosystems.

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eco-tourism center ©JB Ferrari & Associates

15. The revival of a heritage building

Revival is a process of improvement in the condition and fortunes of the building, without losing its traditional spirit. When we talk about sustainability, Heritage revival is not paid any proper attention. On the other hand, it has a great opportunity to improve our rich culture’s heritage. It can provide positive impacts on the well- being of society as well as economic development.

16.Adaptive reuse of a building

Adaptive reuse is a process of retrofitting old structures for new users but retaining their earlier integrity to meet the new needs of the occupants. Thus, the best thing or feel about the building is preserved and developed in a modified way. It gives a new life to the building and removes the need to demolish the structure.

17. Redevelopment of slum

Redevelopment of the slum is done to improve the urban sprawl created by the slums and no new land is available for the new construction. In current scenarios in many cities, urban slums are a major concern due to unhygienic and unstable living conditions. The redevelopment aims to give priority to health, livelihood, sanitation, and infrastructure without removing people from the site.

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Dharavi slum rehabilitation ©HOK

18. Vertical farm

A vertical farm is a structure/space in a greenhouse or a field where food production takes place on vertically inclined planes. It often includes agriculture that optimizes plant growth, and soilless techniques like aquaponics, hydroponics, etc. The farming systems can be made on buildings, ship containers, or mine shafts.

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Vertical farming ©Valcenter
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vertical farm in Dubai ©Eric, Homero, and Mo Phala

19. Wetland restoration

A degraded wetland is restored which has been destroyed earlier on the land it has been at or still is. Restoration practices include re-establishment and rehabilitation. Wetland restoration is important to maintain ecology, wildlife habitat, and they contribute to economic well-being also.

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Wetland-restoration ©CEEweb for Biodiversity

20. Eco-mosque

Eco-mosque is an environmentally friendly and zero energy mosque with the perception towards modernity with sustainability. The Mosque is the epicenter of the community and an important learning place to amplify the environmental stewardship responsibilities. The Eco Mosque is a one-of-a-kind structure designed completely on green technology, being sustainable & minimum carbon footprint.

Cambridge-eco-Mosque ©Marks Barfield
Madiha Khanam
Author

Madiha Khanam, soon to be an architect, is a writer by her choice. She loves to pen down her thoughts via drawings and writing. Her interest in architecture, engineering, and psychology has given her a broad base to approach various inter-disciplinary topics as well. Besides, she loves to watch anime.

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