Criticism of architecture and social factors affecting a structure observes a continual shift over the years. Media plays a significant role in creating awareness on social issues, which in turn impacts every field of work. The beginning of the modern era resulted in the over-exploitation of non-degradable materials that drastically affected the living and environmental conditions of people. As a result, climate change and pollution are few among the countless hindrances that an architect must tackle today but given less to no concern in the past. Thus, it is time to start being cautious on resources used and following sustainable techniques that do not compromise on future existence.

1. GREEN BUILDING AND NET ZERO CONSTRUCTION

The energy efficiency of a building involves considering the energy used by the building before, during, and after construction, which includes building services such as air conditioning, lighting, etc. Net-zero energy refers to the annual amount of energy created on-site equal to the total energy consumed by the building. Various rating systems like LEED help provide a framework to build green buildings all over the world. 

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Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, New Delhi ©www.nbmcw.com

2. VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE

Designing a building based on the native construction systems is beneficial beyond the preservation of the cultural aspect of the place. Vernacular architecture stresses on utilizing materials within reach from the site, which in turn cuts down on transportation cost and reduces the chance of shortage of materials. 

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Zhen Cheng Lou, a Fujian Tulou in China ©news.cgtn.com

3. PUBLIC SPACE INTUITIVE DESIGN

Being conscious of open spaces rather than filling up the site with the structure is crucial in bringing sustainability to the building. Public spaces act as a breathing space while utilizing the building. Providing a wide range of parks around built areas helps reduce the carbon footprint of the place, along with an enhanced lifestyle from the green landscape. 

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Namba Parks, Osaka, Japan ©inhabitat.com

4. CIRCULAR ECONOMY FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Circular economy refers to Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. Architecture that involves this system aids in reducing wastage generated during construction or materials used on an everyday basis. Several architects also make use of plastic, glass bottles, etc. to cut down on wastage. 

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People’s Pavilion, Netherlands ©www.archdaily.com

5. SMALL SCALE CONSTRUCTION

The significance of large mansions and structures are decreasing due to land shortage and high-density areas. A house has come down to its basic necessity with more importance given to its functionality and open spaces. With foldable and inbuilt furniture, an entire house can fit in one room area. 

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Tree Top Studio, Australia ©www.archdaily.com

6. PASSIVE BUILDING DESIGN

Logically orienting the building on the site in such a way that wind flows through nature is an efficient way of ventilation with minimal or no air conditioning systems. With the help of architectural elements like sun shading devices and wing walls, passive design can open new possibilities to achieve low-cost construction. 

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Palmyra House, Mumbai ©www.architecturalrecord.com

7. UTILISING NATIVE VEGETATION

Designing organically with the site and utilizing the vegetation found within the area brings character and enhances the experience of the space while preserving nature at the same time. Planting trees and shrubs not native to the place just for its beauty is not a sustainable practice and requires unnecessary maintenance and is difficult to thrive in the new environment. 

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Falling Waters, Pennsylvania ©www.lonelyplanet.com

8. BIOPHILIC ARCHITECTURE

Biophilic architecture is a sustainable approach that incorporates nature into a structure. Such structures can act as a breathing lung in a metropolitan city or blend with the existing landscape of the place. Roof gardens and green walls are a few elements used that can incorporate vegetation with minimal space used. 

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The Parkroyal, Pickering, Singapore ©www.traveldailymedia.com

9. PREFABRICATED CONSTRUCTION

With industrial manufacturing of building elements that can fit together on-site, prefabricated construction is an ingenious approach that saves time and money without compromising on the structural stability. Modular construction is a type of prefabricated housing built on repeated modules, which has become increasingly popular in present times.

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Modular Prefab Home, Portugal ©www.busyboo.com

10. ADAPTIVE REUSE

Adaptive reuse refers to modifying an existing building to present needs and remodeled with the addition of new functions. Reuse of several historic buildings is a great way to bring purpose in a building, which otherwise becomes deteriorated or left unused. It can even bring a new character to the existing structure and deliver an alternate meaning without compromising on its cultural significance. 

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Antwerp Port House, Belgium ©www.archdaily.com

Developing a trend in an architectural style could lead the present world to a better path. Even a small group of architects have the potential to promote sustainable techniques that well suits the current demands. Thus, each architect being mindful of sustainability will become a small step contributing to a larger goal of a better life for the future.

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