Green Design Essay
The notion of a responsible architecture design is something that flourished way back in 1970’s. However, green designs during that time were only developed on a domestic or small scale basis (Papanek 4). It is only in the late 1980’s that green commercial developments are done as an effect not only of the 1980 economic boom but also of various social, political and design factors (Beaufoy 199). At the present age, the author argues that the attempts of modern architecture to merge new trends in office design and environmental friendly features are primarily commercial in nature and not really fully environmental.
Having such premise in mind, the author formulated the research question: Should interior designers encourage clients to go with green design? In order to sufficiently answer this question, the author have provided a comparative analysis of the pros and cons of the green design and then significantly deduce based from the said arguments the writer’s stance weather he will respond to the question on the affirmative or the negative manner.
Arguments on the affirmative side claims that: (1) The green design will help reduce the environmental burdens that the present society brings to the aforementioned and also help man conserve energy (Winter 8); and (2) The green design will help to minimize or to an extent prevent sickness that are acquired within a particular building or house. On the other hand, the arguments on the negative side are the following: (1) The green design raises the costs in erecting buildings or houses; (2) The green design is difficult to implement on certain states, depending on the statutory laws governing a particular state.
Body The body of the research elaborates on the positive and the downsides of implementing green design. Reducing Environmental Burdens and Energy Conservation The relevance of green buildings on a global level and its effect to the environment and energy conservation is one of the major arguments in terms of promoting green designs. Buildings or houses that are tailored to be such are expected to reduce carbon dioxide and CFC emissions that are brought about by airconditioning (Beaufoy 203).
For instance, IBM has been creating buildings that are completely asbestos free and avoids the use of hardwoods unless the latter came from a sustainable source. They are also using low ozone-depleting chemicals and has been controlling the ozone emission of their airconditioning, and even planning in the near future to eliminate aircondition altogether. In some instances, where green buildings use glass on the exterior, such helps to lessen the need for heating, and the small amount of heat that is needed could be gas-fired.
Corollary with this, one can also help to reduce the use of light bulbs of fluorescent lights, hence conserving energy (Beaufoy 203). The use of energy efficient devices such as those of modern HVAC devices helps buildings to save operating costs and could even make the former eligible for rebates offered by local energy companies. In addition with this, through designing building facilities that make use of energy through natural ventilation and daylight also reduces operating costs (Meyerson 47). Health Benefits
One of the major premises why green buildings are favorable is due to the health benefits that it could bring to people. For instance if a building is designed to draw air at a high level, cooled and the filtered, the air conditioning or water system of the aforementioned could help eliminate the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease (Beaufoy 203). The Greenpeace building in Islington, London are also geared towards creating a more environmentally sustained building in their inclination to reduce the risks of office illnesses that result due to the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions of airconditions (Beaufoy 204).
Increased Construction and Soft Costs The actual costs of building green architecture are something that is too expensive that a lot of green features can not be really accommodated by most marginalized companies (Johnston 1). As such it is often argued that green buildings are only for wealthy people (Wilson 1). The problem of “first costs” or the initial expenses that has to be paid prior to building a house is something that is of a growing concern for customers. For instance, the use of uncommon trades and materials could increase costs in addition to LEED commissioning (Syphers et al 8).
In addition with this, higher soft costs are also most likely to be incurred in green buildings. The use of additional design analysis, computer modeling, commissioning, product research and lifecycle costs analysis for materials that could be substituted could also paved the way for up-front costs (Syphers et al 8). Legal Considerations Local conditions that are unique to every country and state cold also be one of the problems in terms of attempting to erect green buildings, for some state regulations could pose certain problems on the aforementioned.
For instance, the state of California prohibits the use of water-free urinals that could have saved certain buildings a significant amount of water (Syphers et al 6). In relation with this, the use of solar panels that could have help buildings to save electricity, though highly encouraged within various state’s regulations; also poses some problems as the law requires buildings to locate these panels somewhere that could not be seen on public roads due to the risk of accidents.
Also, local building codes have given limitations on the height windmills including its zone restrictions (Syphers et al 7). As generally known, windmills are also one of the most environmentally friendly way of generating electricity. Analysis After presenting the abovementioned arguments of the positive and the downsides of the use of the green design, it is also noteworthy to tell that amidst all of these most basic issues, the author perceived that the advocacy for the adaptation of green buildings is something that is primarily commercial in nature rather than really environmental in focus.
Although it could be significantly noted that green buildings indeed helps the environment due to cutting the use of certain machines that could have harmed for instance the ozone layer, it could be implied that the primary motivation of customers is indeed on cost cutting and juxtaposed with that of course is a relatively healthy lifestyle.
In this respect, it could be said that although the positive side of green architecture is emphasized most specially its environmental underpinnings, the fact couldn’t be hidden that such an endeavor is not really one hundred percent pro nature as one could see a compromise between capitalism and protecting the environment. It is with this respect that the author remembered that capitalism is indeed a necessary evil. There are a number of human endeavors that will not proceed without its aid, and such includes even the environment.
In addition to these issues, the notion of the difficulty of implementing the architectural design of green buildings is something that should also be taken into consideration. The initial construction costs and soft costs could be really expensive; however, experts still argue that the life cycle costs of the building in the long run could be very cost effective (California Integrated Waste Management Board 1). The legal considerations of course are something that is imperative in order to assure order and efficiency to the society.
Albeit it should be noted that the process of adopting green design is something that is still in the process of development; hence it is theoretically possible that the future technology could bring about changes that could fully actualize the fullest utility of the program. Conclusion Given the abovementioned factors, the author wishes to answer the research question: “Should interior designers encourage clients to go with green design? ” in the affirmative.
It could be seen that although the green design has a number of short comings, it could not be denied that these flaws are only minute in comparison to the overall utility that it could bring to man and to the environment. The short comings of green design could be solved through active collaboration of various stakeholders that are concerned to such like customers, contractors, architects, interior designers, engineers, the government, non government organizations, private corporations and the likes.
Literature Cited Beaufoy, Helena. “Case Study: The Green Office in Britain A Critical Analysis”. Journal of Design History 6,3 (1993) 206. California Integrated Waste Management Board. January 2007. Sustainable (Green) Building: Project Design Cost Issues. 23 October 2007 Johnston, Ritchey. Actual Costs – Is Building Green Too Expensive? January 2000.
Housing Zone. 23 October 2007 Meyerson, Andrew. “The Dollars and Cents of Green Construction: Being Environmentally Friendly Brings Financial as Well as Social Benefits”. Journal of Accountancy 199,5 (2005) 47. Papanek, Victor. Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change. London: Thames & Hudson, 1985. Syphers, Geof et al. October 2003 Managing the Cost of Green Buildings K-12 Public Schools Research Laboratories Public Libraries Multi-family Affordable Housing. State of California and Almeda COunty Waste Management Authority.
23 October 2007 Winter, Metta, “The Greening of Design: Jack Elliott Believes Interior Designers Can and Should Play a Major Role in Preventing Environmental Degradation, That Sustainability Should Be Central to All Design Decisions”. Human Ecology 30,1 (2002) 8. Wilson, Alex. Building Green on a Budget. May 1999. Building Green. com. 23 October 2007 a