“Sustainable Design” by Kalyn Manzano, SMHCC Senior Assistant Vice President for Design
With climate change now a reality, awareness on sustainability and efficiency in design is crucial. We are more conscious about energy saving methods and technology, environment-friendly materials that serve as good alternatives and the smart use of our resources. The simple act of turning off lights when leaving a room or keeping water taps closed when brushing our teeth goes a long way in helping our environment.
Living spaces are designed and enhanced to create a positive impact to our community. Materials available in the market, like the laminates which come in different tones and textures, are good options as replacement for wood veneers. Double glazed glass panels help keep the heat out. Synthetic stone materials are now used widely as countertops. Sanitary fixtures have water-conserving features and sensors. We have since switched from using the traditional incandescent and fluorescent bulbs and opted for LED bulbs which are more energy-efficient. Dimmers are introduced to control the lighting levels. Motion sensors are employed to sense occupied and unoccupied spaces and rooms.
With the introduction of pumps to transfer heat, the carbon emissions are reduced while fuel and energy consumption become more efficient. There are new ways to control systems in spaces when it comes the air-conditioning, lighting, fresh air take. These are just a few of how technology can contribute to sustainability.
Where we can save the environment, we are on the right track to being sustainable, whether it is in the choice of material, in the design philosophy we want to practice and in the technology we want to employ, we can do our share in developing and maintaining a sustainable and green design. All it takes is our willingness to be sustainable.