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Architectural Sustainability in Practice and Theory

Text: Bence Török
Tutor: György Major DLA

One of the greatest challenges in our age is an efficient protection of our environment and a responsible way of thinking about our future. A change of attitude is necessary in order to manifest the concept of sustainability in every field of life. We must all build ourselves a vision of the future so as to visualize what kind of world we would like to live in as there are a large number of signs showing that thorough changes are absolutely necessary. About 45% of global energy consumption is that of the maintenance of buildings, and 5% is used by construction industry alone which all comes down to a tiny and easily calculable segment of the impacts of architecture on our environment and thus on our lives too. Our image of architecture largely determines whether there shall be genuine changes or we shall only be able to achieve superficial results. Let’s start from the fact that exemplary models facilitate architectural development. And such models are results of good planning strategies. My goal is to dig deep into the basic strategies of sustainable architecture and find the basic principles which we can rely upon. Architecture must be examined with due and equal regard to aspects of social, economic, and environmental sustainability so as to put it in a framework suitable for sustainability which is acceptable also from the ecological viewpoint.
The study below gives us first a glimpse into the general topics and issues of sustainability and ecology, then distinguishes various forms of architectural behaviour based on this. The author has compiled the most important basic principles that may define sustainable architecture.