As this is being typed, the current world population is 7,260,873,955, according to the real time . By the time this article is edited and published (assuming four to five days from now), the population will have approximately increased by 316,000 people! Isn’t that amazing!?
According to , the current global population is already two to three times higher than the sustainable level. As a result, we are consuming too many of the world’s resources at too fast a rate. This proposes a gloomy forecast for the future—unless something changes and we learn to become more sustainable.
Architects are one group that can drastically impact the world’s level of sustainability. How so? Well, for starters, they can use their design savvy to model homes that are chock-full of the latest green technologies—- technologies that limit their impact on the world’s resources.
Let’s look into the many ways that architects can help alleviate this world epidemic. Our growing population and rapid consumption of limited resources can be addressed is many ways:
A Movement Towards Socially Conscious Design
Nearly half of the world’s population doesn’t have access to clean drinking water. On the opposite side of the water spectrum, by up to five feet by the year 2100, putting some densely populated coastal cities underwater.
It is an easy argument to say that these two scenarios are caused by a world that is consuming too many resources at too quickly a rate. The world is not living in a sustainable manner; we are burning holes into the ozone, causing polar ice caps to melt, polluting our water resources…and the list goes on.
Luckily, this on the radar of some leading architects who are designing eco-savvy homes. Throughout history architecture has always reflected the culture and state of the world, so it only makes sense that we live in a time of rapidly changing design. Let’s read further to see how this design is changing…
Homes Are Becoming Smaller
It’s a fact, houses are getting smaller. There are multiple reasons for this trend, but they all stem from rapid population growth, and also an aging population who is living longer. The aging population is downsizing into smaller homes because they are easier and safer to live in.
Then there are the younger generations who have been taught to be more ecologically conscious— they know that a smaller more ecologically sustainable home is the way to go.
And of course, there are those who suffered through the recession of 2008; those who lost their million dollar sprawling mansions and learned the hard way that life isn’t all about living large—the good news is that most of these people now understand that they can be happy in a small home with a much smaller mortgage. Due to all of the above-mentioned reasons, architects are seeing an increased demand for smaller homes. This is a wonderful thing since small homes equate to less demand on the world’s resources.
Technologies Are Being Embraced
The rapid consumption of energy resources and the rapid pollution of the world’s water resources have lead to designs that hope to help slow this rate of consumption/pollution. Luckily, we live a tech-savvy world where new ecologically-friendly innovations are being thought up on a daily basis.
Architects are embracing these technologies by designing homes that are chock-full of ecologically sound devices. Here are some of the more popular technologies that are showing up in current architecture: Solar Power, LEED Homes, heat pumps, solar water heating, recycled materials, turbine power, to name just a few.
There is no end in sight in terms of the innovations that can be thought of. Architects are in the midst of designing unprecedented ecologically-friendly buildings that embrace the forefront of technology. Take a look at these to be amazed at the power of technology and design.
New Urban Environments
There is such a high-demand for sustainable urban architecture. In fact, it is so high that to train architects/engineers in the sciences of ecological urban design. Current architects who wish to remain competitive must embrace these new eco-urban designs and stay up-to-date on technologies/training.
A book by , titled The New Urbanism, theorizes that new urban communities will develop, ones that off-put the previous decades of suburban sprawl, replacing it with close-knit communities that are integrated with workshops, housing, parks, schools, churches and businesses.
Essentially, these will be functional urban communities where people can walk to and from, and meet all their daily living requirements (social, economical, ecological) in one small environment. This concept seems to be one worth thinking about….it could definitely have a place in a new, more ecologically sound world.
As we have shown you, architecture reflects the current state and culture of the world. With such rapid population growth, we have consumed too many resources at too fast of a rate—it is time for everyone to step up and live more sustainably.
Architects have embraced this challenge head-on by designing homes and buildings that are smaller, more ecologically sound and full of eco-friendly technologies that consume less.
What do you do to consume less? Are you part of the revolution to live more sustainably?