When designing a building, there are many sustainability goals I think should be considered as listed below:
- optimize building performance based on the site
- minimize energy consumption
- minimize water usage
- sustainably source raw materials/choose sustainable materials
- consider the end of life or repurposing of building
All of these sustainability goals should be considered throughout the building design, construction, and disposal processes. While most of the emphasis is usually placed on the energy and water usage of buildings, it is very important to consider the raw materials and end of life of the buildings. More specifically, sustainable materials should be chosen and sourced sustainably. Also, the materials should be disposed of properly at the end of life. If the building can also be retrofitted at the end of its life or built from an existing building, that would save a substantial amount of energy and resources.
An example of a very sustainable building is the Bullitt Center in Seattle.
The Bullitt Center is a net-zero building, and all of the energy is generated on site with solar panels. They were also able to reduce the energy consumption of the building by using heat pumps to maintain the thermal comfort of the building and by installing insulation and windows to help the building retain its heat. The building was also designed to promote biking instead of driving by including a bike garage. Also, the stairs were made more accessible to decrease the elevator usage. To minimize water usage, they harvest rainwater as well as use a greywater system. Also, they have composting toilets. This building has met most of the sustainability goals I mentioned above, and I can draw from the aspects of this building when designing mine.