With Sustainability as the most important issue in Architecture today, designers are not only focusing on environmentally friendly materials but also educating their clients on the benefits of their design approach. The essential aim of Sustainable Design is to produce places, products and services in a way that reduces the use of non-renewable resources, minimizes environmental impact, and relates people to the natural environment.
When it comes to design, it is very important to understand why one wants to be sustainable. Some times it can be a philosophical approach from the owner’s point of view, it could be mandated by market segment or there could be financial implications (banks, energy, etc.). I always like to say Design takes time and Green Design takes more time. Make sure your client realizes that too because there is more research and paper work and analysis required.
Current design benefits of fabric structures directed at clients include: day lighting which reduces the need for artificial lighting, UV protection which reduces the risk of skin cancer, water collection which is then used for irrigating plants and other services, solar shading which reduces energy on a building’s mechanical system and reduces heat-island effect and rarely considered but a growing trend of incorporating a fabric structure as an educational tool that teaches people about UV protection, recyclability, etc.
Can you offer some other ideas on how to be sustainable with fabric?