Our lives are directly affected by the health of our environment. Therefore, the sustainability of our environment is an essential obligation as its condition continues to decline. According to UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe before it’s irreversible. Better initiatives need to be taken in order to ensure the health of our planet.
Through varied approaches, architects Renzo Piano and Shigeru Ban explore contemporary ways of constructing environmentally friendly architecture that promote sustainable living. Ban is known for his pop-up emergency shelters that are constructed with cardboard and other recycled material to incorporate green design. Piano develops state of the art technology to ensure the sustainability of a building throughout its total lifecycle. Although they’re both considered ‘Green Architects,’ their buildings employ different functions and serve different purposes. Sustainability in design is increasingly important and uniquely approached.
With an increase in population, urbanisation, growing health costs, depleting resources, natural disasters and other social consequences – shouldn’t the health of individuals and the environment be prioritized with the design and construction of new buildings? Shouldn’t we all strive to live more sustainably? Sustainability is formally defined as “the economic activity that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”
In order to have a sustainable building, consideration of all aspects of design, construction, and demolition, need to be carefully evaluated and …….. In the United States alone, buildings account for 39% of total energy use, 68% of total electricity consumption, 30% of landfill waste, and 38% of carbon dioxide emissions. These numbers can be greatly decreased. If global warming exceeds 1.5C within a dozen years, there will be a significantly worse risk of drought, floods, fires, extreme heat and poverty.
Sustainability within architecture aims to minimize resource use, reduce waste and negative environmental impacts, maximize occupant health and productivity, and decrease life cycle costs. There a multiple ways to measure the effectiveness of sustainability within buildings: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. LEED is based on a points system. The more points a company earns, the higher their rating.
This system helps provide a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings, and its certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. Renzo Piano is an Italian architect known for his delicate, refined, and high-tech approach to building. He was born on September 14, 1937 in Genoa, Italy to a family of builders. Piano graduated from the Polytechnic in Milan in 1964 and was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1998 (equivalent to the nobel prize in architecture). Piano demonstrates an intellectual curiosity and is known for having a high degree of coherence and sensitivity within his buildings. Piano doesn’t categorize himself into a particular style, he refutes the idea of it. “I think it [style] is a trap.
But what I don’t hate is ‘intelligence’ or ‘coherence.’ Because coherence is not about shape, it is about something stronger, more humanistic, more poetic even.” A champion of public space, Piano’s architecture is responsive and sensitive to the cities they are built in while also upholding a sense of objective integrity. He aims to unify his designs, and their purpose, with the surrounding environment. Piano believes that beauty is transformative and has the power to change people for the better. By creating buildings with this beauty in mind, he aims to make cities better places to live -with the notion that better cities make better citizens.
Offering individuals an engaging experience allows them to have a deeper understanding of the world around them. He believes that real beauty is when the invisible joins the visible, coming on surface. And this doesn’t apply only to art or nature. This applies to science, human curiosity, [and] solidarity.” The Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Noumea, New Caledonia was designed by Renzo Piano and completed in 1998. This project aimed to display and celebrate the culture of the native Kanak people. Inspired by the beauty of the landscape and traditional huts made by the Kanak’s, Piano decided on a policy of minimum disturbance.
His 10 cubicle structure of varying dimensions were built on an existing path within a peninsula that eoched the organization of traditional villages. Piano used a combination of traditional and modern materials such as local wood, glass and aluminum. The outer-skin of aluminum is juxtaposed by the rich green terrain that surrounds it which caused slight controversy because of its luxurious and monumental nature that some believed . The structure, as Piano would describe, “flirt” with water and light, a crucial component in architecture.
What makes The Tjibaou Cultural Centre sustainable in design is the use of a natural ventilation system. The New Caledonia climate is a combination of moderate-to-high temperatures with high humidity. The inner glass shell of these structures have louvres that open and close, allowing cool, dry air to enter from a nearby lagoon. The buildings create a stack effect by having a glazed open inner roof structure, which allows the air within the building to heat up, rising out through the chimney and pulling cooler air in from the lagoon. The buildings create a Venturi Effect by forcing breezes to pass up and over the semi-permeable outer shell.
This creates a pressure differential on the leeward side of the shell, pulling hot, stale air out of the inner building. One of Piano’s most distinguished buildings is the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. This Academy is the world’s first Double Platinum LEED-certified museum and the largest Double Platinum building in the world. The mission statement of the Academy was to “explore, explain, and protect the natural environment.” Piano’s design concept was to ‘lift up a piece of the park and put a building under’ that blends seamlessly into the park. The buildings 2.5-acre living roof recreates the foothills of a California landscape and absorbs 3.6 million gallons of rainwater annually.
The roof captures stormwater runoff to prevent carrying pollutants into the ecosystem, provides excellent insulation, and creates a remarkable oasis for native wildlife. The building has no air conditioning, relying solely on weather sensors on the roof that communicate with motorized windows that open and close for natural ventilation. A solar, canopy located around the perimeter of the living roof, contains 60,000 photovoltaic cells that supply 5 percent of the Academy’s standard energy needs and prevent the release of more than 405,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Sustainability is part of the exhibitions design, philosophy, and it’s day-to-day operation. As a functioning demonstration, the public is able to see and understand many principles of sustainable design.
Strong technical knowledge and informed design was used successfully throughout this building in order to create cohesion, continuity, and overall improvement of but to not only create a beautiful structure, but to.. utilized to help the Academy conserve and protect its natural resources while improving the museum experience for visitors. Renzo Piano creates work that is elegant, sophisticated, and highly honored. His architecture is often found in prestigious places that embody a sense of hiecharle prominence, e.g. Pairs, Sydney, Milan, Houston, New York, Los Angeles to name a few. Another one of Pianos acclaimed structures is the Whitney Museum of American art in New York City. This museum was completed in ….. And serv .
Environmentally-friendly design just doesn’t look at minimising negative impacts on the environment, but it also helps the wellbeing and positive health of individuals who use these buildings. When architecture holistically integrates the natural and built environment, it advantageously changes the way individuals interact and respond to their surroundings. However, sustainable design isn’t just for those who can afford it, it’s for everyone. Shigeru Ban approaches architecture with a passionate desire to help those less fortunate.
Not only does he chose to construct many of his designs in areas of less prestige, but he still incorporates sustainability. Shigeru Ban (born August 5, 1957, Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese architect known for his explorative use of materials. Ban hailed from an affluent family and earned his architecture degree from Cooper Union in 1984. He is recognized for his unconventional techniques and materials used for temporary shelters in areas ravaged by natural disasters. In 2014 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize.
The Pritzker jury commented that “Shigeru Ban is a tireless architect whose work exudes optimism” in recognition of his humanistic approach to design. Ban has developed a style that blends elements of traditional Japanese architecture with American Modernism. Although many of his buildings are provisional, he designs permanent structures with structural sophistication as well.
Not only are his temporary shelters cheap and easy to construct, but they also promote community participation. In 1994, two million people were displaced as a result of Rwanda’s civil war. The responsibility of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is to protect the rights and wellbeing of refugees. Following protocol, UNHCR sent building material to make temporary shelters. Plastic sheeting and aluminum poles were the standard supply, however, UNHCR failed to recognize the local value of aluminum. Refugees sold the poles and cut down trees for structural supports instead, contributing to an already pressing deforestation crisis. Shigeru Ban approached the UNHCR with the proposal of constructing emergency shelters using recycled materials, specifically cardboard tubes. Ban developed a minimalistic and innovative frame design of paper tubes and plastic connectors that transformed standard plastic sheeting into tents.
Since the paper had no monetary value, it ensured they be used for shelter. Although these shelters don’t convey a standard The Kobe earthquake in 1995 claimed thousands of lives and wreaked havoc on the community. Ban built the Takatori Paper Church in kobe where a catholic cathedral had been destroyed. This structure became a symbol of reconstruction and offered a refuge of healing in a time and place where little comfort could be found. Materials for the church were donated by local companies and construction only lasted 5 weeks with the help of 160 volunteers.The foundation consisted of donated beer crates filled with sandbags while the outer layer was enclosed within corrugated, polycarbonate sheeting. 58 tubes were placed in an elliptical pattern and were coated with waterproof polyurethane and flame retardants.
The facade of the Takatori Paper Church forms a continuous and unified space between the interior and exterior. This Church withheld for 10 years until it was removed in order to build a new cathedral. The Hualin Temporary Elementary School in Chengdu, China (completed in 2008) was another temporary structure that Ban was commissioned to design. This was a collaborative project between 120 Japanese and Chinese volunteers to make classrooms that would allow children to continue their education.
Simple plans and building methods were developed that accommodated a variety of volunteers at all skill levels. In the end, three buildings (nine classrooms) were completed in only forty days. These temporary structures were extremely successful and led to even more temporary facilities being built -this included more refined, tasteful designs such as the Cardboard Cathedral (2013) in New Zealand. Projects such as the Japanese Pavilion for the Universal Exposition of Hanover (2000), the temporary Paper Bridge, Remoulin, France (2007), and the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale Pavilion (2009) embrace concrete-and-steel structure qualities hailed as precursors of Modern architecture. It is not so much the scale of Bans work that impresses, but his inventiveness in detailing and joining, and his relentless search for more sustainable ways of building.
His alternative constructional repertoire extends to ‘plaiting’ strips of ply and ‘weaving’ bamboo, echoing japanese craft traditions. Constructional innovation, however, forms only one strand of his work; the other forms from his modernist education in the united states. Bans ability to re-apply conventional knowledge in differing contexts in nonetheless impressive, and it has resulted in a breadth of work that is characterized by unconventionality and structural refinement. Ban has used these innovations not only to create beautiful architecture but as a tool to help those in need, by creating fast, economical, and sustainable housing solutions for the homeless and the displaced Renzo Piano and Shigeru Ban come from completely different backgrounds, yet both successfully employ sustainability through remarkable innovations in their architecture.
Within Renzo Piano’s work there is a structural elegance and openness to the natural surroundings. Pianos architecture serves individuals through it’s beauty and advanced mechanisms that enable a unique experience. Whereas Ban creates a sense of belonging and acceptance to devastated areas while opening up opportunities, enlisting perspective and spreading hope. Piano focuses on the total reduction of our carbon footprint through the total life-cycle of a building -including creation, production, and eventual disposal.