7 Emerging Trends in Sustainable Architecture

It’s a well-known fact that buildings worldwide use a wide range of resources such as electricity and water, they create tons of waste every year, and they also release various emissions that are released into our atmosphere. This is why there is a growing demand for designing and constructing sustainable, Eco-friendly structures.

However, with architects and investors focusing on so many different things, you might be wondering about all the emerging trends in sustainable architecture. Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll be discussing in this article today, so without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the list of trends:

Source: LifeGate

1. Greener Structures And “Net Zero” Construction

As you already know, the energy efficiency of any building incorporates the electricity used by the site before, during, as well as after it’s constructed, which also incorporates things such as the HVAC and lighting systems. This is why a lot of investors and architects choose to add huge solar panels that will power the site.

On the other hand, the ‘net-zero’ construction implies to the yearly amount of electricity generated on the site, equal to the total electricity consumed by the construction. There is also a wide range of rating systems such as LEED that will assist people with gaining infrastructure to create greener structures worldwide.

2. Domestic And Functional Rather Than Monumental

It’s becoming increasingly popular to design a structure that is based on the domestic and native construction system. This is something that can be quite beneficial, especially since it can help preserve the cultural aspect of a specific location. However, vernacular architecture is different from others in one particular way.

Instead of using materials that are imported or transported to the construction site, vernacular architecture focuses on using materials that are near the construction area, which means that an investor can seriously cut some of the expenses, especially the ones revolving around transportation fees.

Source: Metropolitan Design Magazine

3. Reusing Materials is Becoming a Trend

You might have heard about the expression ‘circular economy’ and if so, you probably know that it refers to the action of reducing waste, reusing different materials, as well as recycling what can no longer be used. Hence, architecture and investors that utilize this system will help reduce pollution.

How do they do this? Well, they work on reducing the generated waster during construction or the materials utilize on a daily level. A lot of designers also utilize a wide range of recycled materials including plastics, glass and plastic bottles, and so on, all of which will help them cut down on the waste they generate.

4. Passive Design Can Become The Number One Trend

Now, you might be wondering – what is a passive design? Well, to put it simply, it’s when an architect strategically and logically places a particular construction on the construction site in order to use renewable, natural resources such as the sun, wind, as well as shade from tall trees. How can this make a residence or site more sustainable?

Well, according to Aland, if positioned properly, the wind can flow through the construction in an efficient way, which means that it’ll ventilate the building with minimal or no HVAC systems. And, with the assistance of wing walls of shading elements, it could open up a lot of new opportunities for sustainable architecture, including using native vegetation, which leads us to our next point…

Source: SOS School of Sustainability

5. Focusing on Vegetation is Crucial as Well

Designing a place with the site’s surroundings in mind won’t only boost the entire look and feel of the area, but, it will also help people preserve the flora and fauna around a place. Keep in mind, keeping the native vegetation is extremely important if anyone wants to be sustainable. Can’t we just plant new trees, flowers, and bushes?

Well, though planting new trees, flowers, and shrubs can help with improving the overall beauty of the area, it isn’t a sustainable strategy since it won’t thrive as well as native vegetation. Additionally, it will require a lot of maintenance, which means that it will require the use of chemicals and other substances that could pollute our environment.

6. Structure + Nature

You might have seen a lot of pictures of building with trees on the roofs or balconies, and if so, you should know that this is commonly referred to as ‘biophilic’ design and architecture. Simply said, it’s a practice of incorporating nature such as shrubs and trees into the structure.

This won’t only make the construction Eco-friendly, but it could act as a green area in large cities or it could be used for blending the building with the existing flora, fauna, and landscape. Walls with greenery, as well as roof gardens are only a few things that could incorporate greenery with minimal space utilized.

Source: Ramboll

7. Buildings Will Be Reused as Well

Reusing buildings or as it is also commonly referred to as ‘adaptive reuse’ is the practice of completely remodeling and modifying an existing structure to fit specific requirements and needs with new and innovative features and functions. For example, reusing historical and old structure is a perfect way to give purpose to the site, which would probably be left unused and in bad shape.

This won’t only preserve materials and precious resources, but it will also provide a new means to the existing structure and it will allow individuals to preserve the cultural importance of a particular location and structure – which is something that is quite important for a lot of people worldwide.


An increasing number of architects and investors are looking for ways to make their buildings sustainable. And, as you were able to read, there is a wide range of trends that can allow them to create buildings that are environmentally-friendly, that generate less waste, and that focus on preserving native vegetation and resources.

So, now that you’re aware of all the emerging trends for sustainable architecture, you might not want to lose any more of your time. Instead, you might want to do a little bit more digging and find out what other things can help make a building more Eco-friendly and sustainable.

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