Can architecture be a health factor on people’s life? Can it help sustain Environment?
The article describes about Building Healthy and Breathable buildings for a healthy life and also how it sustains the environment. The article is written on what I think of a healthy building, also concentrating on environmental sustainability via buildings.Can it really help sustain environment? (not written based on any ‘Green Building’ ratings but on the philosophy that what we take from our Earth should go again to Earth without causing any damage).
The concept of healthy or breathable buildings which I’ve written here isn’t according to the definitions, rather just what I think of it. Healthy or breathable buildings should be healthy in literal sense and Environmental friendly in every sense. Due to technology and people’s building psychology they today have a odd belief that in a modern RCC structure is rich to live in & Mud buildings or other natural materials built structures are not at all rich to live in. Unknown of the fact that, living actually into a house built by natural materials are healthy for one’s own life, & on the contrary living in a modern RCC house is very unhealthy. It may be vague but true. At least in India living in a RCC structure is believed a ‘class’ and considered as a “pakka house” (solid and permanent) but ignoring the fact people are building RCC buildings all over, where I think should not happen.
One of the perfect example of a healthy building is ‘Nanau’ in Kerela which is made of adobe and other natural building materials. The house is constructed by natural building materials and its a self sufficient, low cost house.- It is designed in such a way that all the natural light comes inside. -Also walls are constructed of adobe so there’s a good temperature difference between the inside and outside. -There’s also a sustainable fridge which is constructed inside the ground with clay covering on it. -The house not only keeps the interior space healthy and breathable for the structure but also sustains the environment after its break down. It runs on natural sources which doesn’t harm anything in and around the surrounding. -The house owners Hari & Asha believes, “what comes from nature should go to nature”.
And then we are inside RCC structures where while entering a “new place” we smell toxic PVC paints which are not good for letting it inside our lungs. Harmful chemicals which are present in waterproofing and other polishes and varnishes creating health problems for an individual. And now imagine this…. You are entering a Adobe structure truly a natures paradise experiencing Earthy aura , plants all around, melodies chirping of birds, which feels so soothing ,it not only enhances your mood but only is harmless. The vibe created by nature while we are inside feels different as compared to, “a not so natural built structure”.
-Breathability factor of an Adobe wall is much more than that of a cement plastered wall, where an Adobe wall allows air flow with fresh air due to porous walls, on the contrary a cement plastered wall will in a way affect the air entering, by the toxins present into the walls. That’s just about walls. Similarly, whole structure is built of toxins such as LEAD, PVC, MERCURY, EPOXY, chemical ingredients in paints, etc.-Speaking about environmental factors, concrete is one of the largest producer of carbon emission in the world. Instead, if we use Adobe or other things for construction there’ll be much less Carbon emissions as compared.
-Last but not the least the energy consumption in architecture is tremendous. In a natural building the energy used is used in the form of good cosmic energy. -For a healthy building to function, design can be made more active, there can be use of staircases instead of lifts, stairs cases can be constructed attractive and inviting so people tend to use them more…. instead of lifts’. -Adding open spaces & landscaping it.-Trees can be a major factor fora healthy design. When kept indoors, not only they purify the air but also creates an optimistic aura. It can be linked to eco therapy. These practices existed traditionally & by knowing its importance they are termed as new modern therapies.
‘Architecture plays an important role in environmental sustainability, so building by thinking healthy, staying healthy we need to have a good environment for a good cause’.
To conclude, there are numerous healthy buildings which are constructed in the remote areas, but unfortunately they are not acknowledged yet. They are there…. sustaining and giving healthy life to the people, it may be remote, it may be in suburban…. but not famous yet.
The ways which I have described, sustainable and healthy are my personal opinions & beliefs and not by the rating systems.
Finally ‘Architecture can be healthy’.