Sustainability has become an increasingly popular and important topic in all aspects of life. But why does sustainability matter and what does it have to do with architecture and interior design?
According to Worldmeters, the estimated average population growth is 81 million people per year. Countries all over the world are experiencing extreme urbanization and overdemand for building materials. For instance, the number of buildings planned to be built in Africa in the next 15 to 20 years is equal to the ones that have been built in Europe in the last 200 years. The cement consumed by China in the past 3 years is more than the amount which has been used in the US in the last 100 years. Moreover, the estimated waste which comes from construction and demolition occupies more than 4,300 acres at a depth of 50 feet, generating more than 3 billion square yards of landfill each year. Sadly, the earth’s recovery speed cannot keep up with the speed of human overexploitation of resources and landfill waste. There is a need to rethink and find solutions when facing scarcity and pollution caused by non-recyclable materials. This is why it is important to bring the idea of sustainability into architecture and interior design.
Sustainable architecture strives to minimise the negative impact of buildings on the environment using materials, energy, and development space efficiently and appropriately. Hence, to achieve sustainability, design must play a crucial role. Resilience and different approaches need to be considered to reduce energy and water consumption throughout the lifecycle of building materials from manufacturing, to daily use, to disposal. With more recyclable materials in use, there will be less landfill. As a result, the idea of sustainability can reshape the design of a building, the material it uses and how to recycle it. How and where we can live in the future can partly be decided by the designs of architects, urban planners, and engineers.
At Mykon, we are trying to do our part and commit to helping achieve sustainability in the architecture and interior design industries. The aluminium honeycomb core we use in our panels not only helps to reduce cost and weight but is also highly recyclable.
Our B-Clear panels, which were used by architect John Christophers for his zero-carbon house located in Birmingham, UK, are another perfect example of Mykon’s participation in sustainable design and construction. The house required the use of many different and unusual materials to generate at least as much energy as it absorbed. A floor panel made from B-Clear, with its 78% light transmission rate, was used in one area of the house to naturally illuminate a dark space underneath the staircase. The panels were also used to help stop heat escaping from the house as part of a draught door and floor-to-ceiling-height panel with a sliding door at the bottom. When shut, this door combined with the panel works to stop heat escaping from the house. The panels have better insulating properties than glass alone yet let through nearly as much light. The project was completed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 and has been tested by scientists to prove that it can remain carbon neutral even in the Arctic environment. Our B-Clear panels played and still play an important role by reducing the need for electric lighting and allowing savings in heating costs.
The principles of sustainable design inform our work at every level. We collaborate closely with our clients to maximise sustainability through building forms, materials and associated services e.g. BREEAM. BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings.
Sustainability in architecture and interior design has the capacity to rebuild our lifestyle with less energy consumption and waste generation. Sustainable design is just getting started and still has a long way to go. Mykon has never been as willing to join the construction of a sustainable future as now.