Fundamentals from the Father of Green Architecture
Green Architecture isn’t new. Certainly, the function of integrating sustainability and eco-friendliness into the spaces and structures we populate is surging in prominence as we expand ever outward, but the idea wasn’t the result of modern necessity. Green Architecture at its most fundamental, that being to develop our built environment in a way that capitalizes on our natural surroundings while maintaining harmony with nature, can arguably be dated as far back as the Roman Empire.
As the practice matures, efforts also take the form of urban enhancements that harness the benefits of nature and symbiotic relationships. But ancient history and modern functionality are different topics entirely, and real estate professionals stand to gain a great deal from following trends and advancements on the latter.
The definition and father of Green Architecture
Two components of Green Architecture are the use of responsible eco-friendly resources and materials, and harnessing environmental enhancements and energy sources that are renewable and practical. Generally, the first is a great deal more common and tends to precede the second.
When both of these objectives are met, the resulting construct is indeed a viable part of its environment and can peacefully coexist there. At the forefront of this movement was Frank Lloyd Wright, whose philosophies and practical application of Green Architecture opened the door to a new dialogue between nature and design.
Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture
Consider the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Home in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, the school’s walls consist entirely of local desert rock. Wright’s taste for using materials that were accessible and local to the environment influenced the decision, which in turn influences the students who study there. In concert with a locally dug and sustained water source the school is in perfect harmony with its desert environment - capitalizing on what the surrounding landscape had to provide, without disrupting it.
It didn’t stop there. Wright’s mind for cost-effective utilities brought the manipulation of sunlight through intelligent roof design into the equation, illuminating or heating a space without flooding a room with light. Similarly, wind sources would be harnessed not only to provide energy, but at times cool.
Modern real estate
More commonly today, Green Architecture is lending itself to the practical application of plant life as a means to clean our air. Nevertheless, Wright’s position and practices have carried themselves into current real estate and architecture long after his passing in 1959. To consider how one might leverage the natural environment’s great assets, rather than displace their inconveniences, is at the forefront of sustainable land use and the broad array of interesting projects that come with it.
For more information on Green Architecture, sustainable land use in real estate, and how to get started, contact the Homburg Institute’s faculty, here!