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Concept of sustainable development and green structures are very critical in the practice of structural designing. In this regard, structural designers should come up with designs that conform to the set regulations and establish a need for environment protection and rehabilitation. In this regard, structural designers should acknowledge that the buildings or structures designed should add value or maintain the standards of the biodiversity. Considering the dynamisms of the terms of the environmental laws, structural engineers should significantly focus on this area when operating. Their undertakings should facilitate the reduction in carbon dioxide emission from the buildings as well as rational utilisation of energy. Additionally, designed buildings should be comfortable for the individuals who occupy or use them. Furthermore, environmentally conscious and sustainable buildings are efficient throughout the buildings’ lifecycles. A building’s lifecycle constitutes of six stages. The initial stage is the design stage followed by the construction, operation, maintenance, renovation stages in that order. The final stage is the demolition stage (Curley 2006, p. 98). Structural designers are expected to be knowledgeable as they are involved in the initiation and establishment of measures that control structure development and usage.
The green design demands a holistic thinking and understanding between the designers and the client on the perspective of environmental ideals. An effective green design demands the consideration of various aspects of finance and the reactions of the workers involved in the project. Therefore, the designer should understand the costs and capital of running the project with regard to energy use, environmental impact and ecological demands. In this perspective, an open-minded and flexible designer would ensure that the environmental issues are considered and the resulting structures embody the green principles (James 1996, p. 170).
In understating the need for sustainable development, designers are able to predict the market needs that conform to the government regulation. In this regard, designers consider the economies of fuel bills, market advantage and greater productivity of the workforce. Green designs ensure lower long-term exposure to environmental or health problems (Barber 2002, p. 185). Green structures mainly seek to mitigate the risks with the outcomes of structures after their development. This aims at ensuring that green structures operate on cost effective and technology reliable means. Moreover, clients of the structural designer would benefit from the development of green structures since the structures would be very economical. This implies that financial gains over the running costs would be derived in the long-term compared to the initial investment. The sustainable properties of the particular building add advantage over other buildings or structures concerning the attraction of tenants or clients.
The need for green buildings not only is caused by their low-energy consumption, but also by other dimensions that correspond to the requirements of environmental and ecological regulations. Systematic analysis of the benefits that can be derived from the development of green structures demands understanding of certain elements. These are global warming, ozone layer depletion, biodiversity, product, miles and recycling (Nadel, 2004). Global warming results from the emission of toxic gases from buildings designed in a way that does not adopt measures to reduce pollution. In the end, it results in the depletion of the ozone layer and its accompanying impacts, which lead to adverse effects on the biodiversity and ecological conditions. In order to work with emphasis on the environmental standards, designers should advocate the use of local materials that do not cause pollution during transportation. At the same time, designers should embrace the need for recycling to minimise the chances of wastage and exhaustion of natural resources. In these ways, designers become enlightened in critical areas of environmental protection which helps them build ecological structures and correspond to interests of clients, workers, and other users of the building.