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The
emerging population growth and globalization resulted to a major increase in
demand for goods and services. This growth has effect of the governments and
municipalities capacity to meet the demands for resources but also to manage
the increase waste of resources having as a result major environmental issues created.

 

The major
impact on the environment during the last decades have raised a global concern
and awareness with regards to various factors to be applied which will enable
to address the need to produce sustainable and environmental friendly goods and
services.

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Real estate
construction and development is one of the major reasons where non-renewable
resources and materials are used in the construction process. A huge impact on
the environment is caused by the construction industries. As a result, appropriate
measures need to be taken and a completely different approach in the
construction industry needs to be followed from very beginning of the architectural
design of the property to the very end of the construction and life of the building.
Various parameters were set to be followed in order to construct sustainable
and environmental friendly buildings.

 

Sustainable
development implies that it is the ability to meet the current needs without
endangering the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

 

Sustainable
development can be divided into three categories such as the Environmental category
concerning the living conditions of people and species in the short and long
run, the Economy which affects the quality of work and standard of living and
lastly the Society promoting a fair and secure society.

 

In order to
develop sustainable and environmental friendly projects some basic principles
as analysed below need to be followed.

 

The
construction of smaller buildings will enable to reduce the use of
non-renewable natural resources and less land to be used. It has been
identified that often big buildings have large unused spaces consuming large
unnecessary amount of energy. Smaller constructions consume less energy for
heating and cooling systems having lower environmental impact. Buildings having
common walls between them do also benefit from lower heat loss in the winter
and less energy consumption for cooling in the summer months and also the fact
that these buildings share the same building blocks less natural resources are
used.

 

The use of
recyclable and renewable materials is an important factor during the
construction process. It is crucial to select the right materials that will
enable the energy conservation and use of less natural resources during the
construction phase. Materials such as stone and wood can be reused in other
constructions and in such a way reduce the use of construction materials and
hence energy. The energy consumed during the extraction and collection of
building materials is divided in to two phases. The first phase is when the
actual material is extracted and the second phase is the actual transfer and
maintenance of the material.

 

The use of
wood is considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly material not
only because it is a reusable material but also because it provides an
aesthetic development offering a pleasant and environmental friendly
atmosphere. It is however, very important to use the wood from specified
forests where trees are replanted and not using wood from forests in restricted
areas with low green areas. In addition, in order to reduce the transportation
costs and hence the CO2 emissions and energy saving it is proposed to use wood
as materials from forests which are from nearby areas.

 

The
implementation of water collection systems is a very important factor to be
maintained in sustainable developments. The water collection and reservation
has been a problem for many years especially in countries such as Bahrain. It
is very important to identify efficient ways to manage water consumption and
its recycling. Water collection, transportation and clearance require large
amounts of energy until will reach its final destination and hence consumption.

 

Collection
of rain water may reduce the consumption of potable water by using the rain
water collected for purposes that do not require clean potable water. Rain
water may also enable the protection of groundwater and reduce the risk of
flooding.

 

Low maintenance
cost and demolition costs can be achieved by choosing the correct materials
which can be used in the long run and at the same time will not require large
amount of energy to be used for the operation and maintenance of the building.

 

It is very
important to consider the re-usage of old buildings before their demolition and
proceeding with new constructions. In the case when a building can be
maintained and renovated with comparatively lower financial costs and energy
consumption, no new constructions need to be developed. The Trade Center of
Bahrain has been constructed/redeveloped from an old existing shopping mall.
Renovation of old building requires less energy consumption than from
constructing a new building but also helps to preserve the history and culture
of a country.

 

It is a
global concern what negative effect on the ozone the non-controlled emissions have
that many industries led to the destruction of ozone. Reduction of chemicals
that destroy the ozone by using latest renewable energy technologies and
materials will reduce the impact on the ozone and help in the recovery of the
ozone with the passage of time.

 

The conservation
of the natural environment is also one of the environmental factors that
provides a feeling of harmony and warmth to the residents and the visitors.

 

Sustainable
development incorporates also the creation of good public transportation
network and the reduction of private car usage. New sustainable building should
be built near already established public services in order to disencourage the
use of private cars.

 

It
is important to provide public transport system which is cheap, simple in use
and comfortable. High density residential areas should provide sufficient
public transportation and relevant stations which can be used by the population
and be accessible by short walking distance.

 

The
effective design of public transportation reduces air pollution and CO2
emissions. New building constructions need to offer efficient and effective
public transportation systems to their residents or visitors which will enable
them to travel without using private vehicle.

 

The
design of buildings and communities should always be based on the climate of
each region. The orientation of the building and the openings of the building
are the main factors aimed to maximize the utilization of the available
environmental natural resources such as sun, wind/air, water and ground. The
BWTC has a perfect orientation facing north from which the air flows.

 

The
development of buildings should always provide good quality of life. The
quality of life comprises mainly from factors such as education, health,
calmness, entertainment, peace and overall the sense of safety.

 

Properties
built near schools, professional bodies, supermarkets and other amenities
offering entertainment abilities offer better quality of life to their
residents. It is very important for the residents to be able to find
professional opportunities near to their house and a school for their children
which can be reached by a short walk or drive.

 

In
addition, the quality of people’s life increases when they feel secure for
themselves and their children. It is therefore very important to build and
maintain secure neighborhoods with low crime rates which will enable their
residents to feel safe and hence promote them to walk on the pedestrian roads
or on bikes using specially designated biking roads and in such a way reduce
energy consumption and lower emissions.

 

The
creation of landmarks and elimination of blocked sidewalks will encourage
people to move by foot without having the fear to get lost. Also, the
limitation of usage of heavy vehicles in the urban center will provide more
space for pedestrians and more pleasant environment with less noise and
emission pollution.

 

It
is important to understand that architects can not however have control over
the above mentioned factors and that employment opportunities, good quality
education and other mentioned above facilities.

 

In
addition, providing the residents the possibility to participate in the design
of the site promotes a sense of responsibility and passion for their houses and
the nearby area. People tend to be happier when they feel that they have a say
and that they can offer their help.

 

By
participating in the overall design will also enable the residents to
understand better the sustainability factors and their importance for the
environment and the overall wellbeing. New constructions can not be sustainable
only from the architectural development but it is a collaborative effort by all
the stakeholders which requires teamwork between all the stakeholders.

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