Environmentally Sustainable Desig Essay Example

7Engineering

ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE DESIGN

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Environmentally Sustainable Design

Environmentally sustainable design is the principle followed by scientists and engineers who engage in designing products, materials, processes and systems that are benign to the environment and also human health while putting into consideration economic and social factors. These sustainable designs are intended to help reduce or altogether eliminate the negative environmental impacts brought on by science and the processes always require the use of renewable sources. This paper discusses sustainable design with a focus on climate change and global warming, energy efficient designs, environmental sustainability and team work.

Topic 1: Climate Change and Global Warming

Sustainable technologies make use of little energy and do not deplete the natural resources or pollute the environment. They can also be used and recycled until the end of their useful life. Climate change and global warming has come about as a result of increasing human activities that have led to the rise in the levels of concentration of green house gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. These gases are made by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and half of the gases emitted remain in the atmosphere while the rest is absorbed by the oceans and vegetation. These extra gases in the atmosphere cause the climate to warm up, leading to melting of ice in the arctic and warmer continents while rising sea levels are being experienced and expansion of desserts. The changes could lead to extreme weather conditions with heavy snowfall, rainfall, heat waves, droughts, ocean acidification and even extinction of species due to the changes and shifts in temperature.

In an effort to counter these changes there has been the use of environmentally sustainable designs to help reduce the pollution of the environment while also adapting to the unavoidable changes that will eventually happen. These include green building, use of renewable energy sources, sustainable agriculture that focuses on soil conservation and control of pesticide use and even sustainable architecture that focuses on the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, substitute sources of energy like solar power and recycling of building materials. These designs also follow principles that emphasize on energy efficiency where manufacturing can be done with less energy, designs that can be recycled, low impact materials and design standards that are sustainable (Elliot 2012).

Topic 2: Sustainability and Environmental Sustainability

Sustainability is the ability of the biological systems to remain productive over an indefinite period of time. The principle behind sustainability is sustainable development that covers four categories which include economics, ecology, culture and politics. Economic growth that can be termed as an increase in quantity cannot be sustained indefinitely without the support of the ecological systems. Sustainable development should be our long term goal seeing as nature is the economy’s life support system. Meeting basic human needs without depleting the natural environment should be our main goal. Ignoring nature may lead to irreparable damage. Ecosystems that are healthy are needed for the guaranteed survival of life here on earth and this is where we see the need for environmental sustainability. Measures need to be taken to make sure we are giving back to the environment not just taking form it without looking for balance.

The environment needs to be sustained by the use of better methods of design that ensure there is minimal degrading. Environmental management should be emphasized with methods which include management of fresh water systems, land, the atmosphere and the oceans. In so doing we would ensure there is controlled use of the commodities while also looking at means of conserving them and replenishing them to maintain the eco system and organism survival. Emphasis should be placed on the management of blue and green water where blue water is the fresh water needed for human use and green water is soil water that is available for plants. Sustainable agriculture and organic farming that involves controlled use of pesticides and fertilizers should be used to manage the use of land. Renewable energy is also a good idea to help reduce emission of green house gases to ensure the atmosphere is kept clean.

Topic 3: Energy Efficient Designs

Energy efficient designs are concerned with the use of designs that do not consume a lot of energy when providing produce or using services. These designs could be found in buildings, manufacturing process and many other areas of life. Green building promotes the use of other sources of energy such as the solar power in providing electricity for homes and factories alike. Use of renewable sources of energy like wind power is also an efficient use of energy that can be incorporated in different designs. Use of Led lights reduces the amount of energy needed for illumination. In using these energy efficient methods we find that there is reduced cost of energy that results in financial saving, it helps in the reduction of green house emissions that are produced in the quest for more energy needed in industrial processes. National security is also acquired by the use of efficient energy designs as there are reduced energy imports from other countries and with that there is reduced depletion of natural resources (Matthew et al 2009, 1117).

Building technologies that are energy efficient allow for the use of gadgets such as smart meters that allow users to see the impact of their energy use. There are also real time energy meters that help people save the amount of energy they use by limiting themselves. Transportation in urban cities also consumes a lot of energy with the use of trains that transport huge numbers of people constantly at all hours of the day. Energy consumption can be reduced by the use of designs that allow for walking and cycling. Tele commuting can also help conserve energy by allowing those who can work from home to do so instead of commuting to work every day.

Topic 4: Team Work

In designing products, materials, processes and systems that are benign to the environment there is the need for teamwork in order for these designs to work. People need to come together collectively to ensure the sustainable methods and designs are utilized to the best of their abilities to ensure sustainable development. There should be more emphasis on the consequences of the lack of teamwork as it would pull back development in the right course. Issues that have been raised in global climate summits should be taken seriously to ensure there are more efforts to save our eco-systems and the environment to allow for the sustainability of life on earth (Omer 2008, 2265).

Governments and individuals alike should play their part for the good of the planet. Some countries have gone on to impose energy taxes to ensure people reduce their energy consumption while they also explore new sources of energy that are renewable. The management of the environment should also be emphasized to ensure there is good outcome of sustainable development. It can be done by way of training programs where people can learn the tasks that they need to carry out to ensure they do not deplete the environment. Trainings should be given on matters of environmental management. That way people can learn how to conduct their farming activities, fresh water access, ocean proximity to living establishments and even sustainable designs in building to ensure they have solutions on the use of less energy, and construction of eco friendly buildings that emphasize on cooling systems and use of solar power to save energy.

In conclusion we see the need for sustainable development where there is conservation of the environment while we meet our needs without getting in the way of the ability of future generations to cater for their own needs. Importance should be given to the ability we possess to be able to meet our current needs while also making sure that resources remain to meet our future needs. It suggests that there is socio-economic development that sees to the well being of people and their quality of life. Development is then associated with social welfare goals and how they are arrived at in processes of decision making that touch on social and political matters. Sustainable development policies raise concerns on things that might cause setbacks in policy making while trying to understand the direct and indirect effects involved. Team work is crucial in ensuring the usefulness of this decision making. Scientists and governments alike should be involved in finding out the best ways to propel forward sustainable development. It means that there would be exploration of all the possible negative and positive effects before coming up with models that can help incorporate sustainability in aspects of our lives where there is need to conserve the environment to guarantee the future is better.

References

Elliott, J., 2012. An introduction to sustainable development. Routledge.

Matthew, R.A. and Hammill, A., 2009. Sustainable development and climate change. International Affairs85(6), pp.1117-1128.

Omer, A.M., 2008. Energy, environment and sustainable development. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews12(9), pp.2265-2300.