- Introduction to ecofriendly design
This term referres to the construction of buildings,products and places through processes that are sensitive to environmental issues.Eco-design is also known as "green design" ,"design for environment" or "sustainable design" given that it relates people to the natural environment.It ranges from the creation of simple objects for everyday use till the design of buildings and cities.Several fields are getting involved on a daily basis such as:architecture,interior design,fashion design even art.
Principles of eco-design
The most important principle of green design is the respectful creation which has nothing to do with the violation of what was there before. We can not talk about sustainable design if we are not able to consider the ecological cost of our constructions.From the macroscopic to the microscopic world, green design is about trying to establish a reasonable bond between our expectations and the result in terms of ecological impact.
One of the fundamental principles of eco-design is based on the use of materials that can be recycled and reused in the future.In this way there's little energy which is required during the process of their "production".
Furthermore it is clear that the better the materials,in terms of durability and quality, the more long-lasting the products are and their replacement is less frequent.
By choosing to create in an eco friendly way, a higher effectiveness and efficiency are achieved in terms of energy and materials.Moreover through sustainable design, the impact on the enivironment is minimized so we can all try for a "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." This definition was created in 1987 at the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission).
But green design is not only about concerving natural resources,is more than that!It's about creating better living conditions which protect better your health.
"There is a big creative challenge in finding your place with respect among all that which was there before you arrived.."
In most interiors, plants have certainly a very important role: not only they are part of our interior decoration but it seems that certain houseplants purify the air of our homes. Infact the presence of elements, such as formaldehyde,trichloroethlylen and benzene in all indoor environments, underline the importance of finding a solution to indoor air pollution which is a real fact.
At the same time,it looks like that these are of the easiest plants to grow!!!
It has to be stressed that formaldehyde is an important chemical used widely by industry to manufacture building materials and numerous household products.Sources of formaldehyde in the home include building materials, smoking, household products, and the use of un-vented, fuel-burning appliances, like gas stoves or kerosene space heaters.
As far as it regards benzene people can be exposed to it indoors at home, where the air can contain higher levels of benzene than outdoor air, from products such as glue, paint, furniture wax, and detergent.
Approximately half the national exposure to benzene comes from smoking cigarettes or being exposed to cigarette smoke, indoors or outdoors.
Here below you will find the list of the twelve plants which where tested during the NASA/ALCA research [in a sealed experimental chamber during a 24 hour exposure period]:
• Bamboo palm, Chamaedorea seifritzii
• Chinese evergreen, Aglaonema modestum
• English ivy
• Fiscus, Benjamina
• Gerbera daisy, Transvaal daisy
• Dracaena 'Janet Craig'
• Dracaena 'Marginata'
• Corn cane, Dracaena massangeana
• Mother-in-law's tongue, Sansevieria laurentii
• Peace lily, Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa'
• Pot mum, Chrysanthemum
It was found that to remove Trichloroethylene concentrations from the air,Gerbera daisy, Dracaena Marginata, Peace lily (Spathiphyllum), Dracaena 'Janet Craig' and Bamboo palm should be used.
Moreover to remove Benzene concentrations in the air the most effective plants are the following: Bamboo palm, Dracaena 'Janet Craig', Mother-in-law's tongue, Dracaena Marginata, Peace lily and green Spider plant.
Part of the results of the research regarded the removing of Formaldehyde and the top seven houseplants were found to be the following: Bamboo palm, Dracaena 'Janet Craig', Mother-in-law's tongue, Dracaena Marginata, Peace lily, green Spider plant, and golden pathos.
It is estimated, as a result of this research, that 15 to 20 of these test houseplants can purify the interior of a typical house of 1,800 square feet.
- Eco-design Books
The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design by Sandra F. Mendler
The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design
by Alison Kwok (Author), Walter Grondzik (Author)
Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises
by Architecture for Humanity (Author)
Green By Design: Creating a Home for Sustainable Living by Angela Dean
Design for Sustainability: A Sourcebook of Integrated, Eco-logical Solutions by Janis Birkeland
Environmentally Responsible Design: Green and Sustainable Design for Interior Designers by Louise Jones
Sustainable Design: Ecology, Architecture, and Planning by Daniel E. Williams, David W. Orr, and Donald Watson
Experimental Eco-Design: Product, Architecture, Fashion by Cara Brower, Rachel Mallory, and Zachary Ohlman
Small Spaces: Good Ideas by Cristina Paredes
Ten Shades of Green: Architecture and the Natural World by Peter Buchanan and Kenneth Frampton