Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
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Sustainable and Ecological Designs of the Built Environment

Authors: Charles Mbohwa, Alexander Mudiwakure


This paper reviews designs of the built environment from a sustainability perspective, emphasizing their importance in achieving ecological and sustainable economic objectives. The built environment has traditionally resulted in loss of biodiversity, extinction of some species, climate change, excessive water use, land degradation, space depletion, waste accumulation, energy consumption and environmental pollution. Materials used like plastics, metals, bricks, concrete, cement, natural aggregates, glass and plaster have wreaked havoc on the earth´s resources, since they have high levels of embodied energy hence not sustainable. Additional resources are consumed during use and disposal phases. Proposed designs for sustainability solutions include: ecological sanitation and eco-efficiency systems that ensure social, economic, environmental and technical sustainability. Renewable materials and energy systems, passive cooling and heating systems and material and energy reduction, reuse and recycling can improve the sector. These ideas are intended to inform the field of ecological design of the built environment.

Keywords: Ecological Sanitation, Ecological and sustainability designs, environmental degradation, energy use efficiency

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