Chapter 1IntroductionIntroduction”To have risked so much in our efforts to mold nature to our satisfaction and yet to have failed in achieving our goal would indeed by the final irony
Chapter 1IntroductionIntroduction”To have risked so much in our efforts to mold nature to our satisfaction and yet to have failed in achieving our goal would indeed by the final irony. Yet this, it seems, is our situation.”, an excerpt from Rachel Carson CITATION Car62 l 13321 (Carson, 1962) ‘s phenomenal book, Silent Spring that sparked the flame of the global movement to conserve the environment. The said book was named one of the most influential books in the scientific world and has raised many environmental arguments throughout the decades which helped established the people’s right to a clean environment.
Climate change and Global warming are not new concepts presented to the public. As early as the late 1890s, scientists already predicted that a decline in the overall health of our planet will occur in the next century. Though they were not the firsts to do so, both CITATION Joh72 l 13321 (Sawyer, 1972) and CITATION Wal75 l 13321 (Broecker, 1975) predicted that a change of climate in a global scale will occur due to human activities. This concerned the public, causing global organizations to form agreements to take actions into preserving the environment. Numerous agreements were formed, but the most successful ones are the mitigation of ozone depletion or the Vienna Convention of 1985 and the regulation of acid rain on a national and regional level or the Montreal Protocol of 1987
In the present day, the Earth’s condition is far from healthy or even recovering. Carbon emission has increased reaching 404 parts-per-million, 6% jump from the past decade which was 382 PPM, meaning more heat is trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. The surface temperatures global are increasing at an alarming rate and will continue to do so in the upcoming years according to CITATION NAS16 l 13321 (NASA/GISS, 2016). Though knowledge on environmental problems have expanded and new technologies are being developed and formed to conform to the said global challenges, the fate of the planet Earth is still at large due to its inhabitants pulling the planet past its quota. But like CITATION Car62 l 13321 (Carson, 1962) said in Silent Spring, “The choice after all, is ours to make.”
Background of the StudyTo simply put it, global warming is rapid rise of surface temperature globally. The fastest rate of its instantaneous upsurge was recorded to have occurred over the last decade and scientist predicted that the global temperature over the next few decades is going nowhere but up. What causes this phenomenon is the greenhouse effect, which is basically when air pollutants like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and other greenhouse gases all clump up in the Earth’s troposphere. These gases are responsible for heating the Earth through absorption of solar radiation and light. Usually, after disseminating heat, the radiation produced would eventually leave the atmosphere, but since they’re abundant now, they tend to build up and trap the heat, making the Earth hotter than necessary. CITATION Ama16 l 13321 (MacMillan, 2016)Who are the culprits of climate change? It is in no doubt that human activities are the main source of the increase of GHG in the atmosphere over the past century. A huge chuck of it is from transportation, energy usage, and the industry, while partially, though equally damaging, are agriculture and buildings CITATION Uni16 l 13321 (USEPA, 2016). Over the past century, several sectors of the planet has suffered the consequences of this phenomenon and humans have relentlessly tried to reverse its effects. Global warming has greatly impacted not only the environment through melting ice caps, extreme natural calamities and disruption of biological systems, but the social systems as well that affects human greatly. Human health, Food production, and Water supply all have been compromised and are considered to be vulnerable. The
unpredicted and extreme weather that the environment is experiencing have damaged the health of the ecosystem needed for food production and water supply. CITATION Ros07 l 13321 (Rosenzweig & Casassa, 2007)Buildings being one of the major contributors in climate change must cope with these changes happening in our planet. Architects being the ones responsible for creating a built environment should not only design buildings fit for the needs of humans, should also consider the demands of the environment. Aside from lessening the environmental impacts of buildings by using alternative sources of energy and such, built environment also has the potential to address social issues, like aiding food production and securing water supply. With this potential, built environment has the power to not only save the environment but may revive it as well.
As of today, buildings are well on their way of using vertical and rooftop gardens to promote local food production in urban areas, through this, buildings are securing food supply and lessening their impacts in the urban heat island effect. As for water supply, Rainwater harvesting is now a system being used to acquire more clean water aside from the conventional groundwater. but what about the water that is currently being used and wasted throughout the building? This shall be further addressed later in the research paper. In the Philippines where multiple regions lack in clean water supply, but is a place that is prone to typhoons and heavy rainfalls CITATION Sop13 l 13321 (Brown, 2013), a study based on the maximization of water usage will be fitting for their situation.
Statement of the Problem
On a par with the Vitruvian triad, Strength, Function, and Beauty, a new criteria for a building should be added. Regenerative – in which the building adapts to the environment and enhances it ecologically throughout its entire lifespan CITATION VAM06 l 13321 (Metallinou, 2006). Built environment, like natural environment, should evolve overtime. Buildings are created to meet the needs of people but soon, if the environmental issues that the planet faces are not addressed, there would be no place and no natural resources left for future generations to use. If possible, built environment should compensate for the damages that human activities have caused, create better living conditions, and be self-sustaining to avoid further depletion of natural resources.
Which leads to the main question of this thesis, How can we maximize the water usage in buildings to achieve a closed loop waste-to-resource system?
Other questions that the paper aims to answer by the end of the a study are as follows:
How can it be possible to minimize water supply enough to fit the needs of the people and without compromising their lifestyle?
What additional spaces should be added in a building to facilitate such proposed system/design?
How can it be possible for mitigating measures like rainwater harvesting systems to be aesthetically pleasing?
What architectural style is best suited for buildings with mitigation measures?
What are the innovations and trends that may be incorporated in the design to preserve the environment while still serving the needs of the people?
Goal and ObjectivesThe main goal of this paper is to present a new approach that can be used in order to minimize the ecological damages caused by buildings, specifically on water resources. Not only would the approach lessen the large amount of water being wasted by buildings CITATION CBE12 l 13321 (CBECS, 2012), but it would also lessen the extraction of water from fresh groundwater, thus saving it from potential drought and contamination.
The following statements are the objectives to be achieved at the end of research conduction:
To critically assess existing approaches used for water supply and management in order to identify what is the most effective and efficient.
To provide an architectural design or system to aid buildings in recycling water and maximizing its potential usage without minimizing the usage of the people and compromising their needs.
To identify how to incorporate such mitigating measures without undermining the aesthetic of a building.
Significance of the ResearchThe findings to be gathered in this paper will be used to have a better understanding of the relationship between people, architecture, and the environment. Scarcity of water and the depletion of natural water resources in the Philippines are occurring faster than predicted. The total amount of clean and/or recyclable water that are wasted on and by buildings daily are enough to provide for people who lacks access from fresh water, but unfortunately due to lack of better and effective systems, this leaves those who are less fortunate with little and usually unfiltered water supply. This affects both the society and the environment, and architecture having an impact on both, could aid in preventing this ever-expanding problem. Further collected data and solutions to be made would be for advancement of the quality of buildings in the Philippines.
This research may be helpful for future researchers, students, and architects who are willing to learn more about and continue further studies on regenerative design, application of closed-loop waste to resource systems in structures, and architectural mitigating measures to minimize the ecological damages caused by buildings. More importantly, this research aims to be a stepping stone for other researchers in developing better living conditions for Filipinos who lack access of clean water.
Scope and limitations
In this study, The relationship between the environment, people, and architecture will be discussed. Moreover a search for a solution that architecture can bring to provide the needs of the people and preserve our dying environment, specifically on the scarcity of water and the rising demand of clean water in the Philippines. Furthermore, this paper will discuss on how can we maximize the water usage in buildings to avoid wastage of a scarce commodity without completely compromising the lifestyle of people.
Though the research might dabble on structural design, plumbing, and even method of constructions for any baselines and backup data, it will exclude any study on mechanical, cost estimates, and such. The study will be limited to proposing a system or a design to aid buildings in catering the water demand of people while limiting its harm on the environment.
Different variables due to human activities are currently responsible for global warming, which results to multiple problems to the environment. As an outcome, the overall condition of the environment fluctuates, and this affects human beings. To compensate, different inventions and innovations are made and multiple researches are being conducted to stop the complications created by man, reverse the impacts, and try to restore the planet back to its normal condition. Several sectors are affected by these problems such as food production, human health, human settlements, and most importantly, water supply. As surface temperature rises, the natural state of rainfall, river flow, and water evaporation changes. This leads to warmer water temperature which changes the water quality, rising of sea level reduces groundwater and turns freshwater into saltwater consequently reducing water supply, augmented evaporation decreases the efficiency of dams, and on top of all that, the increase in population means higher human demands making the existing water systems inadequate to supply the future needs CITATION ZWK07 l 13321 (Kundzewicz, 2007).
Therefore, creating an approach to that maximizes the water usage in a building could minimize the wastage of a finite resource, enhance the condition of current groundwater resources in the Philippines and, in the long run, would save our natural resources.
center35257Fig 1.1 – Research Paradigm
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1.1 Research Paradigm
Fig 1.1 – Research Paradigm
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1.1 Research Paradigm
BIBLIOGRAPHY Broecker, W. (1975). Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming? .
Brown, S. (2013). The Philippines Is the Most Storm-Exposed Country on Earth. Time Magazine.
Carson, R. (1962). Silent Spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
CBECS. (2012). 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey: Water Consumption in Large Buildings Summary. Washington: U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Kundzewicz, Z. (2007). Freshwater Resources and their Management. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
MacMillan, A. (2016). Global Warming 101. Natural Resources Defense Council.
Metallinou, V. (2006). Ecological Propriety and Architecture. Thessaloniki: WIT Press.
NASA/GISS. (2016). Global Temperature. New York: NASA.
Rosenzweig, C., & Casassa, G. (2007). Assessment of Observed Changes and Responses in Natural and Managed Systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sawyer, J. (1972). Nature: Climate Predictions.
USEPA. (2016). Contributors to the Greenhouse Gas Effect. Washington: United States Environmental Protection Agency.