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The criteria for evaluating an aesthetically pleasing and environmentally harmonious green architectural project

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Today, with the rapid development of urban areas, the demand for constructing green architectural projects is increasing. Green architecture is not only aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally friendly, contributing to human health protection. Therefore, the evaluation and selection of green architectural projects need to be based on specific criteria to ensure both quality and aesthetic appeal.

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Concept of Green Architecture and Criteria

Green architecture shares many similarities with sustainable architecture. However, these two concepts are entirely different.

What is Green Architecture?

According to various research documents, there is currently no exact definition of “green architecture.” However, it can be understood that green architecture is fundamentally a new trend in the design and construction of architectural projects. Its purpose is to minimize the project’s impact on the environment and natural landscapes.

  • Constituent Factors: GREEN ARCHITECTURE = ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN + GREEN CONSTRUCTION

Green architecture or green design is a construction method aimed at minimizing the adverse effects of construction projects on human health and the environment. A “green” architect or designer will strive to protect the air, water, and soil by selecting environmentally friendly construction materials and methods.

In the process of urbanization, growth, and population development, the demand for energy use and environmental pollution is increasing. In the face of increasingly complex climate change, many strategies are being researched and proposed to move towards sustainable development. These include green architectural trends such as:

  • Ecological architecture
  • Climate-responsive architecture
  • Energy-efficient buildings
  • Environmental architecture

Each trend has different goals, but they also share similarities and close relationships. These trends are increasingly being applied and becoming popular worldwide.

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5 Criteria for Green Architecture in Vietnam

The Vietnam Association of Architects states that there are 5 criteria for Green Architecture in Vietnam, including Sustainable location; Efficient use of resources, energy; Indoor environmental quality; Advanced, distinctive architecture; Social and humanistic sustainability.

  1. Sustainable location
  • Goal: Create a harmonious, sustainable landscape, minimize negative impacts between architectural structures and the surrounding landscape, and utilize and enhance natural elements beneficial to the human living environment.
  1. Efficient use of resources, energy
  • Goal: Improve efficiency, conserve resources, energy; Limit the impact on the natural environment and reduce greenhouse gas effects in the use of land, water, energy, materials, etc., for architectural development.
  1. Indoor environmental quality
  • Goal: Create a high-quality indoor environment, ensuring safety, hygiene, convenience, and efficient use of the architectural structure.
  1. Advanced and Identifiable Architecture
  • Goal: Aim for progressive architecture while incorporating the inheritance of traditional values, creating the distinctive architectural identity of Vietnam.
  1. Social and Humanistic Sustainability
  • Goal: Architectural development must be aligned with the goal of establishing, preserving, and nurturing a stable and sustainable social and humanistic environment.

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Details of Criteria for Evaluating Beautiful Green Architectural Projects

To evaluate a green architectural project for its aesthetic and environmental harmony, we need to consider the following factors:

Structural Durability

Durability is a crucial factor in assessing the quality of a green architectural project. A good green architectural project should have high durability, capable of withstanding the rigors of weather and other environmental factors. To ensure durability, construction materials need to be carefully chosen, and construction quality must be closely monitored.

Some environmentally friendly construction materials, such as bricks, natural stone, and recycled wood, have higher durability compared to artificial materials like cement or plastic. Additionally, the use of modern construction techniques also enhances the durability of the structure, such as reinforced concrete construction methods.

To assess the durability of a green architectural project, we can examine the technical specifications of construction materials, evaluate the construction process, and check the durability after completing the project.

Aesthetic and Environmental Harmony

Aesthetic and environmental harmony is an indispensable factor in a green architectural project. A beautiful green architectural project must strike a balance between architectural, landscape, and environmental elements. Architectural designs need to blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape without disrupting the natural scenery. Additionally, green elements such as trees, flowers, and water should be incorporated into the design to create a harmonious and tranquil living environment.

A beautiful green architectural project is not just a building or a green park but also a harmonious combination of architectural and natural elements. For example, a green architectural project can be designed with different layers, creating a visually appealing overall picture. Alternatively, a project can be constructed around a green area, creating a refreshing and cool living space.

To evaluate the aesthetic and environmental harmony of a green architectural project, we can consider the following factors:

  • Overall design of the project: including both architecture and landscape.
  • Integration of architectural and natural elements: greenery, flowers, water, etc.
  • Color and shape of the project: does it harmonize with the surrounding landscape?
  • Diversity and locality: does the project align with local culture and architecture?

Effectiveness of Renewable Energy Utilization

One of the crucial criteria for evaluating a green architectural project is the effectiveness of renewable energy utilization. Green architectural projects are designed to harness and reuse renewable energy sources such as sunlight, wind, water, etc., to minimize the consumption of non-renewable energy sources.

To assess the effectiveness of renewable energy utilization in a green architectural project, we can examine the following factors:

Interaction with Nature

An effective green architectural project in using renewable energy must interact well with nature. This means that the project should be designed to harness energy from the surrounding environment.

For example, a project can be designed with large windows to utilize natural sunlight and ventilation. Or a project can be built near water sources such as rivers, lakes, or the sea to harness energy from water.

Diversity and Locality

To optimize the efficiency of renewable energy utilization, green architectural projects need to be designed to suit local conditions. For example, a project in a tropical region may be designed with large windows to harness sunlight and wind, while a project in a cold region may be designed with a geothermal system to utilize energy from the ground.

Diversity in the use of renewable energy sources also helps maximize efficiency. For instance, a project can use solar energy to generate electricity and wind energy to cool the interior space.

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Technology and Green Materials Used

A beautiful green architectural project should use green technologies and materials to minimize environmental impact and optimize energy usage. These technologies and materials may include:

  • Geothermal systems: help utilize heat from the ground to cool the interior space.
  • Solar energy harvesting systems: generate electricity from sunlight.
  • Environmentally friendly building materials: bricks, natural stone, recycled wood, etc.
  • Wind energy harvesting systems: generate electricity from wind power.
  • Rainwater harvesting systems: collect rainwater for activities such as watering plants or cooling the interior space.

Recyclability and Reusability

A beautiful green architectural project needs to have the ability to recycle and reuse materials to minimize waste and resource consumption. Building materials such as bricks, natural stone, and recycled wood can be reused in constructing other projects. Additionally, materials like plastic or steel can be recycled for reuse.

To assess the recyclability and reusability of a green architectural project, we can consider the following factors:

  • Feasibility of recycling and reusing construction materials.
  • Diversity and locality of recycled and reused materials.
  • Effectiveness in reducing waste and resource consumption.

Feasibility and Cost

A beautiful green architectural project needs to be feasible and cost-effective for practical implementation. This means the project must be designed and constructed according to current standards and regulations while maintaining technical and financial feasibility.

To assess the feasibility and cost of a green architectural project, factors such as the following can be considered:

  • Technical feasibility: does the project meet current standards and regulations?
  • Initial investment cost: is the cost for construction and design within the budget?
  • Operating and maintenance costs: are the costs to maintain and use the project over an extended period reasonable?

Impact on Health and Comfort for Users

A beautiful green architectural project should have a positive impact on the health and comfort of its users. This means the project must be designed to create a comfortable and safe living and working environment for people.

To assess the impact on health and comfort of a green architectural project, factors such as the following can be considered:

  • Indoor air quality: does the project have a good ventilation and air filtration system to ensure indoor air quality?
  • Temperature comfort: is the project designed to be comfortable in terms of temperature throughout the seasons?
  • Use of materials not harmful to health: does the project use materials that are not harmful to human health?

In summary, to evaluate a beautiful green architectural project, various factors need to be considered, including durability, aesthetic appeal and harmony with the environment, efficiency in the use of renewable energy, interaction with nature, diversity and locality, technology and green materials used, recyclability and reusability, feasibility and cost, and impact on health and comfort for users. Only when all these factors are well-evaluated and executed can a new green architectural project be considered beautiful and effective.

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