Alternative Energy Systems In Building Design

 Alternative Energy Systems In Building Design

Alternative Energy Systems In Building Design

Since the publication of the first edition of the Universal Design Handbook in 2001, the world of design has seen major transformations. In less than a decade, the world has experienced a century’s worth of change, the scope and diversity of which were unimaginable in 2001. Social, technological, economic, environmental, and legal changes have altered both the philosophical discourses and the physical practices of design disciplines at all scales.

In 1900, only 13 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas. In 2005, the world’s population reached the tipping point, as 49 percent of people lived in urban areas. With the publication of this book, the scale has shifted, and for the first time in world history, more people live in urban areas than nonurban areas (United Nations, 2008). As cities have grown, how have the roles of designers changed?

In 2006, the world output, a chief measure of the worldwide economy, reached 59 trillion international dollars, a growth of 4.8 percent from the previous year (World Bank, 2008). East Asia and the Pacific “increased their share of global output from 9 percent to 14 percent.” The gains, however,were short-lived. As economies, such as that of the United States, slid downward throughout 2008,
politicians around the globe assured their constituents that the downturn would be temporary. By the beginning of 2009, nations around the world were experiencing the greatest economic hardships since the Great Depression. The year 2009 showed the first decline in world output on record. Asia was hardest hit, as countries such as Japan saw a 40 percent decline in exports in January 2009 compared to the previous year (World Bank, 2009). What effects have these economic shifts had on design?

Worldwide health has also been a major concern over the past decade. Throughout 2009, the World Health Organization (2009) scrambled to combat the swine flu (H1N1) pandemic, as more than 200 countries and territories had laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus. Likewise, since 2001, regions throughout the world were also struck by numerous natural disasters. In December 2004, a tsunami struck Indonesia, killing nearly one-quarter million people. In August 2005, hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States, flooding most of New Orleans and causing more than $80 billion in damages.

The largest percentages of Katrina fatalities were older adults and people with disabilities. In May 2008, just months prior to the Summer Olympics, earthquakes devastated the Sichuan Province of China, leaving 5 million people homeless. In the same month that year, Myanmar lost more than 100,000 citizens to cyclone Nargis. In early 2010, earthquakes also
destroyed much of urbanized Haiti, killing tens of thousands of people and leaving millions homeless. If these regions were designed differently, how might the outcomes be different?

No comments
Post a Comment

    Reading Mode :
    Font Size
    lines height