Designing a Sufficient Building Module

ISO Drawing

A sufficient building goes beyond architecture; it is a combination of factors including: environmental issues, sustainability, psychological effects, and the impact on physical health; overall, the quality of human existence in the built environment.  These factors are the most important elements of our well-being. Every space that we live in has its own psychological effect on us.

This research has introduced the term “psychologically efficient,” which will focus on the connection between the user and the built environment and how can we enhance it to have healthier impacts on human life, and how this can be applied to all different types of buildings. Physical impacts on health is another issue which this study seeks to incorporate into the creative project. “Physically efficient” is the term used when attempting to address the aspects of the building that affect occupant health through the encouragement of increased physical activity.

On the same note, “environmentally efficient” is a new term which refers to how our brains can be shaped in response to stimuli in our surrounding environment and how this can be used to create a positive environment which has the potential to affect many areas of our lives.

One of the most popular topics in this century is “sustainability” which has been transformed in this research to the term “sustainability efficient” which is defined around the triangle of social, environmental, and economic performance. Its main goal is to embrace environmental, social, and economic practices that benefit our ecosystem. After analyzing these factors, answering the question  “is it necessary to have a sufficient building?” is easy because a sufficient building will use less energy, have less negative physical and psychological impacts, create less waste, and have less damage on our ecosystem.

These sufficient buildings are more than just systems for accommodating their occupants; they should be more like an organic entity that is capable of interacting with their environments for the benefit of both. The design could eventually follow the principles of sustainability and psychology, rather than solid construction. The sufficient building could be designed more like a plant, able to be established in a certain environment, produce its own energy and fulfill its own needs not harm its animals, have a very complex interaction with its surroundings and create a sufficient ecosystem and landscape of its own kind (Ruiz Geli, & Luzàrraga, 2013).

The sufficient structure goes beyond our imagination of how activities will function in a space.  Instead of simply being a location in which to conduct daily commerce, educate children, or shelter a family, it can be an environment that cultivates health and behaves as the soul of the whole ecosystem. In addition to these elements, this specific structure has to be capable of responding to human emotion in a way that is beneficial (Ruiz Geli, & Luzàrraga, 2013).

This structure will integrate the innovations of sustainability, considerations of human health impacts, and psychological effects. The use of local energy generation, the use of local and recycled materials, and the use of research about the building’s impact on human health, will all be considered as the design responds to each situation with technique and principles. These are the challenges associated with this research.

Buildings can be a large source of CO2 emissions and can have negative effects on human health like any other machine does; however, studies have shown that access to natural views can counteract some of these negative effects and actually provide relief of tedium, anxiety, and stress, as well as increase productivity. The sufficient structure has to be defined in a way that utilizes the relief that is available through the connection to nature. Basically, the building itself must produce a positive impact on human life; this would be a key to increasing office productivity or increasing children’s learning ability in the built environment.

The construction of a sufficient building will be the new standard for any developmental area. This new language of architecture will create new methods in which the building will function in a very productive way, with efficient management of matter, energy cycles, water, and waste. It will be designed in a form that will integrate natural structures with their function. This specific structure can integrate wind flow, sunlight cycles, geothermic, and hydrothermic elements. This could be the beginning of transforming the design implication of the building to something that is functional and appropriated for the environment. In this research, this structure is defined as a “sufficient” building.  After analyzing this research, module of a sufficient building will be designed.

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Design Objectives

The four main factors in designing a sufficient building require consideration of the following:

 Psychologically efficient –The connection between the occupant’s mental health and the built environment and how the environment can be enhanced to have healthier impacts on human cognition.

Physically efficient –Addresses the aspects of the building that affect occupant health through the encouragement of increased physical activity.

Environmentally efficient – Refers to how our brains can be shaped in response to stimuli in our surrounding environment and how this can create a positive environment in every aspect of our lives.

Sustainability  efficient – Defined around the triangle of social, environmental and economic performance.

Humans have been living on this earth in many different forms since time out of mind. We have changed our living style from living on farms into living in urbanized areas. Our daily lifestyle is changing as the times change. Different lifestyles can signify the comforts, ideas, and human deeds of an individual or group. (Lynn R. Kahle, Angeline G, 2011). Different environments require different lifestyles. For example, the countryside compared to a city area would have a much different manner of living. If we take a closer look at the importance of location, we could understand that even within the city scope, lifestyles are varied.

This research expands the way of looking at our lifestyle and brings a different ideology where architecture helps humankind to create a new culture. This new ideology has a different scope to accomplish, a new solution to sustain our lifestyle and our eco system as whole. These new methods hold the concept that buildings are more than just systems for accommodating their occupants; they should be more like an organic entity that is capable of interacting with their environments for the benefit of both.

Many factors have been studied in this research to give you a clear understanding of how the sufficient building module may be the only hope to sustain the human lifestyle for the next generations. The sufficient building module has followed the principles of sustainability and psychology, rather than solid construction. The sufficient building could be designed more like a plant, able to be established in a certain environment, producing its own energy and fulfilling its own needs and not harming its animals, having a very complex interaction with its surroundings and creating a sufficient ecosystem and landscape of its own kind (Ruiz Geli, & Luzàrraga, 2013). There are other species that have unique lifestyles like humans, they provide food for others, they protect each other, and they even design their home for each other—in addition to this, their homes are self-sufficient. Bee hives are one of the most sophisticated structures created by other species.

Let’s take close look at the natural colonies: the hexagon is used repeatedly to form the bee hives; the repetition of the hexagon is the key element of sheltering bees in a balanced manner. A healthy bee hive is the kind of hive with perfect balance. The queen bee is the creature in charge that controls the community, with the rest of the soldiers striving to fulfill the community’s needs. From the repeated hexagon that creates the bee hive, to the spider’s web with its repetition of lines, you can begin to understand the flower structure. These have all been created by the greater mind and they all have similar methods of structure.

In the same way that these animal habitats reflect that natural patterns already existing in nature, this design seeks to be an extension of the natural order, rather than an imposition. The design will follow the patterns already formed in nature to create a structure that can truly be part of the natural cycle. In addition to these elements, this specific structure has to be capable of responding to human emotion in a way that is beneficial (Ruiz Geli, & Luzàrraga, 2013). This structure will integrate the innovations of sustainability, considerations of human health impacts, and psychological effects with the emphasis of following the mother pattern. It will create a lifestyle that crime, corruption, and exploitation cannot be part of. 

The analysis will be conducted using the qualitative analysis process as outlined by Miles & Huberman (1994).

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