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Sustainable, New Classical and New Urbanism Architecture

By Kevin G on April 16, 2014

With regards to House Design, professional builders, sustainable building consultants, designers and architects have and continue to develop low-energy building types and techniques such as houses built to the Passivhaus standard, the passive solar and zero-energy homes and the super insulated.

A major proportion of carbon emissions result from housing. For example, in the UK 30% of the total emissions is from homes. Therefore, the importance of energy-conservation and the sustainability implications of building materials are of upmost importance.

In contrast to modernist, globally uniform architecture, suburban sprawl and solitary housing estates, in the 1980’s the urban design movements of New Classical Architecture and New Urbanism arose promoting a sustainable approach for the construction process, which appreciates and develops classical design, architectural tradition and smart growth.

New Urbanism informs many aspects of urban planning and real estate development. It also encourages context-appropriate architecture and planning, regional planning for open space as well as the balanced development of housing and jobs. Founded in 1993, the Congress for the New Urbanism is the organising body for New Urbanism.

Within the Charter of the New Urbanism which covers many subjects including the re-development of brownfield land, green building, historic preservation and safe streets, it states:

“We advocate the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principles: neighbourhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice.”

The following are the ten Principles of Intelligent Urbanism (PIU) for guidance during the forming of urban designs and city plans. These axioms include use of appropriate technology, environmental sustainability, infrastructure-efficiency, heritage conservation, human scale, place making, “Social Access,” regional integration and institutional-integrity.

1 Axioms

1.1 Principle one: a balance with nature

1.2 Principle two: a balance with tradition

1.3 Principle three: appropriate technology

1.4 Principle four: conviviality

1.4.1 A place for the individual

1.4.2 A place for friendship

1.4.3 A place for householders

1.4.4 A place for the neighbourhood

1.4.5 A place for communities

1.4.6 A place for the city domain

1.5 Principle five: efficiency

1.6 Principle six: human scale

1.7 Principle seven: opportunity matrix

1.8 Principle eight: regional integration

1.9 Principle nine: balanced movement

1.10 Principle ten: institutional integrity

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