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Pollution And The Industry Of Civil Engineering

1464 words - 6 pages

The industry of Civil Engineering produces a lot of unwanted waste and pollutions. There are solid waste, air and even sound pollution during construction. In addition, for most structures, it will eventually be demolished and materials become waste. This is the reason why the topic sustainability has been so popular these years. The definition of sustainable development by Brundtland, 1987, is 'Sustainable development meets the economic, social and environmental needs and interests of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and interests.' The biggest concern nowadays is considered to be resources as it is limited on the earth, however, ...view middle of the document...

The earth house concept uses its surroundings as the advantage. The surroundings are not adapted to the houses, instead, the houses are shaped to suit the natural environment. These houses benefit from using the ground as an insulating blanket that efficiently protects them from rain, temperature fluctuation, wind and natural abrasion. Earth houses, unlike traditional houses, can be built according to individual requirements and their favour of energy conservation. The entrance of earth houses can be in the roof. Early earth houses had nearly no windows, but modern earth houses often have windows inside the roof allowing more natural sunlight to enter into the house.
So what makes them to be considered as highly sustainable. Firstly, the degree of insulation of houses can have a significant effect on energy saving. Huge amount of electricity is used to deal with temperature conditioning, earth houses are designed as integral arches which has a high insulating ability. The reduction of heat can result an energy saving up to 50%. Secondly, traditional houses are built into the air, which cause loss of heat and humidity as a result. The exterior wall of structures also loses lifespan. On the other hand, earth houses uses the ground as insulating blanket resulting far better consequences than traditional 'built into the air' houses. Thirdly, earth houses generally have high potential to make good use of renewable energy especially for their heating systems. Ambient air is abound and can be a heat source. Heat underground can also be utilised by installing a thermowell. And the most obvious one is to use solar energy. A 4sqm solar cell can supply a 4 members family with at least 50% warm water demand. Finally, earth houses are less vulnerable against wind storms as they cannot be torn away or tipped over by strong gusts. The reason behind is that the lack of corners and exposed parts greatly reduces their vulnerability against strong wind. So, unlike most traditional houses, there will be so little to no reparation needed after storms. Earth houses are built with wide glass facades and dome-lights, making rooms bright and suffused with light.
I am going to look at the Switzerland-based architect Peter Vetsch's earth houses in Dietikon, Switzerland particularly. Peter was born 1943 in Sax, Switzerland. He graduated in an agriculture school in Cernier. After that he has worked in a structure design company and attended the academy of art in Germany. He has run his own architecture office since 1978 in Dietikon. And has built over 47 earth houses over the world. They all represent his idea of an environmentally conscious and ecology. In Dietikon, the earth Houses are built on covers 4,000 square meters, with each covering between 60 meters squared and 200 meters squared. Three houses with three rooms, one is of four rooms, one of five rooms, three of six rooms, and one of seven rooms. He uses the sprayed concrete method construction, creates...

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