Architecture: Sustainable Structures Symposium
Sustainable Structures Symposium: The intersections of architecture, structural engineering and green buildings April 17-18, 2014
Building envelopes, mechanical systems and daylighting are the traditional emphasis of green building practice and scholarship. The role of structural systems and materials in the overall performance of a building has been largely neglected. In contemporary practice, architects and engineers choose a structural system very early during the design process depending on constraints such as building codes, cost, required spans, construction schedule and site constraints. Very little consideration is typically given to other ways the structure could contribute to improving sustainable outcomes. This is in spite of the fact that the structure of a typical office building contributes roughly one-quarter of the initial embodied energy and is, at the very least, the armature for all other building systems. Like all other aspects of a building, the structural system needs to be understood in terms of wide range of sustainability issues: embodied energy, operational energy, longevity and reuse. This symposium will explore the greater role structure should have in the design, impact and operation of green buildings. For more information, please visit the Sustainable Structures Symposium website.