Sustainable design in its simplest form

Stephen Siu‐Yiu Lau (Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)
Renato Garcia (Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)
Ying‐Qing Ou (Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)
Man‐Mo Kwok (HKU SPACE, Hong Kong, China)
Ying Zhang (College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, China)
Shao Jie Shen (College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, China)
Hitomi Namba (Mori Building Company, Tokyo, Japan)

Structural Survey

ISSN: 0263-080X

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Purpose

The aims of the study are to analyze the features of a socially self‐contained society; to analyze the features of an environmentally sustainable society; and to generate a discussion on an indigenous approach towards the sustainable design of communities, particularly through the study of the round village for its unique form and performance in terms of sustainable construction.

Design/methodology/approach

Researchers from an international group undertook a field study of a number of specimen round and square shape Hakka villages in December 2004. They discussed their preliminary findings with local academics regarding significant attributes for sustainable design principles, and summarized lessons by means of spatial and construction studies that inform contemporary urban designers' knowledge and practice of sustainability through indigenous architecture.

Findings

Through reinterpretation of Feng‐shui theory, various observations made were easily and naturally correlated to basic laws of sustainability. The biggest message that comes from Fujian round architecture is that a genuine practitioner of environmental and social sustainability relies on a simplicity of approach – a respect for nature.

Research limitations/implications

The study is confined primarily to observations by a team of architects and engineers.

Practical implications

Field study of vernacular architecture provides useful information and first‐hand data for researchers on rammed earth structures.

Originality/value

The study of rammed earth structures in remote areas of China, in both coastal and earthquake active zones, offers fresh insight into the integrity and ingenuity of early settlers in sustainable construction. The research provides preliminary findings regarding environmental and construction practice in age‐old Hakka round houses.

Keywords

Citation

Siu‐Yiu Lau, S., Garcia, R., Ou, Y., Kwok, M., Zhang, Y., Jie Shen, S. and Namba, H. (2005), "Sustainable design in its simplest form", Structural Survey, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 371-385. https://doi.org/10.1108/02630800510635119

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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