Environmental Adaptation

Varis Bokalder’s & Maria Block’s book The Whole Building Handbook (Earthscan, 2010) shares the following text:

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that environmental problems, including climate change, are a serious global threat, demanding an urgent global response. Many researchers and analysts warn that we have only a few decades in which to achieve sustainable development, to prevent catastrophic environmental changes. The design and methods of construction of our built environment – our homes, workplaces and cities – have an enormous impact on both the global environment and locally on the communities that inhabit them. Creating a sustainable built environment is therefore a crucial part of the transformation needed to achieve true sustainability.

Environmental adaptation is one of the pillars of ecological building: “to adapt the place includes that you have to study the place in retrospect of the natural environment, climate, social structures and human activity. One goes out from the place’s presumed positioning to create harmony with nature and the people. “One restores existing buildings and adapts them environmentally” write Varis Bokalder & Maria Block. During the research and planning phase, we studied the natural environment and her local resources, the climate, the local society and Österlen’s landscape of rolling hills. We investigated and made charts of the farm’s history, pollutants, draw water and heating systems. The purpose of this is to take care of the existing buildings and adapt them as well as the vision of the new buildings to this place and the environment. For example, all the buildings are placed on non-agricultural earth, which means much stone and to a part sour moraine. The future workshop has been placed between existing trees, one elder berry tree, one pine tree and four beech trees. Also, the choice of building materials and construction methods, forms, and colors, etc. have been adapted to the place. Climate data is the foundation for energy efficiency analysis, that in it’s turn has steered the choices of how much material, choice of construction, windows, type of material, etc. The climate data is also the foundation for the measurements of the combined warming system and placement of solar thermal panels as well as solar photovoltaic panels.