Alexander Kucheravy, architect, active house verifier, President of Active House Ukraine, member of the board of directors of the international Active House Alliance, head of Active House Academy.
Alexander Kucheravy is an architect with more than 15 years of experience in sustainable architecture. Being the creator of the First Active House in Ukraine officially recognized by the European Community, he is also included in the world’s top-30 active house verifiers. Alexander told us what kind of houses allows people to live longer and happier.
ABOUT MODERN ARCHITECTURE
All architectures know Vitruvius’s words, ‘Utility, strength, beauty’. What happened in the modern world that we began to read this quotation from the end? Why do we focus on ‘beauty’ and ‘form’? What is the real purpose of building houses in which, according to research, we spend 90% of our time? Would you refuse that your residential house, shopping center, office or school project had balanced objective parameters influencing your life?
HEALTH ABOVE ALL
Is there anything more important than your health? It’s your life itself. If you feel well, your life becomes productive, and you enjoy your success in various spheres of life.
Architecture influences our health significantly because, again, we spend 90% of the time indoors. So, how can we make buildings stop being our ‘prison’?
For example, if there is enough natural light in a house, your circadian rhythm works well. Cortisol and melatonin production is normal, consequently, you get enough sleep, recover quickly, and your day is productive. By the way, hormones are no joke! It’s not just about taking some vitamins.
Do you know what air you breathe at home, work, in school? Probably not. Unfortunately, in most cases, an indoor CO2 level is more than 1,000 ppm. This greatly reduces your productivity and the ability to concentrate. Moreover, this causes headaches and respiratory problems.
ABOUT ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Buildings consume 40% of all energy in the world. You probably know how many liters of fuel per 100 km your car consumes. In the same way, you can be aware of the amount of energy necessary to ensure your comfort of living during a year. Energy balance is the basis for designing active houses. As an architect, I always keep track of how much energy is used in my projects and where this energy goes. A perfect building should produce more than it consumes so that a ‘loan’ for the resources we took from nature can be returned during the operation period (50-100 years).
The more energy a building consumes, the more harmful substances are released into the atmosphere, get into the soil, and pollute water. The amount of greenhouse gases grows, the ambient temperature rises, and the climate changes. So, this leads to a reduction in the quality of life. Therefore, nowadays it is more cost-effectively to build an energy-efficient house than to clean the air, water and soil.
My professional life is dedicated to sustainable architecture. I have been giving priority to human health and caring attitude to the environment in my projects for more than 15 years.
As an architect, I found answers for myself, as well as effective solutions for my clients in the holistic approach of Active House.
Active House is an international rating system for designing and evaluating sustainable buildings. I take into account 9 objective parameters in the areas of living comfort, energy efficiency, health and environmental safety even at the stage of the conceptual design.
Thanks to this approach, the architecture allows us to achieve our true goals and deal with challenges facing our generation.
GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
According to the concept of sustainable development, satisfying our needs today we must save the opportunity for future generations to satisfy their own. The problem is that future generations might not survive. We have exhausted the planet’s resources and polluted it so much that by 2030 we will need two Earths to continue to live the way we do now. Where can we get a second planet?
The entire world community has finally recognized that environmental issues are already affecting us economically and threatening our existence. Therefore, 17 global objectives for sustainable development were defined under the Paris Agreement signed by 193 countries. We have only 10 years to achieve these goals, until 2030. Or it’ll be the point of no return.
By creating sustainable buildings, you solve 9 out of 17 sustainable development issues. We are the first generation knowing for sure that the problem lies in us, and the last generation able to change the situation of the environmental crisis. There should be more active houses – this will improve our lives!
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