SUSTAINABLE, GREEN LIVING
Please feel welcome to browse through the renders of our existing Glass House designs. Within the galleries below, you will find the design plans, included for transparency of the MDTX community.
In August of 2021, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) released a report that warned that we were in a state of Code Red for Global Warming. That is, the “earth is getting so hot that temperatures in about a decade will probably blow past a level of warming that world leaders have sought to prevent” (AP News, 2021).
Summarizing the Current State of the Climate according to the IPCC, there is no doubt that our human actions have increased the temperatures of our atmosphere, ocean, and land. This is causing widespread and rapid changes on a scale that has never been seen before.
“Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since” the previous climate Assessment Report in 2015. (IPCC, 2021)
With that comes an urgent need to reassess the way we are carrying about our business and replace them with sustainable alternatives. The world of architecture and construction is not exempt. Cities across the world account for most of our carbon emissions and energy use, yet they cover only 3% of the earth’s land surface. As the global population grows, so does new construction, energy consumption, and carbon emissions. (World Economic Forum, 2022) This emphasizes the need for more sustainable, circular solutions.
Enter glass. For many decades, glass has been a permanent feature of architecture, first appearing in the creation of 'The Crystal Palace, England' in 1850. It is a widely available material with numerous applications, and the recent advances in glass technology as well as the need for sustainability and environmental considerations in architecture promote the use of glass in buildings.
Let us take a look at glass and its properties that make it a suitable, sustainable solution for MDTX’s i2g=mfc.
The properties of glass that allow it to absorb, refract and transmit light can provide valuable daylighting into homes. This proper illumination with natural light is vital for improving occupant health and productivity and regulating their biological clocks.
Proper daylighting designs can eliminate the need for artificial lighting for the bulk of the day/year, resulting in 30-50% reduction in the total energy expenditure of some structures (Aboulnaga, 2006).
Glass can be insulated to keep homes at a more comfortable temperature without having to keep the curtains closed all the time.
Adding to the list of advantages of insulated glass is its ability to reduce the amount of environmental noise from entering the home.
The amount of glass needed to construct parts of buildings is less than the required amount to construct the same part in concrete (Achintha, 2016)
Glass is more durable than steel and concrete
Glass also has potential to reduce the operational energy/carbon impact of buildings (Achintha, 2016)
Glass can be processed in many ways depending on its intended use. Floating glass, for example, can be processed further to produce tempered glass and laminated glass. Modern tempered glass (also known as toughened glass) has the strength to withstand sledgehammer attacks. Laminated glass with ionplastic are lighter and stronger than conventional laminated glass, and can withstand storms, impacts and powerful blasts (Achintha, 2016).
Glass can also be coated with technology that allows it to self-clean. The coating on the glass reacts to sunlight and breaks down organic dirt deposits. This then allows the rain water to easily wash it away. Moreover, this coating can be combined with other properties that allow for example, solar control. Solar control allows daylight to pass through the glass while maintaining comfortable room temperatures, protection against UV rays and adding privacy.
“There are so many amazing types of glass available,” Mr. Carpenter said. “There’s an enormous potential to transfer some of their characteristics into architectural uses.” (NY Times, 2009) True enough, there already exist marvelous examples of glass being used as the main feature and material in structures. The glass staircases at Apple Stores, designed by James O’Callaghan; the Sears Tower boxes designed by Halcrow Yolles; O’sulloc Tea House Pavilions By Mass Studies, the list is growing, and MDTX’s sustainable green living solutions the i2g=mfc is part of that list.
Indeed, the natural first reaction to glass structures is surprise and bewilderment, but the world is gearing towards a Net Zero Economy, and more and more designers are broadening their horizons with what we know about glass in structures. So from the time of writing to the time you read this article, there is no doubt we’ve inched a step closer towards technology that proposes that glass is as useful a material as any for structures, and more sustainable, to add. MDTX is part of the movement, and we invite you to empower this vision by following us on social media and looking forward to future posts so you can ease into the idea of incorporating sustainability into your own lifestyle.