Does traditional feng shui have an implication for green buildings?
The ancient practice of feng shui holds a vast potential for the future of sustainability. Feng shui is beneficial for the internal spaces of a building — the interior environment and its people — as well as its surroundings, holding great implication for sustainability in the overall environment. Feng shui encompasses the energy of an environment — it manifests in itself in two forms. The first discipline, known as "form school" relates to the physical environment, while the "compass school" is defined by an individual's energy and celestial environment. Both components relate to the larger concept of chi, an inherent force that contributes to one's happiness and well-being.
In order to apply feng shui to architecture, the placement and balance of elements become crucial. This often includes the field of interior design as well. Passive solar devices which lead to energy efficiency include the placement of windows, doors, etc. to allow for the direct entry of light. Sustainability in feng shui promotes the aesthetic and healthy benefits.
Natural ventilation, day lighting techniques, indoor air quality, and the integration of sustainable products are all impactful mechanisms of sustainability in feng shui. All of these features create happy, healthy, and productive individuals, a significant effect of feng shui. As such, sustainable buildings, according to feng shui, are valuable — not only does work productivity increase, but these buildings create larger energy savings. They outperform traditional buildings. Ultimately, feng shui exercises sustainability and exhibits a larger ideal: the spirituality of architecture.
Feng shui is the modern day Wright application — the current manifestation of organic architecture. The balance and harmony of the built and natural environments resides in the practices of feng shui.
The application of feng shui to sustainability has a great correlation to the future of green buildings. Clearly, feng shui has great implications for the future of such sustainable architecture. It has become a current green trend of architecture, and can only reap benefits for its users — those who practice its principles, and those who implement its techniques into current design and construction.
Farah Naz Ahmad was born in New York City and holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from The City College of New York. She is a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design + Construction. Her career goal is to make an impact on the field of sustainability in design and construction. Her past roles as President of CCNY's American Institute of Architecture Students and as a team leader for the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon have increased her passion for eco-friendly design.www