This article discusses the importance of sustainable construction practices and different eco-friendly strategies. There are many reasons for construction companies and developers to adopt sustainable values, the first of which ensures sustainability and longevity. As the mindset of customers, politicians and corporations shift towards preserving the environment, the construction industry must follow suit. Furthermore, rapid population growth demands that we address issues of sustainability and resourcefulness sooner rather than later. The tips and strategies discussed in this article recognizes the negative impact that traditional and conventional construction practices have on our environment, and provides alternative solutions. Although often dismissed for creating more expenses for construction companies and developers, there are plenty of eco-construction practices that also cost effective as well.
Improve Overall Health and Safety
Sustainable construction involves the use of environmentally friendly and non-toxic paints, solvents and building materials. This not only makes the building eco-friendly, it creates indoor spaces in homes, offices, and recreational areas. Some of the toxic paints and solvents used in conventional construction can cause respiratory complications, skin conditions, migraines and other health issues. Using eco-friendly materials in our residential, commercial and industrial buildings will prove to be a long-term benefit for all.
Improve Demolition Practices
Rather than dumping more materials like concrete and structural steel into landfills, these can be recycled for other construction jobs. Industrial crushing facilities recycle these materials into dry aggregate for new construction. Additionally, even carpet, flooring and ceiling materials can be reused in a variety of ways. Any chance a contractor has to use recycled material, it often means a substantial savings opportunity. By using recycled and sustainable materials, construction companies will be able to avoid additional costs associated with the disposal of toxic materials from the site.
Locally Sourced Materials
Materials are sometimes transported over a long distance and a lot of energy is used in the transportation phase. With green construction, emphasis is placed on the use of locally-sourced materials. This is meant to reduce the carbon foot print, and creates a far more efficient construction process. Moreover, using materials that are available in any given city or town, construction companies can help support and grow local businesses.
Keep Recycling Water in Mind
Conservation of water is a very important element of sustainable construction, be it a residential, industrial or commercial. These strategies are often simple and can be implemented into any kind of construction project. Smart, eco-friendly techniques include rain water collection systems for example. If collected and stored, recycled rain water can be used for things like landscape irrigation. Additionally, water condensation from HVAC units can also be collected and used for similar reasons. Recycling water takes advantage of resources that are readily available, which would otherwise go down the drain.
Harness Sun and Wind Power
With soaring energy costs, investing in solar power presents a long-term sustainable solution. Not only will this be a cost-saving measure in the future, solar power reduces your grid reliance and lessens the strain on electricity providers. Solar power transforms roofs of homes and buildings into generators that help to keep power and electricity flowing. To take a step further, photovoltaic windows can with solar cells can be used, creating window panels that adjust transparency and can help to control interior temperatures.
Another option for clean and renewable energy revolves around wind power. Turbine farms of all sizes can be used to help produce energy for any given building. These include vertical axis and helical wind turbines on rooftops which can reduce consumption. The greatest advantage of wind turbines is that they require little maintenance after it is installed. The interior of a building can also benefit from wind turbines, maintaining indoor air quality and reducing utility investments.
Environmentally Friendly Insulation Materials
Conventional buildings use insulation materials that contain toxic chemicals such as petrochemicals and toxic adhesives. Sustainable construction presents a range of safe, natural and readily available materials. Some of these materials are more affordable than their commercial counterparts. These materials include sheep’s wool, which is an affordable and sustainable material that can be used as insulation. Others include recycled cotton, which can be sourced from shreds of discarded clothing, representing a sustainable and non-toxic insulation option. Wood fiber can also be used as it is made from wood chips, which are a by-product of the timber industry. The chips are fused together using natural adhesives.
Plan for Increased Green and Multiuse Space
This strategy is targeted at land developers, architects and designers. With space in cities increasingly limited, planning for more green space and multipurpose areas may be an area of consideration. Rather than simply building a commercial area, perhaps applying a multipurpose and mixed use approach may be beneficial. Also, when developing a structure, encourage the addition of green spaces on rooftops or in other parts of a building. This not only provides a multiuse space but also helps to improve the air quality in any given building.
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As it stands, there are many sustainable options and alternatives that exists for construction companies and developers. The next step is recognizing the importance of reducing carbon footprints and toxicity levels to improve the overall health of the planet and its people. In many instances, Eco and Green technologies have the ability to cut down energy costs, which creates extremely viable options for construction companies and land developers.