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Construction practices are hard on the environment. New methods seek to improve building design for reduced environmental impact.
Did you know 22% of the electricity in the U.S. goes to residential and commercial buildings? Embracing sustainable construction practices enables us to save these precious energy resources.
Keep reading to discover how sustainable construction methods conserve resources.
Sustainable Construction Design Principles
There are several principles driving sustainable design and construction. These include:
- Use of eco-conscious materials
- Site potential optimization
- Reduced use of non-renewable energy sources
- Conserve and protect water
- Better operational and building maintenance practices
- Enhanced indoor environmental qualities
Following sustainable principles reduces waste and energy consumption. It also reduces other inefficiencies in commercial and residential construction.
Architecture firms like New Architectura Inc are aligning themselves with sustainable design values.
Our forefathers had the right idea when it came to some of their building materials. Straw bales are great for building while reducing agricultural waste.
Straw bales are a great substitute for lumbar. They save trees and wildlife habitats that logging old-growth forests destroy.
Bamboo is another green building material often used instead of wood for flooring. Bamboo grows up to three feet per day, making it a good green choice.
Optimize Site Potential
Optimizing site potential starts with the site location. Constructing a building into the side of a hill can save on heating and cooling bills. Proper orientation of the buildings on the site can also save energy.
An example? A south-facing building orientation takes advantage of the sun for better energy efficiency. Speaking of energy efficiency…
Reduce Use of Non-Renewable Energy Sources
Sustainable design and construction reduce dependence on non-renewable energy sources. Solar energy is a great example of a renewable energy source. Small roof wind turbines are another.
Conserve and Protect Water
Sustainable construction encourages water efficiency while minimizing building techniques that affect freshwater stocks. Recycling water waste streams when possible helps with water efficiency.
Better Operational and Building Maintenance Practices
The sustainable design uses systems and materials that reduce maintenance. Reduced maintenance saves water and energy while producing less waste.
Fewer maintenance needs mean fewer breakdowns. This also helps increase productivity while saving money.
Enhanced Indoor Environmental Qualities
In the past, many of the materials used in building design were toxic. This even led to “sick building syndrome.”
Sick buildings cause health issues like chest pain, shortness of breath, and coughing. Allergies, asthma, and flu-like symptoms can also occur.
Asbestos, lead, and formaldehyde are all common sources of sick building syndrome. Sustainable design methods avoid toxic materials while maximizing natural light and ventilation.
Healthy people take fewer sick days and they’re also more productive when in the office.
Sustainable Construction for a Better Future
Sustainable construction methods offer us a brighter environmental future. These design methods reduce solid and energy waste and conserve non-renewable energy sources.
It’s time to embrace sustainable design and construction.
Interested in more articles like this? Keep scrolling for more on design, conservation, and sustainability.