The movement for sustainability need not be confined to reducing paper waste at the office or recycling empty cans. Although these small steps offer a big contribution to the movement, sustainable construction is enabling homeowners and business owners to reduce their costs and positively impact the environment.
Also known as “green building,” sustainable building applies resource-efficient, eco-friendly construction processes to both commercial and residential projects. These processes are designed to reduce the project’s overall impact to the environment while guaranteeing a stable structure throughout the property’s lifetime. Construction and many aspects of its operation, directly and indirectly, impact the environment, the economy and the community.
A step toward a greener movement is always a welcome change. Whether you become more mindful of the quality of CAT aftermarket parts you buy or use prefabricated material instead, making small changes for sustainability makes a big difference to the world.
Why Sustainable Construction Matters
From corporate facilities to residential structures, sustainable construction experts are finding new ways to preserve Mother Nature while finishing the project.
Here are some benefits of green building and how this trend can protect future generations:
1. Improved Indoor Environment
When it comes to a person’s quality of life, their surroundings play a major role in their physical and mental health. Over the past years, designers have made big progress in developing sustainable designs that affect the people living in homes or working in buildings. From improved thermal conditions and lighting sources to upgraded air quality and ergonomic features, people working or living in green structures benefit from improvements in their stress levels, health and overall quality of life.
2. Enhanced Health
Living or working in a sustainable building saves more lives – literally. According to studies, people residing or working in green structures experience many health benefits due to the eco-friendly materials used during construction.
For example, sustainable buildings refrain from using materials that contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or plastic by-products that release carcinogens and toxic fumes into the atmosphere. These harmful materials are linked to allergies, respiratory diseases and other health disorders.
3. More Water Saved
Another tangible benefit of sustainable construction: water efficiency. Green building hit two goals with one project: reduce strain on shared water sources and reduce water waste through water-efficient plumbing fixtures. By installing eco-friendly water systems to purify water, it allows for alternative water sources (like rainwater) and water recycling.
4. Energy Efficiency: Natural vs. Non-Renewable Sources
Sustainable projects prioritize energy efficiency in the design and construction. Developing structures that derive their energy from the sun, water, wind and other natural sources is always beneficial to Mother Nature. Using natural sources protects the ecosystem from the pollution linked with non-renewable sources like coal and oil.
Another bonus: non-renewable energy sources aren’t just harmful; they are also costly. Their energy-efficient counterparts can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
5. Reduced Operational Cost and Maintenance
One of the biggest advantages of green buildings is their low maintenance costs. Sustainable buildings are built with specially engineered elements that help reduce water and energy bills. These structures can save residential and corporate owners more money. Although the money required to build such structures can be higher than traditional non-sustainable forms of architecture, the cost over the long run is exponential.
How to Create a More Sustainable Construction Site
1. Use Sustainable Building Material
One of the first steps toward sustainability is the selection of building materials. Concrete might be a construction favorite, but it’s not eco-friendly since its production releases greenhouse gasses in the air. Fortunately, there are more sustainable alternatives to concrete, like straw bales. These sustainable building materials offer high levels of insulation from the weather when installed properly.
Bamboo is also an eco-friendly alternative that guarantees high tensile strength. It is also readily available, easy to use in construction and affordable. Other examples include hempcrete, wood, mycelium, recycled plastic and rammed earth.
2. Avoid Using Paper Blueprints Specs and Drawings
It seems trivial, but avoiding the use of paper drawings, specs and blueprints save a lot of trees. Also, it saves you more time, reduces your material waste and guarantees a quick turnaround. Instead of using paper, make the switch to construction management software.
3. Use Prefabricated Material
This involves producing construction materials like walls, roof trusses, windows, stairs, floor panels, wall panels and doors in a controlled environment. You can also assemble and transport different prefabricated components on the site. It’s not just eco-friendly, it’s a cost-effective move, too.
The construction industry is working hard to build a more sustainable construction process. More contractors are using eco-friendly and energy-efficient equipment, materials and techniques. And you can join the train by going eco-friendly with your construction project.