Eco-friendly construction begins with intelligent design. By thinking strategically and adopting the right materials and technology early, you can help save the environment while saving you money.
Here are 10 steps to building eco-friendly.
Smaller buildings are generally more environmentally friendly and cheaper to run. Intelligent design means making the best use of space possible. It forces developers to start thinking creatively about space, and the future of infrastructure.
Something as simple as the placement of windows can make a great deal of difference to the atmosphere of a room. Innovative technology for builders assist in identifying the most strategic window positions to take advantage of sunlight and natural breezes.
Insulation is another thing to consider when building an eco-friendly property. Investing in proper insulation keeps the area cool in the hotter months, and warm during the winter, minimising the need to run heating and cooling units regularly.
In particularly tropical areas like Australia, a building's exposure to the sun can result in heat being trapped inside the roof, gradually warming up the interior of the building. Green roofs are an innovative solution to this problem. Heat-reducing methods such as using reflective roof paint, roof covering, tiles, or planting grass will result in a cooler building, and save the energy and money it would otherwise take to cool it.
Life expectancy in architecture and construction is growing in importance. Durable materials such as brick, stone, and concrete have a longer lifetime and are more eco-friendly during the demolition and disposal phase. Extensions, renovations, and refurbishments stretch the life of a building, especially when structures are built using durable materials.
Reusing old materials where possible is an easy way to save money and reduce environmental impacts of your construction. Products like recycled lumber, plastic, and glass are less damaging than buying new. Biodegradable materials are also being produced with reduced energy costs and pollution.
Reducing water wastage is easily achieved by installing water fixtures to reduce the flow of toilets, showerheads and taps. Encourage clients to purchase eco friendly products by calculating their future water savings.
A geothermal system harnesses temperatures below ground to warm residential homes or businesses. Pipes under the ground are led to a heat pump to either warm or cool the building. The relatively new technology only needs a small amount of electricity to run, saving owners money and energy.
Solar power converts the sun’s radiation into energy. Installing solar panels may be expensive, but in the long run saves a lot of money and energy consumption. However, to take advantage of solar power, location must be considered, as well as the positioning of solar panels. Estimating software assists in determining how much power can be collected and saved.
As 3D printing technology develops, the future of eco-friendly construction is looking more and more promising. A Chinese based company recently used the technology to print ten concrete houses from recycled materials in just 24 hours. The carbon footprint of these technologically-led developments was significantly lower than traditional constructions, as well as being cheaper to run, and producing less waste.
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