The Keys to Sustainable Construction

by Heather Adams

in Environment

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A green building or sustainable building can be defined as:

a structure that is designed, built, renovated, operated, or reused in an ecological and resource-efficient manner.




The key benefits of sustainable construction can be listed as below:

  • Environmentally effective use of building materials
  • Reduced environmental impact
  • Enhanced health and productivity
  • Long-term economic returns
  • Lower electric and water utility costs

Green initiatives provide excellent benefits however in the same time carry several costs together with the implementation. So what are the affordable solutions for this situation? Let’s discuss this matter through the explanation of the key benefits which had been mentioned above.

Environmentally Effective use of Building Materials

Building materials must be able to resist high winds, be versatile, structural, provide a high level of insulation, minimum waste and be affordable. There are several options when choosing environmentally friendly building materials. Many homeowners choose solar panels for their roof construction, but Brinkmann Roofing professionals say, “Winds and storms can cause traditional solar panel frames to move about. Over time, this could begin to wear out the integrity of the roof even if the bolts had been sealed with tar and other materials. Solar shingles offer less wind resistance and are not affected in the same manner. As these units adhere directly to the roof’s structure, there is no space for wind to get under.”

Reduced Environmental Impact

Waste reduction, resource conservation and maintaining pure water inventories are important issues that have to be considered in construction. The growing population means that we have to pay more strict attention to waste management and recycling matters. Proper education and acceptance of recycling is the key for this effort. This is where conservation will be an adopted lifestyle and the population must see it as a benefit in order to embrace it.

Enhanced Health and Productivity

Clean water, fresh air, low VOC and no off-gasing products should be the benchmark for the buildings built under the “green design” concept. Energy conservation and eco-friendly structures do not happen by accident, it takes planning and design guidelines to ensure that the construction provides comfort, style and are also affordable. Choosing suitable products which are eco-friendly can help to minimize costs and help to decrease the time required to source any specialized products.

Long-term Economic Returns

An unfortunate thing is when green initiatives are initially introduced into some regions, projects or places for the first time, there will be objections from some traditional stakeholders where the traditional concepts and methods are challenged by the new technology. However we have to consider about the new generation where they can benefit from the advancement in current technology and ensure the projects can be continued and success in the renewable energy and sustainable development sectors.

Remember that long-term economic growth is the fruit that will be harvested when we plant the seeds of green initiatives today.

Lower Electric and Water Utility Costs

Using lightweight thin-film solar with a capacity of an estimated 5 watts/sq ft. a typical 1,200 sq ft home could easily support a roof laminated 3,000 Watt solar power system. A system of this size would generate an estimated 12-15kWh per day.  By reducing electrical lighting, cooling, and appliance loads to less than 4k the solar system can also be reduced in size.

A typical home using high efficiency L.E.D. lighting would use just under 250 Watts for the entire lighting circuit and provide equal or higher lumen output than conventional or CFL lighting systems. Heat pump water heating technologies provide an estimates 7,000 btu output and a max water temp of 135 while using less than 800 watts nominal. Air Conditioning units using proven ductless-split DC Inverter technologies provide remote controlled zoned cooling while using as little as 1,200 watts for a 11,000btu system. In fact energy efficient appliances are readily available and help to reduce overall electrical loads.

Wrap Up

In order to realize the efforts of creating a sustainable environment, the construction sector must take part in the green initiatives through the keys that have been mentioned above. Let’s act now because it’s never too late to regret.

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