How to Save the Earth with Sustainable Construction
In our attempt to do whatever we can to preserve the environment and diminish our negative impact on the world around us, so that the generations to come will also be able to enjoy living on this magnificent planet, we really need to pay special attention to the way we build new facilities. It’s clear that the need for new residential and commercial facilities will never go away. The rapid growth of the population will even put more strain on those in charge of planning and construction to provide suitable, yet eco-friendly objects. So, what is it that all of us should take into account when it comes to sustainable construction?
Regular construction is known to be using around 50% of non-renewable resources, which is why finding their eco-friendly replacements is of utmost importance. The search for such alternatives has led to some old, yet natural solutions. First of all, there is natural stone, a beautiful and durable material that can be used for various constructions elements, from décor to insulation cladding.
Another green option is brick, which is popular because of its durability and simplicity of production and use. Finally, there is wood, but you really need to be careful with this alternative. Namely, some trees need a long time to grow fully, which means we would be depriving the planet of much-needed help for a long period. Instead, we should focus on those that don’t need so much time, but are equally good to be used in construction.
When it comes to energy consumption, there is no system that consumes more energy than the HVAC one. Managing to introduce an energy-efficient system would not only save a lot of money on bills, but we would also be doing our planet a huge favor. That’s why we should focus on passive radiant and solar heating, for example, if we want to use as little energy as possible to keep our buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Also, we could reuse indoor air if we apply a system which combines photo-reactive chemicals and ultraviolet light.
Probably one of the easiest changes we can implement if we want to go green is to replace traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient and longer-lasting LED bulbs. They may cost more, but with the savings made and their durability, they will soon pay off. These lights can be used both indoors and outdoors, though you might need to rent reliable aluminium scaffolding to reach each and every bulb that needs replacing.
Over the past several decades, we’ve learnt that many insulation materials used in the past are actually toxic and that they need to be replaced with safe, healthy and green alternatives. Needless to say, the best option is to go for natural materials, such as wool, cellulose, hemp and wood. Some of them need additional treatment before installation, but they offer great versatility and excellent insulation. A properly insulated construction will save a lot of energy and money, which is the ultimate goal of going green in the construction industry.
Water Reuse and Supply
Experts agree that water is the most precious natural resource that needs our full attention. It’s estimated that more than buildings use more than 13 percent of world’s potable water, which is why it’s important to lower water usage. Some modern buildings have been designed to efficiently manage water consumption, harvest rainwater and reuse grey water. Some even have on-site sewage treatment system, which removes contaminants from wastewater, which means the treated water can be reused.
Whatever we do in terms of constructing energy-efficient buildings and houses is undoubtedly beneficial to the environment. Still, we shouldn’t settle for only minor changes in the way we build, but strive to make as much impact as possible. After all, it’s only through the joint effort of all people around the world that we can make a difference and save our planet.
Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins