Building a new house or place of business is a great way to get everything you need in the structure from its layout to the design of the building’s aesthetics. Constructing a new building does not need to be a project that negatively impacts the environment. Instead, by following these ten green construction tips your project can actually help the environment.
1. Use efficient and low emmitance windows. Another advantage of building a structure is you can take advantage of all of the new advances in building technology. Windows have moved well beyond double-pane models, with some new windows actually stopping radiant heat from escaping the building through the glass.
2. Install solar panels. Relying on solar power to provide electricity for a structure is a smart move in a few ways. Solar power provides a clean way to produce electricity, which reduces a building’s negative impact on the environment. Using solar panels can actually produce some income if you set up an arrangement with the local power company to sell some of the generated electricity. The solar panel installation cost can be recouped through long-term savings
3. Install low-flow plumbing devices. Low-flow plumbing fixtures are in high supply in these modern times, with models in just about every kind of design to fit any aesthetic preference. Low flow shower heads, faucets and toilets use significantly less water during their operation, which saves the environment and your water bill.
4. Avoid toxic materials. Building materials like sealants, paint and epoxies that are used both outside and inside the structure can contain toxins that aren’t good for the environment. Ensure that all of the materials you use in the construction of the building are low VOC, which should be explicitly stated on the materials’ packaging.
5. Use eco-friendly insulation. Insulating a structure well helps lower the heating and cooling bills, which also helps preserve natural resources. Some newer insulation is made from biological compounds instead of the sometimes toxic substances that can be found in some insulation materials.
6. Build with wood from sustainable forests whenever possible. Some logging operations use practices that support sustainable forests which constantly are producing new trees that help combat global warming and its effects on our planet. By asking your building supplier to give you wood that comes from sustainable forests you directly support these environmentally friendly actions.
7. Install a tankless water heater. Traditional water heaters keep a tremendous amount of water stored in them, which they constantly reheat to keep at the desired temperature. This process of course wastes either electricity or natural gas. Tankless water heaters only heat as much water as you need at the time, which uses less gas or electricity.
8. Design the building with natural light in mind. When you are in the designing phase of the building process, ensure the structure will allow natural light into all of the rooms during the daylight hours. This will reduce how much artificial lighting will be needed, lowering electricity consumption.
9. Landscape with native plants. While it can be tempting to use exotic plant life in a building’s landscaping, it’s a much smarter move to use native plants. Plants that are naturally from the area require less watering and will hold up better over time without using chemicals and other aids, which in the end lessens any impact on the local environment.
10. Install rain collection systems. There exist quite a few ingenious systems designed for capturing rainwater for a use in watering the plants surrounding a structure. What system you use will depend on the location of the building and the layout of the land around it.