Green Building is a big trend within the new ways of design and construction. It may be, as well, a revolutionary set of ideas that has to be standardized to ensure the sustainability of building methods, this involves eco-friendly selection of materials, implementation of bioclimatic strategies, careful use of energy sources and respect to the surrounding environment of the project.
What are the Advantages to Building in a Sustainable Manner?
What is driving a big part of the building industry in North America, Europe and many other countries to GO GREEN? Simply said, let us review the numerous advantages that will describe in a better way what "sustainable building" is all about:
- Energy saving: Smart use of electricity is one of the most important and attractive subjects that results from this design method. Since the beginning, lighting and HVAC equipment is designed to meet high-efficiency goals. Also, building shell materials are selected to have optimal insulation behavior and systems automation upgrades lighting and thermal comfort functionality and effectiveness. Due to current and future energy issues, this point may have the most impact when building goes into operation status.
- Site conservancy: Respect to the project surroundings to preserve existing flora and fauna, as well as the safeguarding of soil properties to avoid future erosion and sedimentation problems.
- Efficient use of water: Considerable volumes of vital liquid can be saved by rainwater collection strategies, installation of water conserving fixtures, in addition to gray water treatment and reuse.
- Renewable energy use: Implementation of photovoltaic panels, wind energy arrangements, solar water heating equipment, geothermal heating assemblies, etc. All of this aiming to diminish the use of energy that comes from the grid.
- Eco-friendly material selection: Giving preference to rapidly renewable materials, materials with recyclable/recycled content, reuse of existing building components, and employment of low emitting carpets, carpet cushions, paints, primers and sealers.
- Interior Environmental Quality: Focus on intelligent design that enhances interior air quality considerations, daylight use and thermal comfort. This point is principally aimed towards to provide a healthy and comfortable environment to occupants.
- Waste Management: Construction activities are considered responsible of generating enormous quantities of waste. Comprehensive plans of action are proposed to supervise policies that ensure as much material waste as possible is diverted from landfills.
Are there any Disadvantages to this Form of Construction?
It is possible to enumerate a few of the sadly truths of "green building":
- First of all, it may be a expensive method of designing/constructing. If not planned correctly since the early stages of design, it is possible to encounter problems and significant budget changes along the way. Green building construction is certainly not a careless approach.
- The application of renewable energy systems to building projects truly needs the assessment of experienced professionals. These types of equipment must be treated as a long term investment and, if not properly set up, they may bring more cons than pros.
- Be cautious about "green wash", a lot of doubtful "green" advisors and "green" products misguide the goals of sustainable construction. Remember, evaluate the sustainable scope for your building and highlight the strategies you clearly want to apply, afterwards, gather a team that is sincerely interested in helping the environment and improving the way of life of users.
What is Our Conclusion?
Green building is not a trend, it is just emerging as one. Its basis must be extensively adopted in the early future because traditional construction methods are not sustainable, they do not consider future generation necessities. If we want to conserve our environment and its resources, we must be responsible, we must go green... but most importantly, green has to be a standard if we want to make a positive change quickly.