The green building industry is booming right now as more people are conscious of how their actions impact the planet and seek ways of reducing their environmental footprint. This approach has quickly gone mainstream, and sustainability is likely to be a standard feature in buildings of the future.
What Is Green Building?
Green building is an approach to construction and renovations that sees every step of the planning and building process carried out with its environmental impact in mind. It involves increasing the efficiency with which homes and buildings use water, energy and materials while reducing their impact on the environment and human health.
Although a lot of emphasis is placed on the way that the building uses energy for everyday activities, the environmentally-friendly attitude carries through the entire project from start to finish. It begins with the building’s siting and design and runs through its construction, operation, maintenance and even its renovation and ultimate destruction.
For example, the site of a green building may be chosen based on its access to proper sunlight for solar power. Its construction may use recycled or reused materials or those that are made with renewable resources. It may also feature landscaping that reduces the use of water, such as native plants that can survive without excessive watering. Its materials will also be recyclable when the building is torn down.
Environmental Advantages Of Green Buildings
Many people believe that a green building is largely defined by its energy efficiency, and it is true that this is one of the biggest advantages of a green building. By using features such as solar panels that use the energy from the sun and window designs that reduce the need for artificial light, there is no question that green buildings use energy quite efficiently. This not only reduces costs for the building’s owner, but it also reduces the building’s environmental footprint.
However, improved energy efficiency is just one part of the equation. Below is a look at some of the major environmental advantages of green buildings.
Improves Air And Water Quality
Green buildings often enjoy a higher-quality indoor environment than their traditional counterparts. Conditions inside a building such as lighting, thermal conditions, ergonomics and air quality all contribute to the overall indoor environment, and a positive one can protect the health of those in the building and improve their quality of life.
Green buildings also reduce the use of materials that can emit chemicals that are dangerous to health. For example, green construction companies avoid using certain plastic byproducts that can release toxins and carcinogens into the air. They also use materials with low off-gassing and appropriate refrigerants to reduce emissions to the air.
Using water generally means drawing clean water in from the environment and delivering contaminated water back to the environment, and sometimes that water is returned with pollutants such as the fertilizers used in landscaping. Green buildings reduce water use and, by extension, its detrimental effects on local ecologies and marine life. They might use low-flow toilets, xeriscaping and rainwater harvesting to remain sustainable.
Reduces Waste By Recycling Materials
Green buildings also result in less waste than conventional ones. When making a green building, long-lasting materials are used, and some products are recycled and reused. Moreover, these buildings are designed in a way that allows them to use fewer materials, energy and water in the first place, resulting in greater material efficiency. Their greater efficiency also allows them to reduce the strain seen on local resources in densely populated areas.
Green buildings also tend to use water more efficiently. In some cases, this may be achieved by using alternative water sources such as rainwater or reducing water waste by installing highly efficient plumbing fixtures and systems for purifying and recycling water.
Low Maintenance And Operation Costs
The unique construction features of green buildings that allow them to use resources like water and energy efficiently mean that their maintenance and operation costs are a lot lower than a traditional building. For example, by making the most of daylight, green buildings use less power in lighting systems, resulting in savings on energy bills.
Although constructing a green building can sometimes cost slightly more than a traditional one initially, the lower operation and maintenance costs can often make these varieties a cheaper prospect in the long run.
Reach Out To Green Building Construction Experts
Any building has the potential to be a green building, whether it is a home, a business, a school, a hospital or any other type of structure, as long as it is made with protecting the environment in mind.
If you would like to build a green building or turn your existing property into a more environmentally-friendly one, reach out to the green building construction experts at Curtis Lumber & Plywood to find out more about our green building products.