Around the world, green building practices are gaining in popularity as people become more environmentally conscious and increasingly seek sustainable choices in every aspect of their daily lives.
A survey of more than 2,000 international builders, contractors and developers recently revealed that almost half expect to build more than 50% of their projects as green buildings by 2021. It is clear that this is more than a fleeting trend; instead, it is a new way of building that will soon become standard.
Green Building Overview
Green building offers many benefits, with energy efficiency being one of the most attractive advantages. By sticking to renewable resources and products, green buildings enjoy high energy efficiency. Moreover, when the life of something in a green building nears its end, it can be recycled or reused.
Another large benefit is environmental safety. Green buildings are safe for the environment because they do not contribute to waste, nor do they deteriorate over time or create debris. Moreover, the chemicals that are used for any treatments needed for the components of the home are environmentally friendly, which means they do not contribute to air or water pollution.
Top Green Building Construction Practices
Green buildings are designed to reduce the impact of the built environment on the planet as well as on human health at every step of the process, from siting and design to construction, maintenance, renovation and even deconstruction.
Each step considers minimizing the consumption of water, energy, natural resources and materials as well as environmental impacts such as pollution, runoff, noise and waste.
Below is a closer look at some of the top green building construction practices being seen right now.
Using Alternative Building Materials
This year has seen a growing trend toward using alternative building materials that do not have a lasting impact on the environment. One of these is bamboo, which is considered a sustainable material because it grows quickly and is easy to harvest. As an added bonus, it is also cost-effective.
Wood is also gaining popularity because it absorbs carbon dioxide and does not require processing methods that use high amounts of energy, unlike some of the more common building materials. Recycled plastic is also being chosen for its long lifespan and durability.
Another alternative, grasscrete, is a technique that sees concrete flooring layered in a way that allows grass and other flora to grow. This creates a natural bio filter and improves its ability to absorb storm water. Hempcrete, meanwhile, is made from hemp wood, water and lime and is long-lasting and tough.
Solar power is increasingly being used in green buildings to take advantage of the sun, which is an unlimited resource.
Passive solar features rely on daylight in the orientation of the building to give it heat and light without using other technology. This might entail placing windows and skylights strategically to bring some light in and a thermal mass like brick or concrete to store the heat and gradually release it at night.
However, a more active solar energy system with solar panels is an even more popular approach. These panels can be placed on the roof or mounted on the ground and convert solar power into electricity. This can give homeowners energy independence and supply clean and renewable energy for the lifespan of the panels. It is often a feature in new construction, but solar panels can also be retrofitted into older homes.
For solar panels, a certain amount of space is needed. It is particularly important to consider how much space is available with southern exposure, which in many cases means having a roof that faces either south or west. Those who cannot fit enough solar panels to meet all of their home’s energy needs can still install some panels to take on part of their energy load.
Many contractors are now striving to build net-zero buildings. These are buildings whose energy consumption is approximately equal to their energy output. Net-zero buildings also aim to reduce carbon emissions, consumption of water and the amount of solid waste transported to landfills.
These buildings usually generate renewable energy on-site or off-site. For example, they might use solar water heating, wind turbines or photovoltaics on-site. Off-site options include geothermal plants, hydropower facilities, solar plants, and wind farms. In many cases, credits for generating power sustainably can offset the cost of building renewable energy sites.
Reach Out To Green Building Construction Experts
Everyone wants to do their part to protect the planet, and green building construction can have a vast impact on the environment.
If you would like to convert your home or business into a green building or you are considering building a new green building, get in touch with the green building construction experts at Curtis Lumber & Plywood. Our green building products are made with environmental friendliness, durability and quality in mind.