Sustainability and environmentally friendly practices have become increasingly popular in recent years. The construction industry has become more invested than ever in lowering the environmental impact involved in their actions. An increase in public awareness, the passage of environmentally friendly legislation, and government incentives have all fueled the rising demand for eco-friendly construction practices. Here are a few sustainable construction trends that are growing in popularity.
Environmentally Friendly Building Materials
Using environmentally friendly building materials is an excellent way limit your impact on the environment. There are many ways to incorporate environmentally sustainable materials both inside and outside of a structure. Reclaimed and responsibly sourced timber and wood products are environmentally friendly alternatives that reduce deforestation and unnecessary waste. In addition to wood, there are eco-friendly manufacturing practices that can produce concrete and steel all while emitting a fraction of the pollutants that harm the atmosphere.
Passive Building Design
Passive building design limits energy consumption by utilizing natural sources for heating and cooling. The sun is one of the most important aspects of passive design. It provides heat and natural light for the structure. For structures built in climates with harsh summers, the orientation of the building is very important. Good orientation reduces heating and cooling costs and will allow a structure to run efficiently for less money.
Modular Construction is not only better for the environment than traditional construction, but it is also often faster and more efficient. Modular structures are often built in a controlled, like a manufacturing plant, then delivered to its final location once it is completed. This technique is safer for construction workers and the environment. The controlled building area allows them to reduce material waste, air pollution, and on-site accidents. Modular construction also virtually eliminates weather related delays and setbacks.
Zero Energy Buildings
The goal of zero energy construction is to produce as much energy as it consumes, if it is successful, the structure will have no adverse environmental impact. The use of renewable energy, energy efficient appliances, and proper insulation are all techniques used in zero energy construction. Zero energy buildings are less expensive to own and are often more durable than traditional buildings.
Building smaller structures is great way to be more environmentally friendly. No matter how environmentally friendly a large structure is, it will likely have a larger carbon footprint than a small structure that utilizes the same sustainable practices. While smaller spaces may seem limiting, building a smaller structure is an opportunity to use creativity to maximize space. Smaller structures can be cost effective, environmentally friendly, and just as impressive as buildings twice their size.
The sustainable construction practices today can minimize environmental impact, all while saving time, money and energy. They allow builders to create high-performance structures that are not only energy efficient, but also safe and comfortable. Although construction trends come and go, these sustainable construction practices are likely to have a positive lasting impact on the world around them.
About the Author: Kelsey Hawkins is a contributing writer and media specialist for Varco Pruden. She regularly produces content for a variety of informational and lifestyle blogs.