In recent years the world has seen a surge of individuals who are concerned by the environment, as well as companies who are engaging in corporate social responsibility. There are many ways to reduce environmental impact, from installing expensive wind turbines to turning off the tap while we brush our teeth. Green building is one way to reduce resource consumption and minimize long-term costs. There are six principles of green building and the objective is to optimise at least one of them.
This is the concept stage of sustainable building and has the largest impact on cost and performance. It aims to minimize the environmental impact associated with all life-cycle stages of the building process.
Examples of ways to reduce energy use include insulating walls, ceilings, and floors, and building high efficiency windows. The layout of a building, such as window placement, can be strategised so that natural light pours through for additional warmth. Similarly, shading the roof with trees offers an eco-friendly alternative to air conditioning.
To reduce water consumption and protect water quality, facilities should aim to increase their use of water which has been collected, used, purified and reused. They should also make it a goal to reduce waste water by using products such as ultra-low flush toilets and low-flow shower heads.
To minimize environmental impact, facilities should use materials that have been recycled and can generate a surplus of energy. A good example of this are solar power panels. Not only do they offer lighting but they are also a valuable energy source. Low-power LED lighting technology reduce energy consumption and energy bills, so everyone wins!
5.Indoor Air Quality
Reduce volatile organic compounds and provide adequate ventilation by choosing construction materials and interior finish products with low-zero emissions. This will vastly improve a building's indoor air quality.
It is possible to reuse resources. What may be waste to us might have another benefit to something else, like grey water that can be changed into fertilizer. Grey water is wastewater from sources such as dishwashers and washing machines which can easily be reused for purposes such as flushing toilets or power-washing decks.
Sustainable building evidently requires creativity, great planning, and of course, resourcefulness. But in the long-run it offers reduced costs and more protection for the planet, so do your part and have a little fun while you do.