The global climate crisis is gaining momentum, and more people are eager to help, both in personal and professional settings. While we still have so much to learn about what sustainability really is, major industries such as architecture and construction are taking notice and turning to what’s tried and tested in the world of eco-friendly. More homeowners are looking to create greener living environments, while entire industrial facilities now also have to undergo specific assessments and meet certain governmental criteria of sustainability to become fully operational.
To top it all off, engineers and architects today have more practical knowledge than ever before on how to create sustainable solutions that are viable for the construction process, but also for the end-user. With all of that in mind, design and construction sustainability is no longer a matter of possibility, but one of necessity. Here, we’ll discuss a few ways architects and engineers in construction and building design are going green and how they’re relying on sustainable solutions that will change the world for the better.
Biophilic roofs taking over
Going green often means just that: turning to Mother Nature, even in the process of architecture, design, and construction. In certain, highly urbanized countries and cities, the need for planting trees and other greenery has reached immense proportions. A solution that helps elevate the sustainability of construction without reducing the livable space for city-dwellers is transforming roofs into green oases.
More engineers are now restructuring roofs of existing buildings and making room within the design for the new ones to introduce gardens that will minimize the carbon footprint, lower the temperature during the warm months of the year, and serve as isolation as well as food sources all year round.
Smarter waste management
Once upon a time, construction sites and the entire building process used to be some of the main sources for filling up landfills, most commonly with materials that could be successfully recycled, reused, or repurposed. Everything from glass, wood, cardboard, all the way to concrete and drywall gets lost in this process.
Today, with the help of efficient and sustainable waste management systems, construction sites can drastically reduce waste during the construction process. In addition to waste reduction, these processes help reduce the need for additional material procurement, since reusing and recycling helps them maximize the use of these materials. Efficient chute systems, balers, crushers, and other types of equipment are simplifying this process for construction companies.
Now that so many people are looking to make their homes more energy-efficient, it’s no wonder construction and architecture trends are quickly leaning away from old-school, energy-heavy practices. The very process of building is demanding in terms of water consumption as well as electricity use, so companies are trying to reduce and recycle as much as possible.
With so many options for harvesting renewable energy, homeowners and commercial building owners are opting for solar, wind, and hydropower among many other opportunities. These solutions help cut down on energy bills while at the same time elevating the sustainability of the entire building. Engineers are designing systems that maintain this approach once the building is ready for use, but the very building process is also shifting to renewable resources.
Eco-friendly building materials
Conventional building methods and materials have been those silent eco-system destroyers, and most companies have got accustomed to using them without considering the consequences. Today, any mindful company in construction can replace those conventional materials with greener alternatives that are both cost-effective for production, durable and long-lasting, and maintain those high standards of modern living.
Some materials that fall under this category include: bamboo, reclaimed wood, recycled and reclaimed steel, natural wool for insulation, and cork, among many other.
On-site sustainable initiatives
As more construction and architecture companies are striving to be more sustainable this year and in the future, they’ve realized that the building process itself offers all kinds of opportunities for improvement. In addition to sustainably managing waste and choosing smarter materials, companies can also rethink their own operational policies and adapt to make room for green solutions.
For example, introducing recycling stations on the premises helps reduce waste, but also entices employees to be more mindful of their behavior and habits. Incentivizing sustainable behavior starts from within, so companies are now looking to train their employees to adapt. Energy conservation, automatic thermostats, smart water use systems, and a no-smoking policy all help boost sustainability.
We have a long way to go in order to fully leverage the power of sustainability in many industries, but when it comes to construction and architecture, we’ve made significant progress. These efforts are making it possible for homeowners as well as commercial building owners and investors to rely on these Earth-friendly procedures, allowing for the local eco-systems to flourish while improving the quality of life of the community.
Whether you’re looking to build or redesign your own home, or you’re a business owner working within construction yourself, keep these notions in mind. Applying these principles will bring many benefits to everyone involved, and it will help you lead a more sustainable life, setting an example in your community and beyond.