Construction is an important aspect of modern life, but there is no denying its impact on the environment. To make matters worse, many construction materials are not produced using ‘green’ principles. The recognition of this fact is what led to the development of sustainable concepts in construction and design.
Construction of any kind will affect the environment around it, but there are ways to minimize this. The goal is to develop solutions that meet the need for housing while taking into account the use of natural resources.
Understanding Sustainable Construction
It should come as no surprise that this concept is sometimes difficult to define. Some construction projects proceed without all stakeholders having a full understanding of what the goals for sustainability should be. While buildings are essential to a society’s wellbeing, they represent the depletion of resources. This becomes an even bigger concern given the growth of the population and the continuing demand for housing and commercial space.
Optimizing the Project
There may be slightly different opinions on the specific details of a sustainable project, but most would agree on the ways to optimize one for the benefit of everyone involved.
- Water conservation. Efforts should always be made to conserve this precious resource. The project should utilize water saving fixtures such as low flow toilets and automatic taps. If possible, water used during construction should be recycled.
- Energy efficiency. Consider the use of one or more alternative energy products during the planning phase. Every home now has addition electrical devices and appliances, so there should be a focus on using energy wisely. Ways to optimize energy use include effective insulation, and the use of UV radiation blocking windows.
- Site preparation. Finding the right site is an important part of the construction process. It is possible to save money by repairing a building instead of building from scratch. The site must provide access to roads and public transportation. It is important to note that the location of the building can directly affect the area.
- The use of material. Many construction projects now involve the use of reclaimed material. This has the added benefit of lowering the costs of the project. While the project is underway, care should be taken to avoid harming the environment. This includes leaving any material behind.
Sustainable construction is not only good for the environment, it offers the possibility of cost savings as well. The concept is not new, but it continues to evolve, and even local building authorities may be able to offer some useful advice.
Our project planners and construction project managers are well versed in sustainable building measures and will help you make the best decisions throughout the process. Give us a call at 407-316-8544 to discuss your upcoming green construction plans or to discuss hiring us to manage your construction project.