Environmental awareness is at an all-time high. Globally, people are recycling more than ever before, electrical appliances are being switched off rather than left on standby, and the importance of protecting the planet for future generations is more clearly understood than ever before.
With this in mind, the vast majority of modern buildings are made with the environment in mind. Environmental buildings also cost much less financially to build and maintain over a period of time, which has also helped to deal with any scepticism around green building methods. What are the specific considerations that go into modern green buildings?
1. Life Cycle Assessment
Although this is not a compulsory measure in the planning of green buildings, the life cycle assessment often helps to look at the longer-term benefits of a building and decide whether projects should go ahead. Factors such as on-going maintenance and energy use are considered at this stage, so that if a building is likely to become less energy efficient over time, decisions can be made as to whether to adapt each project and plan future costs associated with the structure.
2. Sustainable Design
Sustainable design considers the products that must be used in order to make a design on paper become a reality. For the design of a building to be deemed sustainable, environmentally friendly products such as ETFE should be used, that then lead to less environmentally damaging materials, such as steel, being needed within the structure of the building.
3. Energy Efficiency
Whether it is reducing the energy used or offsetting carbon emissions by using renewable energy, a certain standard of energy efficiency is vital to all green buildings. Features to reduce energy use include the use of transparent materials in the structure, as well as the use of solar panels and small wind turbines on a building.
4. Indoor Environment Quality
One of the major advancements in green building has seen indoor office blocks have the feel and environment of a fresh, outdoor setting. This means that natural light is more widely used, while heat and insulation feels more natural and the air quality is higher.
5. Waste Reduction and Recycling
While almost all businesses and households are working towards recycling more and reducing waste, it is still an important factor in environmental building. Many designers are now seeking ways for all waste to be dealt with on site, whether it be paper, water, or anything else. Other initiatives include capturing carbon emissions and using this energy to heat water, or elsewhere within the building.
Vector Foiltec is a leading construction company in the UK and is the industry leader for ETFE roofing requirements.