Traditional construction methods are slowly being phased out by modern, environmentally conscious and energy efficient building techniques. The green building movement is gaining popularity amongst residential and commercial builders and manufacturers. Many potential buyers or renters specifically ask for energy efficiency as a requirement before they sign any papers. The long-term economic and environmental benefits are great reasons for you to start building green.
A building can be considered to be energy efficient when the construction material is made of recycled or recyclable products and the amount of energy it uses (such as in air conditioning, heating, lighting) is economical and resourceful.
When constructing an energy efficient building, take into account the amount of energy that will be used to get the facility built. This means the transportation of construction materials, production, construction and the waste products that will be left over – including the time it takes for clean up. Use local materials that can be easily transported whenever possible. You can even use parts of old buildings that have been demolished to reduce the amount of new materials that have to be used.
Take a look at the type of materials being used. Depending on the size and shape of your building, you have a variety of energy efficient materials that can be used in the construction. Wood, steel and concrete can be recycled, but they may not be the best fit for your facility in terms of energy efficiency. You can use lumber from a local forest that is being rejuvenated, or a mix of construction materials such as concrete and brick.
Once the building is open, the true test of its energy efficiency begins. Does the heating system keep the building warm in winter without consuming excess amounts of energy? If you’ve constructed your building with energy efficient windows, doors and insulation, and installed a furnace that doesn’t waste natural resources like gas or oil, you building can stay warmer longer. The same goes for cooling systems. Employing the use of shades and trees in the summer months can go a long way in keeping your utility costs down.
Installing energy efficient water heaters, fluorescent lighting and ground air circulators are great ways to reduce costs and lessen the environmental impact. Using natural lighting, such as skylights or large windows will also keep your energy bills low. Many commercial facilities are installing solar panels or wind turbines on the roof of the structure to contribute to the building’s energy needs and keep electricity costs down.
The purpose of building green is to reduce the negative impacts our homes and facilities have on the environment. It is clear that by using these techniques that your energy costs will be reduced, saving you money. These technological breakthroughs in modern construction allow us to create sustainable structures that are environmentally and ecologically friendly.