“I predict that in 100 years’ time the most significant change in architecture will be a shift in focus away from skyward gestures of ego, towards a more inclusive practice that finds lasting solutions.” Design Journalist and Design Expert Katie Treggiden
There is a shift happening. We have to now take bigger steps to create a greener planet, and create a green sustainable future. We’ve heard about the use of recyclable materials, renewable energy and carbon emission reduction, but what about the construction industry? What can we do in that space to make those changes?
We have heard about Eco-Friendly Construction, which has developed in response to the harmful impacts that buildings and structures have on our environment and natural resources.
Let us define Eco-Friendly Construction - Eco-friendly, or ecological, construction is building a structure that is beneficial or non-harmful to the environment, and resource efficient.
Why should we care about Eco-Friendly Construction?
Eco-friendly construction is beneficial both economically and socially. Economically, eco-friendly construction can drastically improve air and water quality, which ultimately protects our ecosystems, and biodiversity. Socially, there are many benefits. Eco-friendly construction can considerably increase the health and wellbeing of occupants
The major methods of Eco-Friendly Construction include:
● Innovating with new materials that improve sustainability - there is a growing need for materials that can be reused, recycled and re-grown, and many of these will be used in future buildings
● Recycling water - Using recycled water reduces operating costs by replacing the use of potable water for landscape irrigation, toilet and urinal flushing, and other building operations.
● Finding new uses for old material - Revisiting old material is another method of Eco-Friendly Construction
● Locally Sourced Materials - Materials are sometimes transported over a long distance which uses a lot of energy. However, with green construction, there is a huge focus on locally-sourced materials.
● Maximizing natural light - Saving on lighting requirements and ultimately energy costs
● Using renewable energy to power the building— using solar panels as alternative which most buildings do now
In conclusion, construction and sustainable development should go hand in hand. We should all adopt a green approach for the future in order to build sustainable cities, and ecosystems. It is already a requirement to submit Environmental Impact Assessment reports for major construction projects, and will be expanded to non-commercial projects soon.