More and more of us are trying to have a greener and more sustainable way of life, and this is because we know that we only have one planet, and unless Mars becomes habitable in the next decade or two, then we have no plan B, and this is why you need to get it together. Green building is one of those ways that we can adopt to have a more sustainable lifestyle.
As an older Gen Z, I don’t care about my life (like most of us), but I care about the planet because it is so much more than us, and we need to respect it for that. We all should be more conscious of our carbon footprint, and we need to decolonize our minds when it comes to that. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some things everyone should know about sustainable and green building.
1. What is it?
Green building means that a building, in its design, operation, or construction, eliminates or at least reduces negative impacts and creates an overall more positive impact on our environment. They preserve precious natural resources and can improve our overall quality of life. There are a number of features that make a building ‘green’. Some of these includes:
- A design that adapts to changing environments
- Consideration of the environment in operation, design, or construction
- Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in terms of operation, design, or construction
- Efficient use of water, energy, and other resources
- Good interior environmental air quality
- Pollution and waste reduction measures
- Use of materials that are ethical, non-toxic, and sustainable
- Use of renewable energy
Any building, be it a home, office, hospital, community center, or school, can be green as long as they include the above features. It is important for you to know that different regions and countries have a variety of characteristics such as diverse building types and ages, unique cultures and traditions, distinctive climatic conditions, and wide-ranging environmental, economic, and social priorities.
2. Use natural light
One way to reduce energy use and consumption is carefully and thoughtfully placing windows. Try to maximize the natural light in your home, which can significantly reduce the need for artificial lighting. This must be done during the design and construction stage of your home/building, and you need to consider the orientation of your home to best capture maximum sunlight.
You might also want to look into double-glazed windows that are good for insulating your home and keeping your home cooler during summers and warmer during winters. This will ultimately reduce your energy consumption and reduce your heating or cooling bills. You can also get solar panels to get the best out of natural light and use renewable energy. If you plan to do this, you have to ensure that the panel is in an optimal position to ensure that you are getting the most of daylight.
Another way to save on your energy bill you might want to look into proper insulation. This will contribute to a more sustainable building design and reduce energy use. As mentioned above, double-glazed windows are one way to ensure that your home is sufficiently isolated, but you have to also look for your walls, floor, and roof to be insulated as well in order to do your best.
The more insulation your home has, the more efficient it will be at keeping it hot or cold, depending on how you need it. This is why it is critical to make sure that you discuss the topic of insulation with your contractor, as this is part and parcel of the sustainable development process. You will never hear someone say their home is too insulted, especially when it comes to saving energy.
4. Green and sustainable materials
An eco-friendly building will not be complete without a selection of green and sustainable materials, and there are various ways to ensure that the materials you choose are environmentally friendly. The more energy efficient the building becomes, the less demanding it is in terms of power need and maintenance. Reusing old material or choosing biodegradable resources can produce minimal pollution and reduce energy costs.
Sustainable materials are sustainable not because they are sustainable but also because they are durable. Using materials that are better for the environment is also proven to be cost-effective and ensures that you are using a minimal amount of material and products that provide optional performance. Green building is making the most with what you have and being mindful of the environment. It is a mindset to make more conscious decisions, and it ensures that your building is good for the environment.
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