The government and the private sector are actively campaigning to reduce carbon footprint because of the drastic effects of climate change that claims thousands of lives and leaves millions of traumatized survivors. Tsunamis, excessive flooding, and extreme weather conditions are just a few of the effects of climate change and it shook the world into realizing that Mother Nature is in grave danger. Because of this, the number of people drawn to the idea of sustainable living is growing day by day. Different industries are also leaning towards greener future and adopting the practices that reduce the use of natural and personal resources.
In the construction industry, retrofitting old buildings into green buildings has become the trend. The demands for the conversion of old buildings and the growth of the construction of green buildings are overwhelming. Families today are aware of the benefits of living in an energy efficient home. Businesses deliberate whether to reconstruct their offices or build a new one to cut energy-related expenditures in the long run.
What is a green building?
Efficiency of Materials Used
The efficiency of materials used in the construction of building makes a major difference in assessing a sustainable building. EPA lists Environmentally Preferable Building Materials and Specifications to guide building contractors and architects about the specification of materials that goes within the scope of green building.
EPA also provides measures in recycling industrial materials. Because industrial products are usually similar in chemical and physical properties, they can be recycled without sacrificing the quality of the construction. In some cases, this process improves the quality of construction material. In the process of retrofitting old buildings into green buildings, recycling of materials help reduce the cost and quantity of materials used.
The types of materials purchased for the construction of green federal buildings is governed by ETA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program. This program considers the environmental effects of materials purchased in the process of federal purchasing.
The design of the building affects the consumption of energy. ETA introduced a program that assesses the effects of the architectural design and orientation of the building in amount of energy necessary to power up the building. To improve energy efficiency, the design as a whole must be considered. The appliances installed must be energy efficient. The electrical makeup of the building should be designed in a way that does not increase energy consumption. This program is carried out in partnership with homebuilders, office building managers, and product manufacturers.
The third on the list is the Water Efficiency. ETA promotes products that are water reduce water wastage. This constitutes measuring the amount of water used for a specific purpose. Products installed in the building must meet the standard set for an Energy Star Label. Homeowners and building administrators must conform to this. For a building to be water efficient, it must be designed in such a way that water is measured according to purpose.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor Air Quality is a very critical component in the construction of a green building. The structure must be designed according to the standards set by EPA. The quality of air promotes health, comfort and productivity of occupants. With the installation of energy efficient products, good quality of air will flow within and around the building. Structures must be durable to hold these fixtures.
Building contractors must adhere to EPA’s chemical assessment tools to construct a building that reduces the production and spread of toxic gases, liquids, and other materials.
Retrofitting old building into green buildings is cost-effective. To reduce energy consumption, it is important to redesign old buildings and create a high-performance building that will last longer and increase the value of the building. Upon completion, it must create an environment where occupants live comfortably.
The building condition must be assessed. As building owners weigh financial investment, it is important to weigh the current state of the building to save. It is also important to consider the positive attribute of the building to cut back on construction materials as the old design can support the majority of the new design.
Materials and Procedures
The procedures and materials used to construct a new structure are constantly evolving nowadays. The trend in building infrastructures lean towards environmental preservation such that the materials used in buildings must be sustainable and energy efficient.
It is important for contractors to look for recyclable materials and to plan procedures ahead to save a considerable sum.
Man challenges technology in various ways. The improvement of the quality of life pushes everyone to innovate and continuously transform electronic gadgets, home appliances, clothing and even infrastructures.
Today, homeowners are motivated to build Green buildings for houses. Construction companies are contemplating on making green buildings. Would you build a green building from scratch or retrofitting old buildings into green buildings sounds better?