As average citizens become more aware and involved with sustainable living choices, there is more thought that now goes into building and construction than ever before. The idea is to try and minimize the ecological impact of not just making a building, but living or working in it in a sustainable manner with minimal continuing ecological impact.
Here are some green building ideas for you.
1. Green Design
An eco-friendly building design ideally takes into account the natural surroundings of the building site to try and harmonize the building into that setting. The natural features of the building site should be worked with rather than against; any natural features such as a rock outcrop, thicket of tress and so on can be worked around and worked into the design concept rather than removed or effaced.
2. Green Building Materials
It makes sense to use locally sourced materials not only because they encourage and stimulate local economy, but also because there is less amount of money and resources expended on transport and movement of the raw materials.
If lumber or wood is to be used for the construction of the building it should be certified to be sourced from rapidly renewable sources – think bamboo, straw, jute, etc. The design and construction should also consider using recycled stone, recycled metal, non-toxic and reusable material. Think in terms of wood fiber plates, insulating concrete, rammed earth, clay, flax linen, cork, seagrass, baked earth, coconut and so on rather than conventional building materials.
There is yet another way in which the actual construction of the building can be done in an eco-friendly manner – if at all possible, onsite generation of renewable energy systems can be incorporated into the building structure – solar power, wind energy, hydro electricity, thermal or biomass generated power can be used in the construction to reduce the environmental impact of the construction. If possible these features can be retained for when the building is to be lived or worked in.
Possibilities of rain water harvesting and installation of water saving devices are also receiving due consideration from architects, designers and engineers.
3. Energy Efficient Buildings
The design of the proper insulation of buildings is a large part of their being sustainable because this can significantly reduce the environmental impact of energy utilization for heating, cooling and ventilation. Proper insulation as well as good ventilation means healthy natural air circulation inside and also less need for using artificial light at least in the day time. Not only that, it also means lower electricity bills.