Home General What Are the Key Elements of Sustainable Construction?

What Are the Key Elements of Sustainable Construction?

by Olufisayo
Sustainable Construction

While aesthetic appeal is essential, the materials going into the construction need to be from eco-friendly sources. Now, more and more people realize the importance of sustainable construction to protect the environment and ensure better human health. It involves creating architectural designs in harmony with nature.

Here are a few critical elements of sustainable architecture that help sustain the planet:

Solar Paneling the Roof

Solar panels not only help save on your power bills, but they help reduce the carbon footprint caused by conventional methods of power generation. Did you know that the total electricity generation in the U.S. during 2019 was 4.13 trillion kWh, which resulted in the emission of 1.72 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide?

Solar shingles are the answer to cutting down on emissions caused by power generation. A combo of solar panels and roof shingles form part of the roof and a sustainable form of power source for your home or office. Solar shingles can be wired and connected to the building’s electrical system, reducing electricity consumption from the grid.

Green Rooftop Gardens

The concept of green rooftop gardens is catching up fast, and you can convert a bare concrete surface to lush green lawns and colorful flowers. Green roofs create lung space and attract rare bird species, making your home a birdwatcher’s paradise. Here are a few steps to turn your concrete rooftop into a lush green, eco-friendly garden:

  • Waterproofing the terrace to prevent seepage
  • Setting up a drainage system to allow the excess water to flow away
  • Spreading loam soil to grow turf and low-maintenance flora

Rainwater Harvesting

Another green initiative that every homeowner should seriously think of is rainwater harvesting. You can reduce your dependency on conventional water sources and use nature’s bountiful water to water your eco-friendly terrace garden and for your home’s gray water requirements.

Rainwater harvesting is part of sustainable construction and green design principles. The system helps attain self-sufficiency in your water needs and helps prevent sewage overflow by reducing runoff. The possibilities are endless, from a simple filtering and storage system to a complex system incorporating colorful fountains and water reservoirs.

Using Sustainable Green Materials

While constructing your home or office, use only natural materials. Try to source the materials locally, as sourcing it from far away locations involves transportation, which causes air pollution. The focus has to be on waste prevention and recycling of materials.

Instead of finding efficient means of waste disposal, the focus has to be on preventing waste generation. The United States Green Building Council (UGBC) has a rating system known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which evaluates the environmental performance based on the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a green home.

Switching to Cob

Cob is a building material option that is 100% eco-friendly as it uses natural materials. This ancient building material is made using the correct proportion of wet earth and straw to make eco-friendly bricks known as cobs.

The mixture is malleable like clay and is used for designing uniquely styled houses with curved edges replacing sharp edges. Cob has a negligible carbon footprint; and is suitable for designing interiors like shelves, tables, natural benches, and comfortable furniture.

Summing it Up

Building green, eco-friendly homes is probably the first step to a greener environment and a significant step in saving the planet. Sustainable architecture is the answer to today’s environmental woes.

Image by RachelW1 from Pixabay

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