Construction work always has an impact on the environment. With a growing global priority on sustainability, the construction industry must take steps to minimize their imprint in raising a new building and designing that building to perform sustainably for many years to come.
With so many environmental problems arising, professionals from the construction industry are developing different ways to create structures that can improve building sustainability. Green buildings have been opted for by establishment owners across the globe. Sustainable architecture is the main focus of new green building and renovation projects worldwide. It has the potential to remarkably benefit the people who occupy urban spaces, including its surrounding environment.
What is a Green Building?
The US Environmental Protection Agency elaborated that green building is a construction technique that uses more environmentally friendly and resource-efficient processes or products throughout a building's life-cycle in construction, maintenance, operation, renovation, and demolition. Not only that, but these buildings also incorporate products that enhance building efficiency and functionality, such as the typical solar panels, LED lighting, aluminum weather-resistant insulated access panels, and others.
To make significant changes to the energy intensity of buildings, we need to look deeply at each of the components of energy usage and the solutions that can optimize its efficiency. But what are the innovations in green building that have helped revolutionize the industry? Here are what you should expect from the future of green building:
1. Air Cleaning Materials for Post-Construction
Air cleaning materials, such as concrete and paint, use innovation and natural resources to help them absorb pollutants from the air and break them down into tiny, harmless substances. The exterior and interior paints, pavers, and other materials have Titanium Dioxide successfully incorporated into them. These products essentially engulf the pollution in the air and break it down into non-harmful by-products, which the rain and other sources of moisture flush out.
Microgrids are tiny electrical grid systems, usually fixed between some connected buildings that produce, distribute and store energy amongst themselves, exchanging power as required. You can find them in universities, military bases, and other government facilities. They can be self-sufficient, disconnecting entirely from the public electrical grid.
The two significant pieces that a microgrid needs to operate by itself are the ability to store and generate power. As wind and solar power technology become more efficient and less expensive, communities or campuses will be able to develop their power generation centers using these sustainable resources.
3. Net-Zero Buildings
Net-zero buildings generate as much energy as they use over a year. The technology to build these structures and their systems exists now, but the only barrier you will face is how much it would cost. Many projects find that net-zero is not attainable within their budget. The key to net-zero energy use is using passive systems to heat and cool spaces. The passive design uses building mass, operable windows, and the chimney effect to naturally cool and hear building areas. Large areas of stone, water, or concrete absorb and store heat during the day, releasing it during the colder evening hours.
4. Smart Glass
Smart glass is an innovative variety of glass that can tint itself to keep the interior of a building in optimum comfort. The tinting shades the inside of your building and prevents heat from transferring. There are two types of smart glasses which are electrochromic and thermochromic. Electrochromic glass reacts to electricity by altering its color. The glass has a film printed onto it that responds to electricity by changing the glass from opaque to colored, usually blue. On the other hand, thermochromic glasses react to solar radiation, becoming darker as the temperature increases.
Incorporating sustainable materials will positively impact your establishment in the business industry, and it will also decrease the harmful effects of construction on our environment. If you're thinking of going green this time around, collaborate with experienced professionals who will offer you the desired results.