Sustainable construction is intended to meet the needs of humanity without harming the environment. Traditional buildings usually have a negative impact on nature, both due to the resources that go into their construction and the construction process itself. Sustainable construction avoids the vast majority of those costs by using efficient techniques and low-impact materials, so it helps preserve nature in a variety of ways.
Reduced Energy Use
Energy consumption is a one of the most pressing environmental issues, so green construction projects make a point of addressing it. In most cases, green buildings are designed to minimize the amount of energy that they need to control their temperature, usually through a mixture of insulation, thermal mass, and passive solar power. Taken together, these methods can eliminate most of the structure’s energy needs.
They usually combine that with solar panels or another source of green energy. The electricity that the panels generate will ensure that computers, lights, and other appliances in the building can remain functional without causing any problems for the natural world.
Sustainable construction also strives to use local materials that involve as little processing as possible. That minimizes the embodied energy of the structure, which is the amount of energy that it takes to build it and all of the components that went into it. All of these methods work together to minimize the energy consumption of the building at every stage of its existence.
Sustainable construction projects also involve using as few materials as possible. Any process that harvests raw materials, from mining ore to cutting down trees for lumber, has an impact on the environment. Many companies take steps to reduce their impact, but it is rarely possible to eliminate it entirely.
Reducing the demand for raw materials causes those companies to harvest less resources, which also reduces their impact on the environment. Given the choice, sustainable projects also involve picking materials that can be harvested with a minimum of pollution or environmental destruction.
Landscaping can also have a big impact on the environmental, usually through the consumption of water. Sustainable construction projects often include designs that work with the local environment to minimize the need for landscaping, and sometimes include designs for gardens that only use local plants.
That saves water by reducing or eliminating artificial irrigation on the property. That may not seem like a big deal, but widespread use of sprinklers to grow grass in the desert and in other areas that cannot naturally support it does lead to excessive water use. Designing a landscape to be appealing without using plants that require special care reduces strain on the local water supply and conserves it for other uses.