Getting the Facts on Green Building

Recent demand for new natural energy sources is closely intertwined with another green wave sweeping the country: Green building.

Also known as sustainable building or green construction, green building is essentially the process of creating eco-friendly and resource-efficient structures which minimize negative environmental impact. As people have become more environmentally conscious, the demand for green building has increased greatly. Today many contractors advertise themselves as green builders, emphasizing the fact that they build structures which are more environmentally-friendly than ever before. Trends such as green condos are taking off in big cities across the US, as more and more people seek to minimize their environmental footprint and endorse an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

Starting with Environmentally Friendly Construction Techniques

Green building can refer to any number of aspects in both the construction process and final product of a green building project. One way to make the construction process green-friendly is to properly dispose of waste produced during construction and to recycle any recyclable materials used in the process.
If a construction crew works on a demolition project, for example, it is possible that various parts of the structure being torn down can be recycled; this is far more environmentally friendly than simply sending all this material to the landfill.

Construction can also be green-friendly by using eco-friendly materials. Renewable plant materials like bamboo, recycled stones and metals, adobe blocks, and recycled industrial goods are just a few materials which builders have started to use when creating green-friendly buildings. By using sustainable, recycled and/or renewable materials, builders can avoid needless waste and reduce a building’s environmental footprint.

Creating Environmentally-Friendly Green Buildings

There are a number of characteristics which can be included in the construction of a building in order to make it “green”. It all starts with the actual foundation and basic structure of the building itself.

Builders can minimize negative environmental damage by building in sites that are already home to other buildings or renovating old buildings to make them green friendly. By not building on uninhabited natural sites, as is often the case with the construction of suburbs, builders can reduce environmental impact of their structures.

Green buildings often include significant measures to increase energy-use efficiency. By installing well-insulated walls, ceiling and floors, a builder can minimize the need for unnecessary artificial heating or cooling. Unnecessary heating can also be avoided by installing windows and skylights in areas which will allow for maximum sunlight to enter the building, helping to warm the interior when it’s cold outside. It is also common for green buildings to utilize renewable energy sources such as solar, wind or hydro power, in order to provide electricity. Another important aspect of green building is water efficiency. This can be done by installing special low-water-use toilets which utilize significantly less water with each flush than regular toilets. Low-flow shower heads are also an option.

Modifying Old Structures in a Green-Friendly Manner

It is not necessary to start from scratch in order to create a green-friendly building. In addition to creating new environmentally-friendly buildings, many builders are also able to modify pre-existing structures to make them more eco-friendly. By installing new fixtures such as low-flush toilets or solar panels, homeowners can make their houses more environmentally friendly – and save money on electricity and water costs in the process. Little touches like implementing a compost bucket to get rid of kitchen scraps (rather than throwing them in the garbage) can make a difference as well.

Jobs Related to Green Building

The growing popularity of green building is great news for the alternative energy job market and the construction sector in general. General contractors and construction managers who promote green-building construction will be in demand as more and more people seek to make their homes eco-friendly. Solar panel installers will also benefit from the increased demand for environmentally-friendly structures.

Sign up for our newsletter!