A sustainable or green building has minimal effects on the environment. Essentially, sustainable construction refers to the use of structures and processes that are resource-efficient and environmentally responsible throughout the life-cycle of a building from design and construction to operation, maintenance, remodeling, and demolition.
The purpose of sustainable construction is to preserve and restore the environment or a surrounding habitat that is important for sustaining life. Here are the 6 fundamental principles of a sustainable construction design.
Optimize the Potential of a Site
Whether you’re retrofitting a building or designing a new one, the site design should integrate a sustainable design to enhance the success of the project. This should begin with a careful selection of the site. And it includes rehabilitating the existing building. The orientation, landscaping, and location of a building affect the local ecosystems, energy use, and transportation methods.
Optimize Energy Utilization
Enhance energy usage in an existing building is very important. That’s because it increases the energy independence of the occupants. Operating a net-zero energy structure is a great way to minimize fossil fuel-derived energy dependence.
Conserve and Preserve Water
Sustainable structures utilize water more efficiently. They also recycle and reuse water for possible on-site uses where feasible.
Optimize Building Material Use and Space
With the continued growth of the world population, natural resources use is always increasing. Sustainable construction focuses on the use and reuse of materials sustainably and productively throughout their lifecycle.
Improve Indoor Environmental Quality
The indoor environmental quality of any building affects the comfort, health, and productivity of the occupants. Some of the attributes of a building that affects the indoor environment quality include day-lighting, moisture control and ventilation, acoustic performance, and use of materials with VOC emissions.
Optimize Maintenance and Operational Practices
Building designers specify the systems and materials that reduce or simplify the maintenance requirements of a building. They can use techniques that require less energy, less water, and less toxic cleaners or chemicals to maintain a building.
Sustainable construction design is achieved through the integration of different techniques and practices. Talk to your building designer and contractor about these principles to engage in a sustainable construction project.