The world’s supply of non-renewable resources are rapidly depleting, and it’s no surprise that more eyes are being turned towards sustainability and eco-friendly materials. The construction industry is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the ever-changing environment. Clean energy technology is becoming more advanced and popular than ever before, showing that it is as beneficial for your wallet as it is for the Earth.
Green construction is a way to build responsibly, reduce waste, and help preserve the environment. The construction industry has the power to significantly affect these practices because of the large amounts of materials and energy used throughout the industry. To achieve sustainable construction, two key processes must be met: the materials used and the methods utilized.
Technology continues to evolve faster, allowing for innovations and creative methods to get things done. We see this in the construction industry as it continues to transform digitally and methodically with new tech helping contractors save time and money while promoting an eco-friendly environment. Here are the top five tech trends in green construction.
Construction always means something new is being built. Often something is torn down to be replaced by the new construction. Or This material consists of waste products and chemicals detrimental to the environment. So why can’t there be a way to dispose of building materials in an eco-friendly way? Well, actually, there is. Biodegradable materials result in products to naturally degrade without contaminating the Earth. Some popular biodegradable materials include cork, bamboo, and bioplastics. Harvesting cork is a renewable process, and it acts as a fire retardant, acoustic insulator, and is waterproof. Bamboo is two to three times stronger than steel and is a wonderful sustainable alternative. Bioplastics break down much faster than synthetic plastic because it contains a soy-based adhesive that helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions and the use of formaldehyde.
Everyone in construction knows that working with insulation is a pain. Getting fiberglass shards stuck on your body is never fun. This stuff stays behind walls and acts as a filler, so we should start using recycled materials that are safer for our bodies and the environment. A great example of an eco-friendly alternative is cotton insulation. It’s made from recycled denim that doesn’t contain formaldehyde nor cause respiratory problems. Another green insulation material is sheep’s wool. While known for keeping us warm through blankets and clothing, this material’s compressed wool fibers trap air to help keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter– saving energy and money as heating and cooling systems do not need to be adjusted.
This is becoming quite popular with businesses and homes across the world. There are two types of solar power used in construction: active solar and passive solar. Active solar power uses advanced technology, like solar panels, to capture the sun’s energy, while passive solar power doesn’t use any equipment and relies solely on the building’s placement design. For example, large windows let in an enormous amount of solar energy, and a heat-absorbing wall in the building will help retain the warmth. This allows fans and air vents to spread the air throughout the building. The more we rely on solar energy, the more we reduce greenhouse gasses through non-renewable energy.
What better way to generate power than using the Earth’s natural energy? This is an efficient renewable energy resource that’s more eco-friendly compared to coal-powered electricity or natural gas. Using pipes placed a few feet underground (where it stays close to 60 degrees Fahrenheit), an antifreeze mixture is poured into them to collect thermal energy that is then routed to a heat pump that takes the energy to use in the building. It provides warm energy during the winter and cool energy during the summer using less energy.
This tech offers higher solar reflectance and higher thermal emittance than standard roofing products. According to the EPA, cool roofs reduce energy use because they transfer less heat, so the building stays cooler and uses less air conditioning energy. The EPA also reports that cool roofs reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and improves human health and comfort.
Green construction is extremely beneficial environmentally, financially, and socially. It contributes to cost reduction, increased productivity, waste minimization, environmental protection, and improved health. As the world continues to evolve, the construction industry follows suit and makes strides to meet these changes head-on. Why wait for the future to change when we can change it now!