7 factors to consider when making a building sustainable

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7 factors to consider when making a building sustainable

Earth is under major strain because of human activity. Some scientists say that “halting the decline of the planet’s life-support system may be the most difficult challenges humanity has ever faced.” And, if we wish to stay on this Earth for longer and still have our resources, it’s crucial to have sustainable buildings as a mandate, and not by choice.

By ensuring that sustainability is practised in all industries will help to minimise the usage and wastage of natural resources; like land, water and energy.

But, before we go into the seven elements, eco-friendly architecture must start with intelligent designs. It’s about thinking strategically from the beginning stages of choosing material. It’s about asking yourself continuously; what’s my environmental impact on Earth? That way, saving Earth won’t seem so impossible.

Now, let’s get into the seven elements that can help make your building sustainable.

Evaluate whether you can use solar power throughout your building

Although it is an expensive initial start-up because afterwards, you’ll be getting all your energy from the sun. And, incorporating solar power can be extremely beneficial for your building. Ultimately, you’ll save as it does reduce electricity bills and has low maintenance costs. But, you need to evaluate the area of your building because solar power does rely heavily on the weather. And, it takes up a lot of space, so you will need to think it through.

Using renewable technology

Incorporating renewable technology like wind, solar, hydro and geothermal is an effective way of providing your building with sustainable energy. These renewable technologies have become incredibly popular in recent years, and there is a reason for this. Using renewable technology is beneficial for the environment and your building because it will never run out. The maintenance requirements are also much lower in comparison to non-renewable resources. This also helps your business to save more money. Sustainable buildings in South Africa are viable as we have all these renewable energy sources that can help develop the country yet still promote sustainable living.

Use a substantial amount of installation in your building

Proper insulation should always be considered whenever a building is being built, as it ensures your employees are protected when coming in contact with hot or cold surfaces.

Other precautions include; return-air plenums, protection of power and communication-conduit tray. But, apart from protecting your employees and residence, there are other benefits. For instance, it can contribute to reducing costs, saving energy, improves processes and productivity and reduces life-cycle costs.

Using eco-friendly building materials 

Having environmentally friendly building material will help to create a green building. The right material will ensure that there are no or minimal toxins, reduce waste, and help to improve indoor air quality. Those don’t only help the environment, but they also ensure your residence stays in a toxic-free environment that promotes good health. Many manufactures now offer recycled material like recycled steel. This ensures you’re also not producing any waste.

Start incorporating natural light

Instead of having artificial lighting like light bulbs all over your building, why not make use of the light you have; natural light. Apart from using solar panel energy, you can get light from your window, sun pipes or skylights. And, natural light has many benefits. It can:

  • Save money and energy.
  • Improves concentration and focus.
  • Reduces blood pressure, stress and anxiety.
  • Helps to boost your immune system.

Install water-efficient appliances

As we all know, water is finite and the amount of water available, currently, is low. This is why you need to always consider finding water alternatives when building. For instance, you can install a rainwater harvesting system and a filtration system to ensure the water is cleaned once collected from the roof. Rainwater can be used for toilets, gardening, laundry, drinking and cooking.

Consider geothermal heating

A geothermal heating system gets heat from the ground. To harness heat from the ground, you will need a heat pump that will be connected to the building, offering it warmth or coolness. This system is energy efficient as it doesn’t use too much electricity for it to run.

Final thoughts

With eco-friendly practices put in place, it is simple to build buildings that promote a sustainable lifestyle. And, if everyone starts working together and making changes, then there will be hope for the future generation. As mentioned before, to change the situation, people need to always consider their actions and always do things that are in the good interest of the environment.

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