Sustainable construction used to be a science-fiction idea, but it has become an undeniable reality and a true hallmark of the construction industry for the homes of the future. Right now, we have an access to a long list of state-of-the-art materials and solutions that can help reduce our carbon footprint and preserve our immediate environment. If you are interested in this particular branch of green technology, here are some examples of sustainable construction to save the Earth.
One of the most important additions to the modern housing layout is the rainwater harvesting cistern. As clean sources of water are disappearing at the noticeable rate, using disposable rainwater for activities such as flushing toilets, watering gardens, and feeding animals might be the most reasonable solution. Of course, make sure your rainwater harvesting cistern also includes the piping that comes with a reasonable filtering system, and you might end up with water that is ripe for human consumption, too.
Go non-toxic with paint
Of course, a lot of the material we used when we’re building the house of our dreams tends to hide insidious compounds within them. Above all else, paint can be the biggest issue of all these days as the types of biodegradable paint that is most wide-spread still contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds usually present a problem for some time after the paint has been spread over walls, but its impact tends to create immediate health issues.
The non-toxic type of paint might be a bit more costly, but it is a much safer alternative, and it has no impact on either your health or the immediate environment whatsoever. If you are painting over walls of a building that is more than a story tall, make sure all the safety precautions are considered. Wear a helmet and use the sturdy aluminum scaffolding which you can easily move around.
Eco-friendly materials (renewable)
There are three known and widespread eco-friendly materials that are used in construction – stone, wood, and brick. However, the aforementioned materials come with a caveat – they are viable as long as they are reused or recycled. As the old buildings are torn down, most of the material used to construct them can be processed and reused for new houses. There is no need to cut-down half a rainforest for several blocks of houses when one can easily acquire recycled wood that is also more financially viable. The three materials mentioned are not the only viable eco-friendly options – there is also bamboo, dimension stone and sheep wool – which is an excellent insulator.
Insulation has always been a sore spot in the realm of construction – humanity was always eager to trade off some toxic downsides of certain materials for better temperature isolation, but the fact is that these materials are not only toxic to humans, they are detrimental to the environment, too. This is why we are looking at the thriving industry of green, healthy alternatives in the insulation field.
Natural materials like wool, hemp, flax, and cellulose are used instead, and all of these them have shown excellent results when it comes to sound and heat insulation performance. The options for green insulation are numerous. Of course, these materials are not merely used in their raw form – they are processed into wooly pads, not unlike fiberglass wool and other known insulators. They manage to ensue both good isolation and safety as some of them, like flax and hemp, are excellent fire retardants.
Eco-friendly technologies offer inventive construction techniques that manage to walk the fine line between the practical and sustainable. Private and commercial buildings that utilize them can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and noticeably contribute to the ecological betterment of the environment – which is the most we can hope for as individuals, but a lot we can strive for as a collective.
by Amelia Atkins