Green construction, or Green Building as many call it, has started attracting more and more attention during the last years. The concept behind green construction lies far beyond the creation of a building that doesn’t harm the environment. Green construction tries to establish those conditions that will eventually upgrade the quality of our planet.
There are many different opinions around this effort which many times is mistakenly conceived as an unnecessary luxury. By investing in green construction, you are investing in the planet and hence in your own well-being. In other words, green construction isn’t focusing only on the pre-building process but it puts extra weight on the general improvement of the natural surroundings.
The true value of green construction
In order to fully realize how critical is for our industry to start adopting a greener profile, it would be useful to check out many different solutions that green construction could offer to us:
1. More effective management of the available resources
The use of green manufacturing techniques can save vast amounts of natural resources. By limiting the waste of energy or of valuable resources such as water, for example, you can boost project’s sustainability and protect biodiversity.
2. Better protection of the natural habitat
One more advantage of going green in construction has to do with the environment itself. More specifically, green building promotes the implementation of methods that contribute to the minimization of air and sound pollution during the conduction of a project. On top of that, a significant reduce of produced waste could be another step towards the right direction.
3. Higher living standards for the residents
The extra attention for people’s well-being can have a very positive impact on the everyday life of the people who live or work in “green” buildings. An ecological friendly building can upgrade significantly the quality of life for its residents in long term.
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4. Productivity boost
As a continuation of the point above, “green” offices can upgrade remarkably the productivity levels of their employees. Employees in such structures seem more satisfied and tend to be more productive when it comes to dealing with their working load. Their satisfaction stems from the access to comforts and activities which are inextricably connected to the better conditions around them (e.g. more free space, light etc.).
5. Extra attention to location
In contrast with conventional building practices, green construction considers location as one of the most fundamental parts of the whole project. A number of different parameters are taken into consideration, such as the possibility of improving the broader area (e.g. bike lanes), the preservation of the natural (or urban) habitat and the sun exposure.
6. Higher aesthetic standards
The strict regulations behind every green manufacturing project call for architectural designs of extremely high aesthetic value. Truly impressive structures have been designed and built in an attempt to fit perfectly to their surroundings and avoid the disturbance of the natural scenery.
Some points of concern
We already discussed that green construction has a plethora of advantages. However, there are certain disadvantages, too. More analytically, we could sum up the most critical of them to the following points:
1. Materials deficiency
Finding the proper materials can be hard. The specifications can be extremely strict and many times the available materials are simply not enough. This problem is most common in big cities where life is a bit more hectic and less ecological-targeted.
2. Indoor air quality
Building with the wrong recycled materials can be dangerous. People who live or work within a green structure may face significant issues with indoor air quality. If for instance, the contractor used a recycled product with high concentration of chemicals, it can be harmful to those who inhale them.
3. Increased cost
Putting together a green manufacturing project is costly in short term. The need for specific materials in combination with their shipping cost can augment the budget significantly.
Let’s talk about cost
A lot of fuss over green construction has to do with cost. On the one side, you can find those who support the view that green construction should always be the way to go no matter the cost. This opinion is based on the belief that nothing is of higher priority than preserving our planet and its future. On the other side, there are many who perceive green construction as something nonviable due to financial restraints.
Truth is that cost may be an obstacle in the early stages of a demanding project like that. However, it shouldn’t be the most decisive parameter for its conduction. In the long term, an ecological friendly construction plan can be a money-saver and help in the covering of the overspending during the first phases of the project. To put it simply, green construction should be seen as a long-term investment which will return a considerable profit to you during the upcoming years.
Could green construction be the solution for our planet? That’s definitely hard to say yet. What we could surely tell, though, is that it can offer a lot both to the planet and to the people. That’s why it’s pretty crucial to make it part of our everyday routine. Just a few, small changes in a local scale can gradually fire up a strong shift on a global level.