How Sustainable Architecture Can Reduce Negative Environmental Impacts
Sustainable architecture has one overall goal: to reduce the negative environmental impact of a building or community throughout its life. This is accomplished through efficiency as well as the minimal use of materials, energy, and development space. Here are a few of the most common techniques used.
Reduce Negative Environmental Impacts with Sustainable Architecture
Creating Better Energy Efficiency
Energy consumption is potentially the largest negative environmental impact of every company, so green building practices focus heavily on energy efficiency. Energy consumption is reduced in my ways. For example:
- Improved insulation of a building to prevent heat dissipation.
- Increasing ventilation to remove polluted indoor air.
- Using the best conductors for electrical connections, reducing energy consumption.
- Incorporating passive solar building designs.
- Installation of renewable energy sources.
- Use of materials with low-E coatings.
- Energy intelligent design.
- Reducing wasted internal space.
Use of Sustainable Building Materials
Today it is very cost-efficient to incorporate recycled and sustainable building materials into any commercial construction project. Doors, wood, dimensional stone, and copper can be reclaimed from a demolition project and reused during new construction. Sustainable materials such as cork and bamboo can be used for office flooring. Most materials that are truly green are certified by either LEED or the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). To check for the sustainability of the materials that you are planning to use in your project you can check the LEED website or the FSC website.
Improved Waste Management
Waste management is much more than containing all waste materials. You will need to provide for the on-site recycling of as many materials as possible. You should identify waste streams for cardboard, paper, plastic, and foam. Each has a multi-year negative impact on the local environment, but can be easily reused through a certified recycling company.
Managing the flow of runoff and eliminating the disruption of natural drainage are important measures to reduce the environmental impact of your project. Both must be accomplished during the design phase of any commercial project. In Connecticut, commercial construction projects are required to have a current General Permit for the Discharge of Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activity, often called an Industrial General Permit before construction can begin. This permit allows the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to verify any plan for stormwater regulation, diversion, etc.
As mentioned above, there are many other ways that sustainable architecture can reduce the negative environmental impacts of any commercial construction project. By consulting a company with a portfolio of sustainable projects during the design phase, you can ensure the environmental friendliness of your new construction.
Litchfield Builders is a highly respected company with over 20 years of experience in commercial construction in the New Haven, Connecticut area. To better learn how your business can improve sustainability, download our free guide below.