Green technology makes buildings more energy-efficient and sustainable. They thus have a lower carbon footprint and a reduced impact on the environment. In new buildings, green building construction plays a role in every phase of development. Every aspect of the structure, including siting, design, construction materials, and the systems used to run and maintain operations are chosen to be as sustainable and energy-efficient as possible.
The top sustainable construction technologies used today in green construction are:
In green construction, there is active solar power and the other is passive solar power. Active solar power is the use of functional solar systems that absorb the sun’s radiation to cater for heating and electricity provision. It reduces the need for the use of electricity or gas.
Passive solar power is a design that uses the sun’s rays to warm homes through the strategic placement of windows and the use of heat-absorbing surfaces. The windows let in energy and the heat absorbed reduces the need for warming the house during cold periods such as winter.
The use of biodegradable materials is an eco-friendly means of making construction sustainable. Most traditional construction methods lead to the accumulation of waste products and toxic chemicals, the majority of which take hundreds of years to degrade. Biodegradable materials such as organic paints, therefore, aid to limit the negative impacts on the environment as they easily breakdown without the release of toxins. The use of biodegradable materials for building foundation, walls and insulators are also part of sustainable construction technologies.
Insulation is among the greatest concerns when it comes to construction of buildings and homes. The use of green insulation has proven to be a sustainable construction technology as it eliminates the need for high-end finishes made from non-renewable materials. Green insulation offers a solution by making use of old and used materials such as denim and newspaper.
Sustainable construction technologies emphasize the installation of energy saving and self-sufficient appliances. SmartGrid dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines are examples of such sustainable technologies. The technology is oriented towards establishing zero-energy homes as well as commercial buildings.
Cool roofs are sustainable green design technologies which aim at reflecting heat and sunlight away. It aids in keeping homes and buildings at the standard room temperatures by lowering heat absorption and thermal emittance. Cool roofs can reduce temperatures by more the 50 degree Celsius during summer.
Sustainable resource sourcing ensures the use of construction materials designed and created from recycled products and have to be environmentally friendly. Overall, the materials are remanufactured, recycled, recyclable, and obtained from sustainable sources.
Sustainable construction technologies typically include mechanisms to lessen energy consumption. The construction of buildings with wood, for instance, is a sustainable construction technology because it has a lower embodied energy in comparison to those build of steel or concrete. Sustainable green construction also makes use of designs that cut back air leakage and allows for free flow of air while at the same time using high-performance windows and insulation techniques.
Electronic Smart Glass also constitutes one of the technologies in sustainable construction. The electronic smart glass is a new technology that works particularly in summer periods to shut out the harsh heat of solar radiation. The smart glass uses tiny electric signals to slightly charge the windows to change the amount of solar radiation it reflects.
It is incorporated into the buildings control system, therefore, allowing users to choose the amount of solar radiation to block. With this technology, homes and commercial buildings can save a lot on heating, ventilating, and air conditioning costs.
There are several water efficient technologies used, which are all part of sustainable construction technologies. Essentially, the technologies encompass re-use and application of efficient water supply systems. Examples include the use of dual plumbing, greywater re-use, rainwater harvesting and water conservation fixtures. In urban areas, the technologies intend to lower water wastage by 15% to address freshwater shortages.
The health and safety of the building occupants are fundamental and must be guaranteed during the construction of any building or home. As such, sustainable indoor technologies are mandatory for green construction. The materials used have to ensure green safety standards which include hazardous free elements, non-toxic materials, low volatile emissions, and moisture resistance.
Self-powered buildings bring about the realization of zero-energy construction. The buildings are built such that they are able to generate sufficient power to support their own energy needs and even direct surplus energy back into the power grid. In most cases, wind power technology is used and it is highly common in skyscrapers whereby wind turbines are mounted at the rooftops. The constant and heavy air currents at higher altitudes propel the turbine blades which generates the power requirements for the building.
Rammed earth brick is an ancient construction technology which has lately been re-introduced to cater for the demands of environmental sustainability. The technique uses sustainably sourced raw materials. Due to technological advancements, the process of building a rammed-earth structure has been made easier but it still follows the ancient preparation process.
Great design and construction shouldn’t come at an environmental cost, but rather work in a sustainable relationship with the environment and make minimal impact.