Buildings are the most obvious and most visible manifestation of our society. They are the structures that house and protect us, the places we work, learn, and play. Most of us have a building or two in our community that we take for granted, but for those with little access to basic infrastructure, buildings are a major obstacle. Back when I was in school, I learned about the various types of construction materials, from concrete and steel to wood and clay.
When it comes to building new infrastructure, there are plenty of options. Steel, concrete, wood—the list of construction materials is long, and they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. But what if you could build without any of those materials? What if you could build using solar panels and batteries, wind turbines and gas-powered generators?
The construction industry is the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States. To combat this, a growing number of builders and architects are turning to environmentally friendly building materials, design practices, and technologies to reduce their impact on the environment and save money. One such technology is green construction, which involves using environmentally friendly building materials, such as insulation made from recycled fiber or recycled plastic, and building materials such as low-VOC paint, to reduce the emission of harmful pollutants such as toxic VOCs. The benefits of green construction are numerous; it helps the environment, saves money, and improves the quality of buildings.
Since the beginning of time, humans have built things. The pyramids, the Empire State Building, the Taj Mahal—these are all examples of construction. But over time, construction became dirty, noisy, and inefficient. Today, most construction is green.
Construction is one of the world’s largest industries, responsible for billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs. But construction generates significant environmental impacts, such as air and water pollution, habitat destruction, and noise pollution. These environmental impacts have prompted organizations to take action to reduce their environmental footprint. One way to reduce environmental impacts is to make better use of existing materials and techniques to build in a more environmentally friendly way.
Green construction takes a holistic view of the building, site, and construction process and emphasizes the use of natural and recycled materials to achieve the lowest environmental impact.
There are many different kinds of material used to build our homes, schools, and offices. This page briefly describes these different types of construction materials, why they’re important, and why they’re becoming less important. You’ll also learn what you can do to make your building better for the environment, and to save money on construction costs.
When building a new home or office, you should take steps to reduce your impact on the environment and the health of the people around you. Be sure to consider the environmental costs of your choices—from choosing to use non-renewable resources, like fossil fuels, to choosing not to renovate older, inefficient buildings. This includes minimizing the use of new materials and avoiding building replacement.
Existing iterations of construction waste management systems are designed to handle only a small fraction of the waste produced. There is a multitude of construction waste, with much of it ending up in landfills or incinerators, where it will stay for years. However, the construction industry itself generates approximately 30% of the global waste production, and much of it could be reused if it were better managed.
This article presents guidelines for green building, and it offers various suggestions to reduce the environmental impacts of construction.