As we fight to improve our impact on the planet, environmental issues have never been more important. All industries are taking a long hard look at their business models and how they can make improvements in order to lessen their carbon footprint.
The building and construction industry is no exception.
What is a Sustainable Building?
By its very nature, the building and construction industry is a big drain on natural resources.
According to The World Green Building Council, buildings and construction are responsible for 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions.
So, the aim of sustainable building is to carry out activities without depleting natural resources and reducing the industry’s impact on the environment
How Can Construction and Building be Sustainable
So what can the industry do in order to build sustainably:
- Explore the refurbishment of existing buildings, reusing/recycling materials.
- Carefully deconstruct green buildings once they have come to the end of their use and reuse the materials in further constructions.
- Design with sustainability in mind, aiming for longterm energy efficiency and emission reduction.
- Make considered choices on the construction of buildings, procuring green and responsibly-sourced materials and taking into consideration their transportation to site.
- Ensure buildings are energy-efficient, using less water and creating minimal waste.
Examples of Sustainable Buildings Around the World
Sustainable does not have to be boring. In fact, this is the perfect time for innovative thinking to really come into play. Here are some examples of sustainability that will drop jaws as well as carbon emission.
Bosco Verticale (Milan, Italy)
Fighting air pollution has never looked so awe-inspiringly beautiful.
Opening 2014, the Milan’s Bosco Verticale, or “vertical forest” comprises two 27-storey residential high-rises, planted with almost 900 trees and more than 2,000 shrubs and bushes.
Equipped with solar panels and greywater recycling, this extensive greenery provides residents with shade in the summer and filtered sunlight in the winter. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the botanical life also provides cleaner air and reduced noise pollution.
Bahrain World Trade Center (Manama, Bahrain)
This unprecedented design, featuring 42-storey wind turbines, has won several awards. Designed by the architect Atkins, it incorporates renewable energy into its large-scale building design.
Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design and Media (Nanyang, Singapore)
Completed in July 2006 and officially opening in April 2009, the university is regarded as a sophisticated icon in design.
The spectacular sloped grass roofs of this four-storey building go beyond aesthetic. It not only doubles as a communal space but keeps the environmental temperature low, reducing heat in the day.
The building and construction industry is forever pushing innovative boundaries. Reaching for a way to reconnect with nature may inspire the industry to find a greater appreciation for the environment thus putting sustainability at the forefront of every design.