Guidelines for New Buildings
Professionals in the construction industry are seeking any way possible to save on costs, both environmentally and economically. Seeking to lower impact, many developers are first examining what can be done to renovate existing structures and developed lots. This prevents the further degradation of land, and also lowers pollution caused by new building. The best way to begin building is to see how an existing structure can be renovated, rather than completely rebuilt.
Energy use is another key factor of the green building movement. Energy efficient appliances cut carbon footprints and result in significant monetary savings. Finding ways to reduce energy use through natural lighting or green power are also popular methods.
When considering a new building, construction professionals should avoid known toxic or unsustainable substances whenever possible. Making the switch to recycled building materials, or woods like bamboo, can decrease impact. Many building materials also contain volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that need to be properly aired out of new buildings before humans are exposed. Working with VOC-free materials and increasing the efficiency of the ventilation systems in buildings is making a big difference in this area.
Water use should be regulated through water-efficient fixtures. The overuse of water can be minimized by making smart appliance choices upfront that require fewer cleaners or water to maintain over time. Onsite runoff should be minimized and reused, if possible, to feed surrounding landscaping or aid in outdoor cleaning..