With environmental awareness of the rise and a shift in focus onto our effects on the planet, it is no wonder that residential, industrial and commercial construction projects now have ‘green’ guidelines that they must follow in order to be compliant. Whilst this type of construction doesn’t differ too much to the regular type (both require detailed levels of planning and skilled labour), it does take steps to ensure that the buildings affect on the environment is kept at a minimum. It is important to ensure that you are aware of the guidelines that could affect your commercial project. So, what are some of the guidelines that affect the commercial construction of today?
One example of this is central air conditioning systems; most of the newer units on the market today are much more efficient than those that were available 10 or even 5 years ago. The building will also be doubly checked for seals and leaking ducts, as these problems cause equipment to work overtime (especially the air conditioning), which defeats the purpose of using equipment with a good energy star rating.
This can be achieved in a number of ways, including the use of less materials and energy during this process. Unfortunately, all of the materials used in commercial construction will produce some sort of waste by-product; instead of throwing this waste into landfill, however, the guidelines stipulate that they should be recycled or compacted as much as possible (as this still reduces our carbon footprint).
In terms of commercial construction, this could involve using less water to accomplish necessary day-to-day tasks (such as flushing the toilet) and the conversion of wastewater into fertiliser. There are a number of toilet and plumbing systems that use less water per flush and that include faucets that cannot accidentally be left on (they usually operate off a sensor). The use of wastewater as a fertiliser also negates the need for wastewater treatment systems, which are energy hungry.
Whilst some builders may find that these new ‘green’ guidelines are just there to make their lives harder, it is important to remember that they have been put in place with good intentions. It is important to preserve the environment, so that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy it to the same level that we have. And, as commercial construction can have a big effect on this, it is important to lessen these as much as possible.