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The green construction foot print

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Green Construction
Posted by Gina Theron

Green construction, also known as green building and sustainable building refers to the structure being built, as well as ensuring the processes are environmentally responsible and resource efficient throughout the building life cycle. 

A boom in green construction has lead to more environmentally responsible individuals. Green construction aims to find the balance between leaving a lighter footprint on the environment while maintaining energy efficiency, cost effectiveness and reducing maintenance.

 

Efficient use of water, energy and other resources

Water

Water conservation is a continual point of discussion across the country. Green construction places importance on discovering new and innovative ways in which to manage water consumption and minimise waste. Some techniques being implemented are rainwater harvesting, water recycling and sewage treating.

Thinking outside the box

There has been an increase in unique and innovative building designs. Green buildings have seen a rise in creativity and maximisation of existing resources. Recycling old shipping containers, railway sleepers and more... not only is recycling trendy and environmentally friendly, it is often cheaper than using modern resources.  


Natural materials

A growing number of home owners and developers are looking for materials that have minimal processing. There is a desire for a healthier environment and to reduce off gassing of manufacturing residue. 

Maintaining occupants health, wellbeing and productivity 

Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) focuses on providing comfort, well-being and productivity to occupants. The contributing factors which must be assessed are:

  • Indoor air quality - minimising or eliminating air impurities 
  • Thermal quality - personal temperature and airflow control 
  • Lighting quality - a balance between daylight and electrical light sources, improving quality and energy                               performance 

Minimising waste, pollution and environmental impact

Reducing waste is an important part of green construction achieved through minimising energy, water and material waste during construction. There is high importance placed on reducing the levels of materials going to landfills and with improvements to building designs, there should be reductions in the waste produced by occupants and solutions put in place to reuse and recycle unwanted resources such as:

  • Compost bins
  • Deconstruction
  • Grey water used for irrigation 
  • Waste water used for fertilizer 

pollution must be minimised in order to lesson the impact on surrounding communities and the environment. Reductions in indoor pollutants can also have a positive effect on the productivity and health of occupants. 

Green construction considers three rules when working to minimise the environmental impact of construction:

  1. Not building is preferable - rather reconstruct 
  2. Every building should be as small as possible - The smaller the building the smaller the degradation of the building site
  3. Do not contribute to sprawl - the expansion of human population into areas of low-density, monofunctional and car-dependent communities

With a rise in green construction and an increased awareness of the effect it has on the environment and occupants it would be an appropriate issue to discuss in your next prestart meeting. The Meeting agenda below will help you list the topics to discuss in order to ensure you convey the importance and benefits of implementing green construction. 

toolbox talk agenda download

Gina Theron

Gina Theron

Gina is a Marketing Coordinator at PlantMiner. She is a business and engineering student, and relishes working for one of Australia's greatest mining and construction disrupters. Harsh critic of tomatoes and spiders that surprise her.