The construction industry has not, in the past at least, been noted for its eco-friendly practices when sourcing raw materials. You may well have come across stories of logging in countries such as Brazil or Indonesia where few, if any controls, are imposed by government. In addition, sometimes even if governments do impose controls, on a practical level they can be unenforceable.
Fortunately, many construction companies and manufacturers of associated goods have become aware of the fact that it’s still perfectly possible to have an ethical approach to sourcing materials and still make a profit. An increasing number of business and individual customers are interested in companies that have an eco-friendly approach to their operations, making it a win-win situation for those taking that route.
What makes eco-friendly construction?
Also known as ecological construction or green building, it applies to structures that are beneficial, or at least not harmful, to the environment and are resource efficient. Using locally produced and renewable materials it’s also important that the energy used to build the structure is as low as possible and that energy use inside, when completed, is also low.
Many techniques have been developed by construction companies that help to make an eco-friendly building. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what you can do.
Heat heads upward and then out through a roof that has not been insulated. You need to capture it when you can or, when it’s too hot, keep it out. Insulate any loft or attic space, check that your walls are insulated if possible and if you’re buying or renting a property check what the Energy Performance Certificate reveals – it will tell you how efficient your use of energy will be.
It is also a good idea to consider the advantages of installing window shutters. California Shutters is an example of a company committed to doing whatever it can to reduce its impact on the environment. Based in the UK the company provides made to measure shutters so your windows or doors are covered perfectly. High quality and carefully sourced materials are used for shutter construction and shutters last for many years.
These are an ideal way to use energy for your domestic hot water heating and, in some circumstances, you can feed excess energy into the National Grid and be paid for it. You should always check on what you may or may not be able to do but you could reduce your energy bills by harnessing the power of the sun and cut down on the environmentally damaging other sources of energy used.
Eco-friendly construction means that you can use “grey water” – already used – to be recycled and used again. Cut your water bills! You could also use water butts to collect rainwater and use it to water your garden and indoor plants.
Energy is a precious commodity and constructors continue to work on ways to reduce their buildings’ impact on the environment. Put simply, being eco-friendly means being friendly to the planet on which we all live to the benefit of all.