As 2016 begins in earnest, and architects, planners and home owners take stock of their project or building’s sustainability in light of the Paris Climate Agreement reached towards the end of last year; many people simply don’t realise that sustainable building is not a new trend in architecture and housing.
The practice of sustainable building has existed in one form or another for decades now, but it seems that its only in recent years that a drive for the construction of environmentally responsible, energy efficient and sustainable homes and commercial buildings has truly come to the forefront of the design, planning and construction industries.
But what are the advantages of sustainable building practices to the everyday user? We asked our sustainable design team to run through some of the biggest reasons to adopt sustainable building practices and the advantages they can bring to home owners and businesses alike.
Sustainable buildings are cost-effective
Despite the growth in popularity of sustainable building, many buyers express concern about the slightly higher prices of sustainable homes and buildings. The stringent requirements for licensing and certification contribute to this. However, these concerns are short sighted, as sustainable buildings offer excellent energy efficiency; saving buyers a large amount of long-term expenditure. When taken into account, these energy savings from sustainable buildings can easily help the buyer to break even within several years.
Sustainable buildings drive down energy consumption
Let’s look closer at a point raised in the previous paragraph, which is that of energy consumption and efficiency.
The smart use of materials contributes greatly to reducing embodied energy in sustainable building projects. These materials, such as wood used within walls and floors, can also reduce the energy consumed every day.
However, many modern sustainable buildings capitalise not only on the use of low embodied energy materials, but also the use of sustainable and renewable energy sources to power lights and other appliances that use energy in the home or commercial building.
This is why we are seeing exceptional growth in the number of sustainable building projects that utilise the power of solar panels, biomass systems and wind energy generation features. In fact, many governments internationally now offer grants, funding or subsidies to encourage the adoption and installation of these alternative energy generation systems.
Sustainable buildings require less maintenance
While much of the above sounds like it would require constant and costly attention and maintenance, the reverse is actually true. Sustainable buildings generally require less maintenance than buildings without sustainability as a priority in their design and construction. For example, exterior repainting is often reduced through the provision of specially coated renewable materials, and high volumes of water are no longer wasted thanks to the efficient plumbing systems installed in many projects.
Is it time for you to take advantage of the benefits of sustainable building?
With many home buyers and businesses now actively seeking houses, offices or industrial spaces which effectively implement the philosophy and techniques of sustainable buildings, there has never been a better time to leverage the many advantages this type of project can bring.
If you would like to find out more about sustainable building practices, or how your planned or existing properties could be helping you save time, money and the environment while enjoying greater appeal to potential buyers; subscribe to our monthly sustainability and energy efficiency newsletter or contact a member of our team to discuss your requirements.