Have you heard the term "sick building syndrome"?
It refers to certain symptoms and diseases that many people who live in enclosed and contaminated spaces experience. This is one of the most common problems caused by unsustainable construction.
Another major consequence of conventionally constructed buildings is the excessive use of building materials from natural resources, as well as the degradation of natural landscapes, which are vital for a satisfying life.
Global warming is a serious issue that affects our lives and all species on the planet. The human being, in an attempt to reverse the damage caused to nature, has created the concept of green architecture and sustainable buildings.
If you are interested in learning about this topic, here we will show you how it helps the planet.
What are sustainable buildings?
These structures are part of sustainable architecture or green architecture; it has several names. However, this is responsible for designing structures and buildings that produce the least possible impact on the environment, making the most of resources to avoid wasting them.
Sustainable buildings fulfill this purpose. They are those where in their construction materials are chosen and used that contribute to the reduction of energy consumption, carrying out geographical and environmental studies so that their structure can take advantage of renewable energy sources for the operation of heating, cooling or lighting.
The design of sustainable buildings is very meticulous; using structural design tools or BIM tools, since these programs allow the planning, manufacturing and visualization of the entire life cycle of the building; in order to ensure its sustainability within the environment and a healthy coexistence with it.
Likewise, they also benefit the mental and physical health of people. This is achieved through the use of natural materials and high energy efficiency, taking advantage of solar energy as one of its main sources of energy. This causes a greater contact with natural light; being something very positive for the disinfection of spaces and for the health and welfare of the inhabitants.
According to some studies, when using these buildings as housing or office work centers, people show a better mood and work performance, as well as a faster sleep conciliation.
How do they contribute to slowing down climate change?
The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction specified that the construction sector produces 39% of all carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere; one of the main factors that has caused and continues to cause climate change.
Similarly, the production of traditional building materials also has a strong impact on the environment, generating waste and toxic emissions into the environment. In the face of this alarming situation, sustainable architecture is gaining momentum. By using ecological materials and resources, less damage is caused in construction.
On the other hand, the creation of windows, windows, doors, frames or walls with composite materials, such as PVC, fiberglass or carbon fiber, allow the building to absorb natural energies more easily and distribute them. This translates into economic savings by minimizing the use of heating or excessive lighting. Materials with resistance and thermal and acoustic insulation properties far superior to conventional ones. Likewise, the designs of these sustainable buildings and houses are very attractive and original; so the attractiveness and beauty of the structures is maximized.
Some of the most sustainable materials in the construction sector are the following:
Wood: Wood presents considerable benefits in aspects such as insulation, allowing high percentages of savings in heating and/or air conditioning.
Cork: It works very well as thermal or acoustic insulation.
Earthenware: It is a sustainable material due, among other aspects, to its easy recycling and the reuse of the residues produced in its elaboration.
Bamboo: It is resistant, ecological and renewable and can be used as a substitute for wood. Its rapid growth allows rapid recovery of felled areas.
Cellulose fibers from recycled paper: Its behavior is very similar to that of wood, which means that it balances temperatures in both winter and summer. It also has a low thermal conductivity coefficient and the energy required for its manufacture is very low, not exceeding 5 KWh/m3.
Natural paints: Composed of vegetable oils, metal oxides and derivatives of vegetable or mineral origin. Unlike traditional plastic paints, they do not contain volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde and heavy metals.
What is a Passivhaus?
Passivhaus refers to buildings created to rigorous energy efficient design standards so that they maintain an almost constant temperature. Passivhaus buildings are so well constructed, insulated and ventilated that they retain heat from the sun and the activities of their occupants, requiring very little additional heating or cooling.
The Passivhaus Institute in Germany developed the energy efficient building principles, following a research project to investigate why low energy buildings often didn’t deliver on their expected energy saving potential.
Eco-architecture and its benefits are spreading worldwide, creating an awareness in people; that by choosing sustainable buildings they are doing their bit in this fight to heal our planet from immense damage.
Join the fight!