Practical businesspeople and real estate investors have traditionally looked askance at environmental activism. The movement’s rhetoric alienates those who make a living providing workspace and living space for commercial profit. Yet conservation and sustainability values continue to endure, and real estate professionals are noticing that the tide is changing, albeit slowly. There is multiple pluses to developing buildings with an eye toward green technology. The structures, in many cases, are safer and more durable.The operations are less costly, and the surrounding environment and adjacent properties suffer less impact. Why should we build green buildings? Here’s a look at the benefits of green building.
Safe and Sustainable Materials
Choosing alternative building materials to those that dominate existing structures can pay off in the short and long run. For one thing, many of these components more effectively shield the inside from the elements, reducing the energy consumption by owners and tenants. In addition, their procurement as raw materials entails less waste and cost than other substances. Furthermore, it is not shallow to suggest that there are public relations benefits for building owners to employ green elements. New construction and renovations may accommodate such eco-friendly changes. Some of these materials are described below.
Bamboo is used in makeshift huts on uncharted islands or religious shrines for east Asian hermits. Bamboo is a cost-effective and durable wood that fits agreeably into modern edifices.Traditional hardwood floors, for instance, are made from oak or similar wood from deciduous trees. Yet bamboo, technically a grass, comes with several advantages, one being that it reaches maturity 75 percent faster than conventional hardwood trees, which is a huge advantage. This makes it cheaper to harvest. Relative to oak, strand woven bamboo is more than twice as hard, standing up better in high-traffic commercial buildings than oak. Meanwhile, bamboo excels at bearing up against fluctuating temperatures.
Like bamboo, cork can serve as a reliable source of green flooring. Likewise, cork works as insulation and finish for surfaces. One of the greenest aspects of cork is that producers can harvest it while leaving the trees intact. The desired material is in the bark, which regenerates after removal. In fact, regenerating cork trees hold more carbon dioxide (CO2) than trees that were never touched. Practical and versatile, cork can be fashioned into infinite shapes and dimensions. Moreover, its physical properties include durability, elasticity, and impermeability by water. Cork is also fire-retardant, which is a huge benefit.
Even before the upsurge in inflation, cement prices were on the rise, and ferrock emerged as an environmentally preferable alternative. Waste steel dust and silica compose most available ferrock. Reacting with CO2, the steel dust coalesces into solid rock, aptly named “ferrock” — the “Fe” being the elemental symbol for iron. Important to note is that ferrock absorbs more CO2 in its creation than it emits. It’smany times stronger than most cement compositions in tensile strength and resistance to compression resulting from earthquakes. Because this compound is chemically inactive, it is growing more popular as an undersea construction material.
Many contemporary forms of building insulation are riddled with chemicals. Worse, their fiberglass and rockwool fibers can separate and get into the atmosphere of a building, causing respiratory obstructions, which can result in litigation down the road. Sheep’s wool, by contrast, is an organic insulator that is also entirely renewable. One pro argument for sheep’s wool is its strong resistance to conductive heat or R-value measurement. This makes it a stronger insulation substance. Also, sheep’s wool lasts longer than its synthetic competitors. Because sheep’s wool rebuffs water, it can protect buildings better against high humidity.
Steel is recycled to a greater degree than any other metal. The advantages are many; not having to mine new ore means savings in energy, money, and overall consumption. Each ton of recycled steel represents the conservation of 1.5 tons of iron ore, half a ton of coal, and 40 percent of the water normally used in new steel production. CO2 output is cut by more than half. Another positive is that steel that would otherwise end up in a landfill is re-conditioned and put to good use.