Green building is rapidly becoming a vital way of reducing the carbon footprint of any community. Buildings account for almost 80% of all greenhouse gas emissions and making them not only more energy efficient, but also built in a more sustainable manner, goes a long way to reducing Global Warming.
How can we reduce the carbon footprint of a building?
- We can start by building using local materials. Large quantities of energy are used to transport natural stone or quarried tile imported from abroad. Using regionally grown lumber instead of wood imported from other states or other countries.
- Ensuring good insulation values and double glazing
- Using insulating materials which are waste products such as denim material off-cuts, easy to grow materials such as hemp derivatives or other forms of insulation that don’t have the high production energy coefficients of standard items such as glass fiber.
Important factors in green building include the re-use of materials or the sustainable restoration of materials and products. A window that is partially rotted out may be able to be restored using epoxies or fillers that are, in themselves, not necessarily green, but which can save the window unit. A new window represents a lot more wasted energy and environmental damage than a window repaired with a plastified product. That does not work all the time of course, but when we can save a component such as a door or a window, we will.