Living in an energy-efficient and comfortable home is the goal of most people. This is why construction professionals are more interested in environmentally friendly construction techniques.
Green building or sustainable construction is one of the most widely used methods today. It appeared about 50 years ago and is known for its many benefits. but what is it exactly? What benefits can it bring? Does it allow real energy savings? Here’s everything you need to know about this builder.
About Sustainable Buildings
In France, we encourage green buildings as part of the fight against global warming. Standards are in place and manufacturers must comply with them. The latter then developed construction techniques to meet the conditions set by law. Sustainable construction is an effective and beneficial approach in itself.
What is sustainable construction?
It has won many names, only mentioning architecture and green buildings. This is a construction method that allows the building to have the best energy performance. In addition, its application reduces the environmental impact of the works. In fact, at each stage of construction, we tried to respect it.
As a reminder, sustainable buildings have existed for more than 50 years and aim to reduce the use of fossil fuels in order to create healthy habitats. In 1973 and 1980, green building enjoyed considerable prosperity. Then, little by little, she lost her popularity. Currently, she is back on the front of the stage.
Principles of sustainable construction
Eco-construction is not just a construction technique. It is a responsible approach from start to finish by all professionals responsible for the execution of construction projects. Indeed, the latter must work to save resources, in particular water, raw materials and energy. They must also minimize actions likely to generate greenhouse gas emissions.
Limiting waste to avoid pollution is also part of the manufacturer’s commitment. On top of that, they must also prioritize the health and comfort of future occupants of the building. For this, the use of healthy materials is essential. Finally, builders are required to ensure the quality of the thermal and acoustic insulation of the building.
Trades related to sustainable construction
When can sustainable construction be applied? In fact, this construction method can involve any type of work. Indeed, whether you want to build a detached house or a building, it can apply. Know that it can be adopted during renovations and new constructions.
Note that an ecological building can create a bioclimatic, passive or autonomous house by producing its own energy.
Materials used in sustainable construction
As mentioned earlier, sustainable construction requires the use of environmentally friendly, recyclable or recycled materials. Among others, we list raw adobe, straw, hemp, wool, wood fiber and cellulosic fillers. If wood is used, it must come from an FSC or PEFC certified sector.
The building is equipped with optimal insulation and must also use renewable energies. For example, for heating, photovoltaic panels, wind turbines or solar water heaters must be installed. Otherwise, its future occupants will have to rely on biomass heating such as biomass boilers. Finally, sustainable homes also include rainwater harvesting and waste disposal systems.
Standards for sustainable buildings
For a building to be sustainable, it must meet certain standards. Generally, these regulations are governed by the Grenelle environment law.
BBC Sustainable Building Standard
The BBC standard (Low Consumption Building) sets the energy consumption of new buildings at a maximum of 50 kWh/m² per year. Achieving this will require major improvements to insulation, ventilation, airtightness and orientation.
Sustainable buildings with high environmental quality or HQE
It is a label or a mark in force since 2004. Compared to the NF Ouvrage Démarche HQE certification, it must guarantee the thermal comfort of the construction and reduce the environmental impact of the site.
ISO 15392 2008 is essential for sustainable buildings
It demonstrates compliance with the principles of sustainable development over the entire life cycle of a building, that is to say from its construction to its complete disappearance.
The benefits of sustainable construction
Is there really an advantage to building sustainably? In fact, it’s a rather advantageous concept, especially now that we have access to more qualified materials. So what are the main benefits of green buildings?
Sustainable construction, an approach that respects the environment
Indeed, adopting sustainable construction means protecting the environment. It should be remembered that the materials used are non-polluting. In addition, the building is energy efficient because it is well insulated and not exposed to cold and wind. Best of all, it uses renewable energy. In conclusion, the carbon emission rate of buildings remains low.
A sustainable building that guarantees the comfort of the occupants of the building
Sustainable construction makes it possible to build habitable buildings. The materials used are non-polluting and emit neither dust nor toxic gases. Thus, the future occupants of the building will benefit from a healthy environment, which protects them from the various diseases and risks of poisoning linked to indoor pollution. The sound and thermal insulation of the building is also optimal. Thus, residents are protected from the cold in winter and high temperatures in summer.
Economically sustainable building
Buildings become energy efficient through sustainable construction. Its heating needs are limited thanks to its good insulation and ventilation. You should also know that it uses very little artificial lighting because it benefits from natural light throughout the day thanks to its optimal exposure. Energy bills remain reasonable.
Sustainable buildings can also create jobs, especially in renewable energies.
Disadvantages of sustainable construction
The real barrier to building sustainability is engineering costs. In other words, the initial investment tends to be very large.
In addition, sustainable housing requires land that meets multiple qualities. Above all, it must allow builders to choose the orientation of the building. Finally, the supply of ecological building materials is still difficult, which increases the duration of construction of the site.
In conclusion, sustainable construction has many advantages. It helps protect the environment. In addition, it guarantees a healthy environment for future occupants. It also has low power consumption, which reduces energy bills. Not only that, sustainable architecture is delightful because it’s so comfortable. Another disadvantage is that it can be expensive to create. Also, the site can be long because there is no guarantee of obtaining materials useful for the construction.