Since we’ve been talking about sustainability – making concrete and homes, today’s blog is focused on a similar thing. Green models of construction
What is a green model?
A green model is an approach that’s based around reducing the environmental impact and waste within the building and construction industries.
This can be a mix of things like designing projects to be more durable and longer lasting, reducing the amount of time, labour and materials needed on repair works in the future. Another focus is reusing and recycling materials; just like using coffee grounds. Check out our blog post here to see how they can be used in a sustainable way!
This approach to building is also focused on making more energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings. Renewable, low-carbon sources are so important. If these sources run out then what do we do?
At the moment, it may not be feasible to build out of reused and recycled materials on a large scale. But, using high quality materials is key in place of these. This would increase the life cycle of buildings.
Examples of Green Model buildings.
The Edge in Amsterdam
Entering here involves using a smartphone app. It checks your schedule, recognises your car when you arrive, directing you to a parking space and then finds you a free desk. If you prefer the light and temperature a certain way then it will be tweaked for you. But, it’s also the greenest building in the world according to BREEAM.
It had a sustainability score of 98.4%.
The technology is shaping the way people work. It is saving money, energy and effort by customising areas to the way people like them to be. There is no longer one standard for everyone in the office. Directing drivers to free parking spots rather than searching themselves saves time, and so it carries on.
The building has solar panels which power the LED panels for lighting which sense motion, light, temperature etc. Thick load-bearing concrete helps regulate heat, and deeply recessed windows reduce the need for shades, despite direct exposure to the sun.
This way of working couldn’t be integrated into every industry, however, there are elements that can be adopted in order to be more energy efficient, save employees time and make buildings more sustainable.
The name of this building refers to the fact that it’s made with over 85% waste material. Things like toothbrushes, jeans, VHS tapes (remember those?), and vinyl banners were used. This shows the ‘reuse and recycle materials’ aspect to sustainability.
This is a space where students and researchers can test new ideas and techniques for sustainable construction. Even going so far as to open this house to the public and schools to raise awareness and inspire creativity around reducing waste and reusing materials that would have otherwise simply been thrown away.
Those vinyl banners that are used to advertise events are often date specific, meaning that they cannot be reused year after year for the same events. Here, however, they are given a new life as internal vapour control layers. Jeans have been used to help insulate by slotting them into the wall cavities.
The Brighton Waste House has an EPC rating of “A”. The Energy Performance Certificate shows it to be a very efficient building – compare that to the median energy efficiency rating of D in England and Wales.
“It also aims to prove that a contemporary, innovative, low energy building can be constructed almost entirely by young people studying construction trades, architecture and design.” – Brighton University website.