Sustainable building practices are becoming more important than ever before. With the heightened awareness of climate change and pollution, many more people are looking for more sustainable construction methods, whether for their own homes or public services like roads.
Thankfully, with the abundance of emerging technologies and a better understanding of what makes buildings greener, there are many promising trends in the world of sustainable construction. Here are some of the best emerging green building trends for 2021 and the new year.
Using biodegradable, recycled, recyclable and renewable materials
This is perhaps one of the most important innovations for building design and construction that has been made in recent years. The entire premise of sustainable construction hinges on the idea of reducing the impact of building on the environment. This can mean using less harmful materials or more energy-efficient practices.
Ultimately, ensuring that as many materials as possible either come from a sustainable source or can be disposed of safely is one of the most effective ways of reducing the environmental toll of construction. Many people are now choosing to use natural paints, recycled steel, clay bricks and wood to create new buildings.
Zero energy and zero water buildings
Many people are now trying to ensure that their buildings are as close to self-sufficient as possible. This might mean using energy production methods like solar panels, wind turbines, fuel cells and bio-fuels to provide electricity to buildings. These sustainable power sources are making buildings with net-zero energy consumption a reality.
Similarly, there’s a growing trend towards net-zero water usage in construction at present. Buildings that are built for this purpose use water consumption management systems to reduce wastage where possible. Additionally, buildings are now being created with strategies to capture rainwater, waterless toilets, grey-water recycling and on-site sewage treatment to reduce water usage.
Retrofitting outdated solutions
One trend in construction that doesn’t apply solely to new builds is the growing popularity of green retrofits in older homes. Many companies like Arup now offer services to help people create new and sustainable building designs. However, these building designs can also be used to retrofit older buildings where green construction techniques were not considered.
This is an exciting facet of sustainable construction, as for most people, the idea of building an entirely new property using green techniques is unattainable. However, since sustainable retrofits are growing in popularity, anyone can renovate their home using environmentally friendly practices and materials.
In summary, these are three of the biggest trends in sustainable design and construction that started to emerge this year. With the constant pressure to develop greener practices and regular innovations regarding building materials, sustainable construction seems set to increase in popularity at the end of the year and into 2022 and beyond. There’s still a long way to go to reduce humanity’s impact on the planet. Still, the emergence of greener and more sustainable construction practices is an encouraging sign of adaptation to the changing climate and weather conditions.