What is Green Building? Definitions and Concepts

We’ve all heard the term “green building”, but what exactly does it mean? Simply, green building is a method that uses efficient design, advanced technology, sustainable construction and maintenance elements that creates a building that has very little impact on the environment and a promotes a healthy atmosphere for those who live or work in the building. These environmentally-friendly buildings can be high-rise office buildings, apartments, residential homes or schools. Furthermore, they can be found all over the country, from the deep, hot South to the cold, snowy North.

One of the challenges of living in an eco-conscious society is making buildings and homes that already exist conform to greener standards. Buildings can be retrofitted to encompass efficient technology so their emission level and energy consumption is as minimal as possible. An easy way to start making your facility more energy-conscious is by purchasing energy-efficient appliances, which will save you a lot of money on your electricity bills. You can also begin to employ techniques that will reduce your total water consumption and winterize windows and doors to prevent heat loss.

Many green buildings use solar lighting and generate their own energy. Solar panels on buildings will not only provide your facility with all the energy it needs to function, but in many cases, you can sell the excess energy to the local power company. Solar powered heating and lighting are a great way to significantly reduce your building’s energy consumption and harmful emissions.

Green buildings can also use natural ventilation systems to help reduce indoor air pollution and allergens. This is especially beneficial for those with asthma, suffer from allergies or have other respiratory problems. Building materials that are free from chemicals and toxins, along with a natural ventilation system, will allow people to breath easy while inside the facility. It has been shown that people who work inside of buildings with modern ventilation systems are more productive and use fewer sick days than those who work in conventional office buildings.

Do not be overwhelmed by the staggering amount of green technologies that can be applied to a building. You do not have to employ each one right away. You can start by making small changes and work your way up to a totally green, energy efficient facility. A green building consultant can help you focus your energy conservation goals and show you exactly how your building’s performance efficiency will change with each step you take. Also, this type of consultant can help your maintenance department implement CMMS software (or Computerized Maintenance Management Software), which helps a maintenance department run more effectively and efficiently.

Green buildings can save, on average, 40% of their total energy costs. This means more money in your pocket and less harmful emissions being sent out into our surrounding environment. This type of decrease in energy consumption means the burning of coal and oil is reduced, thereby helping lessen the impact of global climate change. The recycled materials used in the construction of green buildings help keep our ecosystem regulated.

Any small step you take to make your facility run more efficiently, or “green”, would be a wise decision. You’ll be saving money in the long run, promoting a healthier lifestyle and helping to conserve our delicate ecosystem.

Steel Structures and Metal Building Design Contractors

Metal building design contractors can work with steel building designs for a variety of structures. They manage and oversee the plans and construction of structures comprised of metal framework. The steel or other metal material is the main material source for the infrastructure of the building. These structures include but are not limited to barns, airplane hangars, warehouses, shipping and distribution facilities, retail stores, auto body and repair businesses, car dealerships, and truck terminals, to name a few. And each one of these structures has slightly or sometimes drastically different specifications for the construction of their walls, heights of their ceilings, and width of their room(s) in order to accommodate the equipment, live stock or live beings that venture in or are housed inside of the metal dwelling.

Metal building design contractors also work for a variety of government agencies, commercial venues or residential groups to create housing and protection on large or small property or for large or small groups of people. For example, there is information available on how metal building design contractors work with government agency structures to make sure the buildings are equipped to sway and still stand. And they also help with the construction of airplane hangars for government agencies and large corporations or private citizens. For commercial ventures they typically work with the construction of stores that benefit from the aesthetics or simplicity of the steel construction. On one hand, these stores include fishing, sporting goods, or automotive supply and repair stores, for example. In the automotive industries these large steel buildings make it easier to maneuver the vehicles, to insert lifts, and to perform the required mechanical engineering. On the other hand, there are plenty of big name warehouse stores that benefit from the size and convenience of the steel construction for the sheer girth of their commodities housed inside. Another example would be how they also help with residential or domestic structures. These include farm dwellings for horses and other animals.

Metal building design contractors work with their client’s plans and the prepared site to utilize the steel frames and sheets to create the vision that they have for the space. There are many benefits to steel construction. First, there is less of a need for load bearing walls and columns in a space. Second, there is less need for up keep. Third, it is less of a threat of damage due to fire or many other concerns as well.

Find A Home Building Inspector in Your Area

It is an exciting time. You have decided on the house you want to buy and are on the point of submitting a bid to the vendor. Before you do this, it is essential that you employ the services of a home building inspector to ascertain whether this is indeed the dream home you thought it was.

Ask any friends, relatives or colleagues who have recently bought a house who they used for their house inspection, and if they would recommend that person. If they would recommend them, get the details and make contact. An industry association will also be able to furnish you with the names and numbers of reputable building inspectors. Failing that, consult the Yellow Pages.

When working out who is the best building inspector for you, ask to see the inspector’s building consulting license. Any hesitation he shows in supplying this should be a warning sign to you and it is wise to seek another consultant. Ask for details of the building inspector’s experience in the industry, his qualifications and details of the insurance cover he has for public risk, professional indemnity and for the death or injury of any employees. The names and contact details of three clients with similar properties should also be asked for. You should contact these people and ask whether they would recommend the services of this building inspector. Was the work carried out professionally, and was the report comprehensive, picking up any potential problems?

Do not stop at contacting one consultant. It is helpful to get three quotes for the inspection of the property and the report. Ask each of them whether they are a member of their industry association and if they follow the Code of Conduct of that association. Do they have a set procedure for settling any disputes which may arise, and if so, what is the method they use? An experienced and competent home building inspector should be happy to answer all of these questions, and in fact should be pleased that you are taking his job so seriously.

The report is crucial to this whole process, and you need to find out what the format of the final product will be. Ask for one or two sample reports, and find out how long the inspector envisages that the report will take to complete and be sent to you. Find out whether a verbal report is to be provided on the day, and if so, how much this will cost. It is also an important step to ask whether the building inspector is independent of the vendor or whether he is acting as their agent.

Although the report will give details of any damage inflicted by pests such as termites, it may not include details of whether these pests are currently present, so you may want to get a separate report to cover this. The major problems of the house will be included in the basic report, but you may want to pay more to find out what the cost of repairing these problems is likely to be, as well as the cost of minor repairs and maintenance.

Once you have received the report from your home building inspector, hopefully all will be in order, and you can have the confidence to make a firm bid on the property and finally become its proud owner.