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.

How Proper Building Design Can Heat Your Home

How much do we truly know about passive solar and how it works? Basically, passive solar is a design incorporated into the construction of a building, aimed at the accumulating solar energy and distributing it into the home as heat during winter or the cold season. During the heat of summer, it also regulates heat and prevents it from reaching excessive levels. As mentioned, it is worked into the design of the home or the building before construction has even started, so it’s not something you can add on later as a building improvement and structural addition.

Passive Solar Design

The first consideration when thinking of integrating a passive solar energy system into the building is its general location and design with respect to the sun. How much of the sun’s solar power would the house be exposed to in a specific location? Will the angle of the roof and the building, as a whole, enable it to have full advantage of the sun’s solar energy? Geography plays a significant role in any building design with passive solar energy in mind, and this is apparent in how homes in the northern hemisphere are normally built to face the south in order to get more than enough amount of sunlight.

The interior of the home will also have to be carefully thought over, especially the structural relationships among the ceiling, walls, and the windows. They should be designed to be flexible in coping with changes in temperature as well as the seasons. How much insulation do the ceiling and roof provide to regulate heat and cold? Are the walls as capable of warding off the cold and keeping the heat in without trapping it to high levels?

During summer, the sun is at its peak, so having a sloping roof and an overhang or wide awnings on windows will provide much needed shade and protection against heat when it gets too warm. However, during winter, when sunlight is limited, tall vertical windows built facing towards the south will ensure that the home still gets enough sunlight.

Other Important Considerations in Passive Design

I’ve already mentioned about insulation earlier in passing. Now let us dig deeper. In order to allow circulation of air currents inside the building, the walls and the roof have to be designed with vents. Aside from vents, certain thermal materials will have to be fabricated into the building itself so as to regulate heat accordingly, as the seasons and temperature changes. In this way, warm air will be kept within the interiors of the building during the cold season, but during the warmth of summer it will also be able to escape easily instead of being trapped inside.

Many countries in the world now recognize the benefits of using passive solar techniques in providing heating. Even the homes in Scotland, where it is particularly cold and rainy most days of the year, have been found to derive 15% of their heating from solar energy. If this trend continues, not only will it slow down the depletion of other energy sources currently being used, it will also lower the current costs being personally spent by people on energy consumption. It is a global concern, so it follows that this solution also has a global impact.

Garage Building Design – Things To Remember When Choosing One

Construction of the house would not be complete without a garage. You can either design your own, or have your construction crew built it; either way, it is important to plan it well ahead to avoid regretting later if there have been flaws incurred or were missing some insufficient details. The following factors should be used as the elements for a well-planned garage building design:

1. The size of the garage

This is important factor to consider whether the garage is to be used solely for the purpose of housing your vehicle or for another such as to use it as specific area for workroom. The number of vehicles that would be parked must be considered as well.

2. The design of the garage

The design would be according to how you want the garage to look like. You can consider how it would affect the overall appearance of your house or if it will look incongruous in the environment. The color should also be taken into consideration. It should be one that will compliment the house and not to distract its overall aesthetics. You also have to consider if you are building some cabinets for storage of other things.

3. Permit for building the garage

This is important especially if your location is one that requires permit to anything that would be erected, which can be secured by the town council agency. You wouldn’t want to run the risk of getting notified by a local officer because of some legal issues.

All of these things should be taken cared of first so when the garage is about to be constructed, there would not be any hassle popping somewhere along the process of construction. After securing your garage building design, next thing you would be doing is to acquire all materials and equipments necessary for making the house of your vehicle. Before doing so, make sure you have researched the best home-improvement stores where you can get the best deals.

Having a garage building design plan would make it easier for you and your crew to finish the construction. If you don’t have the skills of making one, it is most recommended that you purchase a ready-made garage building design, which is available through the many local home improvement stores in town. These stores offer variety of garage building design plans, from which you can select one that would compliment best to your liking.