States face flooding, other problems in Midwest amid storms
U.S. Home Construction Jumps Nearly 10 Percent in January
Trump's Plan to Rebuild US Roads Relies on Local Dollars
How OSHA Is Trying to Catch Up
Automation in the Construction Industry
Weekly Grind: Biggest Construction Award Winners and New Equipment to Hit the Market
Smart Buildings Continue Their Rise in 2018
Friday Funny: The Productivity Placebo
By Dan stewart, Brightus
October 15, 2017
Sustainable housing often conjures up the image of a house built into a grassy knoll or a home made entirely out of plastic bottles and old tyres, using greywater to maintain a plot of kale. The notion formerly held the perception of an unattractive and ineffective method, and was used commonly by homeowners looking to live in isolation and seclusion.
Put simple, this is not the case. Carbon neutral buildings have been popping up around the globe, as part of tremendous residential and commercial sites that push the barrier for eco-friendly architecture. In a lot of cases, it also means keeping some extra cash in the pocket of the financer. It’s often said this trend is becoming a new hot topic thanks to environmental sustainability. That is partly true. However, the shift also stems from the current mass-migration of global populations to megacities, creating huge challenges around housing affordability, infrastructure, environmental impact, and transportation.
Rebecca Douthwaite, Chairwoman of The Australian Sustainable Environment Council (ASBEC), is a strong believer in the necessity for Australia’s push towards an environmentally sustainable future: “We know Australia is in the grip of a housing crisis. A growing population and skyrocketing house prices mean living affordability, and housing security is being stretched to the limit.
“First, we need to work to a plan. Future infrastructure needs to be scoped and delivered in the right places. Diverse medium and high-density urban housing should be built along transport corridors and near amenities. Incentives to build the right type of homes are needed.”
ASBEC Executive Director Suzanne Toumbourou also adds: “The key to cheaper running costs is improved energy efficiency. Not only are more energy-efficient buildings more comfortable and healthy, but they have the added bonus of being a fast and cost-effective way to reduce emissions. Public understanding of the benefits of energy efficient housing is limited, so education is required.”
For others, there are key factors impacting the sustainability housing trend and halting widespread adoption, such as a lack of new delivery models, an absence of methods and tools creating a safer and more productive workplace, some of the lowest levels of innovation and productivity in any industry, and very little change and adaptation. However, Australian carbon neutral advocates hope to overcome these challenges.
Australia, currently ranked the 20th most sustainable nation in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, is experiencing a significant push in the right direction in construction. A recent home designed and built be Clare Cousins Architects in collaboration with the Social Weaver has marked the first home in Victoria to be carbon positive. The zero-waste construction process paired with solar roofing, cross-flow ventilation, and low energy use has led to the creation of a home that self-heats and cools, and produces more energy than it uses. The house itself uses modern, low energy equipment, which is estimated to cost an average of $3 a year to run.
Overall, the trend is a positive one. Often, the most important aspects of a building are the sections that are left untouched, and incorporating greenery and a self-powering environment is sure to make our cities a cleaner and friendlier ecosystem.
If you liked this article, here are a few eBooks you might enjoy:
The Future of Green Building
Is Green Building Worth It?
Where is Green Building Headed?
Green Machine: The Biggest Eco-Friendly Construction Projects to Come
Ever wonder what’s the difference between a general contractor and construction manager? Well, you’re not alone! To help clear up any confusion, we’ve broken down the roles and responsibilities of ... Read More
If you're a construction worker, you're most likely working physical labor and it can get hot if you're working under the sun. Here's a guide for h... Read More
Pete says that Procore quickly breaks down the complicated pieces of data in his jobs, and presents them to the end user in a digestible format. "T... Read More
Hear Brad Hyatt, Associate Professor at California State University Fresno, discuss what students are learning in school to prepare them for const... Read More
Construction has always had a somewhat complicated relationship with technology. Over the last few decades there have been improvements in material... Read More
J. Colin Cagney, a director, KPMG Major Projects Advisory, knows that while most companies want to use data analytics to increase, they’re often no... Read More
Congress has passed the final version of the federal tax reform bill, and it will soon head to President Donald Trump to be signed into law. The qu... Read More
January 9, 2018