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Common features of the world’s most sustainable buildings
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Common features of the world’s most sustainable buildings

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Implementing sustainable design principles into construction projects is no longer a gimmicky selling point – it’s almost a necessity.  Fortunately, there are so many ways that buildings can be made more environmentally friendly, both during construction, and long after the finishing touches have been installed. 

Some of the most innovative buildings in the world have been designed with the environment at their very core. Using both contemporary construction techniques and utilising sustainable technologies, these buildings are pioneering the way for the future of the industry. 

Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, or are interested in promoting more eco-friendly practices, here are three common design features that are seen in some of the world’s most sustainable buildings. 

Harnessing natural light 

Artificial lighting is having a hugely detrimental effect on our planet. In fact, one study has revealed that lighting accounts for nearly 5% of the planet’s carbon emissions – a huge chunk that can quite easily be reduced. As well as switching to more energy efficient LED light bulbs, the most sustainable buildings in the world will utilise light from the sun to brighten up the interior. Using windows, skylights and transparent doors in the building’s design will allow it to collect more natural light during the day, reducing its reliance on artificial sources. 

One of the best examples of this in the real world can be seen at London’s new City Hall in the Royal Docks. Formerly known as The Crystal, this innovative structure has been designed to make extensive use of the natural light available. This has been achieved through strategic placing of the glazing to allow for maximum exposure to daylight whilst minimising unwanted solar gain. When artificial light is required, a constant light control system is in place, which automatically adjusts every bulb depending on the occupancy and the time of day.

Implementing renewable energy 

It’s no secret that fossil fuels have a lot to answer for when it comes to measuring the damage that’s been done to our environment. Fortunately, renewable energy generation is becoming more mainstream within people’s homes and offices, meaning we’re slowly easing our reliance on harmful non-renewable sources.

In order for a building to be fully self-sustaining, it will have to generate its own renewable energy. Solar power continues to be one of the most popular and easily accessible sources, and it’s being used more commonly in modern construction projects. One of the biggest and best examples of solar use in construction can be seen at the Sun-Moon Mansion in Dezhou, China. The building has a fan-shaped roof, which is covered with around 5,000 solar panels, which provide the majority of the power required to run it.

Using sustainable materials 

According to some reports, as much as 75% of the world’s natural resources have gone into construction in the past. Fortunately, in today’s eco-conscious society, it’s easier than ever to access more sustainable materials that will ultimately cause less harm to the planet, without compromising the quality of the build. 

Consider using recycled materials to reduce the strain on our natural resources. There are many different ways you could incorporate recycled materials into your project, from glass for the windows, to wood for the frames. 

You could also consider using eco-friendly alternatives to traditional materials. Bamboo is one of the best examples, and is more commonly being used in modern construction activities. It regrows quickly in nature, and has a high strength-to-weight ratio, making it a useful alternative. There are examples of bamboo featuring in buildings all over the world, and it’s expected to feature even more prominently in years to come.

To sum up

In this post we’ve shone a light on just a few of the most common features you’ll find in eco-conscious buildings across the globe. With more people becoming better educated on the importance of sustainability, the construction industry will have the opportunity to lead the way in building a greener future for us all.

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Common features of the world’s most sustainable buildings

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