Sustainable Construction Technology

What You Should Know About Trends in Sustainable BuildingEvery country has its own relationship with sustainable technology with some taking more of an interest in it than others. Fortunately, Canada has been at the forefront of setting ever higher goals to cut back on their footprint. In fact, they're constructing more and more buildings that fit their Zero Carbon standard, doing everything in their power to cut down on the emissions of residential and commercial buildings alike. And while not every new construction home may incorporate the following methods, it may only be a matter of time before these trends become the new standards.

Geothermal Heating

Also known as geo-exchange, this technology is a way of siphoning energy for the core of the Earth to keep a home or commercial structure at a stable temperature. Regardless of the temperature on the Earth's surface, its core remains at 15.5° C. Using a compression system and sophisticated pumps, property owners can use geothermal heating to both heat and cool the interior naturally. This technology is still dependent on electricity to circulate the air, but it does significantly cut down on the need for oil and gas. The process has been known to save up to 65% of heating bills, creating a financial incentive as powerful as an environmental one.

Promoting Local Products

Across the country, developers are putting more time and energy into sourcing local products rather than searching for cheaper or more exotic products from other countries. This ultimately cuts down on the energy used to transport materials from one place to another, which further decreases dependence on unsustainable energy sources. So if an investor is adamant about having real bamboo in their property, they can choose a company that grows a species of bamboo in Canada rather than importing the bamboo from Asia.

Developers can also take advantage of traditional forms of building that were once deemed impractical by seeking out additional local solutions. For example, compressed earth, a mixture of soil and clay, used to be a popular building method that was abandoned because it was too susceptible to water damage. Today local companies produce water run-off systems that can be implemented to ensure the compressed earth is protected from rain or flooding.

Water Harvesting

Rainwater is an important resource for all countries, which is why Canada has gone to great lengths promoting harvesting systems that can catch run-off and reuse it for drinking water. Some property owners have been able to eliminate their water bills altogether using this method, making harvesting a trend that is likely to pick up speed in the next few years. This feature is not only good for urban homeowners who want to save money, but it's also good for rural households as well. (Rainwater tends to be of higher quality than water that comes from a river or dam.) It's possible for homes to be retrofitted with this technology, but many older homes may contain harmful materials (e.g., asbestos, etc.) that makes them unfit for harvesting systems.

Recycled Materials

There's been a big push for recycled materials in homes today and the industry's successes have been attracting a lot of attention. Bricks can now be made using a combination of animal blood and sand, and old denim can be used to enhance new insulation products. Companies are turning old tires and corks into flooring and old Heineken bottles into bricks. Between recycled materials and the return of traditional building methods, the construction industry is trying to incorporate the best of both worlds into their buildings. New technology like geothermal heating or solar power can merge with recycling methods to promote the best in green living.

Elimination of VOCs

Homes that produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can seriously contribute to the pollution of an area. These toxic fumes harm the environment and contribute to chronic health problems like asthma and allergies. VOCs are typically produced by the drying of paint but can also be found in glue, wallpaper, and stoves. There's been a huge push in recent years to eliminate VOCs which has spurred competition from companies hoping to take advantage of the new demand. The increased attention to this industry means developers can find plenty of quality products at reasonable prices that have replaced their VOCs with more environmentally friendly compounds.

Canada is one country that has been proactive about reducing its carbon emissions and the changes in sustainable building have been undeniable. Between advances in building materials and sustainable structure designs, Canada shows a complete commitment to overall sustainability. Not only are homes in Springbank more likely to be zero-carbon homes in the future, but other countries will look to Canada as a blueprint for how they can improve their own building methods.

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