As the effects of the Great Recession on economic confidence begin to wane, construction projects are on the rise. One of the most exciting elements of these new real estate developments is their usage of some of the newest green construction techniques in commercial real estate. Not only do these features provide environmental benefits like lower energy usage and carbon emissions, but they also save builders money through a rising opportunity for municipal incentives.
There was a great article in howstuffworks.com on some of the most valuable and effective advances in green building. Here are a couple of the highlights!
Used in windows, electrochromic glass uses nanotechnology to electrically change windows between translucent and opaque depending on the amount of light coming into the space. This serves to save energy by reducing the stress on a heating/cooling system. For example, when sunlight comes into a space, it heats it up, sometimes to an extent where you need to compensate by using a central cooling system. This is inefficient and can wind up costing a lot of money to regulate. By regulating the amount of light that can come into the space with a centralized electric system controlling the electrochromic glass, it becomes possible to largely control temperature without the use of an HVAC system.
This is one of the most exciting technologies, which uses natural materials that would otherwise be deemed waste and unusable to provide strong, high-integrity building materials. Using a combination of bulk waste materials, mycelium, and heat, builders can create an incredibly material for walls. Basically, if you put the waste and mycelium together, the spores will grow to fill its container. Using heat on the outside, the growth stops at whatever point the builder desires. Even though the organic waste and mycelium is biodegradable, the casing for these bricks could be made out of a long-lasting material like aluminum for support. We should see a rapidly increased use of this technology because it’s cheap and doesn’t require toxic chemicals to produce.
The benefits of switching to green building are clear. It’s becoming cheaper to use them now and will be in the long run in terms of energy bills and the toll taken on the planet’s environment as a whole.