Eco-friendly building systems must be both built green and maintained green. That means everything, down to the architecture, design, and maintenance, throughout the building’s lifespan must be considered eco-friendly. It therefore requires that each part of the construction team keep this in mind. At Miller Architects and Builders, we specialize in this kind of synchronicity; during every step of the process we work with architects, clients, and commercial contractors to ensure the final product always remains as “green” as you like it.
But what qualifies as “green,” exactly? The building must be environmentally friendly, of course, but how does one determine throughout the construction process that the building can be certified as green in the future?
Life Cycle Assessment
Conducting a life cycle assessment (LCA) is among the most comprehensive ways to determine a building’s overall impact on the surrounding community. An LCA will warn commercial contractors of potential environmental dangers related to waste disposal and the management of the project. It also makes evident social and economic concerns. Despite its comprehensivity, an LCA is not necessarily a requirement to get one’s building certified as green by the government or a third party.
To minimize costly and environmentally damaging energy consumption, use details that prevent air from leaking through your building’s envelope. Add extra insulation in ceilings, floors, and walls. Awnings and trees can be placed near roofs to help cool a building naturally during the summer, and properly placed windows can let the sunshine in for eco-friendly warmth. Heating one’s water using solar energy is also both cost-effective and green.
In most places, demand for water exceeds supply. Consider a plumbing system that effectively recycles wastewater for a clean and economic way to manage this resource. A point-of-use water heating and treatment system also improves water quality in addition to being environmentally friendly.
Operation and Regulation
Both governmental and third-party organizations are able to certify buildings as green, as a variety of codes, rating systems, and standards are now available. Many organizations also offer incentives to build eco-friendly features into commercially constructed buildings.
Ready to Start?
If you’re considering making your next project green, look into Miller Architects and Builders. We specialize in construction project management and architectural design. We are with each part of the construction team every step of the way to make sure your project is as green as can be. Contact us or call us at 320.251.4109 for a quote. We work in Saint Cloud, Duluth, Mora, and the surrounding areas.