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It has come to our attention in recent years that global warming is increasing at an alarming rate and that we need to make changes in order to help save our planet. Statistics such as average wildlife populations dropping by 60% in just over 40 years is enough to open anyone’s eyes to the fact that we are slowly damaging our planet. One way we can help save our planet is by designing and constructing sustainable buildings. In this blog, we take a look at the many ways to create a sustainable design and therefore, construct a building that is able to last for a long period of time while being environmentally beneficial.

3D Printing

3D printed concrete

The building and construction industries were responsible for 38% of global energy-related emissions in 2018. Many machines and trucks are required when constructing a building, and these require fuel, of which the planet has a limited supply. Furthermore, the industry is responsible for burning many fossil fuels such as gas and diesel and this results in the emission of carbon dioxide, methane and other waste products. These gases harm the environment and pollute the air. The gas emissions produced from the building and construction industries are believed to contribute to global warming, thus damaging the environment.

3D printing could be an eco-friendly alternative to methods that are currently used. A Chinese based company have proved this method by printing ten concrete houses from recycled materials in an incredible 24 hours. The technology-built developments had a significantly lower carbon footprint than those constructed with traditional methods, as well as being cheaper and producing less waste.

Solar Panels

A home using solar panels on the roof

Buildings require electricity, and this can be both costly and damaging to the environment, so it is sensible to find more sustainable alternatives. Solar panels are a brilliant invention that converts the sun’s radiation into energy, so as long as the sun shines, the panels can produce power. While installing solar panels can be costly, in the long run, it can save a considerable amount of money and energy consumption. Although, the only downfall to this renewable energy source is that you need sunlight to produce the power; therefore, the location must be considered before installing. For example, if the building is north-facing, the solar panels are likely to perform best on the back of the building. There is software that can calculate the best location for the most power to assist you in choosing whether or not solar panels are suitable for your building.

Placement of Windows

A window with a view of a beach

Windows can have a great impact on the energy a building may use. Windows that are placed either east or west waste twice as much energy as those on the north or south of the building. When designing a property, both the appearance and environmental benefits should be taken into consideration. Therefore, the long edges of the building should be designed to be either north or south facing so that the shorter ends are in the least sustainable direction.

After examining the area in which the building will be constructed, the designer can take into consideration where the sunlight comes in and where natural breeze may occur. Windows should be situated where the sun shines as this can bring in more natural light and therefore, artificial lighting won’t be needed as frequently. Furthermore, places with a draft should be avoided for a window because it could cause the building to feel cold and therefore, heating will be required more regularly. Saving energy on both lights and heating can benefit the environment as less power will be required.

Sufficient Insulation

Fibreglass insulation

It is important to design a building with sufficient space for a good level of insulation as this can improve the sustainability of a property. By well insulating a property, the need for heating will be reduced; thus, bills will cost less, and the building will be more energy efficient. Insulation can be installed in the floors, walls and roof to trap in the warmth and avoid the heat escaping.

Here at ANY Weld, we are steel fabricators in the UK with projects across the nation. As experts in steel and glasswork, we supply the nation’s leading property developers, architects and structural engineers. We work on projects from individual home installations to large-scale industrial developments, so if you are interested in our services, please do not hesitate to get in contact. Give us a call on 01271 860794 or drop us an email at [email protected] Alternatively, you can visit our social media channels; tweet us at @ANY_Weld or visit our Facebook page.