ECO-FRIENDLY BUILDING OPTIONS IN MELBOURNE
The days of concrete buildings constructed from cement, stone, and steel are slowly dying out. Due to the high cost of electricity and water delivery systems – and the effect using such resources has on our current environment – we as a race have been challenged to look for ways to adapt to this energy crisis without completely switching our lifestyle around.
Enter the Eco-Friendly Building; the modern building redesigned to be environmentally responsible by using energy-efficient materials and systems. Such structures were the stuff of sci-fi movies and the idealist’s dream, but 20 years of rapid technological advancement and intense research have made them possible. Man has effectively engineered unique, state-of-the-art systems that can be incorporated in private, residential, and commercial buildings. Said systems have revolutionized the architectural sector – they have made buildings self-sustaining.
The Modern Eco-Friendly Building
Eco-Iframefriendly frrfriendly buildings are custom-designed in a way that reduces their carbon emissions. They would have to use as little electricity as possible, meaning their lights, gadgets, and amenities would be powered by solar or wind energy. It would still be dependent on the city’s grid but only as a sort of back-up or last-resort option, and would be more heavily dependent on a separate system – whether built-in or third party – that is itself independent of the city’s electrical power supply. Think hydroelectricity, windmills for wind energy, solar panels, and etc.
And speaking of solar panels, these buildings would depend on solar power for the lighting system, cooling and heating systems, security systems, and elevators. The reason behind this is that solar power has proven to be one of the cleanest and most efficient form of green energy – especially in countries with long summers or no winters.
Not only do these buildings become self-sustaining over time, they become cost-effective as well. If you’re solar panels generate more energy than you need to power your home, you can either store it or send it to the grid. Many states now keep track of the extra electricity generated and sent using a special meter, and they pay homeowners the cost equivalent of the energy. This is called net metering. So despite the initial cost for setup and maintenance, solar panels will eventually pay for themselves through the money saved on energy bills or the energy donated to the city’s power grid.
Rooftops today are no longer just the simple, bland, tin-laced, or thinly-cemented decks of before. Modern, eco-friendly building options include what is now called “the living roof”. Plants can be grown on the roof using pots or planters, subsequently catching and storing rainwater. They can also filter the air up there, making it noticeably cooler and fresher. The cooler air would cut a considerable portion from the heat in the office or building space beneath the roof, lessening the intensity of the airconditioning system and the bills that follow.
Getting the plants to catch and keep the rainwater also helps the building’s sewage and drainage system. Less water getting on the roof means less work for the maintenance crew and the buildings pipes. Poor water drainage and filtration can lead to clogging, minor flooding, and burst pipes. Plant are natural safeguards that lessen the risk of such events happening.
ECO-FRIENDLY LIGHT BULBS
Even if you’re still hooked up to conventional electricity powered by fossil fuels, you can opt for more energy-efficient light bulbs. We are no longer limited to Edison’s 1880’s design powered by Tesla’s electricity, thanks to the LED (Light Emitting Diode) that came on the scene in the 1990’s. Studies show that LED light bulbs are 6-7 times more efficient than the old-school light bulbs like fluorescents. They can cut energy consumption by up to 80% and can last 25% longer than other light bulbs, saving you money on both energy bills and replacement bulbs.
RECYCLED BUILDING MATERIALS
Design and architecture have evolved so much that buildings and home constructions can now incorporate recycled materials into their build and blueprint. A standard breakfast countertop can be made from recycled glass, aluminium, and soda cans. Sound insulations beneath the office walls are filled with recycled newspapers and old pants. A room can be made sound proof simply by fitting the wall with old egg cartons.
OTHER ECO-FRIENDLY OPTIONS
Fresh water is another precious resource that we can’t afford to waste. Already, governments are pouring in top dollar to fund water filtration centers and services. Eco-friendly structures can be designed in such a way that the water delivery system in it is highly efficient and can actually reduce the water being wasted. For example, low-flow water faucets and automated showers that run on well water or gentle the trickle after a certain amount of time or temperature.
Water tanks are also slowly becoming a non-negotiable part of building designs, and are useful for collecting rain water for garden tasks such as watering, maintaining, and general cleaning.
Overall, innovators have made self-sustaining, eco-friendly building options possible and more open to the general public. Given time, buildings and houses – whether commercial or industrial – will reach the pinnacle of modern, energy-efficient design.