Sustainable Building Design
The specifics of what constitutes “green” construction are constantly evolving; however, there are several main features of sustainable building design that are universally accepted in the construction industry.
Green construction must, first and foremost, preserve natural resources such as water through efficient use, runoff control and/or water recycling. Additionally, an eco-friendly building reduces the impact on greenhouse gasses and makes use of renewable energy. A green structure should also create an indoor environment that is safe and livable, providing maximum ventilation and pollution control.
The construction materials used in a sustainable design should be “environmentally preferable,” meaning they contribute little to global warming, pollution and the depletion of natural resources throughout the lifetime of the materials, when compared to standard materials.
While most agree that the overriding principle of sustainable building design is to preserve our natural resources and create livable structures, the concept is about more than simply designing and constructing a structure with materials that don’t negatively effect the environment. A sustainable structure must also be efficient to maintain and operate, and should contribute the least amount of waste to the environment as possible.
What these principles mean to the end user is a structure that provides a healthier, user-friendly environment, lower energy costs and cheaper maintenance and repair costs. These benefits can be recognized both in new residential and commercial construction, as well as retrofits, additions, remodeling projects and upgrades.
With the right engineer in your corner, you can reap the benefits of green engineering without incurring much of the short-term cost. PSE Consulting Engineers, Inc. can show you how to achieve a sustainable design that not only costs less to maintain and operate, but rivals traditional design in upfront costs, starting with the initial consultation. Call PSE at (541) 850-6300 for a free initial consultation, and get started today toward a greener tomorrow.
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