Contrary to what media usually highlights, the modern world offers alternatives and practices that have a positive impact on the environment. Today, as more and more people focus on sustainability and leaving a greener footprint to the world, different industries have begun incorporating environmentally-friendly technologies into their businesses—construction being one of them.
When thinking about building a new home or remodeling a house in Provo, people should go beyond thinking about its aesthetics and features. As the world becomes grayer by the minute, a greener home could help save the environment.
Here are two compelling reasons people should opt for a greener home:
The environmental impacts of construction are drastic
The construction industry is one of the biggest in the world. It produces around $1.3 trillion worth of buildings and structures every year and contributes to 4.1% of the U.S. GDP. In the private sector, newly started houses add $1.2 million to this industry.
With these big numbers, there is no doubt that the environmental effects of construction are massive as well. According to Jonathan Watts, “After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on Earth.” Because of its widespread use, concrete contributes 2.8 billion tons of carbon emissions, ranking third after China and the United States.
Aside from carbon emissions, deforestation is one of the effects of urbanization. As urban areas become more populated, agricultural demand increases and forests become crop fields. A more prominent cause of deforestation is the expansion of urban zones that turns forests into a vast land of buildings and infrastructure.
On the bright side, there are alternatives to concrete, such as eco-bricks and rammed earth. On the other hand, people can choose to re-use and re-purpose some materials from the previous structure.
Having a green-built home has energy-saving benefits that will ultimately save owners more money in the long run, mainly because electricity bills will go lower. Green builders ensure that there are little to no cracks in the roof so that heat or air will not pass through. As a result, the heating and cooling system of the house does not have to work extra hard to maintain the desired temperature for the home.
Another way to do this is to incorporate natural techniques of ventilation in the house. By placing windows in strategic places, wind can come in and out of the house naturally, improving the quality of air and temperature inside the home.
Renewable energy is also something that a modern home can use. One great example is installing solar panels on the roof, which will not only lessen the direct heat absorbed by the roofing material, but it can also power lighting and other appliances at home. In 2019, lighting was responsible for 5% of an average American home’s energy use.
Choose to be sustainable
Whether sustainability is attained through the structure of the house or the practices of the people living in it, being more conscious of one’s decision is essential. With the knowledge of the environmental impacts of construction, one can choose an alternative.