The impressive output of green buildings in Canada proves that the eco-friendly design “trend” has become a way of life. As a 2017 report conducted by the CaGBC (Canada Green Building Council) states, “the Canada green building market is vigorous and growing.” The report lists motivating factors behind building green as a desire to lessen our footprint on the planet, long-term cost savings on factors such as energy and water consumption, as well as a leaning towards buildings that promote increased health and well being of occupants. Here are four tips for making your new building eco-friendly.
Eco-friendly design often focuses on the end result of a building. Yet, the building’s construction is just as important. An environmentally friendly building wouldn’t be very environmentally friendly if its construction process created waste and damaged natural resources. Ensuring any excess materials and packaging are properly recycled, using prefabricated materials and managing site runoff are all ways to reduce a building’s environmental footprint. And, while green construction isn’t the main focus of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) qualifications, building’s can earn points toward certification with eco-friendly construction practices.
A building envelope is made up of the foundation, walls, roof, windows, doors and floors and offers shelter and security. Building envelopes also provide solar and thermal control, moisture control, indoor air quality control and fire resistance. Building envelopes have varied and sometimes competing functions and a green envelope’s first task is to integrate all needs and purposes while considering the building’s entire life cycle. Focusing on increasing this life cycle through a synergistic approach also means a commitment to environmental conservation, resulting in a balance of cost and eco-consciousness.
There are a few key factors in achieving an eco-friendly interior. Material and finish selection encompass all interior aspects – from energy efficient LED lightbulbs to low-flow toilets to no VOC paints and sustainably sourced flooring. Another integral factor in creating a green interior is indoor air quality. Many common materials contain chemicals that can off-gas for years, creating a less than healthy living environment for occupants. Interior finishes made from renewable or recycled materials as well as natural materials like wood and stone all contribute to a more sustainable interior.
Making a new building eco-friendly doesn’t stop once construction is complete. Longevity is a key element in the sustainable building movement, meaning the environment needs to be considered during day-to-day operation of the structure. Whether the building is a home, a retail outlet, an industrial warehouse or an institution, daily upkeep should be undertaken with sustainability in mind. Tools or practices that reduce energy and water consumption and properly manage waste –as well as green building maintenance – should be implemented and carried out throughout the building’s entire life cycle.
Cadillac Coatings is all about green building practices, which is why we employ a patented powder coating process to finish an array of materials. With the carbon footprint of powder coating being up to ten times less than that of solvent-based coatings, you can rest assured knowing that a powder coated finish is the perfect addition to an earth friendly – and human friendly – building.
To find out more about our eco-friendly powder coating process, contact us today!