Addressing the Green Agenda

Designing and constructing a building, landscape, or other facilities is only a part of addressing the impact that it has on the environment. In fact in relation to buildings – given how long they last – it is the running and operation of it that will have most impact.

The issues associated with greener management of facilities are covered in Section F of the portal but there are a number of issues that can be addressed in construction to address the issues of environmental impact and making best use of a site or a building to be as environmentally sustainable as possible.

In the design stage it is worth considering the effects of climate change and how it may affect a project by thinking about and discussing with professional advisors the following:

  • The sun – optimising passive solar heating through the way facilities are oriented should be considered to help keep energy use down.
  • Water – climate change may mean floods and may mean water shortages – thinking about the use of ground floors and basements, slowing the movement of water through green roofs, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems and water recovery, recycling and harvesting can help make buildings and landscapes adaptable to climate change.
  • Reducing heat loss and saving energy – this can be done as part of the design process by considering levels of insulation, as well as more efficient lighting and heating systems and appliances.
  • The potential for sustainable energy generation – these possibilities are very site specific but can include wind, biomass, geothermal or ground source heat pumps, solar water heating, photovoltaic panels and micro hydro systems. These may also provide opportunities to generate revenue funds.

To find a list of some way to optimise use of energy and water click here. For a more detailed guide to green construction click here.