Solutions that involve reusing something rather than throwing it away are a good way to reduce the environmental impact. This could include:
- Re-using materials from large-scale renovation or demolition projects: this is an excellent option as long as the materials meet the required quality standards.
- Recycling waste material: such as waste wood or by-products (plastic, bricks, etc.).
- Using materials with recycled components: such as gypsum boards, panels, metal equipment, etc.
- Supporting local trade: by sourcing materials from local suppliers. On the one hand, shorter journeys create fewer greenhouse gas emissions. On the other, this helps boost the local economy and helps prevent the concentration of industry.
- Using renewable sources of wood such as bamboo, cork and fast-growing trees. This includes wood from certified sustainable plantations.
- Using paint and primers that are free from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
A quality finish is essential for putting any building on the market and this includes strategies for sourcing materials to improve environmental conditions, making savings and improving the well-being of people affected by building.
Five tips for a sustainable office
Before starting an architectural project, wherever possible, it's important to find a site away from high-voltage areas or places where the subsoil could damage the structure of the building.
Some of the most important areas are:
1. Paying close attention to insulation for roofs, external walls and windows to ensure the best protection again the elements.
2. The orientation of the windows and their airtight installation to ensure the best use of natural light and contribute towards energy saving.
3. Good ventilation to prevent the build-up of radioactive and toxic elements such as radon gas. CO2 controllers can be installed to achieve a safe level of ventilation.
4. More efficient appliances with and A++ or A+++ energy rating, as these reduce CO2 emissions (with the resulting energy saving).
5. Use of automation to monitor and control the energy used in the building.
Architecture and sustainability to not make building projects more expensive; on the contrary, sustainable building leads to the creation of better buildings with lower costs and maintenance.