Green Building and Recycled Materials

Green Building and Recycled Materials

Source: Sri Lanka Daily News, March 4, 2014
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According to the United States Green Building Council, building structures account for 38 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions, and 39 percent of the total energy used, nationwide.

Environmental concerns have made the use of natural and recyclable resources a priority. Not surprisingly, green building’s use of recycled materials and efficient designs is becoming a popular alternative to classical building construction.

Environmental responsibility and resource conservation lie at the heart of green building. Any and all materials are candidates for recycling use when their use potential is taken into consideration. Also known as sustainable, or high performance building, structures are designed to incorporate efficiency, health-safety and increased pollution controls. Additional benefits can be found in the reduced costs required to obtain recycled materials. As a result, manufacturing effects on the environment are reduced, as well as the need for landfill usage.

Green building plans include understanding how construction and demolition materials are generated and managed. Excess materials created in the process of filling a specified order are often discarded as scraps. Demolished buildings, as well, are prime sources for usable materials. Alternative uses that make the most of a material’s composition can be found for excess, and discarded “so-called” debris. Uses which work to conserve energy while still appealing to individual decorum tastes make recycled materials a viable and practical source for construction projects.

Roads, bridges and buildings all generate recyclable materials when they’re under construction. And when they’re being demolished. Concrete, metals, wood and glass make up much of the debris. If left unused, these materials end up in the local dump, which is a good source for locating building materials. Renewable materials can be derived from plants, like bamboo and straw, or recycled stone formations. Clay, cork, baked earth, linoleum and foundry sand are other types of green building materials.

During the planning stage, sometimes making use of an existing structure (regardless of its former use) can satisfy your construction objectives and needs. Many a barn has been converted into an alternative housing structure. Energy efficiency is a core component in green building. Construction plans should incorporate high efficiency windows and insulation materials. Solar energy is another alternative source for heating needs. Positioning a structure so that its interior atmosphere makes the best use of shade and sunlight also works to reduce overall energy consumption.

While green building is a responsible and effective way to sustain our environment, there are some insurance considerations to keep in mind during the planning stages. Incidents where roofing structures made use of plant materials have resulted in leaks and water damage to the interior. In other cases, floor designs which utilized cork materials resulted in the growth of mold. Contractors who specialize in green building should be certified to work with recycled materials for construction purposes, otherwise your property insurance may not cover resulting problems.

Courtesy: Published by HT Syndication with permission from Daily News Sri Lanka. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at

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