Technological Change in Construction Affecting Sustainability – Green Building Technology
Issues concerning construction and the environmental sustainability have been of great concern. Many technological changes have taken place in construction industries to attain a sustainable life. Technological improvement has emerged because of the impact of the construction with the environment. A major technological improvement that has taken place in the construction industry is green building technology.
Green building is a new technology that has been introduced in building and construction companies It is also referred to as sustainable building. The green building technology aims at increasing the efficiency in buildings with their site uses by using processes and structures which are environmentally friendly and resource efficient. The green building technology aims at changing the nature of operation, construction, maintenance, design, demolition, and renovation of buildings.
Green building technology aims at finding a sustainable balance between home and industrial building and the sustainable environment. For this to be achieved, it requires keen intervention in different construction sectors including the design team, the engineers, and the architects together with the project clients in each phase of the construction project. The green building technology is aimed at expanding and complementing of the classical system of building design which is concerned with the economical sustainability, their utility, comfort, as well as durability.
The green building technology is designed in order to curb the impact from the built environment to that of human health and natural environment in different ways. These ways include;
1. Sustainable water usage, energy and resources available.
2. Promoting the health of the occupants and improving the productivity of employees
3. Reducing resulting wastes, environmental pollution, and degradation.
Buildings have got a great impact on the environment if they are not checked. The impact caused by the construction of building also extends to the health of people within the building. The technological change in construction looks at the resultant improvement over a long period, which is the entire life-cycle in construction including its subsequent operations, disposal costs and the maintenance of the building.
Green Building Technology – Was it introduced as a cost-saving measure or for other reasons such as meeting building regulations or improving thermal performance, etc.?
As mentioned above, green building technology was introduced in order to achieve a sustainable environment. This including saving on the cost of construction, reducing the impact of construction to the environment, Sustainable water usage, energy and resources available, as well as minimization on the waste disposal which causes environmental pollution and degradation.
Building has an adverse effect to the health of individuals. The public health is affected by the construction, the building design and operation practices. The effects of buildings to health can be grouped in three main categories.
1. Effect on those occupying the building: various aspects on the building affect the health of the occupants, the staff, and visitors of a certain building. This includes indoor air circulation. The indoor air circulation of a building depends on the physical design of the building, which includes the ventilation, waste disposal locations, airflow, and pressure. Daylight access in the building also affects the occupant.
2. Effect on the health of the community surrounding the building: Health of the surrounding community is affected by the building. This can also result from waste material from the building. It also has an impact on the water management and air circulation to the neighboring community.
3. The effect of the entire global community: The health effect of the building extends beyond the immediate community. The production material of a building can constantly release toxic components to the environment. The components can cause severe effect to the larger community such as the effect of CFCs.
The goals achieved by introduction green building technology included energy efficiency, water efficiency, and material efficiency and improved indoor environment. On energy efficiency, the green building technology aims at reducing the total capacity of energy used in its construction and operation.
For this reason, buildings are constructed in a way that they will save on energy and avoid energy wastage through several ways such as siting a building in place where there is enough daylight to be used instead of electricity during the day. The houses are also fitted with solar water heaters to cut on energy use and cost in heating.
Sustainable building also aims at reducing the overall consumption of water. For this reason, water harvesting techniques have been incorporated in the construction of buildings to harvest rain water. Installation of water recycling and purifying machines is also put in place to ensure water efficiency and conservation. The technological changes in the construction industries have helped to achieve a sustainable environment which is necessary to reduce the impact caused by building to the people within them and the surrounding community.
PARAYIL, G. (2002). Conceptualizing technological change: Theoretical and empirical explorations. Lanham, MD, Rowman & Littlefield.
SMITH, M. R. (1994). Does technology drive history? the dilemma of technological determinism. Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press
TROY, P. N. (1995). Technological change and the city. Annandale, NSW, Federation Press.
VLANDIS, P. (1999). The impact of technological change on construction management. Thesis (B. Build. Construction Management) University of New South Wales, 1999.
Question: Have you encountered any technological change relating directly to green building technology? Feel free to leave a comment below