Sustainable home construction techniques are trending more and more in recent years. Residential and commercial building designers and developers are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprints by creating more sustainable structures and properties.
As a society, we learned our lessons about building with questionable materials like asbestos and lead paint. Of course, builders are still always looking for cost-effective solutions, but not at the cost of human lives and long-term ecological damage.
The advances in sustainable home construction have been incredible in recent years. There are so many great ideas being implemented and there are a variety of different ways builders are finding sustainable solutions. We are supporters of the Holcim Foundation. Their mission is to recognize and support sustainable home construction efforts throughout the world. It’s a community that works together to make the world a better place, one property at a time. We love helping our real estate clients find more sustainable solutions when it comes to structural renovations, home upgrades and land usage.
We wanted to highlight a couple of their recent blog articles that share some excellent sustainable home construction ideas from across the globe.
Designing from End to Beginning
Holcim issues awards every year to those making strides in sustainable home construction. Among their award winners were architects baubüro in situ who took on a very ambitious residential conversion project in the Swiss town of Winterthur. They were converting old factory buildings that were abandoned in the 1980s into high-end loft apartments, cinemas and offices.
One interesting technique they implemented was to use only materials salvaged from the demolished and renovated factory buildings. To do this, they catalogued all materials that could be repurposed and then designed the new buildings around what they had available. This reverse-engineering approach was truly ingenious. Money was saved on new construction materials and waste was eliminated. This is what sustainable home construction is all about. Read more.
A Stronger and Better-Equipped Community
Another feature of a Holcim award-winner shows the other way of thinking when it comes to sustainable home construction. Rather than repurposing old materials, new design concepts were introduced in this Chicago housing project to offer more affordability and sustainability for residents.
Michael Sorkin Studio collaborated with the non-profit organization Blacks in Green to design a full square mile of affordable housing on Chicago’s South Side. Passive measures were used, such as thermal glazing, heavily insulated walls, seasonal shading and cross ventilation. The result is significantly reduced energy usage and costs of operation. Read more.
These stories illustrate what is great about the idea of sustainable home construction. There are many different ways to make a significant difference. Solutions can range from repurposing old materials and minimizing waste to designing new structures that offer more energy efficiency and eco-friendly living spaces.
We recommend following the Holcim Foundation and supporting their efforts for sustainable construction solutions. Whether it’s your home, your office, your garden or any land you utilize, there are ways to reduce your carbon footprint and be a better global citizen.