Watering the garden allows for 20-40 per cent of a homes water usage, and most areas observes some sort of water restriction when temperatures soar. But, there’s more to cutting back on water in the garden than reducing your usage. By using Rain collection systems we can save water and ensure we don’t get fleeced by our local water provider, for providing their lovely over chlorinated flow that we have to shell out through the teeth for because of water shortages that are more than likely because of their incompetent maintenance of piping and mismanagement of water supply.
Water vessels are a fantastic way of collecting small quantities of rain for use in household gardens. However, to totally harvest the benefits of the large quantities of rain that runs off your roof during a storm, a expertly designed rainwater collection system needs to be considered. Rainwater collection systems in the UK are primarily used for WC flushing and for watering the garden. Nevertheless more complete rainwater collection systems can be used to provide water for domestic appliances. By capturing water it allows for stretches of water scarcity, it lets you maintain vegetables and plants in your garden. You even have the best catcher of rain water, just go outside and look at your roof it’s a huge area enabling you to capture the drops that hit it into a large storage unit rainwater has a far greater advantage over tap water. It is one of the cleanest sources of water offered providing it is not influenced by where it falls from local industrial emission.
You can also use basic techniques like mulching grass cuttings, leaves, bark or straw etc to form up a covering that will keep the moisture in the soil and in itself (another good motive for using organic material as a compost in your soil as it increases its water retention. Mulch is like a coating on the soil. It keeps the soil cool and it reduces evaporation because the soil is not open to dry air and drying winds.
For those who are planning to build a new house or do some major home remodeling, why not do such tasks the eco-friendly way?. The concepts of green building have taken a major foothold in the home building and construction industry.
Based on US Census figures, it was estimated that more than 1.3 million new homes were built in the United States in 2002, and remodelling and home improvement spending in 1996 amounted to $119 billion. Remodeling or constructing your home gives you a chance to help transform the marketplace towards a sustainability and environment-friendly one, and create living space that’s better for you and the environment.
Homes Have A Major Effect On The Environment
It’s a fact that homes affect the planet,from the use and depletion of natural resource, human health, to overall ecological integrity. Aside from basic health and safety measures mentioned in the building code, there’s no requirement to minimize these impacts. A new home construction or remodel would serve an opportunity in creating a symbolic and physical representation of your commitment to caring for the planet, health, and in a vital and engaged community.
Why It Pays To Find Architects Or Contractors Who Espouse Green Building Concepts
One you try looking for eco-friendly home building concepts and practices, you’ll be surprised to quickly find one once you tap into the local design community, that there are a number of firms that have gained stellar reputations for going green.
Upon closer observation, you’ll notice that within the general category of green, each firm or architect will have its strong points, as some focus on healthy building, while other concentrate on energy efficiency and/or renewable energy, and some apply their expertise on green materials, natural building techniques, or building modular homes. Look for a professional contractor that has extensive applied experience in building green, and will gladly apply these elements to your home project.
Choosing Green Architects And Home Contractors
- Check Out Their Previous Record For Demonstrated Experience.
First, do a thorough background check on an architect or contractor’s experience with green building. Find out if he or she can point to specific projects in their portfolio, and provide references as well. Aside from ensuring that the architect or contractor is licensed and bonded, ask if he or she is a member of green design organizations or has participated in any programs, and if the contractor follows construction practices that minimize pollution and protects indoor air quality and enhance worker health and safety as well.
- Ensure That A Contractor Practices What He Or She Professes.
Aska prospective home contractor or architect how he or she operates their business; like does he recycle in the office as well as on the job site? Find out if the green design elements evident,such as environmentally responsible materials and office supplies, energy efficient lighting, fixtures.
- Check If Green Concepts Are Incorporated Into the Contract Details
Architects have standard specifications that lays out the orders for everyone involved in building the house, down to how the paint is applied and what quality of materials are chosen for the cabinets. These specifications are generally customized by each company, and further modified for each project. These specs are a powerful tool in green building, while at the same time, are a legal document, and can be tedious to review sometimes. Ask an architect or contractor to give you an overview of the specifications for your project, and ensure that they cover all these.
Steel Buildings – Green Applications
Gone are the outdated corrugated metal buildings of the past. The new generation of pre engineered steel buildings are finding use in an ever growing variety of Green building projects. Steel buildings are leading the way in the Green building revolution, meeting Green building design goals with innovative building design, engineering and use of materials.
Green building design, also known as “sustainable building” is coming of age as we recognize that global resources are limited and that climate change is inevitable – unless we take positive action now.
Green building recognizes the environmental impact of buildings, their construction, life-cycle and ultimate demolition, and works to lessen this impact through
- Energy efficiency
- Environmentally sound building materials
- Innovative building design
- Healthy indoor environment
Environmentally Friendly Pre-engineered Steel Buildings
Pre-engineered steel buildings also known as prefabricated buildings or prefab metal buildings are an innovative building solution featuring solid steel I-beam building construction.
- Pre-engineered buildings are designed and engineered by trained and certified structural metal building engineers to meet all local building codes for snow and wind load and seismic conditions.
- Building components are engineered and fabricated to precise specifications using the highest grade commercial steel available.
- Modern steel manufacturers employ energy efficient methods in steel production that help to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- When a steel building is demolished to make way for new construction the metal building materials don’t end up in a landfill like asphalt shingles, concrete, brick and wood. The steel is recycled instead.
- Steel can be recycled over and over again without loss of the quality of the steel.
- More steel is recycled than all other recyclable materials combined.
Cool Coatings Get Cool Energy Credit
“Cool” coatings are special siliconized polyester paints with superior reflective qualities. “Cool” coatings applied to metal buildings act as a thermal barrier to keep the insides of metal buildings cool in summer. This means that buildings coated with “cool” coatings use less energy, making steel buildings more energy efficient. The use of “cool” coatings saves money and the environment through reduced energy costs over the life of the building and can even qualify for Federal tax credits.
Urban Heat Islands: Cool Roofs Bring Relief
Savvy builders are taking advantage of the fact that metal building roofs reflect light and heat keeping buildings cooler in hot weather. Plus, metal building roofs don’t store heat and radiate it back at night like other types of roofs. This saves energy in cooling costs and helps save the environment by lessening the urban “heat island” effect. An “urban heat island” happens when urban concrete and asphalt construction absorbs heat during the day then radiates it back at night so that temperatures don’t fall at night as they normally would, and is a powerful contributor to climate change and global warming.
In places like California, Texas and Florida, commercial building construction is taking advantage of the “cool” properties of metal roofs for commercial buildings such as warehouses, industrial manufacturing plants, aircraft hangars, storage buildings, retail outlet stores, auto dealerships, strip malls and more.
Metal building roofs also work to save energy and the environment in cooler climates. A painted metal roof not only reflects heat in summer, but also retains heat inside the building on cool days, saving on heating costs and keeping the indoor environment healthy and comfortable in both summer and winter. New metal building roofs qualify for Federal tax credits.
Steel Buildings: Cost Effective, Energy Efficient and Green
- Don’t require cutting down valuable forests.
- Are manufactured with a high proportion of recycled content.
- Employ sustainable building design and construction and erect in less time than conventional building construction.
- Fire and rust resistant and steel buildings are virtually maintenance free.
- By their very nature steel buildings are durable, cost-effective, energy efficient and Green.