Published on September 2nd, 2013 | by
Sustainable Building And Construction
There are few sure things in today’s unpredictable global economy, but environmentally friendly construction is one of them. This industry is poised to more than double in size over the next several years, increasing from a value of $116 billion in 2013 to a value of greater than $254 billion in 2020. And as you’ll see below, many recent construction projects, both grand and modest, have been leading the way.
The Las Vegas strip is home to a number of luxurious and sustainable hotels that welcome millions of travelers every year. In terms of water conservation, few buildings rival the scope of the Las Vegas mega-resort called The Palazzo. This complex manages to save more than ten million gallons of water each year. How is that accomplished? Inside and out, such items as planters to reduce run-off, drip irrigation systems, and realistic artificial grass are employed. Plus, the air condition system doesn’t use nearly as much water as it might, due to innovative cooling capabilities, and due to the fact that 42 percent of this resort’s footprint is comprised of outdoor space. On a smaller scale, many new homes — especially those in low-precipitation areas — are being built these days with features like underground lawn sprinklers that reuse shower and laundry water. As a result the hotel was recently named the most eco friendly hotel in America.
Natural light is also coming into vogue in a big way. Hotels are building elaborate skylights and even heating swimming pools with solar power. In sunny climes, all kinds of commercial structures now include numerous outdoor rooms, and some even harness solar energy to heat water. Likewise, outdoor rooms are becoming ever more common — and ever more elaborate — in private residences. Indeed, the term “outdoor room” no longer refers exclusively to a deck, a patio, or a terrace. Now, outdoor rooms often include upscale furniture, TV’s and other entertainment equipment, energy-efficient glass doors and windows, and even fireplaces. These appealing spaces may be enjoyed year-round.
There was a time when many people associated green architectural features with inconvenience: additional expense and unproven, perhaps ineffectual, technologies. Today, however, the opposite is true. Green technologies like those described above actually save property owners money by reducing their energy and water bills, and they frequently work better than their less ecologically-friendly alternatives. Even a sustainable process known as up cycling can have monetary benefits. And as green research and development continues unabated, expect all kinds of thrilling technological breakthroughs in the years to come.
About the Author
I am an entrepreneurial independent contractor and home renovation/remodeling expert in New York. I’ve made it a point to share with my readers a day in the life of sustainable building. Forecasting the possible application and implementation of new green building materials and technologies is just one small part of my effort to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.
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