The twenty-first century has seen the growing prominence of the sustainability movement advance to the point where lifestyles have dramatically changed. We make decisions on the foods we purchase, vacations that we take, and the buildings where we live based on how the environment is affected by what we do. As the movement has progressed, we now pay close attention to the use of materials and products in the construction of green buildings. We know the advantages of using green building materials. We benefit from the energy conservation, the reduction in maintenance costs, the improved productivity and health of the building occupants; the lower cost of changing space configurations; and an increased flexibility in design. Choosing the right materials is a straightforward process that puts the planet first. By doing that, we also support our own wellbeing.
THE COMPOSITION OF GREEN BUILDING MATERIALS
Using green building materials and products has a multifaceted role in protecting the environment by promoting the conservation of nonrenewable resources. Another benefit is the reduction of the environmental impact that’s associated with the extraction, transport, fabrication, processing, installation, reuse, recycling and disposal of building materials. Because green building materials are made out of renewable resources, they promote environmental responsibility, especially as we consider their impact over the life span of the product.
SELECTION CRITERIA FOR GREEN BUILDING MATERIALS
- are made of recycled content
- come from natural and renewable materials
- are manufactured with resource-efficient processes
- are made from locally available materials and components
- use materials that are salvaged; refurbished; reusable; recyclable
- are packaged responsibly
Energy efficiency is maximized
- by using materials that help reduce the consumption of energy in buildings and facilities
Indoor air quality is enhanced by using materials that
- emit few or no carcinogens
- release minimal chemicals
- are installed with minimal VOC-producing compounds
- are resistant to moisture
- require simple, non-toxic cleaning
- promote healthy indoor air quality
Other criteria include the affordability of the material and its role in water conservation.
SELECTING GREEN BUILDING MATERIALS
After establishing project-specific environmental goals, the environmentally-minded consumer can rely on research, evaluation and selection to choose green building materials. Research includes collecting all available technical data to be evaluated so that you can be sure you’re identifying all options. Evaluation consists of confirming the technical information and, where there are gaps, finding the missing information. When selecting the products to be used, an evaluation matrix is needed to score the project-specific environmental criteria. The product with the best environmental attributes will be identified by the total score of the individual products.
DANPAL’S COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY AND GREEN BUILDING SELECTION
As a company, Danpal has remained committed to the principles of sustainability throughout our existence. With the motto of Global Vision, Local Focus, we reinforce our practices by adhering to the policy that what we produce must not harm the planet or the people who live upon it. That’s a lofty goal but we feel that it’s also a practical one. Taking care of the environment is a way to take care of ourselves as well, because what affects the planet ultimately affects each of us. Our natural resources must be protected if they are going to continue to sustain us. We cannot live without water that is clean and drinkable, air that we can breathe, and soil that can grow food for us to eat. The buildings that we design and construct can play a harmonious role in the overall sustainability of this planet that is home to us all.