There’s no question that design is one of the most important things in our lives. After all, well-thought-through and effective design can have a drastic impact on our day-to-day existence. Take the car, for example. This machine has been edited and sculpted over many years to create the perfect vehicle that both suits our needs and gets us to where we need to be in the most efficient way possible. Our homes, while remaining stationary, are much the same in their design journey. They define who we are and what we need especially if we have built them ourselves.
Home design over the years has, as you would expect, evolved. The times of large drawing rooms and small kitchens have moved on and now we opt for more open-plan living spaces. Though it is not only the design of our homes that has changed but the way we build them and our attitude toward one very important modern threat. Climate change. Global warming is sweeping across the planet and affecting the human race and the rest of the animal kingdom which we share this planet with. In a desperate attempt to combat this dreadful modern reality, many homes are moving toward more sustainable practices and designs.
The risk of climate change
Unfortunately, it is now almost undeniable that the threat of climate change is real and if we do not act now then we risk causing serious damage. Our once-diverse planet is losing many of its habitats and with it animals and plant species that have lived for millions of years. The fact is that we all need to do something now to turn the tide of climate change and try to regain our planet for future generations. Though this job might sound a little daunting if we all do our bit we can protect the earth. So, what are the current statistics?
Well, as it stands, there are 421 million parts per million of CO2 in our atmosphere, which is the highest there has ever been in history. 2022 was the warmest year on record and 1.55 degrees higher than the 20th-century average. In fact, all of the ten warmest years on record have occurred over the last 12 years. The trend is real and these facts are there in black and white. Though there is room for hope. Natural climate solutions could create as many as 20 million jobs across the globe and everyone changing small things in their life is how we will fix this.
One of the easiest ways in which building projects can improve their impact on the environment is by implementing sustainable practices. Building sustainably can, of course, be done in a whole manner of ways, which we will discuss in this next section. Though why is this such an effective way of reducing your carbon footprint? Well, let’s think of it this way. While most of these processes will be fairly small in terms of their overall importance to the project, it is far easier to make small changes in a lot of areas rather than changing large aspects of the project.
Your carbon footprint is a term which you have probably heard countless times over the past decade, but the truth is that it really does matter. CO2 emissions are, make no mistake, killing the planet and without a significant reduction in these, then we simply cannot save our earth. By hiring local tradespeople, you will be drastically reducing your carbon footprint as workers will have to travel far less to get to your site. This will result in less greenhouse gas emissions and a far less damaging environmental impact. So, make sure you hire locally if you want to improve your project’s sustainability.
Building from the ground up on-site is tiring and incredibly challenging work. The energy it takes to build the walls of the building alone is huge, and this can have a drastically damaging effect on the planet. The reality is the longer it takes to build your walls means the more time the heavy machinery needs to be used and the more CO2 enters the atmosphere. Don’t worry though, there is a solution. The fastest and most efficient way of solving this is to make the walls and structural elements of the building off-site. This means you save time and the planet at the same time!
Waste management is, unquestionably, one of the most important points in this blog. After all, waste is one of the largest contributors to our greenhouse gas emissions each year and this figure is only set to rise. Building sites produce a lot of waste, there is no denying that and we’re not saying you attempt to reduce that waste. In fact, all we are advising is that you pay a waste management company to sort this side of things for you. This way you can ensure that your waste is being disposed of correctly and you are saving your other staff time.
Effective management can have a lot of extremely beneficial effects on your project and almost all of these will benefit the environment as well. Let’s take time management, for example. Getting behind schedule will mean that you will waste energy, which will have a damaging impact on your project’s carbon footprint. There are, as you might expect, many other ways in which effective site management will improve your sustainability, but the key thing is that you employ a manager that has the ability to run a project professionally. So, what about the actual design of the project, how can this affect the sustainability of the building?
Design can have a huge impact on our environment and it is the role of modern architecture to find new ways of creating buildings that maintain their beauty while safeguarding the world around them. Architects must now push the boundaries and make eco-friendly homes accessible to the masses. Only then will we truly start to see a difference in the building industries’ environmental impact? So, how can we improve our sustainability when it comes to design? Well, in this next section, we will explore this subject in more detail and provide a few interesting answers. Keep reading to find out more.
Solar panels have now been around for some time. Though, their benefit to the environment remains the same and nowadays many architects are designing buildings with pre-fitted solar panels. This kind of technology will directly reduce the environmental impact of your home and help to safeguard it for future generations to come. The fact is that we can no longer rely on fossil fuels and they are damaging the world we live in every single day. The move to renewable energy must start now and building homes with solar panels is a great way to do this. So, what else can you do?
Using materials that are good for the environment is one of the best ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your building project. After all, it is far too common for projects to use damaging materials such as steel or large amounts of concrete. You should instead try to use locally sourced timber or other materials that you can easily make carbon neutral. This way, your entire home or building will be made from products that will have little to no effect on the surrounding or wider environment. You should have a discussion with your architect to find materials that you can use that fit these criteria.
Choosing waste management
As we have already discussed, waste management is one of the most effective ways for you to improve your environmental impact. So, if you are looking to adopt a waste management system for your new building project, then here at Cherry Hill Waste Ltd, we can help. We have many years of experience in the industry and would love to talk you through your options. We provide everything from skip hire and mini skip hire to rubbish removal and waste management. So, get in touch with us today to find out more