The Importance of Sustainability in Design and Construction 

In the ever-evolving landscape of design and construction, a crucial pattern shift is underway – a shift towards sustainability. 

Did you know that, in Europe, buildings account for 36% of CO2 emissions, including the emissions generated during construction as well as manufacturing and transporting materials. The construction industry therefore has a huge impact on the environment, and accounts for a significant portion of global energy consumption.

This is why the sustainability expectations set by planners and the building regulations are continuing to grow, and the minimum bar is rising for everyone in the construction sector. 

But before we go into the ins and outs of the importance of sustainability in design and construction, what actually is it? And what are some of the core principles of sustainability? 

What Is Sustainable Design and Construction?

In short – sustainable design and construction, also known as green building or eco-friendly building, refers to the practice of designing and creating buildings and infrastructure that reduces negative environmental impacts while at the same time enhancing the health, comfort, and well-being of the building’s residents/ occupants. 

The core sustainable design and construction practices are driven by the goal of minimising the environmental impact, such as waste and resource consumption, and promoting long-term resilience and sustainability, throughout the entire lifecycle of a building, from planning and construction to operation and demolition.

Here are 5 reasons why sustainability in design and construction is important:

  1. Environmental preservation 
  2. It can increase health and well-being
  3. Cost-saving benefits for home-owners
  4. Climate resilience
  5. Regulatory Compliance

 

1. Environmental Preservation

From energy usage to emissions, the design and construction industry has a huge impact on the environment and accounts for a significant portion of global energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and resource depletion. 

Easily one of the largest problems we face in our battle for a sustainable future is waste, and in 2018 alone, the UK generated 43.9 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste 

What’s more, according to studies by the WorldWatch Institute, the design and construction industry consumes 40% of the world’s usage of raw stones, gravel and sand, as well as 25% of the world’s virgin wood annually. 

In addition, research carried out by Bimhow shows that the construction sector contributes to 23% of air pollution, 50% of climatic change, 40% of drinking water pollution and 50% of landfill wastes.

Sustainable Practices in the Construction Industry

Sustainable design and construction practices can help to minimise these negative environmental impacts by reducing energy consumption, water usage, waste generation, and by promoting the use of renewable resources.

Some common examples of sustainable practices in design and construction include:

  • Implementing water-saving technologies to reduce water consumption and wastewater generation such as rainwater harvesting, low-flow fixtures and greywater recycling.

 

 

  • Choosing environmentally friendly materials with minimal environmental impact in extraction and production, low embodied energy and high recyclability.

 

  • Minimising construction waste through efficient design, construction practices, and recycling or reusing materials where possible.

 

Here at Rose Line Premier, we take sustainability very seriously and are committed to environmentally-friendly building practices. We are constantly exploring new technologies and materials to ensure that our projects are as energy-efficient and eco-friendly as possible.

Should you wish to discuss an upcoming project with Rose Line Premier, feel free to contact our friendly team on 0207 998 7679 or fill in our enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as we can. 

We have 20 years experience of designing and building exquisite properties and a sprawling portfolio of a variety of projects we’ve completed over the years. Discover more reasons why we are a trustworthy, reliable construction company, here. 

importance of sustainability in design and construction
The design and construction industry has a huge impact on the environment and accounts for a significant portion of global energy consumption.

2. It Can Increase Health and Well-Being

Another benefit of sustainability in design and construction is that sustainable buildings are generally designed to prioritise health and well-being of its occupants, by providing things such as better indoor air quality and natural lighting.  

Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and finishes, as well as materials with minimal off-gassing all help to reduce indoor air pollution, which can lead to respiratory issues and other health problems.

In sustainable design, there’s a real focus on optimising natural light and ensuring buildings have access to outdoor vistas whenever possible. This is great for occupants as several studies have shown that exposure to natural light has been linked to better mood, increased productivity, and improved overall well-being. Having access to nature has also been shown to reduce stress and improve cognitive function.

Sustainable buildings are also often designed to maintain consistent thermal comfort via energy-efficient windows, insulation and passive design strategies. Maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures helps prevent discomfort and health issues associated with temperature extremes, such as heat stress or cold-related illnesses. 

3. Cost-Saving Benefits for Home-Owners

Sustainable design and construction practices can not only help to protect the environment and improve occupant health, but they can also bring economic benefits to homeowners.

As mentioned in point number 1, sustainable homes are generally more energy-efficient, whether it be via  insulation, heating and cooling systems or renewable energy sources, resulting in lower monthly household bills

Homeowners can also benefit from economic benefits in terms of reduced maintenance fees. This is because, while sustainable building materials and technologies may have generally higher upfront costs, they often offer long-term cost savings due to their durability and reduced maintenance requirements. In short, the higher quality materials used, the less chance of repairs and replacement. 

When it comes to property values, studies have shown that energy-efficient homes tend to sell for higher prices and spend less time on the market compared to non-efficient homes, which is great news for homeowners looking to sell up.

importance of sustainability in design and construction
Sustainable design and construction practices can bring significant economic benefits to homeowners.

4. Climate Resilience

Sustainable buildings are often designed to adapt to changing environmental conditions and  are more resilient to extreme weather events and other environmental hazards, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and floods, reducing the risk of damage and disruption. 

By incorporating resilient design features and considering future climate projections, buildings can better withstand changing environmental conditions and ensure long-term viability.

Sustainable development practices are also super important as they often aim to preserve natural habitats and ecosystems, which of course play a key role in climate resilience. Protecting and restoring natural spaces such as forests, wetlands and coastal marshes helps shield communities against the impacts of climate change by providing natural flood protection, regulating water flow, and supporting biodiversity.

5. Regulatory Compliance

A final reason why sustainability in design and construction is so important is that, here in the UK, governments and regulatory bodies are increasingly implementing regulations and policies to promote sustainable design and construction practices. 

In order to obtain project permits and approvals, and avoid potential penalties, it’s therefore crucial that these requirements are complied with. A good example of this is that some sustainable construction practices, such as using environmentally friendly materials, might be necessary to obtain these permits, especially in spaces where sustainability is mandated by regulations. 

importance of sustainability in design and construction
Some sustainable construction practices, such as designing infrastructure to minimise energy consumption, might be necessary to obtain construction permits.

And there we have it! We hope that this article has given you a better understanding of the importance of sustainability in design and construction. 

At Rose Line Premier, we have over a decade of experience in the design and construction industry. Our team of highly trained Architects, Interior Designers, Planners, Surveyors, and Project and Construction Managers work on realistic budgets and time scales to deliver unique and high-end residential, commercial and refurbishment projects.

If you’re interested in refurbishing your property, be sure to get in touch here to discuss your upcoming project requirements, or email us on enquiries@roselinepremier.com. And for more refurbishment tips and tricks, check out our construction & design blog

Written by Kate Jones for Rose Line Premier Construction.

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