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Low-rise residential buildingsVIDEO ON THE TOPIC: How was it made? Building a plywood house
Every building material comes with an environmental cost of some sort. However, some principles can help guide your choice of sustainable materials and construction systems. Careful analysis and selection of materials and the way they are combined can yield significant improvements in the comfort and cost effectiveness of your home, and greatly reduce its life cycle environmental impact.
The first step in any strategy to use sustainable materials is to reduce the demand for new materials. Consider building smaller, well-designed houses and minimising wastage by using prefabricated or modular elements, for example, and by avoiding unnecessary linings and finishes. During design and construction, incorporate approaches that will make it easier to adapt, reuse and eventually dismantle the building.
The next step is to select materials with low environmental impact. When looking at the environmental impact of a material or product, consider all stages of the life cycle — the upstream stage materials extraction and manufacture , the in-use or operational stage, and the downstream stage disposal or reuse. Life cycle assessment LCA is a highly detailed scientific analysis that examines all the life cycle impacts of a product in great detail. An LCA quantifies the majority of known chemical, physical, resource-based and energy impacts of a material or product.
It provides us with increasingly more comprehensive and useful assessments of the sustainability credentials of products and materials, allowing better and easier comparisons between products. Although some progressive housing companies and developers are starting to embrace LCA, a customised LCA may be beyond the scope of many home building or renovation projects.
Selecting products with low life cycle impact can be complex as there are many issues to take into account. However, there is decision-making support available. Eco-product selection databases such as Ecospecifier enable you to access information on the sustainability credentials of a broad range of materials and products. Product assessment schemes, many of them based on LCA, allow you to make even more informed comparisons.
The articles in this section cover different types of construction systems and materials. Each reviews the benefits of the particular system or material but also lists things to watch out for, such as construction issues. Informed decisions about materials and construction systems can significantly reduce the environmental impact of a home without adding to the cost. Embodied energy is the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a building, from the mining and processing of natural resources to manufacturing, transport and product delivery.
Embodied energy does not include the operation and disposal of the building material. This would be considered in a life cycle approach. Choices of materials and construction methods can significantly change the amount of energy embodied in the structure of a building, as embodied energy content varies enormously between different materials. However, assessing the embodied energy of a material, component or whole building is often a complex task. Another significant factor in reducing the impact of embodied energy is to design long life, durable and adaptable buildings.
Around A lot of energy and resources go into the manufacture and transport of materials used to construct a home, yet eventually 6. Minimising and recycling waste can have significant social, economic and environmental benefits. The combinations of materials used to build the main elements of our homes — roof, walls and floor — are referred to as construction systems. They are many and varied, and each has advantages and disadvantages depending on climate, distance from source of supply, budget, maintenance requirements and desired style or appearance.
Important factors that may influence your choice of construction system include its durability, life cycle environmental impact, life cycle cost effectiveness, role in improving thermal performance, and reuse or recycling potential, as well as local availability of materials and skills needed to construct the system.
Lightweight framed construction is the most popular construction system in Australia. Steel and timber, the two most commonly used framing materials, can contribute to the comfort, appeal and environmental performance of a home. By assessing environmental impact, structural capability, thermal performance, sound insulation, fire resistance, vermin resistance, durability and moisture resistance, owner builders can come to a decision on what is the best option for their situation.
Bricks and blocks are components of durable masonry construction. They consist of high mass materials with good compressive strength formed into units that can be lifted and handled by a single worker. Materials used can include brick, stone e. They vary in environmental impact, structural capability, thermal performance, sound insulation, fire resistance, vermin resistance, durability and moisture resistance. Of the many kinds of bricks and blocks used in modern Australian house construction the most common are made from concrete or clay.
Cladding is a non-loadbearing skin or layer attached to the outside of a home to shed water and protect the building from the effects of weather. Your choice of cladding has significant implications for the environmental performance of your home. Initial environmental impacts such as embodied energy, resource depletion and recyclability must be balanced against maintenance and durability appropriate to life span.
Many different cladding options are available, some best suited to specific applications. Concrete slab floors come in many forms and can play a significant role in thermal comfort due to their high thermal mass.
Slabs can be on-ground, suspended, or a mix of both. Often a slab will need insulation in order to perform satisfactorily. Conventional concrete is responsible for high greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from the production of Portland cement and the mining of raw materials. Insulating concrete forms ICFs are proprietary modular units in the form of interlocking blocks or panels, made from polystyrene or polyurethane foam and filled with concrete.
Substantial thermal mass and structural support is contained within easily stacked and joined insulation. Autoclaved aerated concrete AAC is concrete that has been manufactured to contain many closed air pockets. It is lightweight with a moderate embodied energy content and performs well as thermal and sound insulation, due to the aerated structure of the material and its unique combination of thermal insulation and thermal mass.
AAC is light, does not burn, is an excellent fire barrier, and is able to support quite large loads. It is relatively easy to work with and can be cut and shaped with hand tools. AAC comes in the form of blocks, storey-height wall panels, and floor or roof panels.
Precast concrete offers durable, flexible solutions to floor, wall and even roof construction in every type of housing from individual cottages to multi-storey apartments.
High initial embodied energy can be offset by its extended life cycle up to years and high potential for reuse and relocation. Common production methods include tilt-up poured on site and precast poured off site and transported to site.
Each method has advantages and disadvantages, and choice is determined by site access, availability of local precasting facilities, required finishes and design requirements. There would be little or no processing of the raw material and all the energy inputs would be directly, or indirectly, from the sun.
This ideal material would also be cheap and would perform well thermally and acoustically. If used carefully mud bricks come close to this ideal. Basic mud bricks are made by mixing earth with water, placing the mixture into moulds and drying the bricks in the open air.
Straw or other fibres that are strong in tension are often added to the bricks to help reduce cracking. Mud bricks are joined with a mud mortar and can be used to build walls, vaults and domes. With its low embodied energy, this ancient construction method has much to commend it.
Rammed earth walls are constructed by ramming a mixture of selected aggregates, including gravel, sand, silt and a small amount of clay, into place between flat panels called formwork. Stabilised rammed earth is a variant of traditional rammed earth that adds a small amount of cement to increase strength and durability.
Most of the energy used in the construction of rammed earth is in quarrying the raw material and transporting it to the site. Use of on-site materials can lessen energy consumed in construction. Rammed earth provides limited insulation but excellent thermal mass. Straw has been used as a building material for centuries for thatch roofing and also mixed with earth in cob and wattle and daub walls. Straw is derived from grasses and is regarded as a renewable building material.
Strawbale walls are surprisingly resistant to fire, vermin and decay. Finished straw bale walls are invariably rendered with cement or earth so that the straw is not visible. The final appearance of rendered straw bale can be very smooth and almost indistinguishable from rendered masonry, or it can be more expressive and textural.
They can contribute to thermal performance, stormwater management, biodiversity conservation and local food production. A green roof is a roof surface, flat or pitched, that is planted partially or completely with vegetation and a growing medium over a waterproof membrane. Green walls are external or internal vertical building elements that support a cover of vegetation that is rooted either in stacked pots or growing mats.
Skip to main content. Secondary menu environment. Before you begin Preliminary research The design process Building rating tools The construction process Buying a home off the plan Buying and renovating an apartment Buying an existing home Planning home improvements Repairs and maintenance Renovations and additions Choosing a site Challenging sites.
Materials Embodied energy Waste minimisation Construction systems Lightweight framing Brickwork and blockwork Cladding systems Concrete slab floors Insulating concrete forms Autoclaved aerated concrete Precast concrete Mud brick Rammed earth Straw bale Green roofs and walls. Energy Heating and cooling Hot water service Lighting Appliances Home entertainment and office equipment Home automation Renewable energy Photovoltaic systems Wind systems Batteries and inverters Smart meters, displays and appliances Transport.
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The aim of sustainable construction is to lessen the environmental impact of a building throughout its life cycle. It gives consideration to the choice of materials used, the building process, how the property affects the occupier and what might happen to the building when it is demolished. By using traditional skills, good management and renewable resources, sustainable building makes the foundations of modern living both ethically and environmentally sound. Building and construction have an unhealthy appetite for energy and resources. Domestic heating, lighting and cooking are responsible for around 30 per cent of UK energy demand and 30 per cent of CO2 emissions. Around ,kWh of embodied energy are used in the materials, transportation and building of a typical three-bedroom masonry house, but this is just 5 per cent of the energy needed to power the house during its life.
Lumber choices for wood frame construction - choosing timber for framing & building homes
Every building material comes with an environmental cost of some sort. However, some principles can help guide your choice of sustainable materials and construction systems. Careful analysis and selection of materials and the way they are combined can yield significant improvements in the comfort and cost effectiveness of your home, and greatly reduce its life cycle environmental impact. The first step in any strategy to use sustainable materials is to reduce the demand for new materials.
Green building and wood
Your historic house was constructed in a very different way than modern houses. When you plan a rehabilitation project, make repairs and do maintenance on your house, you are likely to make fewer costly mistakes if you are able to identify the building methods and materials used to construct your historic house. The building products sold today at big lumberyards are intended primarily for new construction and remodeling , not historic rehabilitation. Most of these products will not adapt well to your historic house. For instance, new lumber has smaller dimensions than historic lumber. New lumber is cut from new-growth trees and is less rot resistant than historic wood, so it will not hold up as well over time.
Account Options Anmelden. E-Book — kostenlos. United States. Committee on Banking and Currency. Seite C submission of report entitled The Souths Third Forest. Builders Beware article. Terzick Peter E. CHART 8.
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Historically, Slovenia and Sweden have equivalent uses of timber in construction and a long tradition of timber engineering and architecture. Nevertheless, in spite of these similarities, the development path to reach a modern and industrialized use of timber in construction which allows a diversity of architectural expression and design possibilities has differed considerably between these two countries, after the function-based building regulations that were introduced in Europe nearly three decades ago. This paper gives an overview of some characteristic modern timber buildings in Slovenia and Sweden, and the different construction techniques that are used in these two countries. Successful initiatives supporting the use of timber in construction are also presented. The opportunities for the further development of sustainable timber constructions in Slovenia and Sweden lie in new production methods, high prefabrication, and energy-efficient and climate-effective architecture, besides partnership and increased responsibilities for planning, improved and systematic feedback of experience and team cooperation, as well as knowing users identity, values and life style. Human beings have been building timber constructions since time immemorial. Indeed, in the Middle age, whole towns and cities were built from this biomass-derived material. However, due to large city fires in Europe, fire protection measures including legislation were introduced in several European countries during the late 19 th century to discourage or prohibit the use of timber frames in multi-storey buildings. In the late s, a construction product directive from the European Commission stipulated function-based requirements for the use of products in building construction in order to remove technical barriers to trade in construction materials between member states in the European Union .
Green building results in structures that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout their lifecycle — from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. General Services Administration evaluated 12 sustainably designed GSA buildings, and found they cost less to operate and have excellent energy performance. In addition, occupants were more satisfied with the overall building than those in typical commercial buildings. Wood products from responsible sources are a good choice for most green building projects — both new construction and renovations. Wood grows naturally using energy from the sun, is renewable, sustainable and recyclable. It is an effective insulator and uses far less energy to produce than concrete or steel. A life cycle assessment can help avoid a narrow outlook on environmental, social and economic concerns by assessing each and every impact associated with all the stages of a process from cradle-to-grave i. A comprehensive review of scientific literature from Europe, North America and Australia pertaining to life cycle assessment of wood products  concluded, among other things, that:.
Wisconsin Historical Society
Account Options Anmelden. E-Book — kostenlos. Industrial Outlook. United States. Industry and Trade Administration.
EcoCocon healthy housing and its excellent insulation offers the highest possible standards of interior comfort. You will never experience cold draughts or mould growth again. The superior insulation value of the walls achieves The Passivhouse Standard, providing cosy, warm surfaces in the winter and cool interiors in the summer.
Low-rise residential buildings include the smallest buildings produced in large quantities. Other examples include the urban row house and walk-up apartment buildings. Typically these forms have relatively low unit costs because of the limited purchasing power of their owners.
I bought this book because I am planning to renovate an older home to be more "green. Account Options Anmelden.
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