Sustainable construction is all about the practice of creating a healthy environment based entirely on ecological principles as it helps in promoting healthier living by reducing waste and by boosting the economy inclusive of promoting sustainability at the same time. For a healthier living, there’s a dire need to have clean and fresh air inclusive of a not so toxic environment and plenty of natural resources resulting in this construction industry as the leading way of everything weighing more towards a greener edge.
With the world facing the biggest challenges when it comes to climate change, new designs and using versatile products with the principles of sustainable construction can lead to minimal impact on the ecosystem or the environment as the end result of using sustainable construction is to build environmentally positive associated buildings which lead to more greener alternatives. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Ayan Nagpal Co-Founder of Agrocorp Landbase (P) Ltd, shared that building a sustainable future with sustainable construction is based on six principles – conserve, reuse, protection of nature, renew, recycle and let it be non-toxic and of high quality.
According to Sanjeev Bhandari, Director – Operations at LivSpace, in today’s world, the terms green, sustainable and eco-friendly are used in a colloquial manner but the terms aren’t quite synonymous. Green and eco-friendly means that something doesn’t harm the planet, while sustainability at the office sets the focus on the future. He revealed, “Sustainable office interior helps minimise the negative effects on the environment and with the changing scenario, more workplaces are laying emphasis on incorporating sustainable construction and interiors.”
He highlighted, “The hidden secret to a smart office interior lies in its sustainability. The decisions taken in choices of components used for interiors make all the difference. Using materials that may look pretty but may not be durable or may suffer from overnight disintegration will serve no purpose to an office in the long run. Plus, the cost-effectiveness of having a fully-fledged sustainable interior raises the advantage of using reusable materials in office furniture, flooring and lighting.”
Tips to incorporate sustainable construction
Ayan Nagpal said, “The things that are of utmost priority when talking about sustainable construction inspired buildings are the materials that are being used, the methods that are being utilised, sustainable construction or green building construction with plans of solar emerge usage, installation of insulation, the importance of 3R’s i.e. reuse, reduce and recycle.” He asserted that sustainable construction is the answer to all, when clouded and looking for energy and resource efficient materials with positive environmental impact. He suggested some methods that can attain sustainable construction by keeping renewable and recyclable materials in mind while building new structures that result in reduction of energy consumption and waste. These methods are:
● sustainable resource sourcing
● solar power
● eliminating the dire need of high ends made from non-renewable materials via The Green Insulation.
● biodegradable materials etc.
Sanjeev Bhandari recommended that making some simple yet attainable choices in terms of office decor and essentials can transform a normal workspace into a highly sustainable one. He advised:
1. Use materials that let the environment breathe – A great place to begin for offices could be bringing in sustainable furniture. Multi-use office furniture is a way to reduce the need for furnishing and also create flexible working spaces. Another small yet significant way is to incorporate environment-friendly office supplies and perhaps bring into effect a zero paper use policy. Adding plenty of indoor plants in and around the office workspace helps keep the air quality healthy. In addition, plants & greenery are also directly linked to the mental well-being of employees and are known to relatively reduce stress and tension.
2. Make energy efficiency a priority – Making green improvements to an office design has a lasting impact not only on employee wellness and productivity but on energy costs too. Sustainable office space is more comfortable to work in, has better air quality, and uses less energy as compared to offices that have not made green office improvements.
3. Re-think unused space to make a sustainable office space – A number of offices and workplaces have space that is underutilized or left completely unused but they might still be consuming electricity by ways of heating and cooling spaces. This not only raises the energy cost but also harms the environment. Steps must be taken to either utilize these spaces or reconfigure the office layout. Recycling, repurposing, and reusing existing office materials help take care of the environment and ensure that there is minimal to zero wastage.