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“Be eco-friendly”,”Love the earth”,”Don’t litter”… etc. These are things we hear everyday, it’s all over social media, the news and radio. It’s time we stopped just listening and started doing. Everybody lives on our planet, so we should live with the planet instead of on it. Being environmentally friendly is extremely important; with the rise of our population our air and lands are being polluted more than ever. To keep our earth sustained it needs to be kept clean and natural.
More buildings are being built green nowadays to prevent added pollution. As well as people building homes, cottages and even large facilities. One particular structure that has been built as a “green building” caught my eye in my region. TACT architecture designed a Minimalist home in Muskoka near Georgian Bay, it is called “The Carling Residence”.
Using restrained materials such as: includes wood, stone, concrete and white walls, TACT Architecture made sure the outdoors were a large part of the theme for the home. The northern entrance has minimal glazing while the southern side of the home completely opens up to the outdoors. Overhangs shade large windows, permitting natural light without undue solar gain.
the north and south-facing windows are operable, ensuring natural ventilation and making air-conditioning unnecessary. Radiant floor heating powered by a high efficiency boiler supplemented by a heat recovery ventilation system keeps the home warm in winter, while superior wall and roof insulation mitigates thermal loss. Completed in 2010, this beautiful home has a relatively large footprint of 3,600 square feet, yet manages to insinuate itself into the landscape without much affront.
What Makes a building green?
A green building is a sustainable or high performance building. Green buildings are also environmentally responsible and resource efficient. Green buildings are designed to reduce the total impact on the environment and human health by:
-Efficiently using water, energy and other resources.
-Protecting occupant health and improving productivity to the individuals in it.
-Reducing waste, pollution and environment degration.
Updating a currently standing building to become green:
Here are a few easy pointers to update your current building to be more eco-friendly.
1. Update your buildings lighting to make sure it uses energy efficient bulbs (compact fluorescent bulbs use up to 70% less power).
Ever since thomas Edison introduced the lightbulb in 1879, the world has loved and used it. Fortunately for us, there is a new lightbulb out that will hopefully become an world-wide epidemic to replace the incandescent lightbulb. Compact fluorescent bulbs contain argon and mercury vapor housed within a spiral-shaped tube, when the gas gets excited, it produces ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light, in turn, stimulates a fluorescent coating painted on the inside of the tube. As this coating absorbs energy, it emits visible light. A very different design than the tungsten one invented by Edison. Replacing a standard 60-watt bulb with a 13-watt compact fluorescent bulb can save a single household $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. Even when you’re paying almost triple the amount for a compact fluorescent bulb, they’ll still save you money in the end. In some tests, they burned brightly for 10,000 hours, where the regular standard bulbs burned for just 800 to 1,500 hours.
2. Make sure your building is well insulated, if it is you won’t waste money on heating or cooling. Make sure you check your insulation in your home or building to ensure it is up to code, especially in unheated spaces. Insulate pipes that may be uninsulated in outbuildings, this will prevent heat loss.
3. Reduce electricity use, plug appliances into a smart bar with a timer on it. This way the appliances will automatically turn off at a certain time. Unplug electronics you aren’t using such as tv’s and laptops.
4. Turn heating and cooling down or off when no one is home or if your building is unoccupied. By dropping the heat just ten degrees you can reduce your energy intake by 10%.
5. Reduce water intake in buildings. Change shower heads to low-flow. Low-flow shower heads save up to 7 galons of water per minute while running.
If you are building a new structure and want it to be green..
1. Materials: Materials are a big part of the green building criteria. What materials you use is all the difference on either or not your building is a truly green building. Log, bamboo and stone are very compatible with a green house plan. Using natural materials instead of processed ones such as pressboard or sheetrock, is that they are renewable and we have almost an unlimited amount of rock. Also purchasing less processed materials helps the environment; the less of highly processed materials the better, they emit a high amount of green house gases into our atmosphere which is toxic to us humans.
2. Design: Be conscious of your design, the way you angle your home could save you energy… Many designers are basing their new home plans on the natural resources surrounding the structure. By facing windows south you can use passive solar energy to heat your home by using natural sunlight.
How does passive solar energy work?: Passive solar energy collects heat as the sun shines on the south facing end of your home. The heat is then stored in heat-retaining materials known as thermal mass. The share of your homes heating that passive solar design can meet is called the passive solar fraction, and depends on the area of glazing and the amount of thermal mass. (The solar savings fraction or solar fraction is the amount of energy provided by the solar technology divided by the total energy required. Depending on the climate you live in, your SF may be a different percentage, which is why a lot of time and effort need to be put into your passive solar energy plan)
3. Construction: The method of building is very important in a green building, using equipment that can disturb the land and leave potential oil and gas leaks aren’t suggested.
Products for updating your green home..
TIOCOAT: TIOCOAT is a strong elastomeric coating that provides great weather protection and reflectivity. TIOCOAT has a tough white finish which fights against extreme weather conditions, dirt, biological growth and damages. TIOCOAT is seamless and stays flexible even at low temperatures; this results in a longer life for your roof, it also provides 89% reflectivity of solar radiation.
White roof coating consists of a polymeric binder mixed with pigments and other additives to provide two main benefits:
- Protection of roof membranes, for longer roof life cycles.
- Reflectivity of solar radiation, for lower air conditioning costs
RubberRock T-200 is an environmentally-friendly dual component spray applied ‘instant-set’ protective coating. It’s designed to provide heavy-duty waterproof protection for rooﬁng restoration and new construction. When cured the product forms a seamless and fully adhered surface membrane. Rubber Rock is applied cold, not requiring any heat. A dual component instant set system sprayed with an inorganic solution, it sets instantly allowing the workers to walk and work on the surface with no stickiness or tracking from their feet.
- Very resilient
- Provides a seamless membrane
- Spray applied
- No smell
- Cost effective
- Works hand in hand with our TIOCOAT: White reflective roof coating
- highly flexible
TIOCOAT also specializes in solar energy. he back side of the panel generates electricity from ambient light that has passed through the panel or is reflected off surrounding surfaces, ensuring the productive & optimal use of energy resources, while limiting environmental impact.
Some high profile sustainable buildings:
CDC Division of Laboratory Sciences, building 110.
Even the U.S government is jumping on the green building bandwagon, evidenced by this building, used for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. It achieved LEED Gold status.
he Z6 House in Santa Monica, Calif., gets its name from the philosophy behind its construction. Specifically, it refers to the goal of attaining zero levels of these six factors: waste, energy, water, carbon, emissions and ignorance.
Factor 10 house
Like the Z6 House, Chicago’s Factor 10 House gets its name from its philosophy — the claim that the structure consumes one-tenth of the environmental resources that the average home uses (in other words, it minimizes the ecological footprint by a “factor of 10”). In an effort to find affordable methods to green build, Chicago’s Department of Environment and Housing held a competition for designs, and Factor 10 was among the winners.
In Canada due to todays economic hardships and job loss, homelessness is a growing issue. According to statistics Canada (in 2001) these are the number of homeless individuals.
Canada 14,145 (total) Ontario 6,100 Quebec 3,365 Alberta 1,935 British Columbia 1,085 Manitoba 885 New Brunswick 265 Saskatchewan 255 Nova Scotia 165 Newfoundland and Labrador 45 Northwest Territories 20 Yukon Territory 15 Prince Edward Island 5 Nunavut 5
I plan on linking arms with the salvation army to fight this issue.