Sustainable construction is an integrated approach which finds the right balance between a building’s performance, social well-being and its environmental impact.

From concept to completion, a holistic strategy should be adopted to integrate the following key aspect of a construction in order to deliver sustainable long-term green buildings:

  1. The study of a tailored design for the project which encompasses land use, existing landscape with an optimal conception strategy and layout
  2. The choice of efficient construction materials and equipment, their assembly and functioning along with their proximity to the site
  3. The responsible use of commodities such as water, electricity, and energy in general by the inhabitants

Moreover, a parallel approach can be drawn in term of energy consumption throughout the whole life cycle of a built construction. Indeed, energy efficiency often focuses exclusively on operational and thermal energy demands without taking into consideration embodied energy and transport energy.

For instance, by investing in additional insulation material, the operational energy savings might never compensate the corresponding supplementary embodied and transport energy. This energy footprint is often hidden behind the higher resource demands of more expensive, advanced and efficient materials, as well as their transport and installation costs. Consequently the sustainable problematic should be tackled as a whole, and not as a fragmented isolated list of concerns.

Therefore the main goal of sustainable construction is to provide clear guidance for all green buildings in order to operate at high level of efficiency by reducing their carbon footprint and environmental impact while improving human wellness. A long term all-inclusive methodology is essential to achieve this objective.

Nadim-Pierre RIZK – Consultant at Greenfish