What is a sustainable construction?

The construction of a building is something that has a great impact not only on the economy of a society, but also on the well-being of the people who make it up and the environment. And the same happens with its use, rehabilitation and demolition.

This is due to many of the factors that come into play in the life cycle of a building: the choice and occupation of land, the consumption of natural resources and energy, the creation of materials and their transport, the emission of pollutants, waste management, etc.

This circumstance, together with the growing social concern for environmental conservation and sustainable development, have contributed to a change of mentality in the world of Architecture in recent years. To the point of rethinking the way buildings are designed, constructed and used, replacing common practices with more ecological ones. An example of this can be found in what is known today as sustainable construction.

Sustainable construction: definition

A sustainable construction is one that is characterized by:

  • Be respectful of the environment and be adapted to its conditions.
  • Save resources by using materials with low environmental and social impact throughout their life cycle.
  • Save energy consumption thanks to the implementation of green building strategies , as well as the use of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
  • Guarantee the well-being of its users, be a safe and comfortable place for them.

The principles of sustainable construction

  1. The construction of a sustainable building begins with the choice of a suitable place, taking care of the local ecosystems and the use of energy that its work, use and maintenance will entail. However, you can also assess the possibility of reusing or rehabilitating a building already made; Or, build on abandoned land or one that has already been previously developed.
  2. Sustainable buildings are designed to reduce energy consumption, improve energy performance and maximize the use of renewable energy.
  3. Sustainable buildings seek to reduce the environmental and economic impact of pumping, transporting and treating water, both potable and residual.
  4. A sustainable construction is based on the reuse and recycling of materials throughout their life cycle, from their design to the moment of demolition. In doing so, an attempt is made to minimize resource depletion and pollution, improve waste management, and reduce disposal costs.
  5. This type of building is concerned with improving the indoor environmental quality, in such a way that it is comfortable and healthy for users. It is, for this reason, that it is usually committed to maximizing natural lighting, having adequate ventilation and humidity levels, improving thermal and acoustic performance or avoiding the use of materials treated with toxic chemicals or whose production processes involve energy consumption. high, among other aspects.
  6. Optimizing operational and maintenance practices during the design and construction of a sustainable construction will help prevent future incidents, reduce energy and resource costs derived from repairs that may need to be made, and achieve a higher quality and durable building. in the time.

Sustainable building certifications

Currently, there are different systems and tools that help analyze, evaluate and determine how sustainable a building is or if it is environmentally responsible.

Among the most outstanding sustainable certifications at an international level are:

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)

Evaluates the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a building according to 8 criteria: location and transportation, sustainable location, water savings, energy efficiency and emissions to the atmosphere, materials and natural resources, indoor air quality, innovation in design and regional priority.

Depending on the number of points obtained, there are 4 classification levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM)

Assesses the impact of the design, construction and use phases of a building based on 10 categories: management, improvement in terms of health and well-being, energy efficiency, transport, saving water, materials, waste management, ecological use of the soil, pollution and innovation.

The score for this environmental sustainability certificate goes through the following 5 levels: approved, good, very good, excellent and exceptional.

GREEN

This certification of sustainable buildings has been devised by the association Green Building Council Spain (GBCe). In its evaluation, it takes into account the following 7 aspects: construction design, social integration, energy and atmosphere, quality of the interior environment, location, natural resources and innovation.

According to the score obtained, the classification ranges from 1 to 5.

WELL Building Standard

Unlike the previous 3 sustainable certifications that focus on meeting ecological and energy efficiency requirements, this one focuses on ensuring the physical and social well-being of users. To do this, it is organized into 7 categories: air, water, nutrition, light, exercise, comfort and mind.

At the European University we do not want you to be left behind in matters such as sustainable construction or sustainability certificates for buildings. For this reason, we do not want you to overlook some of our specialized degrees, such as:

  • Degree in Canary Islands Architecture
  • Double Degree in Architecture and Interior Design
  • Degree in Fundamentals of Architecture + Master’s Degree in Architecture
  • Degree in Environmental Sciences
  • Master in Architecture (Enabling) Canary Islands
  • Master in Architecture (Enabling)
  • Master in Applied Architecture
  • Master March in Architecture, Design and Innovation
  • Master in Sustainable Architecture Online
  • Master in Renewable Energies Online