Before we can explain what “green construction” means, let’s define “green”.
“Green” is short for “green living”.
“Green living” is any action or activity that:
Recycling as much of the construction waste as possible instead of hauling it to a dump would be a good example of "green construction".
Instead of tossing old bricks from a demolished building into the land fill, they can be salvaged and re-used.
Many beautiful new structures have been created from building materials that have been recycled.
Remodeling an old home where there is lead paint present requires proper containment and disposal practices to prevent the release of lead-filled dust into the air which a good breeze would blow around for miles.
It is now the law that any structure built before 1968 must be tested for lead paint. If lead paint is present, it must be removed according to very strict procedures.
The installation of as many energy-efficient elements as possible in the building is a major action that is taken in “green construction”.
This would include not only energy-saving appliances but things like double-paned windows, proper insulation, thermal paint, etc. that significantly reduce the energy used by air-conditioners or heating systems in cooling or heating the building.
This helps to reduce the “carbon footprint” of the home. (This footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide produced by an individual or household, through vehicle emissions, electricity use, and fuel consumption.)
Solar panels and tankless hot water heaters are building elements that also drastically reduce the carbon footprint of a home. They also reduce your electricity bill - something everyone can be happy about!
“Green construction” would include the use of only materials that would not harm the inhabitants of the building on either a short-term or long-term basis.
Paint, carpeting, insulation, flooring and other materials can release toxic particles into the air for years after being brought into a home.
In many cases, the air inside the home is more toxic than the air outside as a result of toxic fumes created by carpeting and paint.
“Green” materials are available that do not produce harmful effects by the release of air-borne toxic particles.
An example of this is insulation created from recycled denim as seen in the photo at the right.
Other such materials are non-toxic paint and natural fiber
carpeting which do not emit toxic fumes after they are have been used in a remodeling project.
Finally, “green construction” would mean using only building
materials that were sustainable - materials that have been harvested in such a way so as not to deplete or permanently damage that resource.
Using cork or bamboo hardwood flooring materials instead of oak is an example of this.
Both these materials can be grown rapidly and in abundance to meet present needs without any fear of depriving future generations of these resources.
As you can see, “green construction” is the combined responsibility of the home owner, the interior designer and the building contractor.
“Green construction” is truly a team effort.
Working together, you can improve the quality of life for yourself, your family, Mankind and every living thing that calls this planet “home”.
Rocha Construction can help you build a home addition, remodel your kitchen or bathrooms or work with you on any home improvement project.
Rocha Construction is a Lead-Safe Certified Firm.
Give Gilbert Rocha a call for a free in-home estimate at