Sustainability

Build Healthy Green Buildings with Bautex Wall Systems

Healthy-green build­ing design is essen­tial for pro­vid­ing an indoor envi­ron­ment that is safe and pro­duc­tive to its occu­pants. In fact, a 2014study by Har­vard proved the impor­tance of healthy-green build­ing design. The study con­clud­ed that cog­ni­tive func­tion test scores* dou­bled in indoor envi­ron­ments with improved indoor envi­ron­men­tal qual­i­ty. Healthy-green build­ings also are good for the glob­al envi­ron­ment** because they use less ener­gy and are sus­tain­able***.

Healthy-green build­ing design and con­struc­tion has evolved over the past 40 years to include the well being of both the envi­ron­ment and building’s occu­pants. Ini­tial­ly, the goal of green build­ing design was to min­i­mize the adverse impacts on the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment. Over time, this grew to include an addi­tion­al empha­sis on the health, safe­ty, and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of the occu­pants of the build­ing. A healthy-green build­ing design con­sid­ers ener­gy, water, and waste effi­cien­cy along with indoor envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors, such as indoor air qual­i­ty (IAQ), ther­mal, light, acoustic, pri­va­cy, secu­ri­ty, and the func­tion of the space. Healthy-green build­ing design rec­og­nizes that design, con­struc­tion, and mate­r­i­al choic­es can all have a pro­found effect on the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment along with the peo­ple who occu­py the build­ings.

The Healthy-Green Building Movement

The mod­ern healthy-green build­ing move­ment began in the 1970s. It grew out of grow­ing envi­ron­men­tal aware­ness, ris­ing fuel costs and the Orga­ni­za­tion of Petro­le­um Export­ing Coun­tries (OPEC) oil embar­go of 1973. Dur­ing the 1970s, the Insti­tute of Archi­tects (AIA) formed a Com­mit­tee on Ener­gy. Ini­tial­ly, the orga­ni­za­tion stud­ied pas­sive green build­ing tech­niques to achieve ener­gy sav­ings, like reflec­tive roof­ing mate­ri­als and nat­ur­al ven­ti­la­tion. The com­mit­tee also looked at tech­no­log­i­cal solu­tions, such as the use of triple-glazed win­dows. In 1993, the Unit­ed States Green Build Coun­cil (USG­BC) was estab­lished to pro­mote sus­tain­able prac­tices in the build­ing and con­struc­tion indus­try. The coun­cil includes trade asso­ci­a­tions, archi­tects, design­ers, and indi­vid­u­als all inter­est­ed in the green­ing of the con­struc­tion busi­ness. In 1995, the USG­BC began devel­op­ing a rat­ing sys­tem for sus­tain­abil­i­ty, the Lead­er­ship in Ener­gy and Envi­ron­men­tal Design (LEED). Intro­duced in 2000, LEED ini­tial­ly focused on lim­it­ing the dam­age caused by a build­ing project. Today LEED also empha­sizes the poten­tial for build­ing projects to con­tribute pos­i­tive­ly to their com­mu­ni­ties and the plan­et with new impact cat­e­gories includ­ing cli­mate change, human health, water resources, bio­di­ver­si­ty, green econ­o­my, com­mu­ni­ty and nat­ur­al resources. Build­ings become LEED cer­ti­fied based on points they obtain with­in six build­ing com­po­nents: 1. indoor envi­ron­men­tal qual­i­ty 2. water effi­cien­cy 3. ener­gy and atmos­phere 4. mate­ri­als and resources, 5. sus­tain­able sites and 6. inno­va­tion and design process. Over the past forty years, healthy-green build­ing design has become one of the fastest grow­ing build­ing and design con­cepts uti­lized by archi­tects, con­trac­tors, and build­ing own­ers.

The Design of a Healthy-Green Building

When design­ing a healthy-green build­ing, it is essen­tial to con­sid­er both the glob­al envi­ron­ment and the building’s occu­pants. A healthy-green build­ing design pro­motes sus­tain­able prac­tices and an indoor envi­ron­ment that is safe, healthy and pro­duc­tive to its occu­pants.

Indoor Environmental Quality of a Healthy-Green Building

The indoor envi­ron­men­tal qual­i­ty (IEQ) of a struc­ture sig­nif­i­cant­ly impacts the health, com­fort, and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of its occu­pants. IEQ attrib­ut­es include max­i­miz­ing day­light­ing, apply­ing prop­er ven­ti­la­tion, con­trol­ling mois­ture, opti­miz­ing acoustic per­for­mance, and avoid­ing the use of mate­ri­als with high-VOC**** emis­sions. The IEQ of a healthy-green build­ing should also include occu­pant con­trol over sys­tems such as light­ing and tem­per­a­ture.

Healthy-Green Buildings are Water Efficient

A healthy-green build­ing should include water effi­cient fea­tures that recy­cle water on site. Recy­cling the water on site reduces ener­gy use and the finan­cial costs required to pump, trans­port, and treat water in a sewage treat­ment plant.

Energy Efficiency of a Healthy-Green Building

A healthy-green build­ing design is ener­gy effi­cient and strives to cre­ate a net zero ener­gy build­ing. A net zero ener­gy build­ing makes as much ener­gy as it uses over the course of a year. Ener­gy effi­cient build­ings are impor­tant because they save mon­ey and ener­gy.

Materials and Resources of a Healthy-Green Building

A healthy-green build­ing strives to min­i­mize its impact on resource deple­tion, glob­al warm­ing, tox­i­c­i­ty and human health and safe­ty through care­ful use and reuse of mate­ri­als and resources.

Sustainable Site Selection for a Healthy-Green Building

The loca­tion, ori­en­ta­tion, and land­scape of a build­ing affect the ecosys­tems, trans­porta­tion meth­ods, and ener­gy use of the sur­round­ing area. The site should reduce, con­trol, and treat stormwa­ter runoff, sup­port native flo­ra and fau­na of the region, pre­vent envi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion caused by facil­i­ties and infra­struc­ture and sup­port build­ings that are com­fort­able, safe, and pro­duc­tive.

Innovation and Design Process of a Healthy-Green Building

Address­ing oper­a­tion and main­te­nance issues ear­ly in the design process of a healthy-green build­ing can great­ly improve the work envi­ron­ment, increase pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, reduce ener­gy and resource costs, and pre­vent sys­tem fail­ures. Build­ing oper­a­tors, main­te­nance per­son­nel, and design­ers should all par­tic­i­pate in this ear­ly phase of the design to opti­mize oper­a­tions and main­te­nance of the build­ing.

Bautex Blocks are the Ideal Choice for a Healthy-Green Building

The Bau­tex™ Wall Sys­tem is an excel­lent option for a healthy-green build­ing design. Bau­tex Blocks cre­ate an ener­gy effi­cient build­ing enve­lope that is pest, rot, dis­as­ter and fire resis­tant. Bau­tex Wall sys­tem also pro­vides an excel­lent IEQ and is low main­te­nance.

— The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem insu­lat­ed con­crete wall sys­tem reduces the trans­fer of sound from the out­side to the inside of a struc­ture. In fact, the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem received a high Sound Trans­mis­sion Class (STC) rat­ing of 51 and a high Out­door-Indoor Trans­mis­sion Class (OITC) per­for­mance rat­ing of 47

— Bau­tex AMB 20 air and mois­ture bar­ri­er applied to the block wall pre­vents air and mois­ture infil­tra­tion to the inte­ri­or of a build­ing

— Bau­tex Blocks have low­er volatile organ­ic com­pound (VOC) emit­tance than wood. Bau­tex blocks are 0% VOC.

— Bau­tex Blocks are pest and rodent resis­tant

— Bau­tex Blocks are low main­te­nance because con­crete is less sus­cep­ti­ble to rot and rust than wood or steel

Healthy-green build­ing design cre­ates an indoor envi­ron­ment that is healthy, safe and pro­duc­tive to its occu­pants. It is also good for the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment. A healthy-green build­ing design must take into account the loca­tion of the build­ing site, water, and ener­gy effi­cien­cy, the design process, mate­ri­als and resource used, and the indoor envi­ron­men­tal qual­i­ty. Atten­tion to these com­po­nents will ensure con­struc­tion of a healthy-green build­ing. For more infor­ma­tion on healthy-green build­ing design vis­it Bau­tex Wall Sys­tems.

*Cog­ni­tive abil­i­ty tests assess a person’s abil­i­ty to think, rea­son, per­ceive, and remem­ber, along with ver­bal and math­e­mat­i­cal abil­i­ty, and prob­lem-solv­ing.

** Eighty per­cent of the world’s ener­gy comes from fos­sil fuels. The burn­ing of fos­sil fuels is a prob­lem because it has caused an exces­sive buildup of green­house gas­es, which has cre­at­ed glob­al warm­ing. Adverse impacts of glob­al warm­ing are exten­sive. A few of the impacts include ris­ing sea lev­els due to increas­ing rates of glacial melt­ing, more acidic oceans due to increas­ing car­bon diox­ide lev­els, and more fre­quent and severe weath­er events.

***The sus­tain­able design aims to reduce deple­tion of crit­i­cal resources like water, land, raw mate­ri­als and ener­gy. Sus­tain­able design of facil­i­ties and infra­struc­ture also pre­vents the destruc­tion of the ecosys­tem.

****Volatile organ­ic com­pounds (VOC) are chem­i­cals used to man­u­fac­ture and main­tain build­ing mate­ri­als, inte­ri­or fur­nish­ing, clean­ing prod­ucts and per­son­al care prod­ucts. Emis­sions of VOCs from these prod­ucts can cause nose, eye and throat irri­ta­tions, headaches, nau­sea and dam­age to the kid­ney, liv­er and cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem. Some organ­ics can even cause can­cer in ani­mals and humans.