Every architect, engineer and construction worker thinks about a good foundation, high-quality materials and a good construction plan, but only the best ones also consider energy-efficiency and waterproofing. Energy consumption and waterproofing are very important for the future of the building and they shouldn’t be neglected. Today, there are construction techniques and technologies that can reduce the amount of energy the building will use and can protect the building from water penetration. So, let’s take a look at those building techniques and technologies that can save the planet and your money.
The most popular way to stop water from entering the building is to install waterproofing membranes. There are two main types of membranes – liquid applied and sheet-based. However, they are installed practically the same way. They are placed on the surface that needs protection from water and are reinforced in place with fillers that prevent leaks. The reason waterproofing membranes are so popular is that they are cheap and easy to install and maintain.
Another way you can protect your building from water is to use waterstops. They are used because liquids easily pass through concrete joints and can damage the integrity of your building. However, if you enhance the concrete joints with waterstops, the chances of it penetrating the inside of the building are minimal. Waterstops are also quite affordable and easy to install.
Even though bunding is used to contain liquid and stop it from spreading, it can also be used to protect your building from penetrating water. Bunding works amazing even on unstable surfaces and surfaces under a lot of pressure, which is why it’s a popular and appropriate substitute for other waterproofing solutions.
Once your building is safe from water penetration, you should make sure no cold and heat can escape your home and waste energy. And because heating and cooling actually make up around 50% of energy consumption in an average household, proper insulation is the key to energy efficiency. Walls are the most important part that should be insulated, however, if you want complete insulation, you mustn’t forget about your attic and basement too. There are different types of insulation you can put up such as blanket rolls, concrete blocks, sprayed foam, rigid foam and many other. However, if you want to choose the right kind for your project, you should inquire about the recommended R-values of the area that you want to insulate.
Energy-efficient appliances and fixtures
You can also consider installing double-glazed windows that will ensure additional energy-conservation. Also, investing in Energy Star appliances, HVAC systems and low-flow toilets and faucets is also a great way to become more energy-efficient. Opting for LEDs instead of traditional bulbs will also save you both energy and money (LEDs have a much longer life and require less electricity).
Install solar panels
A great way to conserve energy is to switch to sustainable sources such as the sun. Today is the right time to install solar panels because they are at their cheapest and most efficient. However, if you want to invest in solar panels, you can’t just put them anywhere and expect energy-efficiency. The location of your building and the location and installation of panels will greatly affect how much energy they will collect. Solar panels will not only reduce your utility bill, but you can also get various tax benefits and grants if you choose to go green.
Choose sustainable materials
If you want to conserve energy, you must also think about the impact your building has on the environment. Today, every part of your project can be environmentally-friendly, from the roofing to the flooring. Another great way to conserve energy is to use reclaimed and repurposed materials, recycled plastic and glass and natural and sustainable materials such as bamboo, cork and linoleum.
Water protection and energy conservation is such an important part of every contemporary building project because they make sure that the building is strong, sturdy and efficient long into the future. So, go green and reap the benefits.