Your Key to Green Construction

Your Key to Green Construction


If you were an adult or grew in the United States and other countries during the 1970s era, you may remember “The Energy Crisis” that rocked the economy and livelihood of many people. Waiting hours in a gas line to get only a few rationed gallons are not fond memories. A looming fossil fuel shortage had shown the world the need for energy conservation and protection of the environment, not only in vehicles and industries but in construction of new homes, and buildings as well.


Even though green construction did not get formally organized until the 1990s, The birth of it dates back to the late 1800s to early 1900s, when a French engineer and physicist named Antione Henri Becquerel, first witness the photovoltaic power, the transformation of solar energy into electrical energy.

After the 1970s energy crisis, the green movement went from research and development to reality. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s it became formally organized and a few milestones groups were established - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) just to name a couple.


Green construction is a way to build and design eco-friendly and resource-efficient structures, whether residential or commercial. The goal is to leave a smaller carbon footprint on the earth than with normal construction.

From planning, designing, constructing, maintaining and demolishing buildings, architects and engineers are constantly finding new ways to incorporate green technology into the ever evolving construction process.

There are many ways to integrate green construction into a project. Here is a sample of three -

1. Cool Roofs - During a sizzling hot summer day, a typical roof’s temperature may reach or exceed 150 degrees. A cool roof is designed to reflect the sun’s solar rays and decrease the thermal emittance. Therefore, reducing the roof’s temperature by 50+ degrees. The interior temperatures stay cooler and this helps conserve energy on AC bills.

2. Preserve, Recycle, and Reuse - The three ways green construction practices conservation and waste management. In fact, if a construction project proves to have prevented at least fifty percent (50%) waste generated from demolition or construction site, there are tax saving incentives by getting the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification.

3. Efficient Use Energy and Water - The building envelope can be designed to use windows as passive solar heat, to maximize warmth in the cooler temperatures and minimize it in the scorching hot days. Energy-efficient appliances and HVAC units are essential. Not to mention, renewable energy examples in construction that can be used is collecting rainwater, and use trees and plants to help provide shade.


Green construction is expanding and rightfully so - the occupants of these buildings enjoy breathing cleaner air and the owners and managers enjoy saving on the utility bills.

Michael Tobias is the founder and principal of Chicago Engineers. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech class of 2004, with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with honors. His innovative approach to MEP engineering comes from graduating GE’s Engineering Leadership Program, where he designed wind turbines and biofuel power plant engines. Michael’s passion within design is energy efficiency and green technology.

Photo by Martin Péchy from Pexels
Powered by Blogger.