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How Architecture & Sustainability are Working Towards a Greener Future

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Sustainability is one of the most important aspects to building managers, whether you’re about to break ground on a new facility, or you’re looking for ways to make your current facility more efficient. Green architecture has become increasingly popular since it helps reduce carbon emissions, as well as show a massive drop in energy consumption. The goal is to leave as little of a carbon footprint as possible, so finding ways to make your facility more sustainable is crucial.

The Importance of Sustainability & Green Architecture

Most buildings, skyscrapers, and high-risers you see that are made of glass and steel may appear alluring and awe-inspiring, but those buildings certainly use up a lot of energy, which maximizes their carbon emissions. Tall glass and steel structures require significant energy to keep the interior of the building at the optimal temperature, depending on the weather and season. According to The Economist, “In America, buildings account for 65% of electricity consumption, 36% of total energy use, and 30% of greenhouse-gas emissions.”

The ultimate goal with green architecture is to drastically reduce these numbers to a more manageable and sustainable level. By getting started now, we can work towards a greener future with less emissions and energy use collectively. Using these different materials is the first step towards a green and sustainable future.

Utilizing the Best Green Building Materials

The first step towards making a green facility is by utilizing sustainable materials. You’ll want to sort through materials that can help your building maintain its optimal temperature without having to kick the HVAC system into high gear. Certain woods and rock types make for ideal construction material due to their thermal mass. Utilizing recycled material can also have its benefits because it’s reducing waste while getting more use out of a previously discarded material.

How to Make Your Current Facility Greener

If your facility was already constructed before the idea of green architecture really caught on, don’t fret. There are still steps that can be taken to increase the sustainability of your facility. A major area that you can focus on is your facility’s restrooms. More importantly, replacing your standard partitions with a more sustainable material, like HDPE plastic.

These green building materials can help retain the heat in your restroom while combating the elements, such as humidity and moisture. They’re durable, scratch-resistant, and non-absorbent, so you won’t spend a lot of time and money on maintenance. They’re made from recycled material and they’re backed by a 25-year warranty, so you won’t have to shell out a small fortune to replace them.

Getting Started on Making Your Facility Sustainable

By using HDPE plastic in your facility, you can start small and work towards a greener future for your building. This plastic will outlast your current toilet partitions in your restroom, and they’ll incur less damage and won’t have any mold growth due to their strong and reliable structure. If your facility has lockers or storage compartments, you can replace the metal with HDPE plastic lockers, which will provide secure storage and durability while increasing your buildings sustainability.

Want to learn about how HDPE plastic and other materials can help make your facility more sustainable? Download this eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Architecture Trends Influencing Sustainable Hospital Design

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Sustainable design and architecture has grown in popularity, not just as a stylistic approach, but architects and designers are thinking about the long term. Most new hospitals have taken to this approach and begun implementing sustainable design aspects and green materials that can help reduce emissions and energy use. If you’re the manager of a facility or hospital, you’re probably trying to think of ways to cut costs on your energy bill through long-lasting solutions.

Here are a few architecture trends that are influencing sustainable hospital designs that you may want to consider during your next remodel, or if you’re about to embark on a new facility.

Increasing Natural Light & Using Low Energy Bulbs

There are many benefits to natural light. It helps reduce the need for electrical illumination to lower energy costs. There are many effective ways this can be done, including skylights, larger windows and window walls, and glass doors. When the sun sets, that’s when you can utilize low-energy bulbs to provide light without burning up too much energy.

Get More Green

Indoor plants have many benefits. They can reduce carbon dioxide levels, keep the temperature down, boost humidity, and even help reduce pollutants in the air. Using more indoor plants can help improve moral, as well as help the building maintain a healthy environment. However, outdoor gardens and courtyards can also have positive benefits for hospitals, mainly with the patients.

When a patient can see or even walk through a gardened area, it can have positive effects on their health in terms of stress reduction. Having multiple “green areas” makes the hospital more visually appealing. Run-of-the-mill hospitals have a stuffy lack of imagination, and the environment in which a patient is trying to heal has a lot to do with it. Having a garden terrace for patients to relax, enjoy the sights, or spend time with their family has positive benefits on the building, and the patient themselves.

Using Recycled Materials

One of the easiest and most efficient moves towards sustainability is using recycled materials in any way you can. Not only does this help reduce waste, but it also helps conserve natural resources, and it can help reduce greenhouse gases.

There are also plenty of great materials that are recycled. HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is a solid-plastic that can be used for a variety of applications, like toilet partitions and durable lockers. This plastic not only provides a strong structure, but it’s also non-absorbent, impact-resistant, and long-lasting.

Moving Forward with Sustainable Hospital Design

Now that you’re aware of some of the newer trends that hospitals around the world are using to make their facility more sustainable, you have a few ideas to run with. Not only did you see that these design aspects have benefits of reducing your energy costs and the actual building emissions, but you also saw that it can have a positive effect on the patients and their health. With the right design implementations, hospitals and patients can benefit greatly. Are you looking for ways to make your facility or hospital more sustainable? Check out this free eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom, from your friends at Scranton Products.