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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.

Green Building Materials: Types of Green Building Materials

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Whether you’re designing a new facility or looking to do some renovations on your current facility, utilizing green building materials is a smart route to take. Sustainability is important when picking your building materials because you want them to last a long time. Luckily, there’s a variety of green building materials and sustainable products that can be used to make your facility structurally sound and eco-friendly.

Green Building Materials & Why You Should Use Them

When planning to build or renovate, choosing the right materials is crucial. When you choose a green material, it means that not only are you getting a quality product that will last for a long time, but you’re also doing your part to positively impact the environment long-term.

Sustainable Flooring

If you’re starting at the ground level, flooring will probably be your first step. Several types of flooring look good and also are sustainable, meaning that you likely won’t have to replace it in the short-term.

Linoleum, for example, is a smooth, eco-friendly flooring made from linseed oil, jute, and flax that doesn’t release VOCs (volatile organic compounds) like other types of flooring, such as vinyl. Repurposed wood is also a great option because it looks good and has been recycled.

Sustainable Roofing

Your roofing material needs to be durable so it can resist the elements but also sustainable enough that replacement will be far down the road. Tile is a good option because it’s thicker, so it helps to keep cool or warm air inside. Choosing a lighter color also has benefits because it reflects less heat into the atmosphere.

Sustainable Windows

A lot of considerations go into choosing sustainable and eco-friendly windows. Starting with the frames, you should always choose a stronger material that’s more likely to improve insulation.

When it comes to choosing the glass, you could get multiple panes that will trap air between the panes to improve the facility’s insulation. If you prefer single-pane windows, you could get a clear coating that doesn’t affect the visibility but does enhance the ability to retain warm and cool air inside the facility.

Sustainable Plastic School Lockers, Bathroom Stalls & Partitions 

Making your facility greener isn’t just about the overall construction but also the materials inside. When designing your bathroom, instead of choosing a  metal or stainless steel for your stalls and partitions, try HDPE (high-density polyethylene). It’s a durable material that is resistant to moisture, scratches, and graffiti. It also doesn’t require painting, which results in less VOC emissions.

Another benefit is that HDPE products such as partitions and lockers contain recycled post-consumer products. By choosing HDPE, you take a huge step in making your facility more green and sustainable.

Eco-Friendly Building Materials

When renovating or erecting an eco-friendly building, it’s essential to pick the right building materials. Then you can consider better ways to use solar energy and recycle rain water.

Want to learn more about how you can make your facility green? Download our eBook Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom.

If you have any questions about the benefits of HDPE and the sustainability of our school lockers and commercial bathroom stalls, contact us at Scranton Products.