Eco-Buildings: Hot Or Not?

By on January 6, 2013

Environmentally friendly buildings are a huge part of the design and construction industry today. They are also relatively new, having had to fight against the vast cynicism that climate change and environmental damage has met with over most of the last 15 years.

What is not up for debate is whether environmental designs and constructions are going to be around for the long term. It is clear that there is a lot of investment into such initiatives, and we can expect buildings, if anything, to get even more eco-friendly as we head into the future.

There is heated discussion around what else eco-buildings ‘bring to the party,’ however, in terms of aesthetics as a wider impact on society. Are eco-friendly buildings hot or not?

Big Benefits

It doesn’t take a genius to observe what the biggest benefits of environmental buildings are; they have a reduced carbon footprint, use less energy and even capture and reuse certain energy types.

That isn’t where the benefits end, however.

As well as the environment, those who use the building for whatever purpose will also feel the benefits on offer. These range from buildings that are more comfortable and natural feeling to owners and residents who will save a fortune on energy costs. Buildings that are reliant on natural light, for example, have been proven to make the people who live or work there happier and more productive owing to the natural feel of the surroundings.

Keeping Up Appearances

In terms of the criticisms of environmental builds, it is something of a two-pronged attack. Yes, cynics do still exist who decry the benefits and say that there would be easier ways to prevent harmful levels of carbon emissions being dumped in the air.

They may have a point; however, eco-buildings are definitely an example of an initiative where it is a case of waiting to see the sum of the parts before passing judgment. The other problem critics of eco-buildings have is that they all look the same, and are making landscapes look as if they are littered with non-descript office blocks. Who wants to go home to a building that looks the same as the one they work in?

Making the most of natural light as well as maximising the power of solar harnessing is partly responsible for this, as there is industry best practice aimed at making all buildings as environmentally friendly as possible.

Hot or Not?

Ultimately, it depends on your point of view. Climate change cynics and lovers of architecture are always going to have a negative opinion of eco-buildings due to the common elements that exist in each of them.

As we touched on earlier, however, due to the benefits of them being widely proven and feedback being generally positive from both construction businesses as well as those who frequent the buildings, they aren’t going away anytime soon.

This article was written by Vector Foiltec. Vector Foiltec invented the use of Texlon ETFE, an environmentally friendly material that is used on many modern building designs across the world.

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