The matter of sustainability, or a more popular term, “eco-friendly”, is something that fortunately more and more people have taken notice of. Although the move to being wholly committed to better, more sustainable materials and means still leave much to be desired, at the very least, the awareness of the idea is now widespread. A lot of people have adapted the idea of sustainability, and this is largely about their way of life, including how they construct their dwellings.
These days, people have their very own definition of sustainability. Therefore the meaning can vary greatly from person to person. However it needs to be noted that the core issue of sustainability is the demands of energy human activities, construction in this matter, imposes on the environment. The depletion of resources is one of the main issues addressed in the matter of sustainability. The impact of said activities, in this case, largely addressed the carbon footprints left by humans, is also one of the most pressing issues sustainability aims to give solutions to.
Some people, more practically, define sustainability in the distribution of the materials. This is where locally sourced products come to the forefront of the scene. If a product is locally sourced, that means it requires little energy in its delivery to the designated place. There won’t be any needs for long distance motor transport. This, in turn would decrease the impacts on the environment through the fact that the locally sourced products would stimulate much less carbon emission.
Others, more fundamentally, define sustainability in the embodied energy of a materials. Embodied energy refers to all of the energy consumed by all of the process associated with the production of a building. This corresponds to the entirety of the issue in energy consumption and carbon emission produced in the building of a house. Embodied energy generally covers the whole process from mining, processing of the materials, manufacturing, transportation of the materials, and product delivery.
The issue of sustainability centers around everything in regards to the construction, and later on, activities, in regards to the demands imposed to the environment. Sustainability is a broad subject that needs to be approached with context. Although with all facets of sustainability, the core idea needs to be upheld and regarded as the very definition of the concept. Sustainability in construction industry includes the mindfulness of natural resources; the usage, the depletion, the impacts, as well as the natural environment as a whole.
It’s been reported that almost 50% of UK carbon emission came from the built environment. Built environment refers to any aspect of surroundings built by humans. The counterpart of this concept is the natural environment. The built environment encompass anything from residential houses, industry constructions, roads, as well as parks and man-made water bodies.
The whole matter of sustainability is largely a journey. And it would take a long, long time, before humans will be able to reach the ideal state of sustainability. This comes with the issue of what is “ideal” in terms of sustainability in the first place; as the idea could be stretched on indefinitely. The most important thing is progress. And any kind of improvement that humans are able to achieve is a cause for celebration.