Simple Ways Technology Can Save the Environment

Scientists and environmentalists are using technology to improve the environment in many ways, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and managing the consumption of resources as well as planning more sustainable urban environments. Note some ways that technology can be used to improve the environment at home and in an industrial or commercial setting, so you know you’re doing everything possible to employ green and eco-friendly practices.

Just-In-Time Materials

Rather than buying large quantities of construction materials and other items and then warehousing those items and potentially having them go to waste, use technology to employ just-in-time or JIT material deliveries. Many vendors and delivery companies have apps and other means of ordering materials in an instant, for tracking deliveries, and the like. These features eliminate the need to order large quantities well ahead of time, just to ensure a timely delivery.

JIT is especially vital in the construction industry. A construction manager reduces construction waste and eliminates the need for warehousing items by employing JIT deliveries to various jobsites or by ordering materials once a contract is signed and a project is ready to begin.

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Programmable and Zone Thermostats

Programmable thermostats ensure that you never forget to adjust the thermostat when leaving the home or office while zone thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature of a structure according to its occupation. For example, you might keep an office and receiving area at the same temperature during the day but then program the office temperature to adjust at five o’clock. If the receiving area is open for a second and third shift, those areas can stay at an ambient temperature without wasting energy heating and cooling an empty office.

Zone thermostats also work well in a residential home. Why heat and cool the upstairs bedrooms when everyone is downstairs watching a movie, or heat and cool the living room when everyone is upstairs in bed? Using zone thermostats then saves energy and reduces pollution created by power plants.

Digitize All Your Paperwork

Storing paperwork and communicating digitally reduces the need to harvest trees for new paper while also keeping papers out of landfills. Consider anything and everything you put to paper and note how to switch to computers and other technology; you can even produce, send, and store blueprints, engineering and architectural drawings, medical scans, and customer receipts digitally!

technology and science

Paying for items electronically and via the internet or smart phone apps also eliminates the need for paper bills and reduces the carbon emissions created by postal trucks! Computer programs and apps also work to remind you of when certain bills and expenses are due so you don’t need to rely on paper bills and invoices as a reminder to pay.

Construction managers and others in the building trades can also request quotes by sent digitally as well as drawings, agreements, contracts, and the like. This also reduces the use of paper and eliminates wasted paper at the end of every construction project!

By |2019-08-31T05:50:13+00:00July 4th, 2019|Technology|Comments Off on Simple Ways Technology Can Save the Environment

What Is Sustainability?

In simple terms, sustainability refers to the ability to maintain something at a certain level or rate, avoiding depletion. When speaking of green building practices, sustainability refers to avoiding the depletion of natural resources for construction, maintenance, renovation, use, and demolition of a building.

An eco-conscious builder, developer, or property owner would do well to consider the sustainability of their properties and employ green practices during the development and upgrade of structures and land. Note some tips for employing green building practices with the aim of ensuring sustainability.

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What Is the Core Principle of Sustainability?

First note some vital information about the core principle of sustainability and especially as applied to green building practices:

  • Sustainability involves meeting the needs of the present while still allowing future generations to meet their needs as well.
  • Sustainability does not necessarily mean avoiding the use of natural resources but involves replacement or use of such resources at a rate that allows them to replace themselves, or living within our means of natural resources.
  • The “three Ps” of sustainability include planet, people, and profit, and the need for a balance between these so that one doesn’t destroy the other.

Sustainability in Construction

Sustainable construction refers to making environmentally responsible choices for a building’s lifecycle. This starts with its location and then proceeds with its design, construction, the use of the building or its operation, its maintenance, needed renovation and remodeling, and demolition.

Sustainability in construction takes into account the long-term use of the building, its surrounding environment, and how it will affect the environment even after its torn down. Building owners would do well to note sustainability in construction, to ensure they’re employing eco-friendly or green practices long after their building is erected.

Steps to Sustainable Construction Management

It’s vital that a construction manager employ sustainable practices on a jobsite and when planning any project. Note some important steps for sustainable construction management:

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  • Use alternative for construction materials. For example, you might opt for recycled plastic or ferrock rather than concrete or wood. If you must use wood, opt for bamboo as this material grows quickly and is very easy to replace.
  • Consider just-in-time production rather than ordering large quantities of construction materials. With improved delivery options and better tracking through apps, it’s more possible than ever to order just what you need, when you need it.
  • Prefab or offsite construction methods often eliminate tremendous amounts of construction waste. Framework, walls, and interior materials fabricated offsite are cut to exact measurements and in controlled conditions, producing less construction scrap and requiring far less post-construction treatment.
  • More and more offices are storing paperwork digitally and employing email and instant messaging rather than paper memos, and construction managers can do the same with blueprints, engineering plans, drawings, and the like. Investing in technology that allows digital design and storage of these items reduces the use of paper and its resultant waste.
By |2019-08-31T05:37:07+00:00July 4th, 2019|Sustainability|Comments Off on What Is Sustainability?

8 Ideas for Green Building and Living!

Eco-friendly living is possible for everyone, at home and while on the job! Consider 8 ideas for green building and living so you can do everything possible to reduce your carbon footprint and ensure your company is doing the same

1. Plant trees

Trees clean the air around them and provide shade for buildings while also holding nourishing moisture in the soil. If your property has no room for mature trees consider smaller landscaping trees you might plant close to your home or office or around your property.

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 2. Switch to solar

A full solar panel installation might be out of your reach financially, so consider adding solar panels to a water heater, HVAC system, and other systems and appliances that use lots of electricity. Electric power plants create tremendous amounts of pollution so reducing your use of electricity means reducing your carbon footprint as well!

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3. Consider a green roof

A green roof includes live plants along a roof’s surface. Live plants clean the air and help insulate a building, resulting in less loss of your heating and cooling and less use of your HVAC system.

4. Recycle

Recycling is not a new suggestion for eco-friendly living, but you might challenge yourself to consider added ways to recycle at home and the office, and ways to make it easier for others to recycle as well. For example:

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·       Downsize your rubbish bins and add recycling bins in the same spot. If trash bins are quite small, your family and staff will be less tempted to just toss out recyclable items.

·       Reward yourself, family, and staff for recycling. A recycling center typically pays for recyclables, so use that money for a pizza lunch or other reward.

·       Get familiar with the recyclable markings on the undersides of packaging and if everyday items like plastic and foil wrap and plastic straws are recyclable.

5. Use recycled items

Recycling won’t help the environment much if consumers don’t buy recycled items and those made with a high percentage of recycled materials. Look for recycled advertisements on everything you purchase, from cardboard packaging to wood chips and mulch.

6. Give your business to eco-friendly companies

Whether you’re a consumer or business owner, you might research eco-friendly companies and give them your business! Buy napkins for your diner from a company that uses recycled materials or eat at a diner that advertises their use of energy-efficient appliances and other eco-friendly practices.

7. Be water conscious

Consider landscaping practices that conserve water, such as directing water from downspouts to various areas around your property. This reduces your use of fresh water for your lawn and landscaping features. Use low-flow showerheads at home and automatic shutoff valves for sinks in your commercial facility.

8. Install programmable thermostats

Programmable thermostats ensure you never forget to adjust them when leaving home or the office. Coded thermostats also allow you to control their use so staff isn’t tempted to turn up the heating or air conditioning unnecessarily.

By |2019-08-31T05:44:37+00:00July 4th, 2019|Ideas|Comments Off on 8 Ideas for Green Building and Living!

Eco-Friendly HVAC at Home

Thanks to improved technology, it is possible to employ eco-friendly HVAC systems at home without sacrificing year-round comfort. You can even use eco-friendly or green HVAC practices without making changes to your heating and cooling systems!

 What Is Eco-Friendly HVAC?

An eco-friendly HVAC system heats, cools, and ventilates a home with as little impact on the environment as possible. Eco-friendly or green HVAC is vitally important as the energy needed to run furnaces, air conditioners, and residential ventilation systems create a tremendous amount of pollution.

An eco-friendly HVAC system reduces this energy consumption and resultant pollution. Many green HVAC systems even help cleanse the air for a healthier outside environment. Note how this is possible and some suggestions for eco-friendly HVAC systems and options for your home.

eco friendly hvac

An Eco-Friendly Heating and Cooling System

One of the most eco-friendly or green HVAC systems is a geothermal system. A geothermal HVAC pulls cool and warm air from outside a home and circulates it inside. Many geothermal systems are installed underground, pulling cool air from under the soil so that it doesn’t need additional cooling during summer months.

During winter months, the geothermal system pulls warm air from a heat sink or underground area that traps hot air. This air is circulated through the home rather than air heated through a furnace. Geothermal systems use far less energy than standard furnaces and central air conditioners, as the air circulated into the home is already heated or cooled!

How to Cool a House With Eco-Friendly Practices

Installing a geothermal system might be out of the reach financially for many homeowners, so consider some simple tips for keeping your house cool with eco-friendly practices:

·         Add window film during summer months. Tinted and reflective film blocks sunlight and heat from entering the home.

·         Plant shade trees around the home and especially along the walls that get the most sunlight.

·         Consider your use of the kitchen. Use small appliances such as a rotisserie or crock pot rather than the oven. Cook outdoors when you can, to keep heat from building up indoors.

·         Shut the curtains and blinds during the day. If you prefer a bright interior environment, invest in quality shades that diffuse light and reduce heat while still keeping your house bright and welcoming.

·        Leave an open bowl of ice in various rooms. As the ice melts it helps to keep surrounding air cool and comfortable.

How to Heat a House with Green Practices

Heating a home without using an abundance of power is a challenge, but you can keep your home’s interior warmer by investing in thick wool or cotton curtains. Ensure those window treatments are large enough to cover a window and the surrounding frame, where cold air typically enters.

You might also consider using small space heaters and reducing the use of the furnace and especially when you’re in one room of the home. When you settle down in the living room to watch a movie, turn down the thermostat and turn on a space heater. You’ll use less energy while still staying comfortable.

By |2019-08-31T05:18:39+00:00July 4th, 2019|HVAC|Comments Off on Eco-Friendly HVAC at Home

What Is Green Engineering and How Is It Used?

Eco-friendly or green practices are everywhere; restaurants use paper products that contain recycled fibers and office buildings might connect motion detectors to lights in restrooms and storage areas. There are also many eco-friendly practices a company might employ such as separating recyclable items from their trash and updating insulation to reduce the loss of heating and cooling.

While individuals and companies might employ eco-friendly practices, green engineering is also a vital part of preserving the environment. What is green engineering and why is it so important today?

What Is Green Engineering?

Engineering refers to the application of science to particular fields, such as design and construction. A structural engineer understands, for example, how the weight of a building affects its stability and the type of foundation and framework needed to keep that building secure. A mechanical engineer might understand the amount of heat that will be produced by a computer and the ventilation needed to cool it properly.

Green engineering refers to incorporating eco-friendly options into those practices. For instance, a green engineer might note the environmental impact of a proposed finished product and suggest changes to accommodate a plastic that is easier to recycle.

Green Engineering and Construction

Green engineering practices might be employed in virtually any manufacturing and production field but is especially useful in design and construction. Eco-friendly or green engineering:

·        Reduces the amount of pollution produced by a building

·         Reduces a building’s dependency on energy

·        Minimizes a building’s overall impact on the environment

·         Considers the environmental impact of goods produced by your business

green engineering

Examples of Green Engineering Practices

One prime example of green engineering is the reduction of heating and cooling needs in a building. A green engineer might include upgraded insulation that protects a building’s interior, overhead fans, and tinted windows in the design of a structure.

Production facilities also tend to create tremendous amounts of heat due to the use of heavy-duty machinery. A green engineer might include added ventilation in production machinery or a facility, to reduce interior heat and the need for cooling.

A green engineer might also incorporate recycling in a building’s design or your production processes. For example, certain production machinery might capture and collect recyclable waste, keeping it out of the rubbish and landfills. Reusing these materials also means less use of raw or virgin materials.

Employing Green Energy Practices

While it’s vital to employ green energy practices in new construction and machinery, many such practices can be retrofitted in a building or various production equipment. Building renovations might also employ green engineering practices, to reduce energy consumption and waste and to benefit the environment. This might include green or living roofs and a water recycling system.

By |2019-08-31T05:11:06+00:00July 4th, 2019|Engineering|Comments Off on What Is Green Engineering and How Is It Used?