Sustainable buildings promote the efficient use of energy, water and materials, at the same time that they stand out for having a better design, construction, operation and maintenance.
There are different actors within the sector that play an important role in making sustainable construction a reality guided by technological progress and innovation. Below, we present 3 technologies that are transforming the construction industry into a greener industry:
1. Calculator of emitted carbon.
The impact of construction is undeniable, it contributes with almost 40% of CO2 emissions worldwide. By 2060, the amount of construction space is estimated to double; That is equivalent to building the entire city of New York every month for 40 years. Furthermore, at least half of the carbon footprint of these new buildings will take the form of embedded carbon, that is, the greenhouse gas emitted in the construction materials supply chain, including extraction of raw materials, transportation, refining and manufacturing of construction materials.
How can the proliferation of incorporating carbon be mitigated? There is a tool for aligning, evaluating and presenting the impacts of incorporating carbon in an easy way, the Construction Incorporated Carbon Calculator (EC3). This solution, included in software such as BIM 360 from Autodesk, allows the construction industry to access and visualize the material's carbon emission data; allowing smart decision making. This tool allows to have in minutes, the results that experts would have taken days. It is currently being used by Microsoft in the remodeling of the campus at its corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington and in the port of Seattle, United States for pilot projects.
BIM (Building Information Modeling, for its acronym) is a construction methodology that through an intelligent model allows to have a simulation of the building before being physically built, in this way you can validate or optimize a project from the early stages.
BIM centralizes all construction-related information in a single file, including architectural and engineering data such as load-bearing structures, conduits and pipelines, as well as sustainability information such as construction materials and energy calculations, to name a few.
By using BIM, sustainable construction projects are easier and faster to manage since it gathers information such as:
- Data necessary for energy calculations. BIM enables multiple scenarios to be run in order to achieve the most efficient energy design, allowing you to select the best materials and building orientation, to name a few features.
- Optimal use of materials. BIM allows you to select the best design so that pipe and conduit paths are shorter and optimal; which saves materials, improves water / air flow and minimizes leaks.
- Costs reduction. In addition, BIM helps reduce costs throughout the life cycle of a construction from the design, operation and maintenance stages.
3. Generative Design.
Generative Design is a design exploration technology that uses algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence to simultaneously generate multiple valid solutions. This technology promises to revolutionize the construction industry by being able to generate infinite possibilities for a single object, taking into account not only the ground conditions but also the climatic ones, and generating savings in materials and time.
Generative design software is currently being used to design machine parts and buildings. For example, LMN Architects used generative design to create an acoustic reflector for the new music room in the >Voxman building at the University of Iowa College of Music.
Sustainable construction not only causes a greater impact on the environment and the carbon footprint, but also increases the quality of life of people physically, emotionally and socially. There is no doubt that as sustainability advances, it covers more and more sectors and technology accompanies it; In the case of construction, it ensures that every detail of the buildings is built more intelligently and the goals of sustainable construction are reached.