When starting to plan and design a land-based green build, it is crucial to carefully consider the early design ideas, as well as thinking ahead to the practicalities of the actual construction.
Crucial questions to consider at the initial and early stages of the planning and design process include considering how to incorporate the site into the design, and also how will the actual construction process impacts upon the site. Designing the build to fit the landscape that exists is more important than trying to alter the environment to fit a pre-existing idea or plan for a building.
In the context of a so-called green build, this sense of the environmental footprint of the build is very important. If a construction actually damages or destroys an environment – perhaps by trucking in construction materials over pristine land, or storing them on top of flowers or plants of a special scientific interest, for example, then this thoughtless action will negate any benefits of incorporating green technology in the design of the green build.
Design and Construction: The Processes of a Green Build Project
All parties involved in the project should meet, ideally at the site. Any ideas and relevant issues should be discussed at this early stage, with a special focus on how the site could be incorporated into the design, and protected during the process of construction.
The roles of all those involved should be made clear: the initiator and eventual homeowner is ultimately responsible, and they should fully trust those who are being consulted and giving their professional opinion to the design and construction process.
Designing the green build is the part where all these ideas and plans can be thrown in, tested on paper and through modelling – on computer and in a cardboard model if necessary, and then either thrown out or incorporated into the final architectural plan.
Questions to bring up and find solutions to in this stage include thoughts about the materials to be used in the construction: are they truly green materials, and can this be verified? The importance of ideally using building materials that are sympathetic to the environment and either blend in with or work well within, is crucial to a green build. Progressing to the construction process will go smoothly if all aspects of the design have been studied and tested to make sure all the pieces fit together. Remember that as well as a potential home or office space, this new green build will have an ecological structure of its own, so all the pieces that make it a green build must work well together.
Every successful project has a synergy or an ecological structure of its own, and in the case of a green build, this must be built in to both the design and the construction process to ensure its success. Keeping in mind the land that the construction will be built upon, as well as the design process and the construction process, right from the start of the project will ensure that it is successful, and that the end result is a truly green build.