What is Sustainable Construction?

Meaning of Sustainable Construction

Sustainable or sustainable construction is a concept that refers to a set of practices adopted before, during and after construction work to obtain a building that does not harm the environment , with better thermal comfort without the need for energy consumption and that improves the quality of life of its residents.

In addition to using materials and techniques that guarantee greater energy efficiency .

There is another term that is often confused with “ sustainable construction ”, it is “ green construction ”. Although in practice the two terms end up being used in the same way, the first refers to a more common practice in the urban environment and aimed at the use of technologies that allow construction sustainability .

The second is related to construction techniques that use materials found on the construction site and propose the least possible interference in the landscape .

Therefore, Eskimo houses can be considered ecological constructions , made of ice (a material found on the site) and practically blending into the landscape.


The idea of ​​sustainable construction is not that new, but like almost everything, it took a while to get here. Countries like the United States, Japan and those of the European Community have even created incentives for entrepreneurs or ordinary people who choose green buildings .

Even those who don’t have as much capital to invest in a new home can take advantage of incentives for minor renovations. The main incentives remain in the field of reducing energy consumption .

In the US, for example, there is no national program to encourage sustainable construction , however, there are already some internationally recognized standards such as “ LEED ” (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). )

Also “ Green Building Initiative ” ( Green Build Initiative ) and “ Architeture 2030 ” each with their own sustainable construction standards .

Stages of a Sustainable Construction

There are nine steps to sustainable construction:

  • Planning work in a sustainable way;
  • The use of available natural resources (ventilation and natural light, for example, instead of air conditioning and artificial lighting during the day);
  • Energy efficiency;
  • Water management and saving;
  • Waste management;
  • Air quality and indoor environment;
  • thermal and acoustic comfort;
  • Rational use of materials;
  • Use of technologies and products that do not harm the environment.

sustainable building

A sustainable building begins even before construction with the choice of less aggressive and durable materials that require the least possible impact to obtain.

Here, the use of recycled materials can be considered as raw material that can be classified into two types:

  • Post-industrial : When the recycled material comes from industrial waste.
  • Post-consumer: This is the case of bricks, wood and other demolition debris that can be used in construction or recycled and transformed into other materials, such as concrete made from fireplace ashes.

Along with choosing the right materials , suppliers need to be checked to ensure they are of environmentally safe origin, especially when it comes to wood.

Even in the phase prior to construction, the life cycle of the project and the materials used must be analyzed, the study of the environmental impact of the construction, a planning of the management of the waste that will be generated and a better way of using the material.

During construction care must be taken to avoid wasting materials and reuse as much as possible.

Which, in addition to generating environmental gains by minimizing the use of raw materials, also generates economic gains for the developer who will save with materials.

When the job is finished, care should be taken to remove construction debris and non-toxic materials should be used at all stages. Some of the materials “ condemned ” by any sustainable construction standard are: asbestos, lead and aluminum.

Sustainable construction, once ready, must have a selective collection and a specific place to store recyclable waste .

The occupants or owners will only have to enjoy a healthy, ecological and economical construction. That is, SUSTAINABLE.

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