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Friday, April 1, 2011

Green architects and builders are key to human health

Modern Construction’s Use of Green Technology

Guest blogpost by K Peterson

With the emphasis on simplified form that accompanies modern architecture, the internal elements of homes have become essential. Modern architects recognize that the functional requirements and materials determine the home or building’s form, no longer separating these intertwined aspects of a structure. In addition, many modern structures now utilize green architecture, which is both sustainable and safe, adding an ornamental quality and expressed structure feel. However, the adoption of green technology also benefits those inside the structures, adding a layer of comfort and safety through the use of safe materials.

One of the most significant aspects of modern home design is the use of safe materials. Besides the effect unsustainable manufactured materials can have on the environment, the use of some of these products has proven lethal. One such product is asbestos, which found heavy usage as an insulator until the 1970s. Today we know exposure to this material leads to a cancer known as mesothelioma.

Unfortunately, symptoms generally lie dormant for 20 to 50 years, appearing decades after initial exposure and frequently mimicking other illnesses. For residents of these homes and buildings, the use of this material literally put their lives in danger.

With the evolution of architecture today, which takes into account all aspects of a home, including its potential hazards, the threat posed by irresponsible construction has largely been eliminated. However, home and business owners looking to incorporate these new green technologies into existing structures still must account for dangerous materials. Although asbestos remains safe as long as it is undamaged, contact with the material allows it to fragment and enter the air in tiny particles which can be inhaled or ingested. Although symptoms of mesothelioma might not be readily apparent, any level of exposure has been proven hazardous. For those structures undergoing repair or renovation, retrofitting them with green materials is not the only concern. The careful identification, removal and disposal of materials also must occur in these structures, which can involve considerable investment.

The recent surge in popularity of green roofs, which improves insulation, slows emission output and decreases waste water runoff, highlights a trend towards the beautification of design that adds both the functionality and sustainability we should demand from modern structures. Although sometimes in stark contrast to the austere forms of other modern structures, these buildings can add a vibrant sense of life to any building. In addition, the inclusion of this green architecture can add other fiscal benefits for the construction industry, such as the support of programs developed to promote these technologies.

As we are now learning, the incorporation of green technologies into modern architecture can add a number of benefits, both aesthetic and practical. Aside from extreme concerns, such as the disturbing mesothelioma life expectancy, owners of these homes and buildings can take pride and comfort in the use of the safest, cleanest materials possible. One alternative to asbestos is cellulose insulation, which is both efficient and a green, being comprised of 80% postconsumer newsprint. With the elimination of unnecessary details that detract from the appeal of a structure, the materials used become increasingly important as this form of architecture continues to take hold and provide a new way of looking at


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Bon Ryan said...

I stayed here for five nights and loved every minute of it The Thai villa had a large veranda overlooking the lake and although the property is only ten minutes from the centre of Ayutthaya, it feels like you are in a different world.
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PlantWerkZ said...

This is really a great post. The green architects may safe for our enveronment. Great thinking.
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