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Assessing the Sustainability of Building Materials - Essay Example

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This essay "Assessing the Sustainability of Building Materials" shows that the traditional practices involve wastage of materials and energy and in most cases has deteriorating effects on the environment. It is of great importance that the materials must be environment friendly and sustainable…
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Assessing the Sustainability of Building Materials
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Download file to see previous pages Realizing the gravity of the situation, the community of scientists and engineers are now promoting sustainable practices in the various fields of engineering (Braganca, Mateus and Koukarri, 2010). This includes lesser dependence on fossil fuels with increased power production from renewable energy resources, energy conservation through more efficient production systems and building designs and the use of sustainable and recyclable materials in the construction industry and consumer goods.
The construction industry currently consumes a huge amount of resources mainly the building materials such as structural steel, concrete, cement, sand, gravel, wood, and glass, etc. The current annual consumption of structural steel in the USA alone is 7.1 million metric tones. On the completion of its lifecycle, as the building is destroyed for renovation or incorporation of new designs, this material is usually dumped in the wasteland and creates environmental issues. Moreover, the materials traditionally used for construction such as masonry bricks and concrete are good conductors of heat and hence they significantly increase the energy consumption for cooling and heating the building. The operation and maintenance of buildings is also a very important concern while selecting the building materials. The deterioration of traditional building materials causes waste materials to escape into the atmosphere. The maintenance of buildings usually causes the use of the same materials with the same drawbacks. It is also reported that the traditional construction materials are responsible for toxic emissions both outdoors and indoors of the building causing damaging effects on human health.
The above discussion shows that the traditional practices involve wastage of materials and energy and in most cases has deteriorating effects on the environment. It is hence of great importance that the materials used for construction must be environment friendly. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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