Primer: Sustainable Design and Construction

4 Construction Trends to be Aware of

While issues such as the labour shortage will no doubt persist for some time, these concerns should be partially offset by a slew of innovations and adaptive techniques that will finally help the construction industry regain its footing. Here are a few of the most exciting trends to look forward to. 1. Prefabrication: Assembles and


Pertains to environmental performance of building elements and strategies. Building construction and operations can have extensive direct and indirect impacts on the environment, society, and economy, which are commonly referred to as the 3 P's ('People', 'Planet', 'Pocketbook'). The field of sustainable design seeks to balance the needs of these areas by using an integrated


Pertains to the physical protection of occupants and assets from man-made and natural hazards. The design and construction of secure and safe buildings (minimal danger or risk of harm) continues to be the primary goal for owners, architects, engineers, project managers, and other stakeholders. In addition to those listed, other stakeholders. Risk assessment is the


Pertains to occupants' well-being—physical and psychological comfort—including building elements such as air distribution, lighting, workspaces, systems, and technology. Effective and efficient use of space means creating the right environment for concentration, learning, communication, and collaboration—the building blocks of productivity for building occupants. Organizations, business practices, educational settings and learning methodologies, and the workforce have changed

Historic Preservation

Pertains to specific actions within a historic district or affecting a historic building whereby building elements and strategies are classifiable into one of the four approaches: preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, or reconstruction. Preserving historic buildings is vital to understanding our nation's heritage. In addition, it is an environmentally responsible practice. By reusing existing buildings historic preservation

Functional / Operational

Pertains to functional programming—spatial needs and requirements, system performance as well as durability and efficient maintenance of building elements. A clear understanding of the functional and physical requirements of a project is essential to ensuring its success. A client's / owner's intent to develop a project is derived from a need, a purpose or mission,

Cost Effective

Pertains to selecting building elements on the basis of life-cycle costs (weighing options during concepts, design development, and value engineering) as well as basic cost estimating and budget control. Every owner wants a cost-effective building. But what does this mean? In many respects the interpretation is influenced by an individual's interests and objectives, and


Pertains to the physical appearance and image of building elements and spaces as well as the integrated design process. The broad obligations and opportunities of architecture were summarized by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius in the prescription that buildings should provide Commodity, Firmness and Delight. Commodity addresses the spatial and functional utility of a building.


Pertains to building elements, heights and clearances implemented to address the specific needs of disabled people. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal..." - Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 In daily life, as we maneuver through society, nothing is more important yet taken for granted more often than

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