Guyana is on a construction boom, but while we hear and read about smart this and that, what about green construction? For one, are these buildings using sustainable technologies and materials? Are they incorporating systems to reduce the consumption of energy, water and other resources to minimise pollution?
In short, how many of these new constructions meet or plan to meet the LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which is the internationally accepted official recognition that establishes whether a building deserves to be considered sustainable?
The characteristics of such buildings are:
* Do not build in environmentally sensitive locations, and provide public transport to reduce private car use.
* Protect and maintain the natural habitat, reduce pollution and the use of natural resources, and facilitate interaction with nature.
* Minimise the use of water during construction, and provide mechanisms to reduce the building’s water footprint.
* Reduce energy consumption, use renewable energy, and increase energy efficiency to reduce pollution.
* Incorporate recycling systems, use sustainable materials, and save as many resources as possible during construction.
* Address the quality of the space for its occupants, such as air cleanliness, thermal control, and noise pollution. Make such spaces environmentally friendly.
* Implement innovative sustainability strategies during its construction.
* Achieve improvements for the place where it is located in terms of the environment, social equity, and public health.
Among the recommended are: solar panels, photovoltaic panels, reusable energy, natural lighting, green roofs, farming rainwater to reduce well water consumption, air conditioning that uses water, use of recycled and biodegradable materials, ditching use of plastics every which way, recycling of organic waste to produce biogas, wind load minimising designs, sensors to optimise energy use, and creating green spaces inside and outside the buildings.
Not all of this is possible with every building, but each building should incorporate all that is possible.