In the European Union alone, the construction industry generates between 40% of the CO2 emissions that are released into the atmosphere. We can help to avoid emissions by choosing certified, natural materials, from a controlled, local source, and from environmentally friendly extraction. The analysis of the ecological footprints emitted by each construction material, as well as its transport to the work site, are key factors in terms of improving our environment. In turn, the choice of natural materials contributes to our physical and psychological wellbeing.
The design and construction of passive buildings, whether in a new building, a renovation project, or regarding facilities, are simple and economic resources that prevent large emissions of carbon dioxide as well as offering significant money savings in the short term. All this is achieved by analyzing the site and its environment in the project phase in order to make the most of the natural resources available, such as the right solar orientation or rainwater collection for later use.
Other passive elements that contribute to energy savings are the correct thicknesses of thermal insulation in walls and roofs, avoiding the so-called thermal bridges (points without thermal insulation), guaranteeing air tightness in the building and using windows with low thermal transmittance, as well as adequately designing the natural ventilation systems.
“To be sustainable is not only to wash the blame or just to take care of the environment, but to be socially just, responsible with the environment and, therefore, also economically viable.”
(Cecilia Goya de Riviello, directora general of Natura)