Environmental - How to Select the Right Green Building Materials

How to Select the Right Green Building Materials

How to Choose Rock-Solid Green Building Materials

Sustainable buildings require multiple strategies in design, construction and operation.

It all starts with design – which is where façade architecture plays a critical role. How do you choose the right façade cladding or the right polycarbonate façade? Make rock-solid choices with our tips.

Encore Heureus Architects France uses translucent facades in Cine 32 for a dramatic effect.

When it comes to green buildings, we know the benefits are vast.

• Resource and energy protection;
• Inexpensive ongoing maintenance;
• Money-saving utilities;
• Greater health and productivity of occupant/s;
• Reduced costs to space renovations and configurations, and;
• Awesome design flexibility.

Roodman and Lenssen (1995) reported that 40% of the world’s consumption of raw materials (including non-renewables) comes from the construction industry. That’s three billion tonnes!

Green building materials preserve and protect our depleting resources.

They also cut previously unavoidable environmental impacts including obtaining, transporting, processing, manufacturing, installing, re-using, recycling and disposing of materials.

Green building materials:

Have a low impact on the environment over their lifespan;
• That is – from their acquisition, fabrication, to the environmental benefits they offer over the course of their lifespan to the building.
 Are resource-efficient;
• Recycled content, natural or renewable, manufactured to environmental standards, available locally avoiding transportation, refurbished, reusable or recyclable products and packaging, and materials that have a longer shelf life.
Conserve water;
• Conserve water through storage and reducing water consumption.
Are energy-efficient;
• Systems, materials and components which reduce energy deman
Improve indoor air quality;
• Products should: produce few carcinogens, VOCs, chemicals (if any); be resistant to moisture; not require toxic cleaning chemicals.

Product selection

Once environmental goals for the project are obtained, the three following steps will assist in reaching the goals.

1. Research

Collate technical information for evaluation. Technical information may include:

  • Manufacturers’ specifications i.e., Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and product specifications.
  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) test data.
  • Product warranties.
  • Recycled content information.
  • Durability data.
  • Environmental statements.
  • Building codes.
  • Government regulations, etc.

2. Evaluation

Once the research is confirmed and any information gaps are filled including obtaining manufacturers’ product certifications (where necessary).

Evaluation and assessment of similar materials are simple. Complexity arises when there are different kinds of products that could be used for the same application. When faced with different products for the same application, consider and compare their descriptive and quantitative data and their life cycle assessment.

A life cycle assessment (LCA) evaluates the “greenness” of building materials and products from the materials’ beginnings to its end.

3. Selection

Using an evaluation matrix, potential materials can be scored against the project’s environmental goals (criteria). Further weighting of the criteria can be used to accommodate specific objectives. In black and white, you will see which products align best with your project’s goals.

Environmentally-Friendly Light Architecture Solutions

The Danpal global community of designers, engineers and architects know what it takes to produce quality.

• Quality products include façade cladding for all building envelopes.
• Quality processes that are environmentally responsible and protect our resources.
• Quality installation of products with minimal handling and on-site fabrication.
• Quality for every environment so no matter what the climate, an economic, sustainable solution is available.

Danpal systems

Danpal’s polycarbonate facade systems have been adapted to the HQE approach, the defining building certification. HQE looks at the building envelope and unlike other standards, it also requires end-user comfort and user-ability. Following this approach, resources are maintained and preserved and costs over the life of the project are reduced.

By partnering with ADEME (Agency for Economic Development and Energy Control) and the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) Danpal has been able to validate (through comprehensive testing) the thermal performances of the Danpatherm system.

Every Danpal system is manufactured according to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

No harm façade architecture

• No harsh chemicals are required for cleaning Danpalon. If anything, a small amount of soap or detergent may be used.
• All Danpal off-cuts are regranulated by extrusion. 95% of systems are delivered on-site to the specified size. This reduces on-site waste and handling time. The little waste Danpal may generate is 100% recyclable (including our packaging). Danpal panels are even 100% recyclable!
• No harsh chemicals or pollutants are going to leach out of Danpalon systems making them safe for sensitive applications i.e. Agri-food industry.