Sustainable Building Design, Construction and Operation

Perhaps the biggest question asked of builders regarding their building design and operation today, is “Is it sustainable”? This question is being posed for a number of reasons, but most prominently because of a global initiative for building and operating structures in a way that does not harm the environment, and that once they are built will co-exist with the environment. So designers are being pressed to start with these thoughts in mind when they put together their building plans. Because sustainability means minimizing the negative environmental impact of buildings, this demands that there is a particular focus on two key areas: saving energy and reducing waste when building the structure and over its lifespan.

  1. Saving Energy is a broad area in building design, construction and operation that can be accomplished in many ways:
    • Utilizing materials in the project that use less energy. These materials need to be of top quality and include everything from quality of the materials used in walls, the roof, and even the soil and sand quality used in the structure and its surrounding areas.
    • Utilizing renewable energy sources like solar and wind power that not only are free, but can in some cases add additional power to the grid for others to use.
    • Making sure to utilize newer more energy efficient household appliances.
    • Creative design that takes advantage of natural wind and shade resulting in a reduction in the need for heating and air conditioning;
    • Lighting a structure is always one of its biggest ongoing power consuming areas. Sustainability focuses on utilizing more natural lighting, and making sure to employ technology that turns off lighting when not in use.


  1. Reducing waste during construction and over a building’s lifespan needs to be a primary focus because it will directly diminish any negative environmental impacts.
    • The use of reusable and renewable products in the construction of the building, is an important step toward sustainability. All reusable and reconfigurable products cause less waste, because fewer new materials are required to build initially, then upgrade or reconfigure to accommodate future modifications.
    • Businesses and homes are changing how they can be configured to accommodate their occupant’s needs which change over time. Technology has responded with reconfigurable rooms and room components, eliminating the need to replace so much of what gets built. Sustainable means being able to reuse components and using modular designs systems, that never or only partially get replaced.
    • The use of quality components is key to sustainability with the goal of using components whose lifecycle match that of the building. This approach means that there is much less of a chance for the need of replacements, and for the originals to end up in an already crowded landfill.


The case for sustainability is a strong one with a reduction of waste, monthly life cycle costs and increasing efficiency as its primary benefits. Above this, the chance to save the planet’s resources for future generations makes the sustainability case undeniable.

Benefits of Working with a Tech-Savvy Construction Company

Technology has been revolutionizing industries around the world. From healthcare to clothing, industries have been working on using new technologies, adding things like drones and enhanced reality software to their production process. However, one industry where there’s a slow adoption of new tech is construction. Only a few construction companies have modernized. Many still remain in the analogue world, where everything from design to building is done manually, and this is mainly because of hesitations about budget. Quite unfortunately, construction companies don’t want to invest in research and development to improve their technical ability.

But a tech-savvy construction company that invested in becoming tech-savvy is in a whole different league from other companies. A tech-savvy construction company has so many benefits versus more traditional construction companies. Here are a few:

  • They boasts of calculated design.

No matter how hard you plan for it, construction is always going to be a bit of a trial-and-error process —unless you have the technology to accurately plan your building design. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is part of the arsenal of a tech-savvy construction company. With BIM, designers can create a three-dimensional digital representation of the physical and functional aspects of the skyscraper, road or other facility you are building.

This technology makes it easier to plan out the materials your construction needs, and how it’s going to be put together. The BIM can be a shared knowledge resource, so you can easily collaborate with the other people involved in the process, like the engineers, architects, and designers.

  • They get to cut costs.

A tech-savvy construction company also ensures less costs in construction. When you have something like BIM, it’s easier to streamline design. The augmented reality technology can make it easier to visualize how the project will come together on site. When you have a clear picture of what’s going to happen, the design process is easier and there will be less construction errors. You don’t have to keep going back to redo parts of the building. There are less operational costs over-all.

This cost-effective sourcing of materials makes tech-savvy construction companies more sustainable in their approach. The simulation can even predict how the building will perform against time and weather when it’s already built, as well as how it can still be renovated or demolished in the future.

  • They are able to address customer demand.

The beauty of new technology application is that it has the end-user in mind. It can be usable by anyone, regardless of their background in technology.

A tech-savvy construction company is more equipped to meet demands in the market. You’re more likely to see smoother installation of additions like solar panels in buildings made by tech-savvy companies. Even simpler demands like CCTVs for digital security are more easily met by tech-savvy construction companies.

And with the right software, tech-savvy companies are also more efficient in balancing and managing internal business processes. This makes their finance process better overall, making their products better and their costs lower.

Written by Kent Murdock, owner of Randy Adams Construction in Columbia, MO. Randy Adams Construction is one of the premiere companies for commercial construction in Columbia, MO.

Going Green: Cutting Construction Costs

Going green means becoming more environment-friendly, either in the process of making products or using them. In recent years, there’s been a growing trend among construction companies becoming greener. It’s mostly because of the increasing awareness for the need for renewable energy, better waste management and resource-efficiency. However, it’s also about the construction company becoming more sustainable. By following or leading green trends, construction costs can actually be dramatically reduced in the long run.

Green construction or sustainable building focuses on maintaining a balance between the demands of the construction and the environment. Here are some green trends that can help cut construction costs.

Adopting strategic energy installation

Non-renewable energy and carbon emissions are big concerns when it comes to the environment. Green construction often focuses on making sure that there’s a more efficient use of energy, water and other resources during construction and after it.

Cool roofs are a green technology that’s rising in popularity today. They are specially formulated with new paints or material to ensure an increase in solar reflectance. Compared to the average single roof, cool roofs absorb less heat from the sun by several degrees, so the interior temperature of the building is also decreased. This kind of system reduces the need for air conditioning systems and lessens the need to install cooling systems in the future.

Smart home design, specifically strategic window placement, is also a consideration in construction. The right windows can encourage natural lighting and at the same time allow air to flow through the building. This can significantly reduce the costs associated with lighting and air conditioning. It can also help as a form of passive solar power, where you can use the sun’s rays to heat the house.

Installing solar energy panels for active solar power is also popular to cut costs in energy use.

Use of eco-friendly materials

During the construction process itself, a way to directly cut costs is to use eco-friendly materials.

Green insulation is one of the most popular ways to do this. Insulation is used to control the internal temperature of the building, and it’s done by filling spaces within the wall with material. Because the insulation material isn’t visible anyway, after boarding up and painting the walls, there’s a growing trend of just using recycled materials to line the walls. Any kind of heat-absorbing material can actually be used, but a popular example is cotton insulation. Construction companies and people use recycled denim, like those from old jean scraps, to line the walls. Or you can also use cellulose insulation, which recycles old newspapers and scrap papers.

Biodegradable paint is another green trend that both helps the environment and achieves the right results.

Written by Kent Murdock, owner of Randy Adams Construction in Columbia, MO. Randy Adams Construction is one of the premiere companies for commercial construction in Columbia, MO.

Interior Construction- Things To Consider To Prevent Rotting

Damp, mould, condensation and wood rot are all common occurrences in homes and can arise for several different reasons. This may be due to poor build quality, lack of building maintenance or the deterioration of building fabric. Reasons that may cause these problems could be from leaking pipes, damaged window frames or even damaged drainage all of which should not be overlooked.

If you have a cellar or basement damp, mould and wood rot can affect the whole room as these rooms were never designed for modern living. Cellar and basements can quite commonly suffer from severe rising damp and even flooding which means they are never used to their full potential, companies like Kenwood can provide cellar tanking which enable basements and cellars to be transformed into a suitable damp and rot free living space.

Waterproofing Cellars

Although you may not need to convert your cellar into a living space you will still need it to be waterproof in order to prevent any damages such as mould, rotting and damp that can occur. Waterproofing can also increase the value to your home and open up options in the future for you or other potential buyers. If your cellar or basement has correct treatment in place it can be used as an effective storage area and even be transformed into another room.

As cellars and basement are typically below ground level and the earth surrounding the rooms act as a route for water to enter through the walls, and in order to prevent this from happening, the walls must be fully waterproofed and secure. There are several ways in which this can be done but you will need the help of a professional. By sealing the walls using a surface coating known as wet cellar tanking or a membrane system it will allow for your cellar to be protected.

Tanking Systems

Tanking systems are one of the most popular methods to ensure your basement or cellar is waterproof. They work by applying a waterproof coating directly to the inside of the porous cellar walls to prevent any moisture from seeping in. This system however does not remove the water but simply creates a barrier between the two. In order for this system to be effective the walls that the tanking is being applied must provide a good base coat. Before the tanking system is applied they require the brickwork of the house to be stable due to the fact that tanked walls need to resist water pressure that will build up over time. If you home is an older build the walls will need to be prepared and it can be rather time consuming. If there are weaker points in the structure typically in the walls or floor, attention will have to be paid.

Membrane Systems

The other method used by professionals on cellar conversions, and are highly advised for areas with high water tables and on older properties as they do not rely on substrates for their effectiveness is a membrane system. The majority of these systems involve studded membranes and are fixed to the walls with plastic plugs. These systems allow water to flow down within the cavity created to the floor which will also be covered with a membrane and into a drainage system. Membrane systems means an air created gap is created, which acts as a depressurisation zone for any water that comes through the walls. When the water enters, under great pressure it loses its force and falls behind the membrane into the drainage and the water flows out. Ultimately these systems will add to the floor height of the cellar, reducing ceiling space. If you have a basement or cellar, professionals will consult with you on the best system for your house.