“Don’t blow it – good planets are hard to find.” – Time Magazine, 1996.
Sustainability and green technology manage to sustain themselves incredibly well in the news nowadays, with innovations in sustainable technology being created on a regular basis. Businesses are utilising efficient, green technology to cut margins, whilst helping the planet. So, it’s a great time to be green!
What is happening in the world of green technology and architecture now, and what does the future hold?
1) Regulation, Regulation, Regulation.
Numerous countries around the world are getting serious about regulation. Net/Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) generate the same amount of energy as they use. The inclusion of sustainable technology and tighter controls on energy use means that by 2016, every new building in the UK must be a NZEB. A great example of an NZEB around now is BedZED (a development in Hackbridge, London, that creates almost the same amount of energy that it uses, on site).
2) Waste… The Final Frontier.
Sweden are not just experts in making furniture as 2D as possible, they are world leaders in waste management. Their futuristic program means 99% of waste is recycled in Sweden at the moment, with a truly small amount left to rot in landfill sites. Outside of Sweden, big companies can make small changes to their waste management that could lead to great financial benefits alongside being green.
3) Data. Ta-Da!
Smart meters can provide Big Data for businesses and can help make everything more efficient and less wasteful. As well as personal meters for homes, larger scale meters providing big data for companies will highlight how much energy we actually get through, and how much we waste. Our EcoCurve hand dryer is linked to a smart portal, which means you can log in and see how much energy you have used and how much you have saved throughout the whole building, all through the use of real time stats and metrics.
1) Biomimicry Mimicry Mimicry Mimicry…
Biomimicry is literally “copying mother nature”, or taking ideas and inspiration from the expert that is nature and using them to make ourselves more efficient. An example of biomimicry now is the Eastgate Centre in Zimbabwe that uses 90% less energy to heat and cool than normal buildings, due to the architect copying how “termite dens” remain cool in hot areas. Advances in architectural biomimicry could cut energy usage and costs.
2) Carbon, Gotta Catch ‘em All.
Carbon Capture is a technology that is already being used, but may be utilised further in the future. This, as the name suggests, captures and stores waste carbon from production processes, to stop it from going straight into the atmosphere. Once stored, it can be used in a manner of ways, such as carbon dioxide recycling. Of course, the future will hopefully involve ways of cutting carbon dioxide from production completely, but until that day, carbon capture and recycling could be the greener way to go.
3) Sustainable. Maintainable. Profitable.
Small technological adaptations to a large building could make a great change to energy consumption. The introduction of solar cells to a building could provide clean energy directly to the building itself. Swapping common technology with cleaner and greener alternatives, such as replacing wasteful paper towels with the EcoCurve hand dryer, could end up making a huge difference to a companies building, saving both money and energy in equal measure.
Going green certainly has more perks than just helping the planet; it’s a financially sound alternative to what we consider the norm today. Cutting energy can cut costs, and going green can achieve that.
What do you think the future holds for green technology? What changes could make your building’s future greener? Visit the cost calculator to start seeing how good you could look in green!