Construction standards have changed over the last few decades in order to emphasize the need for construction to be more ecologically friendly. There have been a number of changes in structural engineering design that make it easier to construct building that meet LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certifications. Interestingly most construction companies have found that it is easier to build less than more when it comes to being environmental friendliness, and that a few modern technological twists make things even better.
Construction methods have become more efficient as companies have realized that planning not only makes things easier but greater control gives them greater ability to reduce pollution. Knowing where your source is means that it less transportation is required which makes the process less polluting as well. Also, structural engineering design students have looked to ancient buildings for inspiration which has led to other developments, such as using bigger spaces: Not only are bigger spaces more aesthetically pleasing, but are easier to heat and cool down making the structure as a whole more energy efficient.
On the technological side, solar panels have been incorporated into buildings as well. This takes advantage of natural sunlight to help power the building and cuts down on energy costs. Smart technology has also been added to the mix, allowing buildings to heated or cooled only when necessary. By integrating a smart phone into the mix the user of the structure, timers can be ignored and the building only adjusted by the person coming in, meaning that the structure is only adjusted when needed. These are not only small, relatively cheap fixes but they can also have a major affect on the cost of maintaining the building as well shrink its ecological footprint.
By combining the old and the new a construction company can make a major difference in the ecological footprint of a building. It is surprising when people look at what can be done in order to make a building more eco-friendly as the technology in use can be a fascinating mix of new and old technology, such as growing plants on a rooftop, which helps to keep the temperatures steady in the building below; the dirt acts as an insulator against the outside temperatures even as the food can be sold off. It will be interesting to see what happens, especially as people get better at building buildings.