Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any scientific information contained within this essay should not be treated as fact, this content is to be used for educational purposes only and may contain factual inaccuracies or be out of date.

The Importance Of Finding Alternative Materials Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 1727 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

Reference this

What is Alternative Building?

This is usually the type of building that are considered alternative today, have their heredity in structures that humans have been constructing for centuries. The reason why these building techniques are gaining popularity in modern times is twofold. First, the old building techniques are far more eco-friendly than the majority structures we used to seeing; second, these structures are simple enough in nature that they can built cheaply and can be built without the aid of a lot of the heavy and expensive equipment which is normally related with most new construction.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

Currently words such as green, sustainable and alternative get used often in the construction industry, which make its pretty confusing and difficult to tell if any one particular method or material fall under one or many of these heading. The report will help identify, green alternative building method and materials which are less damaging to the environment than a similar practice used in conventional lumber-framed construction. The need to find alternative practices will encompass any building technique that can be done repeatedly without changing the environment in any noticeable way.

The Importance of Finding alternative Materials

As the world population continues to grow at an alarming rate, people are realizing that planet cannot sustain such continuous and exponential growth. With land being increasable limited and we are continually diminishing our natural resource such are timber, with majority of it being used to build homes. It is evident that we cannot continue to use our natural material at this rate to build our homes. With the awareness of these natural materials become increasing limited, has made the construction industry rethink their way and start to think more about sustainable construction. Using alternative material for 8building homes is much more environmental sustainable than conventional homes building. Depending on the type and amount of sustainable materials used, these types of alternative material can reduce the carbon footprint which is produce in building homes.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, an independent organization that analyzes critical global issues, one-fourth of the world’s wood and one-sixth of its fresh water are used in building construction. This situation will only become worse as the world’s population and more people continue to migrate toward cities. The greater demands also will add pressure on increasingly scarce essential resources, especially water.

The Environment

The environment has now become issues and with it being heightened news, the Governments and individuals have seem to take notice and now taking to make a change because we cannot continuing abusing the environment, this is not an option anymore.

The chart below shows the proportion of CO2 emissions in the UK from buildings in use, the construction process (mainly due to the CO2 from the manufacture of building materials) and from all other sectors including industry, transport, agriculture etc. Buildings in use contribute about half of our CO2 emissions (and consume about half of our energy use).

Figure 1 – CO2 emissions

The next chart shows where these emissions come from and with over half of our energy use and CO2 emissions from building use come from heating our buildings.

Figure two – Energy Waste.

Government Action

The UK government have stated that England must take action now, in order to make vast improvement to energy efficiency in both new and existing buildings. The government have set many ambitious goals, an example of one: they anticipate dramatic energy reductions to achieve its goal that all new homes in England will be carbon-neutral by 2016. World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2007)

There are three main approaches to energy neutrality:

Cut buildings’ energy demand by, for example, using equipment that is more energy efficient

Produce energy locally from renewable and otherwise wasted energy resources

Share energy – create buildings that can generate surplus energy and feed it into an intelligent grid infrastructure.

Efficiency gains in buildings are likely to provide the greatest energy reductions and in many cases will be the most economic option. A study by McKinsey estimated that demand reduction measures with no net cost could almost halve expected growth in global electricity demand. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report estimates that by 2020 CO2 emissions from building energy used can be reduced by 29% at no net cost World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2007) and a cost curve for greenhouse gas reduction, McKinsey Quarterly 2007 Number 1.

Fox and Murrell (1989) state the fundamental ecology principle of renewable material, such as wood is sustainable source and are renewable however, for materials like metal, plastic, gravel and sand, stone-based materials such as cement, concrete and plaster, have been used cannot be used again, their consumption if the earth itself. (Berge, 1992) The extraction of certain raw material can be very destructive effects especially to the water table and wildlife habitats. Over usage of these materials can affect the availabilities of in the near future, cause environmental degradation, and contribute to global warming.

Impact of the Construction

The industry has a major impact on the environment, it affect are not only on the resources it consumes but also the waste it produces. The construction industry is accountable for producing a whole variety of different wastes, the amount and type of which depends on factors such as the stage of construction, type of construction work and practices on site. In Great Britain, over 90% of non-energy minerals is extracted and are used to supply the construction industry with materials. Furthermore, every year more than 70 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste has been produced in England and Wales

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

The key is alternative basic materials because they have historically driven innovation in every industry, and could spur significant advances in today’s housing. In order to gain acceptance, however, basic alternative materials must offer more benefits than the traditional materials or methods they replace. They must reduce costs, increase design flexibility, enhance sustainability, perform multiple functions, have superior performance characteristics, or meet a market niche. Another potential driver for adopting alternative basic materials is a shortage of existing natural materials or concerns about their long-term sustainability. Martín(2005) states that in recent years, there has been a shortages of core natural resources; including lumber, steel, and gypsum, and this has driven construction costs higher. This volatility of supply and price motivates the industry to look for more sustainable solutions. Sustainability and resource shortages, in fact, will help to drive innovations in the future.

The objective of alternative basic materials is to develop new materials that spur innovation by serving multiple functions, increasing cost-effectiveness and efficiency, and using more sustainable materials. In many cases, these technologies form building systems that enable other Concept Home principles such as integrated functions, floor plan flexibility, and improved production processes.

Alternative basic materials consist of core technologies that manufacturers can use to create products or systems and composite systems that builders can purchase and use to build homes. Martín(2005)

Before considering the use of alternative materials, and before implementing into homes,

practical issues must be considered, (Berge, 1992) say to be realistic to imagine a technology that functions in line holistic ideas, none-mainstream approach but also providing humanity with an acceptable material standard of living, basically Berge is trying to say there just be a balance between the Eco approach and what consumer want.

Government Schemes and Regulation

After The Stern Review (2006) ‘advised that the implications of climate change couldn’t be avoided any longer and urgent action was required’, by that the comment the government took notice and started implementing changes to building regulations.

In 2007, the Government introduced the Code for Sustainable Homes to help improve the standard of energy efficiency and sustainability of the housing sector, by setting target for all new houses to achieve a carbon rate of zero by 2016. This is a level 6 in the Code for Sustainable.

Currently, the standards of the code are not mandatory for private house builders but there are intentions to incorporate them into the Building Regulations over the next couple years, by implementing the changes to Part L which started in 2010.


Constructing environmental friendly house

To construct an environmental friendly houses are to focus on reducing the environmental impact of both its construction and its ongoing operation. This is achievable at the design phase by selecting the correct material and the process.

Environmental friendly houses and sustainable construction present an exciting opportunity for building houses. With the prospect of living in an environmentally efficient house that can generate its own power, also by reducing waste and running costs would be the first positive step for a sustainable future.

Our activities have had a negative effect on the plant and the the Office for Climate Change 2010, attributing have stated that ‘ 27% of the UK’s total carbon emissions to household heating and electricity, house construction is an area where we can make a huge difference’.

Ecological impact

During the development and construction stages of house being built, a ecological assessment should be carried out that reduces its impact and if it would be possible to construct green or living roofs for new habitats to live.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: