Rapidly Renewable Products in Green Building

July 29, 2012

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Building owners and property or facility managers have much to gain by considering the implementation of green buildings into their investments. In order to do so, the decision must be made early in the building process as the choice of material is crucial to the final outcome of the building. Through the use of rapidly renewable products, this can be obtained.

Rapidly renewable products are those which are able to rejuvenate within a 10 year period and include products made from sources such as cotton, wool, straw, bamboo and cork. The development of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design even provides property managers various credits for taking into consideration the implementation of rapidly renewable products.

Bamboo proves to be an effective method of employing renewable products into a new structure. This versatile material matures at an accelerated rate superior to many other species. Just as tolerable as hardwood, those who use bamboo do so knowing that the trees used in the production of their products are easily replaced within a very short time span.

There are many people who share the belief that cork is rapidly depleting and will soon become extinct, but this rumor was conceived in error. On the contrary, the trees used to harvest this material can be utilized nearly once per decade. The manner in which cork has been retrieved has not changed much throughout history and is non-intrusive. Using special axes, the bark from the tree is stripped. Therefore, the process is less strenuous on the environment and significantly decreases the carbon footprint inadvertently embedded by building owners all over the world. Even though the state of cork is not in the danger people believe joint efforts have been taken on the part of both the World Wildlife Fund and the Forest Stewardship Counsel to closely monitor its consumption.

Hemp makes another wonderful renewable product. When used as an insulator, it has proven to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as high as 10%. Furthermore, its effective properties cause the building to remain cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, further protecting the environment as a direct result of less strain on the heating and cooling systems.

The very fact that a property manager uses green buildings for their structures is good word of mouth and can have a direct positive impact on their business. An increasing number of people are becoming concerned with issues such as global warming, and when they hear that there is a responsible facility manager who is taking matters into his or her own hands to do their small part in solving the issue, they are likely to tell their friends and colleagues.

Rapidly renewable products are a great way for managers of buildings to promote their viewpoint of the need for a higher level of concern for the environment and should be considered with each new project.

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