In today's rapidly changing climate, the emphasis on sustainable construction practices is more critical than ever. As the world confronts the escalating challenges of climate change, the construction industry finds itself at the crossroads of innovation and responsibility. Buildings both residential and commercial are significant contributors to global carbon emissions. Thus, the journey to net-zero emissions is intrinsically linked to how we design, construct, and operate our built environments. In this article, we will explore the benefits of utilizing natural light from large windows to achieve sustainable building targets.
The importance of developing sustainable buildings
The construction and operation of buildings account for nearly 40% of global carbon emissions. With urbanization on the rise and the global population set to hit 9.7 billion by 2050, the demand for infrastructure and housing will only grow. This makes the shift towards sustainable buildings not just desirable but essential in our pursuit of net-zero emissions.
Sustainable buildings are designed to minimize their environmental impact through energy efficiency, resource conservation, and environmentally friendly design. They play a pivotal role in reducing both embodied carbon (carbon emitted during the production of building materials and construction) and operational carbon (carbon emitted during the building's operational life, primarily from heating, cooling, and lighting).
Harnessing natural light with large windows: A sustainable strategy
One of the most effective strategies to reduce operational carbon in buildings is to harness the power of natural light. In this context, larger windows stand out as a transformative element in sustainable design. These expansive windows serve as portals that invite abundant sunlight into building interiors, creating well-lit spaces without the constant need for artificial lighting. The beauty of this approach is twofold.
The benefits of natural light in building design include:
Technal’s natural lighting solutions
Technal recognizes the multifaceted benefits of natural light, and offers a range of aluminum products, from expansive windows to curtain walls and facades, all designed to optimize the influx of sunlight. Sustainability is woven into the very fabric of our products. In collaboration with Hydro, Technal has championed the use of Hydro CIRCAL and Hydro REDUXA aluminum. Hydro CIRCAL is a range of products made with a minimum of 75% recycled, post-consumer scrap aluminum, drastically reducing energy use in the production phase while still offering high-quality aluminum.
On the other hand, Hydro REDUXA is Technal's low-carbon aluminum solution. Produced using renewable energy sources like hydropower, Hydro REDUXA has managed to reduce the carbon footprint per kg of aluminum to just 4kg, which is less than a quarter of the global average. This results in a more sustainable aluminum product with one of the world's lowest carbon footprints to date.
Technal's products offer several advantages in the quest for sustainable construction:
In the broader context, Technal's endeavors align with global sustainability goals, particularly the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By promoting energy efficiency, resource conservation, and sustainable innovation, Technal is playing its part in building a more sustainable and resilient future.
As we navigate the challenges of the 21st century, the importance of sustainable construction practices becomes increasingly evident. The role of natural lighting, facilitated by large windows, in reducing operational carbon is undeniable. Technal, with its cutting-edge designs and unwavering commitment to sustainability, is leading the charge. By championing recycled and low-carbon aluminum, Technal is not just shaping the future of construction but also safeguarding the planet for generations to come in striving for net-zero development.