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FPRDI pushes ‘green construction’ to help address climate change

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct 28 –- A government research institution is pushing into the construction industry the adoption of a building strategy geared towards addressing the negative contributions of man-made surroundings to climate change.

The construction industry contributes to carbon dioxide emission in the atmosphere, an excess of which leads to climate change. Buildings accounted for 40 percent of the total energy consumption in the United States (US) and the European Union, according to a report of the US Department of Agriculture.

Rising sea level, extreme weather events, warming of the arctic regions and changes in vegetation are only a few of the impacts of climate change, thus reducing carbon emission in buildings has become imperative and one strategy to address this issue is through “green construction” technologies.

Green Construction technologies, also called “Green Building” developed by the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) aims to reduce the impact of man-made surroundings or spaces called “built environment” on human health and the natural environment.

FPRDI is an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) whose regional director for Bicol Tomas Briñas said over the week that Green Construction uses environmentally-preferable practices and materials in designing, locating, constructing, operating, renovating and deconstructing buildings.

Under this strategy, Briñas said buildings are designed to be efficient in using energy, water and other resources. Its constructions are based on structural plans that reduce waste, pollution and environmental degradation as the same time protecting the health of occupants.

The general guidelines in green construction released by the PFRDI enumerated the strategies as “reduce, reuse and recycle; save energy and water; use simple products; avoid toxic materials and; buy/use local”.

It explained that under the reduce, reuse and recycle guideline, constructing a building should be planned carefully to reduce landfill and incineration waste by getting more than one use for a product and always recycle waste that cannot be reused reasonably.

Modular houses are good examples of green construction technologies. Manufactured in shops and installed directly at the site, these houses reduce waste during construction on site. Some house components are reusable in the shop, while those non-reusable excess materials can be recycled to form another product.

In energy and water saving, it said buildings should be constructed to be energy and water efficient to reduce carbon dioxide emission and cut down utility expenses.

Some ways to save on energy and maintenance cost are harnessing solar energy and recycling water efficiently within a building, the FPRDI guidelines said. (PNA) V3/LQ/DOC/cbd

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