En­vi­ably Green

In­no­va­tions in sus­tain­able ar­chi­tec­ture and lux­ury eco-prop­er­ties are chang­ing the way we live, writes Na­dine Ni­col­son

Hong Kong Tatler - - Life -

here’s a grow­ing de­sire to live in homes built with sus­tain­able ma­te­ri­als and that con­trib­ute to a healthy en­vi­ron­ment. It’s a wel­come trend, since the con­struc­tion in­dus­try con­sumes a third of the planet’s re­sources (ac­cord­ing to the United Na­tions En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­gramme) and gen­er­ates a stag­ger­ing amount of waste. The good news is the de­sign and con­struc­tion in­dus­tries are de­vel­op­ing prac­tices that aid the en­vi­ron­ment and have long-term eco­nomic ad­van­tages.

Ar­chi­tects, de­sign­ers, en­gi­neers and con­struc­tion com­pa­nies are in­te­grat­ing mod­ern eco­log­i­cal de­sign and ma­te­ri­als to im­prove the en­ergy ef­fi­ciency of homes. In choos­ing ma­te­ri­als, they take into ac­count how much en­ergy went into mak­ing them, how long they will last, and whether they can be re­cy­cled or com­posted. Th­ese prod­ucts in­clude so-called “smart” ma­te­ri­als, such as glass that switches from trans­par­ent to translu­cent ac­cord­ing to the con­di­tions. Site and con­struc­tion choices can also limit en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­tur­bance.

There are dif­fer­ent cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tems that pro­vide guid­ance as to how build­ings should be de­signed and con­structed for max­i­mum sus­tain­abil­ity. Breeam is used in

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