GLOSSARY sustainable construction

The Sustainable Construction Glossary
by Eco Construction Design

The Sustainable
Construction Glossary
by Eco Construction Design

The terms sustainable construction, or ecological, bio-construction, among others, are heard and read more and more. There is a reason for this. The awareness that this model protects the life experience of a person or a family, as well as the environment, like no other, is growing.

Even so, there are doubts about the concept, the use of related nomenclatures and although there is a lot of literature on the subject, I consider it relevant, in this opening article of our Blog, to create a simple Glossary of sustainable construction that can serve as a help or reference to the interested party.

All the definitions presented, although of own writing, are supported by different consultations and texts. We try from here to facilitate the understanding and the propagation of the concept. For the benefit of all.

If you consider relevant the inclusion of a specific related term that you do not see in this Sustainable Construction Glossary, let us know and we will be happy to add it. Likewise, if you find any error or lack of accuracy, please discuss it with us so that we can correct it as soon as possible.

Here we go:

Bio-construction

Bio-construction tries to integrate the building into the construction environment, avoiding the minimum impact. The envelopes are analysed and designed to become a «skin» that protects and facilitates the building’s transpiration.

Breeam

Certification Focused on reducing the impact of the execution of the work and subsequent life of the building. Seeking the greatest comfort and health for those who use or live in it. In this link you will access the corresponding section in our website.

Carbon Footprint

It is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by a given action. In this case, we are not referring to the amount of gases that are emitted during the manufacture of construction materials, during the construction of a building or dwelling and the emission of gases associated with their use or habitability. The degree of sustainability of a building is related, among other things, to this concept, the lower the emission the higher the degree of sustainability.

Certified Environmental Profile

Method through which the environmental effects involved in the manufacture, use, consumption and possible disposal of a certain construction material can be evaluated.

CLT

Ecological construction system using plywood that is recommended for large houses, which present large flights and more exclusive designs as well as for large buildings. In this link you can access the corresponding section in our website.

Daytime heat flow

The amount of heat, that enters and leaves a building in a day.

Decarbonisation

Index that reflects the decrease in dependence on carbon-containing fossil fuels.

Decrease Factor

The time it takes for the outside heat to affect the inside by passing through an enclosure or insulation system.

Deforestation

Permanent destruction of forest masses such as forests for other uses such as crops, construction, etc.

Durability

Resistance to wear and tear caused by use or external elements such as sunlight, temperature, cold, rain, etc.

Eco design

An approach to design that pays special attention to the environmental impact of an element during its lifetime.

Eco-efficiency

A practice, that involves increasing the productivity of natural resources.

Eco-house

Building or home designed to obtain maximum energy efficiency.

Ecological Architecture

Construction design that respects the natural environment and that is built with natural materials, making the most of the resources provided by the sun, the earth and the local climate to achieve the maximum well-being and life experience of its inhabitants.

Ecological House

A construction that respects the natural environment and that is built with natural materials, making the most of the resources provided by the sun, the earth and the local climate to achieve the maximum well-being and life experience of its inhabitants. 

Eco-tax

Rate, that through economic incentives intends to promote the activities of protection and respect for the environment.

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Enclosure, thermal envelope

The part of the building, that is in contact with the outside. By simulating the human body, the envelope could be the skin of the building. Its design and characteristics will form part of the configuration of such important aspects as the acoustics and interior temperature of the building or dwelling.

Energy Performance Certificate

A certificate required by the EU that informs the owner of a building of the expected energy performance and also contains recommendations for improvement,

Energy performance of a building

The amount of energy required for the building to efficiently fulfil the purpose for which it was designed.

Environmental Burden

Impact that a product or construction project has on the environment

Environmental Impact

Environmental consequences of construction or manufacturing processes of related materials

From cradle to cradle

Expression that refers to the complete use of construction materials in their useful life and beyond, preventing the generation of waste.

Geothermal energy

Central heating or cooling system that drives heat from the floor or into the ground.

Global Warming

Global temperature increases due to the greenhouse effect that can produce a climate change capable of endangering future generations.

Greenhouse effect

Warming of the earth’s surface caused by the increase of gases in the atmosphere

Green roof, green cover

Roof of a building partially or totally covered with soil and vegetation spread over an impermeable membrane.

Green washing, ecological bleaching

Practice through which companies or products are attributed ecological or sustainable qualities without being true.

Heat exchanger

A device or tool designed to promote heat transfer between two media.

Life span

The estimated duration that a building or parts of it have under a range of conditions of use and environmental exposure.

Lightweight Lattice

Bio-construction system recommended for houses of exclusive design that do not need more than 2 floors. Very efficient system, quick to work and extremely versatile. In this link you can access the corresponding section in our website.

Modular House

Construction system based on the assembly of modules manufactured outside the point of construction. It offers economic benefits as well as speed of execution and great versatility in terms of design. In this link you can access the corresponding section in our website.

Natural Capital

Extension of the economic concept focused on environmental and ecological goods and services.

Natural light transmittance

Relationship between the amount of light a window receives on its outside and the amount of light that passes through it.

Passivhaus

Certification of German origin based on optimizing the thermal insulation, in obtaining a high energy efficiency presenting a very low consumption of heating and cooling. In this link you will access the corresponding section in our website.

Passive House

Also called Efficient House. It is the house or building that reduces its energy requirements as much as possible without affecting the comfort and habitability of its inhabitants.

Photovoltaic cell

Device capable of transforming solar radiation into electrical energy.

Radon Gas Protection

Measures included in the design of a building capable of preventing the intrusion of the radioactive gas radon, present in nature, into living areas.

Sate

Abbreviation for Thermal Insulation System. It is basically a system of prefabricated insulating panels attached to a wall. Its function is to reduce energy consumption needs. There are different types and configurations of Sate, its application and suitability will depend on concepts such as geographical location and budget, among others.

Sate

Removal of greenhouse gases through photosynthesis or storage in carbon sinks

Sustainable Architecture

Construction design environmental friendly that seeks to minimize the environmental impact in terms of construction and uses while providing maximum energy efficiency.

Sustainable house

An environmental friendly construction that tries to minimize the environmental impact in terms of construction and uses while providing maximum energy efficiency.

Thermal Break

An element of low thermal conductivity placed in a structure assembly in order to minimize or avoid the flow of thermal energy.

Thermal Bridge

These are strategic points on windows, facades, roofs, etc. through which upward or downward temperature flows can be created. This can occur mainly for two reasons, imperfections in the application of thermal insulation and/or conductivity between materials. These are elements that must be treated with special attention in order not to minimize their effects, since they are directly involved in interior comfort and energy efficiency.

Well

Certification that allows identifying, measure and monitoring the characteristics of the built spaces that impact on the health and well-being of the occupants. In this link you will access the corresponding section in our website.

Wood Technology

A wood product that provides the right resistance for the intended use while maintaining its qualities in a constant way.

Zero Emissions Building

Building capable of producing energy from renewable sources by offsetting the emissions and carbon footprint generated during construction and use.

REMEMBER: If you consider relevant the inclusion of a specific related term that you do not see in this Sustainable Construction Glossary, let us know and we will be happy to add it. Also, if you find any error or lack of accuracy, please discuss it with us so that we can correct it as soon as possible.

Gaudi Garcia
Eco Construction Design

 

 

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