How Can the Caribbean Teach Eco-Friendly Construction Practices?

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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Sept. 10, 2019: The human race is gradually waking up to the irreparable damage that is happening to the planet, and people are looking towards sustainable options for building. Eco-friendly construction is an ancient tradition in the Caribbean, with the necessity to build green a matter of survival.

Our islands need to put their resources to the best use possible with a focus on efficiency. In fact, if we act fast and smart, other countries could look to the region for ideas about such eco-conscious practices.

Environmentally-friendly construction is on the rise, and the industry is expected to generate more than 6.5 million jobs by 2030. This is an impressive rise from twenty years ago. In 2000, there were only 41 new construction projects in the US which were classed as green buildings, but this number grew to more than 65,000 in 2018. For buildings to be eco-friendly, construction companies have numerous things to take into consideration. Buildings need to be designed and built to cope with key issues like climate change and rising energy costs. The materials used should be sourced from sustainable companies, and waste must be disposed of in the correct way.

The changing landscape of the construction industry has also led to variations in the types of construction insurance offered. Companies have had to research the type of claims that are most commonly made against contractors, with combined, updated insurance packages able to protect builders who work on both residential and commercial buildings. Arguably, using eco-friendly methods could bring about extra reasons for claims, especially as people may be working with new materials for the first time.

When it comes to sustainable design, the countries of the Caribbean have numerous tricks and techniques which could be passed on to others. According to Trinidadian architect Gillian Fraser, most architects in the region naturally want to build green. While this kind of design has been heralded as revolutionary in other parts of the world who are just waking up to the need for it, Caribbean builders have been using green methods for years, because it makes more sense to do so.

Caribbean builders aim to put up properties in areas which aren’t going to disrupt the environment. For example, they would try to avoid cutting down areas of forest to make space. They also make sure to use locally sourced materials, including things like wood and bamboo. Stones are used sometimes, but it is crucial to check that they have been sourced from somewhere that is sustainable. If they are removed from rivers, this could disrupt the ecosystems in place there. There is also a focus on using efficient and sustainable energy sources in the region, such as solar and wind power.

Caribbean builders have used environmentally friendly building techniques and ideas for centuries and have done so through necessity. The small islands have had less access to materials and have had to make use of what has been available. Now that other countries are waking up to the need to build green, they may look to experts in the region for advice.

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