Glenn Jackson is Director, Corporate Marketing for CertainTeed Corporation
Part of the conversation regarding sustainable design is a move toward improving performance and addressing specific needs of the potential occupants of a particular space.
The building industry has historically designed buildings based only on the need to provide a place for people to live, or go to school or to heal when sick.
Today, so much more is taken into consideration. Product manufacturers, the design community and even building owners are much more focused on asking “What problem are we trying to solve” or “What elements need to exist in a building to help address performance based criteria such as, learning, healing, innovating and working.
Creating unique spaces is becoming more the norm even within what we refer to as vertical markets or niche markets which meet the needs of a particular industry. Standards for design or performance may exist within a vertical market such as educational facilities or healthcare facilities but each project will have specific needs driven by geographical and environmental conditions, uses for the spaces, aesthetics and building owner preferences.
Some of the areas most critical to building sustainable and performance-based structures are thermal and acoustical comfort which is not seen but does affect our physical comfort and wellbeing. Visual comfort speaks to our need for natural light. Innovations in glass products are revolutionizing the industry. Indoor air quality is crucial in all buildings and systems, and products are available to address most concerns for creating clean indoor air.
In the end, the efforts made to design and build high-performance, sustainable, buildings with solution based systems will provide significant savings for the end users.