Building an Ecological Mexico with Daniel Madariaga

Traditional construction has never been a friend to the environment. According to various studies, the construction sector contributes up to 50 percent of climate change, as well as 23 percent of air pollution, 40 percent of drinking water pollution, and 50 percent of landfill waste. However, sustainability expert Daniel Madariaga explains how the impact of construction on the climate could be reduced in five to 10 years with simple changes in practice and materials.

What is ecological construction?

Green building is a construction method that creates buildings that, by design, construction or operation, reduce the negative impact on the climate and the surrounding natural environments. Green buildings help preserve natural resources while helping to improve the quality of life for occupants.

Any type of building, be it a house, an office space, a medical center or even a parking structure can be considered green. There are a variety of different features that contribute to making a building green and these may include:

  • Reduction of waste and pollution during construction.
  • The use of recycled material.
  • Efficient use of energy, water and other resources.
  • Use of non-toxic, ethical and sustainable materials in construction.
  • Design, construct and operate a building taking into account its environment.
  • Create a building taking into account the quality of life of the occupant.
  • A building design that adapts to possible changes in the environment.
  • The use of renewable energy, such as solar energy.
  • Creating good indoor air quality

The World Green Building Council, or WorldGBC, is a network of Green Builders' Councils in more than 70 countries that work to monitor emissions reductions by the construction sector. These councils work to ensure that global standards are met. Daniel Manariaga points out that to do this, building certifications have been developed around the world, such as LEED, to ensure that green practices are followed.

What is LEED certification?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a green building certification program, which is the globally recognized standard when it comes to the production of green buildings. This standard applies to the design, construction and operation of buildings.

To meet LEED prerequisites, LEED provides building owners with the tools they need to improve the design and performance of their building. To achieve LEED certification, builders and owners must meet all prerequisites and earn a minimum number of credits.

When it comes to LEED and its importance, Daniel Madariaga explains: “Leadership in energy and environmental design, more commonly known as LEED, is the most important certification so far and is based on incorporating aspects of energy efficiency into buildings , in order to substantially increase the environmental quality of buildings. ”

Mexico uses "annoying" and sustainable material for construction

In the past year, climate change has delivered an enemy to Mexico's beach ecosystems. More than a million tons of seaweed sargassum appeared on Mexican beaches, devastating many places of coastal tourism and causing great economic loss. However, although many may see this result of climate change as a problem, sustainability experts like Daniel Madariaga are finding solutions for climate change in this sustainable material. Madariaga affirms: “The arrival of sargassum registered by the Mexican coast this year is the result of climate change. Although it was a challenge for entrepreneurs to face this problem, the sector has managed to innovate and has found a way to make sargassum useful and use it to make fully sustainable constructions. ”

Daniel Madariaga and others found that using sargassum to make bricks could cut construction costs by more than 50 percent. Furthermore, they found that sargassum bricks lasted many years longer than traditional cement bricks, leading to greater sustainability of the building. Sargassum bricks work well in any area, under a variety of climates and ecosystems, making them an ideal sustainable building material in Mexico and other countries around the world.

Technology can help create more environmentally friendly construction options

Adding technology is another way to greatly improve construction options and reduce the effects of climate change. An excellent example of this is the use of automated parking structures to help reduce traffic congestion and CO2 emission levels in large cities, such as Mexico City. The innovative technology used to create these automated parking structures allows it to be built on less land while providing more available parking space. This gives developers the ability to create additional green spaces in their design. In addition to reducing traffic congestion by increasing available parking spaces, these structures automate parking, meaning the vehicle's engine is turned off and no longer produces emissions.

With various changes in building designs and the use of sustainable material, Daniel Madariaga believes that the construction industry in Mexico no longer has to have a negative impact on the climate and it is possible to build an environmentally friendly Mexico.

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