Given the environmental problem that affects our planet today, caused by the impact of human activities, global warming, marine pollution and the depletion of resources, the issue of ecology is increasingly present in our daily lives. And thankfully, because our future depends on it.
Also in architecture, the ecological movement is reflected. Proof of this is that, increasingly, alternative ways of designing and “thinking” buildings are used, making it possible to provide them with technologies and attributes with so-called sustainable characteristics.
It is evident that human activity has a direct or indirect influence on the environment and, consequently, on its natural resources. For this reason, it is necessary for companies to develop practices that optimize the use of these channels.
The construction sector, which consumes more elements of nature than any other economic activity, also needs to adapt to all these transformations and revert its operating scenario, making an intelligent use of spaces, even if they are public.
The question that arises is: currently construction cannot be called into question, as it is increasingly questioned whether all buildings are really necessary and suitable for specific spaces? In view of these concerns, it is urgent to explore recycling in the sector, through the reuse of old wood or tiles, for example, as well as making the buildings more open to sunlight, with the aim of saving electricity, or avoiding waste. All of these factors combined thus make it possible to create a more sustainable construction pattern.
On the other hand, the choice of materials used in an enterprise, in addition to its own energy performance, is a fundamental issue, when the environmental concern in the design and development of the project is taken as mandatory. But for the reduction of the ecological footprint to be effective, also the remaining elements, essentially interior, of a building, need to fulfill certain requirements.
Here, we must highlight the contribution of some companies in the sector, not only for the design of sustainable solutions, but also for the pedagogical character that show these choices, based on the premise that we must satisfy our current needs without compromising the future of the next generations.
Companies that in the development of their product ranges are prepared to meet demanding requirements, developing, for example, products that contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions, are, in my view, classified as responsible entities.
In the same way, other obligations are added to the construction sector, which I consider preponderant: energy efficiency in production, the development of thermal products, for different projects, with high levels of certification, as well as the creation of solutions that, in their composition, contain a considerable percentage of raw materials, which nature offers us in an inexhaustible way.
In Portugal, environmentally responsible companies with the ability to develop customized proposals for different projects, from the most luxurious to the most minimalist, with highly technological and environmentally friendly characteristics, reveal that our country has taken significant steps towards the longed for sustainable construction .
In my view, it is not enough that the buildings in which we live and work are spacious, beautiful and comfortable. It is also necessary, that the professionals who implement them, bet on more responsible techniques and methods to optimize resources, using, for example, platforms such as BIM (Building Information Modeling).
Through the use of this highly avant-garde method, adopted by companies such as Vicaima, which has innovation as a strategic axis, it is possible to reduce the amount of waste used in a building, calculate the volume of water needed for a given work, carry out an evaluation on much more transparent energy efficiency, or test different solutions in the building that bring a smaller carbon footprint.
Because it is not enough to create impositions, with all the environmental and social changes that today threaten the world as we know it, it is necessary to ensure procedures that effectively respond to the current needs of an industry in constant evolution. I believe that in the near future, we will be able to show positive signs of the choices we are making, as these same options will considerably transform the way we work, live and relate in the next decade.