Green Building Practices in Exterior and Interior Designs

Based in Montgomery, Texas, William “Bill” Starkey was the CEO of Starkey Construction, LLC, for more than 35 years. William Starkey emphasized using project oversight that adheres to the highest levels of sustainability when it comes to building materials and energy efficiency.

An article in the Harvard Business Review provides in-depth information on just what makes building practices “green” and how this objective can be attained at various levels. One aspect of this involves the actual shape and configuration of the building. For example, a structure that is narrow and extends lengthwise, depending on its position relative to the sun, surrounding buildings, and natural features, can maximize available ventilation and natural lighting.

At the same time, placing fixed elements such as HVAC and other mechanical systems, bathrooms, and stairs within the interior core allows for an open perimeter design. This enables maximum sunlight to reach offices and workspaces and cuts down on energy usage. Another aspect of this centers on operable skylights and windows that allow for natural ventilation when the temperature is moderate. Low-emission glazing on windows can further cut glare and interior solar heat gains to the minimum. The result of these building design innovations is energy usage that is substantially less than standard buildings of comparable size.

Four Examples of Green Building Materials

For nearly 40 years, William “Bill” Starkey led Starkey Construction as CEO. Working predominantly in Texas, the business was known for building high-end custom homes. William Starkey of Montgomery, Texas also kept the company dedicated to using green building materials whenever possible. The following are examples of popular green building materials:

1. Bamboo – A fast-growing grass, bamboo is a sustainable alternative for wood. Not only does it resemble the aesthetic of wood, but it regenerates faster than trees. It is also available in many colors and styles that bring different personalities into a home.

2. Cork – In commercial spaces and homes, cork has become an increasingly popular flooring option. This is because harvesting cork does not harm the tree, making it very renewable, and the material has hypoallergenic and fire retardant qualities.

3. Strawbale – Good for framing or filling in gaps in the framework, straw is easily harvested and replanted with little impact on the environment. Meanwhile, it offers good soundproofing and insulation for buildings, thus helping homes save on energy costs.

4. Recycled steel – Using recycled or reclaimed steel in the framing of buildings increases the structure’s durability against earthquakes and saves trees. The material is entirely recyclable, so the use of it in new construction reduces ecological impact significantly.