In construction, durability refers to a building or material’s characteristics to stand the test of time without significant decay or deterioration. This longevity is especially vital to sustainability, with the Environmental Protection Agency reporting 600 million tons of construction and demolition waste annually. Durable structures address this issue by reducing pollution and conserving natural resources.
What Makes a Building Durable?
Numerous factors contribute to the durability of a building, including its location, design, construction materials and resource efficiency.
Take a Proactive Approach to Design
Durable buildings begin with a proactive design approach that aligns project needs and site specifics.
A building’s site — whether existing or a new construction — should undergo careful evaluation before any project. Features like the structure’s orientation and landscaping will affect its resource use, longevity and local surroundings. For example, a controlled approach to water management enables durability through better moisture control. Consulting with an expert for design support can ensure your project starts with a solid foundation.
A proactive design approach also considers potential longevity risks to mitigate them from the project onset. Developing force protection strategies helps safeguard buildings from damage due to threats like impacts, fires and blasts.
Maximize Construction Materials
Selected construction materials are another key component of what makes buildings durable. Longer-lasting materials naturally reduce the environmental impacts associated with building construction and rehabilitation.
Concrete is one such choice that can contribute significantly to durability. When accurately formulated, it’s resistant to damage from the weather, insects and the sun. Additional safeguards, like impressed current cathodic protection, help extend reinforced concrete and metal components’ life spans by protecting them against corrosion in harsher environments.
Resource depletion occurs more rapidly as the global population grows, underscoring the need to manage resources wisely.
Efficient allocation is a must in new construction, but durable structures provide other alternatives to stay lasting and useful. With an adaptive reuse approach, existing buildings with structural integrity can be repurposed for other applications, preserving both local history and resources. Services like professional repair and maintenance, seismic retrofits and structural strengthening can also help extend buildings’ life spans.
The Benefits of Durable Structures
Durable structures offer numerous benefits, including:
- Cost savings: By focusing on long-lasting materials and better resource allocation, durable buildings reduce the costs associated with demolition and premature repair or rehabilitation.
- Lower maintenance needs: Durable structures require less upkeep because they use sturdy and decay-resistant materials.
- Greener practices: The connections between sustainability and durability are unmistakable — long-lasting structures prevent unnecessary demolition and rebuilding.
- Better air and water quality: Less waste means less environmental pollution, resulting in healthier air and water.
Learn More About Building Durability With STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES
Our team shares a mission to make structures stronger and longer-lasting through comprehensive project support. We draw on expertise across numerous specialties to investigate challenges, develop solutions and execute construction strategies. As a result, we can help every step of the way, from design conception to construction and delivery.
Connect with a team member online for our building durability services or to request more information.