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What is a building?

Building” is the term used to define any construction project that is designed, planned, and carried out by people in a given space. It can have different sizes, spaces, and shapes, and it can fulfill multiple purposes. While the most common buildings are residential, there are also other types like:

  • Temples
  • Monuments 
  • Stores 
  • Engineering sites
  • Museums and theaters
  • Airports
  • Schools

Buildings are artificial since they’re the result of human intervention on a landscape. They require a level of planning that’s based on legislation to be done, and their completion requires time, materials, and capital. They must be designed, built, and maintained to meet occupancy requirements. 

What are the basic requirements for a building’s construction?

A building’s construction requires the development and provision of a project, including the documents on its technical, civil, and legal requirements. They are classified according to the following:

  1. Their functionality:
  • The site’s layout and dimensions, spaces, and facilities enable it to fulfill its functions.
  • It offers easy access and proper movement for people, including those with reduced mobility.
  • It provides access to telecommunications, information, postal services, etc. 
  1. Its safety:
  • It establishes that the foundations, supports, beams, walls, and other structural elements ensure the building’s resistance and stability. 
  • It has strategic planning that allows safe evacuation in case of fire or any other sort of incident. 
  • It establishes a distribution that lets the building be used without entailing any risk of accident.
  1. Its habitability:
  • It has plans for energy saving and thermal and sonic insulation.
  • It ensures hygiene and health, as well as protection for the area, in the building’s internal facilities by offering waste management. 

What are the main types of building projects?

Depending on their characteristics and objectives, building sites can be classified into the following types:

  1. Major work: this carries a high level of technical and constructive complexity, and it can be new, a reconstruction, a replacement, or an extension.
  2. Minor work: these are relatively simple in technical terms, and they’re associated with repairs or remodeling. 
  3. Existing building work: this aims to improve, modify, or preserve the building based on its health, safety, or aesthetic conditions. These are categorized into conservation, maintenance, outfitting, and restoration projects.
  4. Urbanization work: this refers to buildings that are part of urban planning. 
  5. Parcel work: this entails the addition or division of land where a building will be erected. 
  6. Demolition work: this consists of the planned destruction of a building.

What are sustainable buildings?

The term “sustainable building” is used to refer to any projects that take their environmental impact into account, from the project and construction phases to its use and useful life. The aim is to develop buildings based on preventive measures that contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as on efficient actions for combating climate change

When it comes to the construction of a sustainable building, the following must be considered:

  • Using and combining new technologies to integrate construction into its natural and urban environment efficiently
  • Using renewable energies focused on energy self-sufficiency (for example, installing solar panels to generate photovoltaic energy). 
  • Choosing a location that’s outside any areas of atmospheric and noise pollution, power lines, and areas with geological faults.
  • Building with thermal insulation materials that mitigate temperature fluctuations.
  • Including green spaces in planning.
  • Using reusable and non-polluting materials that can be recycled at the end of the building’s useful life so that its impact is lessened by reducing waste generation. 

Examples of sustainable buildings around the world

  1. Bullitt Center in Seattle, the United States. Only local materials that left no carbon footprint were used. 
  2. Commerzbank in Frankfurt, Germany. Materials from demolished buildings were reused for its construction. 
  3. Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The seawater that it uses for its cooling systems is filtered and returned to the ocean. 
  4. Platinum BCN in Barcelona, Spain. It has smart air conditioning systems that adapt to temperature fluctuations. 
  5. Parkroyal on Pickering in Singapore. Rainwater is recycled to irrigate its vertical gardens.
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