Green Construction, also known as Sustainable Building, refers to designing building structures using processes and materials that are environmentally responsible and efficient during the life cycle of the building. This concept includes the process from design and construction to operation, maintenance, renovation and demolition of buildings. Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment.
Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO, Alberto Alemán Zubieta said, “with the application of these parameters when building at the Panama Canal, we take a step further to ensure energy efficiency, reduce water consumption, and improve recycling practices which are cornerstones of the green building concept, along with the use of renewable energy sources.”
Beginning in August, the Panama Canal announced that all works or construction projects by ACP, designed by the Engineering Division, by contracts or its internal workforce, must use sustainable design specifications contained in a list of Green Building Construction Specifications applicable to ACP for short-term renovations and new constructions.
Among the measures contained in the list of Green Building Construction Specifications applicable to the ACP are the use of natural light with the application of modern skylight domes with heat insulation and light diffusion for spaces that do not require air conditioning, for example, in galleys, workshops, hallways, bathrooms and other similar areas.
Another measure is the installation of occupancy sensors and timers to control lights in kitchens, dining rooms, hallways, bathrooms, classrooms and conference rooms, the use of air conditioning systems with efficiency ratios and the prohibition of air conditioning units without fresh air.
Likewise, construction of new buildings will be aligned with the path of the sun, to minimize the exposure of the windows to the sun and the insulation requirements for walls and roofs will be increased, in order to reduce the load of air conditioning.
Additionally, the use of white roofs with high solar reflectivity will be required, and installation of low water consumption valves for bathrooms, faucets and fixtures.
New buildings will include areas for centralized waste recycling to simplify the logistics of recollection.
These measures apply to the construction of new buildings, such as offices that are required for operations around the new locks.