Five Fundamentals of Green Building
Just like mining or manufacturing, the construction industry is energy-intensive. The energy demands vary over different stages of the construction. The energy consumed by a building throughout the construction phase and later in its life depends on multiple factors. For example, some of the daily life necessities like lighting and facilities like air-conditioning system require regular power to be operational and hence consume more energy. Due to the high energy demand, it is challenging for architects, civil engineers and builders to design environment-friendly and resource-efficient buildings. These challenges, however, can be met by adopting green building practices. In India, the demand for green buildings is rising steadily. In its Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, Dodge Data & Analytics World has predicted that the Green Building Industry in India will grow up to 20 per cent by 2018. Let’s analyse what are the key pillars of a green building.
Sustainable Site Design
One of the keys of Sustainable Architecture is resource optimization. A conscious effort is made by architects and planners to keep the urban area to minimum. Open space, green habitat, and other valuable parts of the land are used creatively to add more beauty and functionality to the entire construction site. Instead of going for sprawl, urban planners and architects focus on developing the land more compactly as compact constructions or high density urban planning leaves room for more walkable, bike and transit friendly cities. The key environmental assets inside or in proximity to the construction site are persevered carefully.
Water Quality and Conservation
Water conservation is an integral part of every sustainable construction. Popular water-saving ideas like collecting rain-water, reusing indoor wash water and other methods to ensure on-site supply of water are increasingly becoming popular.
Many residential and commercial buildings also focus on methods to recharge ground water, recycle and reuse water. The sanitary fixtures in the apartments should be designed to minimize water consumption. It is also critical to treat and reuse the sewage on-site. Some of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world excel in waste management by segregating organic and recyclable wastes. This minimises the burden on landfills and makes the environment cleaner and greener.
Energy and Environment
The threats of global warming and abrupt climate changes are causing immense ecological imbalances on our planet. By optimizing site design, carefully selecting quality materials and adopting advanced energy conservation measures, we can reduce our reliance on over-consuming energy and creating energy for our everyday needs from low energy sources.
Indoor Environment Quality
Healthy indoor environment is critical to good health and well-being of residents. To maintain a healthy atmosphere, efforts should be taken to improve the indoor air quality and ventilation. Instead of depending on artificial lighting, maximum utilisation of daylight should be done.
Materials and Resources
The choice of construction material is important in safeguarding the health of the occupants and to make the building safe and sturdy. The focus should be on using quality products that meet the highest standards of safety and health. Many buildings utilize recycled engineered materials and recycled construction debris to create marvellous structures, thereby minimizing the environmental impacts.
Sustainability is not a choice but a need of the hour. By adopting the principles of green building, we can continue to live in harmony with our environment. When buying a real estate property, it is advisable to go through the environmental regulations. After all, your dream home should be good for you and for the environment as well.