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#Explained: Concept of green buildings

what is green building

Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. By 2050, it is projected that India will have added 416 million urban dwellers, China 255 million and Nigeria 189 million.

With population increase, there is an inevitable increase the demand of basic amenities. The need for residential property, hospital, commercial real estate, airports etc.

There will be an unprecedented building boom over the next decades. This boom creates an opportunity for cities to turn to green construction, which can spur low-carbon emission, and lead to sustainable economic growth. Not just this, eco-friendly direction of growth will create much-needed skilled, green jobs.

What are green Buildings?

‘Green’ building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment. Green buildings preserve precious natural resources and improve our quality of life.

There are number of factors that make a building green, below-mentioned are a few of them.

There are number of factors that make a building green, below-mentioned are a few of them.
Source: Ecomena
  1. Design enables adaptation to an environment change.
  2. Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources.
  3. Improving employee productivity and protecting occupant health.
  4. Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation.
  5. Use of materials that are non toxic and sustainable.
  6. Good indoor environmental air quality.

Need for Green Building

Green Building is all about using local material from local ecology. Most importantly such sustainably built green buildings are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient, right from location selection to the demolition after its life cycle ends. 

Construction industry produces a huge amount of demolition waste and greenhouse gases (35-40%).

Read more here: A Review of Carbon Footprint Reduction in Construction Industry, from Design to Operation

Globally, buildings are responsible for a huge share of energy, electricity, water and materials consumption. As of 2018, buildings account for 28% of global emissions or 9.7 billion tonnes of CO2. The United Nations’ 2020 global status report and other sources detail that around 35-40% of globally generated energy was used by buildings.

In addition, these buildings also contributed to 33% of worldwide emissions. Including the manufacturing of building materials, the global CO2 emissions were 39%.

Read more here: 2020 GLOBAL STATUS REPORT FOR BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTION

If Indian urban areas adopt to green building concepts, India can save upto 8,400 megawatts of power, i.e. enough electricity to light 550,000 homes a year, according to TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute).

Features of Green Building

  1. Daylight controlled lighting system.
  2. Building has a rain water harvesting system and grey/black water recycling system.
  3. Installing solar water heaters and Solar photovoltaic panels.
  4. It has an energy recovery ventilation system.
  5. Buildings could also have micro wind turbines.

Green Building Certifying Agencies

There are various certifying agencies that help building developers to implement these principles and get green certification. Some of them are:

  1. LEED-India – Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized certification system for green buildings. The LEED-India Green Building Rating System is an international benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
  2. TERI GRIHA – The Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) is a national rating system for green buildings that is adopted while designing and evaluating new buildings.
  3. IGBC Ratings – The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) is a division of the Confederation of Indian Industry that works closely with the government and aims at a sustainably built environment.
  4. BEE-ECBC – The Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) was established by the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) to set energy efficiency standards for design and construction of buildings.

Conclusion

Green building is the future of the construction sector. Hence, developers need to adapt this style of construction even while constructing small buildings to reduce carbon emission. Millions of rupees can be saved through these buildings and these buildings can be the pioneer in energy saving.

People need to adopt the “Planet over Profit” strategy to improve their health, to fight climate change and save our planet.

Also Read

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