What is it?
Green building applies sustainable and environmentally sound methods to the entire building process. The smart, well-planned process leads to a significant reduction in construction costs, increased property value, and improves our environment. Many factors constitute green building.
Green building is implemented in the earliest stage of a project to ensure the most beneficial results. Environmental consciousness is relevant throughout every stage of the process. Green building is defined by three core principles:
- Minimizing construction and maintenance expenses while improving overall project value.
- Improving the quality of life for the occupants/community.
- Preserving the natural resources and protect the environment.
These core principles are synergistic, in that each interdepends on the others.
How do we build green?
There are many practical ways to implement the green building model to achieve an ideal equilibrium of the core principles. Some of these techniques include:
- Location & positioning: analyzing the environmental conditions of the building to achieve optimal results in: natural lighting, wind and solar exposure, energy production potential, integrating these resources in the design for a better living environment
- Energy efficiency & Thermal insulation: application of effective insulation to reduce the impact of the outdoor on the indoor of the building to ensure a high performing building
- Energy efficiency: utilization of thermal mass to reserve natural renewable energy sources of heat/cold reduces the energy required for heating and cooling.
- Renewable Energy technologies: such as wind turbines and solar panels to provide a clean energy source for supplying electricity
- Recycling: designated facilities for recycling waste in the building, especially construction and operational waste, reduces pollution from landfills. Recycling water for subsequent use (laundry, watering, etc.) saves on cost and the planet's limited freshwater supply
- Construction materials: green building materials are sourced ethically, easy to recycle, and non-toxic
- Environment and Community: a green building should encourage a green lifestyle throughout occupancy. Ongoing sustainability measures includes water drainage redirected for re-use, pedestrian access to common services, green roofs reducing heat island effect
Advantages to green building:
- Significant reduction in energy consumption (heating, cooling, lighting etc.)
- Significant reduction of freshwater consumption
- Reduced waste and diverting waste from landfills
- Better and healthier living environment
- Increased productivity, employees who work in green buildings were 16% more productive than those who work in traditional buildings