The motivation behind the Green Building Idea:
Increased Public Focus on Sustainability and Energy Efficiency
Definitions of “Green Building”
Man’s strive for increased comfort and financial independence, the densification of congested urban areas, a strong increase in traffic levels and the growing electric smog problem due to new communication technologies all-cause ever-rising stress levels in the immediate vicinity of the individual. Quality of life is being hampered and there are negative health effects. All this, coupled with frequent news about global climate change, gradually leads to a change of thought throughout society.
Due to the rising number of environmental catastrophes, there was in increase of 40% between the years of 1990 to 2000 alone, when compared to economic damage sustained between 1950 and 1990.
While the definition of what constitutes a green building is constantly evolving, the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive offers a useful working definition. This agency defines this term as: the practice of (1) increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water, and materials, and (2) reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal—the complete building life cycle.
There are a number of features which can make a building ‘green’. These include:
- Efficient use of energy, water and other resources
- Use of renewable energy, such as solar energy
- Pollution and waste reduction measures, and the enabling of re-use and recycling
- Good indoor environmental air quality
- Use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable
- Consideration of the environment in design, construction and operation
- Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in design, construction and operation
A design that enables adaptation to a changing environment
The Most Important Element:
The Efficient Use of Energy Buildings can incorporate many green features, but if they do not use energy efficiently, it is difficult to demonstrate that they are truly green. In fact, given that the term “green building” can be somewhat vague, some people prefer to use the term Overview of Green Buildings 5 “high-performance building.” A high-performance building is a building whose energy efficiency and environmental performance is substantially better than standard practice.
Although green buildings, on average, use less energy than conventional buildings, energy efficiency remains elusive. In fact, there is a growing debate about whether buildings that achieve some level of LEED certification are more efficient in their use of energy than regular buildings.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to improve a building’s energy efficiency, from insulating walls to installing automatic shutoff switches for lights. Energy efficiency can be and often is mandated by local and state energy codes, which require that new and substantially renovated buildings comply with increasingly stringent energy efficiency requirements. One of the such of the code are ASHARE standards which talk about making HVAC ( Heating, ventilation & Air Conditioning) solutions more energy-efficient and MG Cooling Solutions is following those standards for their clients for all their HVAC projects in India
It suffices to say that if a building is not energy-efficient, it cannot be said to be green.
The Reality of the Built Environment:
The Problem of Existing Buildings Although green buildings represent the next phase of buildings, the reality is that the vast majority of buildings are not green, and these buildings will continue to be used for many years to come. Improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings typically involves a process called retrofitting, which can mean anything from installing more energy-efficient fixtures to increase the amount of insulation in a building. The U.S. Green Building Council has a rating standard specifically focused on existing buildings, referred to as LEED-EBOM (EBOM stands for “existing buildings operation and maintenance”). While greening existing buildings does not receive the attention that new green buildings do, it is certainly more important when looking at reducing the environmental impacts of buildings nationwide.
Energy Use in Buildings Worldwide, buildings consume massive amounts of energy. The United Nations Environment Programme has reported that 30–40 percent of all primary energy produced worldwide is used in buildings.11 In 2008, the International Energy Agency released a publication that estimated that existing buildings are responsible for more than 40 percent of the world’s total primary energy consumption and for 24 percent of global CO2 emissions.
Building Water Use As is the case with energy, buildings use staggering amounts of water during their operation. DOE has estimated that, collectively, buildings in the United States (both commercial and residential) use over 38 billion gallons of water per day.
Green building is a financially, health, and most importantly environmentally responsible idea that more people need to adopt.