‘Green Building’ concept was started with the sole aim of attaining sustainability. But green buildings are no longer limited to the shackles of its contribution to the environment. Green buildings directly contribute to the health and well-being of the people and society as a whole.
Owing to its impactful long run attributes it has grabbed the eyeballs of people around the world. People across globes are adopting green building strategies to inherit a better life. From being a niche market it has become a popular one within a span of few years.
Buildings account for almost 40 percent of national CO2 emissions and out-consume both the industrial and transportation sectors, but LEED-certified buildings have 34 percent lower CO2 emissions, consume 25 percent less energy and 11 percent less water, and have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills.[green-building-facts] This statistics is self-suggestive of the fact that green buildings contribute more than just being environment-friendly. Better energy usage, water efficiency lower utility bills and what not, courtesy Green Buildings.
Analysed below are ways through these buildings is not only affecting environment but every sphere of our life. Have a glance:
One of the prime reason that green building is generating interest apart from its environment-friendly attributes is because of its ability of energy consumption. In the residential sphere, reduced wastage of water, conservation natural resources, improved air and water quality, reduced operating costs. improved occupant productivity are some of the basic rewarding facilities of a sustainable green building. A lot of penny is often saved by the real estate builders and the homeowners as well because of the long run impact of these buildings. According to the Construction Marketplace SmartMarket Report, commercial green buildings have demonstrated an 8-9% decrease in operating cost, a 7.5% increase in building value and a 6.6% return on investment improvement. [ http://www.lexology]
Mental Health & Physical health are basic attributes of a well-functioning body. A healthy building ensures the right functioning of these two attributes. In a recently released peer reviewed study, researchers from Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment found that a building’s air quality can affect the quality of its residents’ thinking. The study demonstrated that exposure to common indoor pollutants, such as carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are found in everything from paint to carpets, can affect cognitive functions[ Theguardian.com]. The right set of green elements indoors alleviate mental fatigue by relaxing and restoring the mind. Placement of windows and correct use of ventilation also plays a pivotal role in enhancing the overall room temperature of a building.
A healthy society contributes to the overall growth of environment we live in, in this regard green buildings are of tremendous social importance. Sustainable building elements are enhancing occupant health and comfort and is contributing to the overall development of society as a whole.Through improved indoor air quality, sustainable buildings are aiding to restore the mind of the residents living in it from the mental fatigue of work which is further resulting in improved work performance and satisfaction.These buildings are helping to improve cognitive function, learning, and memory. Thus, sustainable buildings are helping to improve the overall quality of life socially. Additionally,these buildings also aid to minimize strain on local utility infrastructure. LEED projects are responsible for diverting more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills, and by 2030 that number is expected to grow to 540 million tons. [usgbc]
Urban nature initiatives are being taken now by builders wherein they are providing parks and walkways that are incorporated into building design and these initiatives are directly contributing in making the society a better place.
Image Source- cyberwalk
To be fair Government took no interest in sustainable buildings a decade back, but growing rate of pollution and the overall advantage of a green building has almost forced Government in taking steps for attaining sustainability. Initiation such as ‘100 Smart Cities’ is a prime example of this. With buildings accounting to 35-40 per cent of energy usage, the Indian Government has come up with numerous energy efficiency initiatives like Green Buildings by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), Energy Conservation Building Codes (ECBC), Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), star ratings by Bureau of Energy Efficiency, etc. for employment of green technologies in buildings.[cilantrotech]
Sustainable buildings are no longer limited to its eco-friendly attributes. With time, its importance has grown.Green buildings have become directly proportional to the restoration of health and anything below that will be unacceptable in near future. Green building is not only a trend but it is an avenue to building suited to the demands of its time whose importance will only continue to increase in coming times.
Authored by a building expert from Wienerberger India