GREEN BUILDING Abstract Green building also known as green Reducing waste, pollution and construction or sustainable building environmental degradation. refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible A similar concept is natural building, and resource-efficient throughout a which is usually on a smaller scale building's life-cycle: from siting to and tends to focus on the use of design, construction, operation, natural materials that are available maintenance, renovation, and locally. Other related topics include demolition. This practice expands and sustainable design and green complements the classical building architecture. Sustainability may be design concerns of economy, utility, defined as meeting the needs of durability, and comfort. present generations without compromising the ability of future Although new technologies are generations to meet their needs. Green constantly being developed to building does not specifically address complement current practices in the issue of the retrofitting existing creating greener structures, the homes. common objective is that green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by: Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources Protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity Goals of green Reducing building environmental impact Green building practices aim to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, and the very first rule is, do a green building designed by Michelle not build in sprawl (spreading in Kaufmann. disordered fashion). No matter how much grass you put on your roof, no The concept of sustainable matter how many energy-efficient development can be traced to the windows, etc., you use, if you build in energy (especially fossil oil) crisis and sprawl, you've just defeated your the environment pollution concern in purpose. Buildings account for a large the 1970s. The green building amount of land. According to the movement in the U.S. originated from National Resources Inventory, the need and desire for more energy approximately 107 million acres efficient and environmentally friendly (430,000 km2) of land in the United construction practices. There are a States are developed. The number of motives to building green, International Energy Agency released including environmental, economic, a publication that estimated that and social benefits. However, modern existing buildings are responsible for sustainability initiatives call for an more than 40% of the world’s total integrated and synergistic design to primary energy consumption and for both new construction and in the 24% of global carbon dioxide retrofitting of an existing structure. emissions. Also known as sustainable design, this approach integrates the building life-cycle with each green practice employed with a design-purpose to create a synergy amongst the practices one or more of these principles. Also, used. with the proper synergistic design, individual green building technologies Green building brings together a vast may work together to produce a array of practices and techniques to greater cumulative effect. reduce and ultimately eliminate the impacts of buildings on the On the aesthetic side of green environment and human health. It architecture or sustainable design is often emphasizes taking advantage of the philosophy of designing a building renewable resources, e.g., using that is in harmony with the natural sunlight through passive solar, active features and resources surrounding solar, and photovoltaic techniques and the site. There are several key steps in using plants and trees through green designing sustainable buildings: roofs, rain gardens, and for reduction specify 'green' building materials from of rainwater run-off. Many other local sources, reduce loads, optimize techniques, such as using packed systems, and generate on-site gravel or permeable concrete instead renewable energy. of conventional concrete or asphalt to enhance replenishment of ground water, are used as well. While the practices, or technologies, employed in green building are constantly evolving and may differ from region to region, there are fundamental principles that persist from which the method is derived: Siting and Structure Design Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Materials Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality Enhancement, Operations and Maintenance Optimization, and Waste and Toxics Reduction. The essence of green building is an optimization of Siting and structure design Energy efficiency efficiency The foundation of any construction project is rooted in the concept and design stages. The concept stage, in fact, is one of the major steps in a project life cycle, as it has the largest impact on cost and performance. In designing environmentally optimal buildings, the objective is to minimize the total environmental impact An eco-house at Findhorn Ecovillage with a associated with all life-cycle stages of turf roof and solar panels the building project. However, building as a process is not as streamlined as an industrial process, and varies from one building to the Green buildings often include other, never repeating itself measures to reduce energy identically. In addition, buildings are consumption – both the embodied much more complex products, energy required to extract, process, composed of a multitude of materials transport and install building and components each constituting materials and operating energy to various design variables to be decided provide services such as heating and at the design stage. A variation of power for equipment. every design variable may affect the As high-performance buildings use environment during all the building's less operating energy, embodied relevant life-cycle stages. energy has assumed much greater importance – and may make up as much as 30% of the overall life cycle energy consumption. Studies such as the U.S. LCI Database Project show buildings built primarily with wood Water efficiency will have a lower embodied energy than those built primarily with brick, Reducing water consumption and concrete or steel. protecting water quality are key objectives in sustainable building. To reduce operating energy use, high- One critical issue of water efficiency windows and insulation in consumption is that in many areas, the walls, ceilings, and floors increase the demands on the supplying aquifer efficiency of the building envelope, exceed its ability to replenish itself. (the barrier between conditioned and To the maximum extent feasible, unconditioned space). Another facilities should increase their strategy, passive solar building dependence on water that is collected, design, is often implemented in low- used, purified, and reused on-site. The energy homes. Designers orient protection and conservation of water windows and walls and place throughout the life of a building may awnings, porches, and trees to shade be accomplished by designing for windows and roofs during the summer dual plumbing that recycles water in while maximizing solar gain in the toilet flushing. Waste-water may be winter. In addition, effective window minimized by utilizing water placement can provide more natural conserving fixtures such as ultra-low light and lessen the need for electric flush toilets and low-flow shower lighting during the day. Solar water heads. Bidets help eliminate the use of heating further reduces energy costs. toilet paper, reducing sewer traffic and increasing possibilities of re- Onsite generation of renewable using water on-site. Point of use water energy through solar power, wind treatment and heating improves both power, hydro power, or biomass can water quality and energy efficiency significantly reduce the environmental while reducing the amount of water in impact of the building. Power circulation. The use of non-sewage generation is generally the most and greywater for on-site use such as expensive feature to add to a building. site-irrigation will minimize demands on the local aquifer. Materials manufactured off-site and delivered to site, to maximise benefits of off-site efficiency manufacture including minimising waste, maximising recycling (because manufacture is in one location), high Building materials typically quality elements, better OHS considered to be 'green' include management, less noise and dust. lumber from forests that have been certified to a third-party forest standard, rapidly renewable plant Operations and materials like bamboo and straw, dimension stone, recycled stone, maintenance recycled metal, and other products that are non-toxic, reusable, optimization renewable, and/or recyclable (e.g., Trass, Linoleum, sheep wool, panels No matter how sustainable a building made from paper flakes, compressed may have been in its design and earth block, adobe, baked earth, construction, it can only remain so if rammed earth, clay, vermiculite, flax it is operated responsibly and linen, sisal, seagrass, cork, expanded maintained properly. Ensuring clay grains, coconut, wood fibre operations and maintenance personnel plates, calcium sand stone, concrete are part of the project's planning and (high and ultra high performance, development process will help retain roman self-healing concrete) , etc.) the green criteria designed at the onset The EPA (Environmental Protection of the project. Every aspect of green Agency) also suggests using recycled building is integrated into the O&M industrial goods, such as coal phase of a building's life. The addition combustion products, foundry sand, of new green technologies also falls and demolition debris in construction on the O&M staff. Although the goal projects. Building materials should be of waste reduction may be applied extracted and manufactured locally to during the design, construction and the building site to minimize the demolition phases of a building's life- energy embedded in their cycle, it is in the O&M phase that transportation. Where possible, green practices such as recycling and building elements should be air quality enhancement take place. Waste reduction materials such as wood that are light and easy to work with make renovations easier. Green architecture also seeks to reduce waste of energy, water and To reduce the impact on wells or materials used during construction. water treatment plants, several options During the construction phase, one exist. "Greywater", wastewater from goal should be to reduce the amount sources such as dishwashing or of material going to landfills. Well- washing machines, can be used for designed buildings also help reduce subsurface irrigation, or if treated, for the amount of waste generated by the non-potable purposes, e.g., to flush occupants as well, by providing on- toilets and wash cars. Rainwater site solutions such as compost bins to collectors are used for similar reduce matter going to landfills. purposes. To reduce the amount of wood that Centralized wastewater treatment goes to landfill, the CO2 Neutral systems can be costly and use a lot of Alliance (a coalition of government, energy. An alternative to this process NGOs and the forest industry) created is converting waste and wastewater the website dontwastewood.com. The into fertilizer, which avoids these site includes a variety of resources for costs and shows other benefits. By regulators, municipalities, developers, collecting human waste at the source contractors, owner/operators and and running it to a semi-centralized individuals/homeowners looking for biogas plant with other biological information on wood recycling. waste, liquid fertilizer can be produced. This concept was When buildings reach the end of their demonstrated by a settlement in useful life, they are typically Lubeck Germany in the late 1990s. demolished and hauled to landfills. Practices like these provide soil with Deconstruction is a method of organic nutrients and create carbon harvesting what is commonly sinks that remove carbon dioxide considered “waste” and reclaiming it from the atmosphere, offsetting into useful building material. greenhouse gas emission. Producing Extending the useful life of a structure artificial fertilizer is also more costly also reduces waste – building in energy than this process. Cost and payoff Regulation and The most criticized issue about operation constructing environmentally friendly buildings is the price. Photo-voltaics, As a result of the increased interest in new appliances, and modern green building concepts and practices, technologies tend to cost more a number of organizations have money. Most green buildings cost a developed standards, codes and rating premium of <2%, but yield 10 times systems that let government as much over the entire life of the regulators, building professionals and building. The stigma is between the consumers embrace green building knowledge of up-front cost vs life- with confidence. In some cases, codes cycle cost. The savings in money are written so local governments can come from more efficient use of adopt them as bylaws to reduce the utilities which result in decreased local environmental impact of energy bills. Also, higher worker or buildings. student productivity can be factored into savings and cost deductions. Green building rating systems such as BREEAM (United Kingdom), LEED Confirming the rentability of green (United States and Canada), help building investments, further studies consumers determine a structure’s of the commercial real estate market level of environmental performance. have found that LEED and Energy They award credits for optional Star certified buildings achieve building features that support green significantly higher rents, sale prices design in categories such as location and occupancy rates as well as lower and maintenance of building site, capitalization rates potentially conservation of water, energy, and reflecting lower investment risk. building materials, and occupant comfort and health. The number of credits generally determines the level of achievement.
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