Where Is Green Building Architecture Leading the Human Civilization?

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  • Author Shilpi Saikia
  • Published February 8, 2023
  • Word count 1,467

Where Is Green Building Architecture Leading the Human Civilization?

Buildings and the construction process have a lot to do with the environment and the climatic changes occupying the news headlines nowadays. According to the 2022 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction, in 2021, the percentage of CO2 emissions caused by the construction sector went to an all-time high over the pre-pandemic level, reaching around 37%, where energy demand reached over 34%.

Notwithstanding that, man’s consciousness regarding saving the earth from environmental crisis led him to discover ideas for sustainable urban architectural planning using green energy.

Calculative building planning and practices can do a lot in saving natural energy and resources. Apart from that, the construction industry holds considerable potential in reducing waste, thereby controlling pollution to a great extent.

This discussion is dedicated to the process and technique of building known as sustainable building or green building.

What Is Meant by Green Building?

In simple terms, when you use certain building techniques and natural materials to make your building environment-friendly, your building becomes green. Green here doesn’t essentially mean the color. Rather, it associates the two different ideas of nature and construction together. Being the color of nature, green symbolizes here nature or the environment.

However, with terrace gardens or other added greenery, your building can actually look green.

Green building signifies the process, structure, and technique to make any eco-friendly building. This concept covers the complete life cycle of a structure from building, through maintenance, to its demolition.

When a particular structure is built using this green building technique, the whole construction process has to go through several demarcations. The main concept coming here is regarding saving natural resources including energy, water, land, material, etc. during the whole life cycle of the sturcture. And you don’t just save resources, you reduce waste to the optimum possible level too.

Thus, in a sentence, the concept of sustainable building or green building is based on the lowest possible consumption of resources while providing high efficiency and taking care of the environment and the overall cost.

To achieve this effect, the use of sustainable cutting-edge technologies, as well as renewable energies and materials, is the precondition. The technique takes steps to make everything natural or near natural throughout the construction process. With all this, a green building comes to life, which, throughout its lifetime, helps in retaining and improving the quality of the surrounding environment.

When it comes to green buildings, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificate holds unavoidable significance. This certificate determines whether a building can be considered green or not.

The history behind the Technique of Green Building

A look back to the past of the construction industry is enough to prove that green buildings existed from the very beginning. The previous constructions tended to be more sustainable, as they were built with locally available natural materials. As the craving for industrialization saw its growth in the late eighteenth to the early nineteenth century, the emphasis naturally went to a sophisticated lifestyle beyond sustainability.

With time, human consciousness came back to sustainability. Thus, conscious efforts at the concept of green building were seen for the first time in the latter part of the twentieth century. In the 1960s, with the American architect Paul Soleri’s idea of ecological architecture, the concept of sustainable building entered the industry.

The energy crisis of 1970s leading several countries toward oil shortages again fuelled the idea of sustainable architectural construction.

In 1990, the construction industry saw an important development regarding green building. the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) was established this year.

Later, with the United Nations’ concept of sustainable development proposed in the "United Nations Conference on Environment and Development" in 1992, the real estate industry found a direction toward development in the idea of green building.

The later years of the century saw another crucial development. In 1998, the LEED certificate was launched.

And there was no looking back. The era of green building saw its beginning. The first decade of the 21st century was dominant with initial green building practices with the use of local recycled materials. After that, modern practices of sustainable urban planning with cutting-edge technologies came into existence.

In today’s date, you can find many architectural designs including great skyscrapers across different countries built with green building technology.

Main Components of Green Building

The construction process of a green building grows through several components. The following is a discussion on the primary components of green building.

Sustainable, Non-toxic Materials

The green building technique advocates the use of sustainable, reusable, recycled, and non-toxic materials that can eliminate or at least reduce the harmful effects of construction. It is again a recommended way to save resources. To mention some such materials, you can go for forest materials, insulated panels, sustainable concrete such as wood chips or crushed glass, etc.

Efficient Water Management

The water footprint is a crucial part of the green building design. Considering the declining water level, efficient and minimized use of water is practiced in this technique. To control the water footprint, you can consider using rainwater harvesting, water recycling, and/or greywater systems.

Renewable Energy

Effective use of renewable energy is another parameter of sustainable building. The use of solar panels, solar heaters, wind turbines, energy-efficient lighting, low-energy appliances, etc. can be mentioned in this respect. Such systems can reduce energy consumption to a great extent.

Maintaining the Indoor Environment

Green building also highlights the maintenance of the indoor environment, so that it can cope with the surrounding outdoor environment. The uses of the proper natural lighting system through the insertion of energy-efficient windows, and green roofs to control heat loss come within this category. Apart from that, proper ventilation systems and indoor tree plantation help in maintaining indoor air quality.

Sustainable Techniques to Improve the Environment Quality

A crucial purpose of green building is maintaining and improving the quality of the surrounding environment. Landscape designing comes in handy in this case. It can reduce the heat absorption amount in a home, thereby controlling the surrounding temperature.

Why Green Building Is Important?

Apart from environmental benefits, sustainable building impacts the living conditions on earth. Here are some reflections on it.

The green building concept can mend up the share of environmental and climatic degradation resulting from the greater real estate constructions across the globe. With its gradual progress, it is responsible for preserving biodiversity, reducing pollution, and safeguarding natural resources.

By controlling waste and pollution, and by enhancing air quality, this technique impact positively on human health.

Although the costs of sustainable building are seemingly higher compared to conventional architectural designs, thinking in long term, it is a cost-efficient technique to go for.

With the use of renewable energy, it is an important step towards the efficient use of energy.

Sustainable Buildings in Reality

Does this idea of green building seem like a myth? Well, examples do exist in the real world. Read on.

The Line, Saudi Arabia: Although we have mentioned it at first, it’s still a vision going to be a reality. The Saudi authorities recently announced this project under the broader NEOM project. According to the plans, the authorities are going to build a high-tech city in the Saudi deserts using green building techniques, which is going to change the concept of urban life greatly. As the hypothesis says, the car-prohibited city will be built using only renewable energy.

Suzlon One Earth, Pune: Situated in India, this headquarter of the turbine supplier company Suzlon is made around the idea of “Office in the Garden”. This is one of the first buildings in India awarded with the LEED certification.

Pixel Building, Melbourne: This building is the first example in the line of carbon-neutral office buildings in Australia. Along with a green roof, this building has set systems to generate the required water and electricity on its own. Apart from these, colorful panels and wind turbines again lead it one step further toward sustainability.

World Trade Center, Bahrain: It is a complex of two skyscraper towers, which is known to hold the world’s first design with integrated turbines. This leveraging of desert winds to produce electricity leads the complex to produce 15% of its required energy.

To Conclude

Green building is an inherent part of responsible urban planning, which aims at saving human civilization and the earth from the negative effects of construction.

It has been proved that human civilization is going to confront the greatest energy crisis by 2050 if the use of natural resources is not reduced. The concept of sustainable building is a step towards limiting energy usage.

Provided the enormity of the real estate industry, this move can have a considerable impact on the environment as well as the quality of life as a whole.

Shilpi Saikia is a professional content writer from Assam, India. Currently, she is working for RateperSQFT as a content writer. They are realtors helping people out in dealing with anything related to real estate. For more information, visit their online portal as mentioned below.

Website: https://ratepersqft.com/

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