The term green building refers to a building that is designed and built in such a way as to minimize (or totally eliminate) every negative effect it could have on the environment while at the same time increasing the positive effects possible. Green buildings are built with the aim of preserving the earth’s resources and helping us lead better and improved lives. A green building is in every way friendly to the environment. It also ensures that resources are used in the most efficient and effective way possible. This happens at every phase of its life cycle starting from the planning, to the design, the construction and erection, the operation, maintenance, renovation and on to the demolition.
Green buildings are the solutions to those concerns raised by traditional buildings regarding economy, utility, durability as well as comfort. Green buildings arose out of the need to build more sustainable buildings which has become necessary as a result of the many havoc wreaked on the planet by human activities. Sustainability refers to the fulfillment of the needs of an existing generation while not negatively affecting the capacity of upcoming generations to fulfill theirs. With the earth running out of resources and materials and the possibility for our descendants to inherit a planet devoid of thins required to live, there is a need to pursue sustainable means of meeting our needs such as green buildings.
A green building can be one meant for any purpose. This includes residential homes, malls, offices, hospitals, churches and schools.
The following are the features you should expect to see in a supposedly green building;
- Water, energy as well as other resources are utilized in the most effective and efficient way possible with little to no wastage occurring
- Renewable sources of energy generation such as solar energy are adopted
- Waste production is kept to a minimum, so is pollution and re-using and recycling materials are the established norms
- The quality of indoor environmental air is nothing short of superb
- The utilization of materials that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable
- An environmental friendly design, construction and operation
- A design that can be easily modified to fit an evolving environment
Green buildings offer many perks as already mentioned. The many benefits that can be derived from the adoption of green buildings can be categorized under three broad classes which are environmental, social and economic. These benefits are further expanded upon below.
Green buildings are a way of sorting some of the issues facing our environment and climate today. This is due to the fact that they use less energy, water and natural resources than conventional buildings.
Green buildings also have a positive effect on economy through the reduction of money that would otherwise be spent on utility (such as water and electricity), construction (costs are lower), and job provision. They will also lead to a reduction in energy costs worldwide.
Green buildings will also lead to a much improved quality of living. Several studies have demonstrated this such as one conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 2013 which showed that those who work in green buildings sleep 46 minutes longer on average.
The world is shifting its perspective and sustainable means of doing things are gaining momentum. This trend can only see an increase as they offer many benefits that can simply not be ignored.