Fight against climate change with green buildings

 Fight against climate change with green buildings

To fight against climate change, builders, planners, designers, and architects urgently need to shift gears and implement sustainable designs and practices. Buildings, be it residential or commercial, are an alarmingly dominant source of almost 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), according to Architecture 2030, a prominent non-profit research organization in the US.

The solution – design and build Green!

In light of the grave threat to the environment and subsequently to all forms of life on this planet, building green then becomes critical to our very existence, health, and well-being. Green buildings are about straddling the structure’s entire ecosystem – planning, design, construction, operations, and its end-of-life impact on the environment. This entails looking at options that save energy and water, do not emit harmful GHGs, and are recyclable or sustainable. When a structure does all of this while also retaining the creation of vegetated land areas, it reduces GHGs and thus aids in the fight against climate change. By incorporating all the above elements, you contribute to the UN 17-point charter on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across many parameters which we will see in this article.

Best practices to go Green

Let us now look at elements to be considered as one adopts the Green building route. fight against climate change

  1. Energy requirements- depending on the construction and its need, consider solar, wind, and biogas as alternatives to fossil fuels. Solar is the best option for commercial and residential buildings.
  2. A shift from traditional engineered panels or wood as the choice of construction material is a good practice to adopt. The former emits high VOC emissions, and the latter pushes deforestation to new levels. Look at sustainable options made out of naturally renewable fiber, such as Agribiopanels, coco panels, hemp blocks, or Agrocrete made of agro-waste. They not only recycle Agri waste but provide a healthier environment to live in and are environmentally sustainable as they do not add to landfills or pollution. Remember to be mindful of the impact of each element in the design on the environment.
  3. Source materials close to home. One needs to consider not only the material but also its source. Lesser transport to and from the construction site cuts associated fuel consumption and emission of GHGs.
  4. Other green systems to incorporate in building engineering are radiant floors, greywater recycling, rainwater harvesting, geothermal systems, and energy-efficient window systems. These systems work together to help meet energy and water-saving goals while lowering utility bills. These measures help reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and are more energy-efficient.
  5. Retrofitting is another method to deploy to improve energy efficiency. It involves making changes to existing commercial buildings and aids operational optimization, IoT connectivity, onsite solar or renewable energy, and utilizing existing landscaping elements such as shade. In many cases, renovating an old building may be less expensive than constructing a new one from scratch.

Green buildings and SDGs norms

Let’s see how Green buildings fulfill other SDGs norms.

  • We have now already We have already seen that green building characteristics, such as increased lighting, better air quality, and greenery, have a favorable impact on our health and wellness. Moreover, as the global demand for green buildings grows, so will the workforce that will be required to deliver them.
  • Green buildings are not only about the present but more importantly about the future. Ensuring structures are adaptable, resilient, sustainable, and last in the face of global climate change consulting gives a major fillip to innovation and technology.
  • The construction industry can help prevent waste by reducing, recycling, and reusing circular economy principles that ensure resources are not wasted.

High-performing green buildings

High-performing green buildings, particularly LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified facilities, provide the means to reduce the climate impact of buildings and their inhabitants. A classic example is the Puma store in Bangalore – the first LEED-rated showroom of PUMA worldwide. The sustainable features of the store include recycled steel from old DVD players, bicycles, and tiffin boxes! Its roof garden keeps the building insulated and cooler, and its energy-efficient artificial lighting ensures less watts usage. The highly insulated building shell allows for cooling without the use of an air conditioner. The underfloor air distribution helps to save energy. This approach works on the premise that in any particular space air should be cooled only for the first eight feet from the floor. The reason for this is that currents cause hot air to rise automatically while cool air remains at the bottom.

From one of the world’s tallest timber buildings in Sweden to a bamboo school in Indonesia and an eco-tourism initiative to restore a national park in Rwanda, the world is moving toward a healthier and safer environment for future generations.

Green buildings are growing in popularity and importance. Using sustainable material improves your LEED and GRIHA ratings under the Green Building rating system.

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