It is independently verified that these buildings perform better than 75 percent of similar buildings across the country. On average, they use 35 percent less energy and cause 35 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than their peers. The Edge in Amsterdam, considered the greenest building in the world by BREEAM, the British sustainability rating agency, exemplifies how much better buildings can be. Solar panels on the roof and the south-facing wall power the building, computers, electric vehicles and smartphones.
The building uses 70 percent less electricity than comparable office buildings and generates more electricity than it uses. The space is flooded with natural light and air is vented through the ceiling. The lighting is provided by super-efficient LED panels connected with sensors that monitor movement, occupancy, light, temperature and humidity. The building is kept comfortable through the use of two deep wells that lead to an aquifer that stores thermal energy; in summer, hot water is pumped and kept isolated; in winter it is pumped again to obtain radiant heating.
Rainwater is collected to empty the toilets and irrigate the garden, which has hives and houses for bats. The Edge is also possibly the smartest building in the world due to its 30,000 sensors. A smartphone app finds you a parking spot, colleagues or a desk. Nobody has a permanent desk, but people can choose from a variety of workspaces as needed.
The application knows your preferred temperature and light conditions and adjusts the environment accordingly wherever you go. The sensors collect data on how employees interact, building conditions, and energy use, so that when there are fewer employees, entire sections of the building can be closed to save energy. Building in an environmentally friendly way requires the coordination of everyone who works on a building from the start, including clients, architects, engineers, general contractors and people in the community, since 70 percent of decisions that have an environmental impact are made in the first 10 percent of the design process, according to the Green Building Alliance. These are the main strategies used in green construction.
Green building materials include wood from certified and responsibly managed forests, plants that are rapidly renewed, such as bamboo and straw, recycled stone or metal, and materials that are non-toxic and are recyclable or that have been recovered from other construction projects. Floors that use sealants or adhesives containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or other harmful chemicals should not be used. Carpets must be made of recycled materials or natural fibers, such as wool or seagrass, and hardwood floors must use wood certified as sustainably managed, or bamboo or cork that are quickly renewed. Real linoleum made from cork powder, limestone and linseed oil is biodegradable.
Stone, ceramic or glass tiles can be recycled or recovered. Most insulation materials, the key to a building's energy efficiency, are made of petrochemicals. They come in flexible sheets or blankets made of recycled fiberglass fibers, cellulose, denim or mineral wool; insulation can also be made with natural fibers such as sheep's wool, linen, hemp, cellulose, wood fiber or clay granules. A foam plate or spray foam is also commonly used (most use polyurethane).
Loose filler made of blown fiberglass, mineral wool, blown cellulose, or vermiculite or perlite is used for small spaces. Prefabricated structural insulation panels made of insulating foam between two boards and forms of insulating concrete with high thermal mass in which concrete is pumped between foam blocks are gaining popularity. However, most insulation does not stop air leaks. To create an airtight building, an envelope made of weatherproof synthetic material is generally needed to create an air barrier around the entire building envelope.
Seams and connections must be sealed with adhesive tape. When buildings are airtight, good ventilation is essential to allow fresh air to enter from outside and for stale air to escape through the vents, or for air to be recirculated and filtered. Ventilation and insulation also control humidity, which can cause mold and bacteria to grow if left unchecked. Demand-controlled ventilation can use occupancy sensors or CO2 sensors to adjust the intake of fresh air to the needs of the building's occupants.
Volatile organic compounds have harmful effects on health and comfort, so green buildings try to use building materials, finishes and interior paints, and cleaning products with low or no VOC content. Unlike most paints, coatings made from natural materials such as clay, lime, linseed oil, chalk, milk protein, vegetable or mineral colorants, and natural latex are generally non-toxic. Many traditional rooftops can be up to 90° hotter than the surrounding air temperature, especially in cities. Cold roofs, which reflect solar heat instead of absorbing it, reduce temperatures inside a building, reduce the need for air conditioning and, therefore, energy costs, and require little maintenance.
They can be coated with a white or colored paint-like material made of foam or multiple layers of material that reduce the absorption of solar heat, use clay tiles or asphalt shingles, or be constructed of metal. Green infrastructure in ceilings and walls offers many benefits. Katia Perini, architect, researcher and expert in green building in vegetative systems at the Urban Design Laboratory of the Earth Institute, said that green roofs are very effective in saving energy, improving air quality and helping to manage stormwater. They are typically built with a top layer of vegetation, soil, a root barrier, drainage, and layers to protect the roof itself and support the weight.
Green roofs can be colder than the temperature of the surrounding air because they provide shade, and as plants absorb water and evaporate it, the air cools. They can reduce the cost of air conditioning by 25 percent, reduce air pollution by collecting fine dust pollutants, increase biodiversity, help manage stormwater by absorbing rainfall and providing an aesthetic improvement. Some green roofs also grow food. The Perini project has already completed the monitoring of air quality and energy performance, but a life cycle assessment and a cost-benefit analysis must still be combined and developed to determine how sustainable green facades are and what aspects make a difference.
The placement of windows relative to the angle of the sun can affect the energy efficiency of a building, as well as heating and cooling costs. Windows facing east and west allow more heat to enter than windows facing north and south. Energy-saving windows include double-paned windows filled with argon or krypton for insulation, tinted windows that absorb heat, insulating windows made of two or more layers, windows with reflective coatings that block more light than heat, and windows with low-emissivity coating that block heat but allow light to pass through. Smart windows can go from transparent to translucent when low-voltage electricity passes through them, altering the wavelengths of light that can pass through them.
While more expensive, they can save money on heating, air conditioning and lighting, and avoid the need for blinds or curtains. Since most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, lighting is critical. Daylight should be allowed to enter the building as much as possible, ensuring that there are blinds or blinds to reduce excess heat from windows and skylights. Incandescent bulbs are gradually being phased out; compact fluorescent lamps and LED bulbs consume less energy and last longer.
Passive solar technology or natural lighting depends on the location of the windows, the use of thermal mass and the proper orientation of the building with respect to the sun to provide light and heat without any other device. Natural lighting in the atrium of the Cleveland Museum of Art, south-facing windows and open interior spaces bring sunlight to the building. A thermal mass, such as water, brick, concrete, or mud, stores heat when the sun hits it and then gradually releases it at night. A thermal mass such as marble, if kept away from the sun, will help keep the building cool.
Solar water heaters use solar energy to produce hot water. Photovoltaic solar panels on the roof or outside of the building convert solar energy into electricity. They can be made of several materials that alter their efficiency, including new flexible thin-film solar cells that are cheap and non-toxic. Solar energy provides energy independence and, once installed, provides clean and free energy; the disadvantages are that energy can fluctuate and the installation of systems can be expensive, although there are many credits and tax incentives available.
Wind energy from horizontal or vertical axis turbines also provides clean and free energy once installed. However, wind energy is also intermittent, can be noisy and harm wildlife. Geothermal energy harnesses the Earth's internal heat to provide heat and energy. It can be used directly by taking advantage of geothermal hot water tanks.
Steam or hot water can also be captured and used to drive a turbine to produce electricity. Geothermal heat pumps capture heat from the Earth, which is at a constant temperature of 55 to 60° F, six feet below the ground, to heat a building in winter and then transfer it back to the ground in summer to cool it. Geothermal energy is cheap, clean, quiet and available all year round. Globally, buildings use 13.6 percent of all drinking water, so reducing water consumption is a key aspect of green building.
Water can be conserved with ultra-low-discharge toilets and low-flow faucets. Greywater systems recycle water that comes from washing machines, sinks, or dishwashers. In residential buildings, between 50 and 80 percent of the water can be considered gray water and, therefore, recycled for use in gardening (not for edible plants) or, if applicable, for flushing toilets. Green landscaping attempts to keep natural features intact, using native plants and grasses, which require less water.
The mulch should be organic and the plants should be fed with compost instead of chemical fertilizers. Drip irrigation, which irrigates plants from their roots, wastes less water than sprinklers, and rainwater can be collected in barrels to irrigate plants. Composting should be practiced to minimize waste that goes to the landfill and produce nutrient-rich humus for the soil. Paved areas need natural drainage to control stormwater runoff, erosion, and flooding during heavy rains.
Green infrastructure, such as biological ponds and rain gardens, depressions planted with vegetation, absorb runoff and allow it to infiltrate the soil and replace aquifers. Permeable paving or paving stones with the spaces in between filled with grass or stones also allow rainwater to be absorbed. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), one of the most used certification systems for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings in the world, was developed by the United States. UU.
Rate buildings based on criteria that include site selection, access to public transportation, reduced water use, energy efficiency, green energy, recycled and regional materials, rapidly renovated materials, rapidly renovated materials, construction waste management, ventilation, indoor air quality, thermal comfort, natural light and views, and design innovation. Depending on the number of points accumulated in these and other categories, a project can receive a certified LEED rating, silver, gold or platinum. The latest version, LEEDv4, requires a building to measure all its energy consumption and report it to the U.S. While there are no established parameters for energy use, the data will help building operators manage energy more efficiently.
Water use must be measured and reduced by 30 percent, and the measurement data will be shared with the city council. Demand response programs, which allow users to reduce or change their electricity consumption when electricity prices rise, will get credit. And now more points can be earned for using renewable energy, as well as for community renewable energy systems. BREEAM, the Building Research Establishment's environmental assessment methodology, is a British system for certifying the sustainability of buildings.
France has HQE, Haute Qualité Environnementale, its green building standards. Green Star and NABERS (Australian National Built Environmental Classification System) are used in Australia and New Zealand. Another green building strategy mentioned above is the construction of passive houses, whose standards were developed in Germany 23 years ago. Arguably, these standards are the most successful in achieving energy efficiency and reducing daily energy consumption, creating heating up to 90 percent more efficient and reducing total energy use by up to 70 percent.
They are based on insulation, the use of sunlight and an airtight infrastructure. While a green building has been found to cost about 2 percent more than a non-green building, energy savings alone help recover the additional cost of the building in about six years. In March, New York City passed a law that will require most new municipal building projects to achieve LEED Gold certification and reduce their energy consumption by half. It's very important to understand green buildings in order to save the environment for our future generations.
The use of sustainable resources in the construction industry must be enforced according to local building regulations in order to save the environment. Data on green buildings shows that green buildings in South Africa can save between 20 and 30% of drinking water and between 30 and 40% of energy and carbon emissions per year. In 1990, the United Kingdom introduced the world's first green building standard, followed by the formation of the U. Green buildings incorporate environmentally friendly and resource-efficient measures throughout the life cycle of the building.
Green building materials in general continue to be an area of new development, as demand grows for products and technologies that help achieve LEED certification. At best, these green buildings do not perform better or worse in terms of saving primary energy, making government policies that require their construction a questionable mandate and raises questions about effective methods to reduce energy consumption in buildings. According to statistics on green building projects, these projects are distributed over 68.83 million square meters. Based on energy data volunteered for just 121 buildings, 22 percent of those eligible for the study, the NBI concluded that LEED-certified buildings, on average, were saving 25 to 30 percent on energy compared to conventional buildings.
Regardless of the system that guides its implementation, the concept of green buildings remains universal. Green buildings are created to be healthier, have pleasant working conditions and reduce energy and water waste without reducing comfort. The concept of green buildings aims to comprehensively minimize the negative impact and maximize the positive impact that a building has on its natural environment and its human occupants. The Green Building Council established the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system in the late 1990s to create a central framework for coding and verifying the effective implementation of green building practices.
As a holistic approach to planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance, green buildings successfully maximize the natural efficiencies of a construction site and integrate them with renewable and low-carbon technologies to meet the building's energy needs and create a healthy built environment. Every year, standard building systems spend millions of tons of materials, while green construction uses far fewer resources. The building has reduced its water consumption by almost half and has reduced its wastewater by 56 percent compared to similar buildings in the city. .