Water and energy cost savings · 3.One of the most popular trends of the 21st century is green construction. Sustainable construction is usually characterized by the use of environmentally responsible and resource efficient materials throughout the process. It also covers processes before and after the actual construction, including operation, maintenance, renovation, demolition, location and design. Sustainable construction is extremely important because of the strong impact it has on the environment.
According to research by Line Shape Space, buildings in the United States account for 68 percent of electricity consumption, 38 percent of energy use, 38 percent of CO2 emissions and 30 percent of landfill waste. Many people still believe that green buildings are significantly more expensive than normal structures, but in reality they are the opposite of that. Building green buildings costs 2% more on average, but they save between 14 and 19 percent on operating expenses. Sustainable real estate investments can generate positive returns in just a few months or years thanks to these savings.
However, green construction offers many more benefits in addition to operating cost savings. Green buildings are often seen as more comfortable with a healthier indoor environment and better air quality. The data shows that almost 99% of the occupants of green buildings are satisfied with the quality of their indoor environment, compared to only 50% of the occupants of conventional buildings. These high rates of occupant satisfaction tend to lead to better productivity (with 33% higher scores on cognitive tests compared to occupants of non-green buildings).
Numerous studies also indicate that green buildings are becoming increasingly popular, with a 6% higher occupancy level and 2% more rent, which can significantly increase the market value of green properties. Green buildings, as many know, have a less negative impact on the environment than standard buildings. Its construction minimizes on-site leveling, saves natural resources through the use of alternative construction materials, and recycles construction waste instead of sending it truck after truck to landfills. Most interior spaces in a green building have natural lighting and outdoor views, while high-efficiency HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems and materials low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds), such as paint, floors and furniture, create superior indoor air quality.
According to William Browning, principal investigator at the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado, integrating ecological principles into the planning and design process of a building can generate 40% more savings and 40% more performance than simply adding green technologies to a traditionally planned and designed facility. The WGBC is now working to help establish green building councils, a prerequisite for WGBC membership in China, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Thanks to its green design and energy-efficient technologies, it uses 55% less energy than a standard building of similar size. A green building isn't just a more expensive version of a conventional building, and the features of a green building aren't just expensive add-ons to buildings.
The facility combines traditional Indian construction techniques with green innovations, such as two wind towers that make air conditioning virtually redundant. On average, the construction of a green building will cost 2% more and will save between 14 and 19% in operating costs due to the lower amount of energy and the consumption of resources. Although they look like normal structures, green buildings are designed to have a lower negative impact on the environment, be healthier, increase the productivity of internal workers and reduce overhead costs. Numerous studies carried out in this field indicate that green buildings consume between 25 and 35% less energy than non-green buildings.
While this may seem like an excessive cost, the initial expense associated with green construction involves long-term benefits and future savings in operating and maintenance costs. The Australian Green Building Council, founded in 2002, synthesized BREEAM, LEED and other environmental criteria into the Green Star rating system, which is specific to the Australian environment, construction practices and housing markets. The initial cost of adding green features to buildings is generally offset by savings in operating and maintenance costs, as they are designed to operate more efficiently. In this way, investing in a green building is a profitable initiative for short- and long-term homeowners, whether the potential customer is renting or selling.
The CII-Sohrabji Godrej green business center in Hyderabad (India), the greenest building in the world when it was completed in 2003, according to the USGBC, received a circular design that allows sunlight to reach every part of the 20,000 square foot building. In particular, green buildings tend to have good insulation (allowing better temperature management) and efficient lighting and heating systems. Not only is green getting more respect, but it's quickly becoming a necessity as businesses, homebuilders, retailers, health institutions, governments and others push green buildings into the mainstream in the next five to ten years. Citigroup, for example, has already begun to analyze how its 100 largest buildings compare with accepted ecological standards.