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What is green building and how it affects our modern lifestyle and livelihood as well as the environment? Read on!
Our urbanization of natural spaces has created negative impacts on the environment over the years. Our ecosystem is suffering as a result of man-made activities in our day-to-day operations, including our construction.
However, we can’t just live in straw huts and let technologies pass us by. Advancements are often good in sustaining our lives, so the solution to our ecosystem problems are not solved by halting all kinds of construction projects; but rather integrating environmentally responsible practices into our operations that will reverse these negative impacts.
Table of Contents
What is Green Building?
Green buildings are structures whose construction, design, and/or overall usage is made sustainable. Green buildings often have eco-friendly technologies in their construction and design, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, and overall waste.
Sustainable building is the starting point of any green building. These practices may come in form of paperless designs and agreements, the use of reclaimed or sustainable materials, or in the purpose of the building itself. There are three main factors that determine sustainable building:
- Complete project using sustainable or recycled materials, digitized plans, and paperless methods.
- Integrates technologies that do not contribute or otherwise reduce the environmental impacts of the finished project.
- Creates long-lasting positive eco-friendly practices before and after construction of the structure.
Urban and Nature
Most green buildings are highly noticeable due to the lush green foliage that integrates into the modern architectural design of the buildings. These plants are typically live plants, whose purpose is to serve more than just for aesthetic purposes. Live plants are well-known to produce oxygen, minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and provide cleaner air for the surrounding area.
Some green buildings may not have had their foliage manually installed. You may find some green buildings that have been built around trees and flora that have grown on the property long before the structure was even planned to be built. Instead of cutting down trees, property owners have decided to build around them, preserving the tree’s legacy on the land.
Green Buildings Around the World
Singapore has led Asia’s quest to normalize green buildings. The country has its own certification authority, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). One of the prime examples of green buildings in Singapore is the Parkroyal on Pickering, which practices rainwater harvesting, and an environmentally friendly yet efficient cooling system.
Australia has been a poster child for many ecologically sound projects, including their highly colorful and sustainable Pixel Building in Melbourne, and the lush, flora-covered One Central Park building in Sydney. The push for green building in Australia has led to innovative practices and methods in constructing buildings that are not only environmentally friendly, are eye-catching and functional as well.
The CopenHill in Copenhagen, Denmark, shows that sustainability and recreation can mix well together in this sports center and waste power plant fusion. Visitors can attempt to climb the tallest climbing wall in Copenhagen, while the building continuously processes waste products for power and electricity.
Hidden away in the lush greenery of surrounding trees is the ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall of Japan, which houses fifteen (15) garden terraces in this multi-purpose concert hall. The greenery surrounding the building supports fauna and flora life, and visitors may view sightings of migratory birds, small arboreal mammals, and tree-loving insects.
Why is Sustainable Building Better?
The world is already at the end of its tolerance for our negative environmental impacts. With climate change, global warming, and extinction through habitat destruction on the rise, we have the responsibility to be aware of how our actions impact the ecosystem.
Sustainability is at the heart of our efforts to construct not only our buildings but our overall quality of life as we continue to make important contributions to combat climate change.
Because sustainable building makes use of recycled, reclaimed, or sustainable materials, the effect of these materials on the environment is reduced to much less than traditional construction. Sustainability also means less waste, so construction projects make use of alternative methods in ordering the materials they need to minimize waste.
Wood, greenery, and foliage are a big trend now, and will hopefully continue to be one. Adding lush greens to structures can make any building look more modern and in touch with nature. However, sustainability is more than just planting flora around structures, it is ensuring that these foliage are capable of making a positive change in the environment.
Sustainable and Green Construction
Finding a reputable builder who can construct green buildings and follow sustainable building practices isn’t easy. Most of the contractors remain quite traditional. However, as the trend of sustainable construction continues, more and more contractors are implementing eco-friendly construction practices in their services.
People now have a greater understanding of what it means to be environmentally friendly, and we are modeling our industries around that understanding – and the construction industry has been part of it.