What is Green Building

What is green building? A green' building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment. Green buildings preserve precious natural resources and improve our quality of life. There are a number of features which can make a building green'. These include: Efficient use of energy, water and other resources Use of renewable energy, such as solar energy Pollution and waste reduction measures, and the enabling of re use and recycling Good indoor environmental air quality Use of materials that are non toxic, ethical and sustainable Consideration of the environment in design, construction and operation Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in design, construction and operation A design that enables adaptation to a changing environment Any building can be a green building, whether it's a home, an office, a school, a hospital, a community centre, or any other type of structure, provided it includes features listed above. However, it is worth noting that not all green buildings are and need to be the same. 

Different countries and regions have a variety of characteristics such as distinctive climatic conditions, unique cultures and traditions, diverse building types and ages, or wide ranging environmental, economic and social priorities all of which shape their approach to green building. Green buildings could become one of the main factors to preserve our rapidly decaying environment. There is no easy way to define a green building, but a green building is essentially a structure that amplifies the positives and mitigates the negatives throughout the entire life cycle of the building Kriss, 2014 . There are many definitions for a green building, but all of them include the planning, designing, constructing, and operating of the building while taking into huge considerations of the energy use, water use, indoor air environment, materials used and the effect it has on the site the green building is being built on. The first green buildings dates back to as far as the 1970's, when solar panels went from experiments to reality. Green buildings were not as popular as they are today due to their extremely high pricing. With technology rapidly growing, solar panels are becoming cheaper and cheaper, making the transition to creating green buildings more affordable. This is the primary reason for the increased growth of green buildings today. A modern company that is paving the way to the growth of green buildings named LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, focuses primarily on new and effective ideas for environmentally friendly buildings projects. 

With more than 60,000 commercial projects worldwide and 1. 7 million square feet being certified every day, LEED is one of the leading groups for promoting green buildings. Buildings require air, water, energy and space for its occupants. These are provided by systems in place like the ventilation system, the water supply system and the electricity supply system. The materials which are used in the construction of the building also produce environmental impact like carbon footprint, pollution through wastes and slurry, and the consumption of water and power. Buildings are one of the major sources of pollution that cause air pollution and are responsible for climate change. The objective of green building concept is to develop buildings which use the natural resources to the minimal at the time of construction as well as operation. Green buildings emphasize on the resource usage efficiency and also press upon the three R's Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The technique of green building maximizes the use of efficient construction materials and practices boosts the use of natural sources and sinks in the building's surroundings minimizes the energy usage to run itself uses highly proficient equipment for the indoor area uses highly proficient methods for water and waste management. The indoor equipment includes lighting, air conditioning and all other needed equipment. Green Building is a team effort and the designing and construction include consultants from architecture and landscaping, air conditioning, plumbing, energy and electrical areas. These consultants have to assess the impact of the each and every design on the environment, keeping in mind the cost involved. The final design needs to be feasible and should minimize the negative impacts that the building would have on the environment. Implementation of the green building concept can lead to a reduction of carbon emission by thirty five percent, water usage by forty percent, solid waste reduction by seventy percent and reduction in energy consumption by fifty percent. Green Building concept also emphasizes on the fact that an area with high biodiversity should be avoided as a site for the construction of a building. To ensure minimum negative impact on the environment by the construction and operation of a building, the factors which are to be kept in mind are to preserve the external environment to the building location to improve the internal area for the residents of the building and also preserve the areas which are not close to the building. Saving Energy Energy saving through green building concept occurs in two ways. 

First is reduction in the amount of energy that is consumed in lighting, air conditioning and other building operations. Second is the usage of energy sources which do not produce any greenhouse gases and are renewable in nature. Green Buildings emphasize more on natural lighting and concepts of temperature control and efficient design to further reduce the carbon footprint as well as reduce cost of operation. Saving water Green Buildings use various methods to reduce water usage, treat and reuse waste water and filter water from sourced from precipitation. The target is to be able to achieve zero water table negative impact from the green building. Reducing Waste Waste reduction is one of the most important issues that are to be dealt with. In the US alone, the waste from construction and demolition of buildings accounts for sixty percent of the total non industrial waste. Green Building concept emphasizes on improving the design of the product, re using and recycling materials. It results in tremendous waste reduction and also helps to reduce the environmental impact of the building. Improving Health and Productivity Hygiene and proper conditions inside the building also help in boosting human productivity. Hence various businesses concentrate on this aspect. Green Building concept provides for cleanliness and sound working conditions for employees and other inhabitants. Green Building concept in USA: Green building markets in the United States of America USA , account for five to ten percent of the total building market. The largest organisation for green building in USA is the US Green Building Council USGBC . It has over twelve thousand member organizations and is around a financial worth of over twelve billion dollars. Some of the rating systems that have been developed for green building concept are: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED , Green Globes, Building Owners and Managers Association BOMA , National Association of Home Builders NAHB , International Codes Council and American National Standards Institute. 

In USA, the existing buildings are accounting for forty percent of total energy consumption, twelve percent of total water usage, sixty eight percent of electricity usage, thirty eight percent of carbon dioxide emission and sixty percent of non industrial waste generation. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED Rating System: LEED rating system was developed in USA by the US Green Building Council in the year 1998. It provides a set of standards for environmentally sustainable construction of building using a market based rating system. This rating system is being followed in the US and many other countries for the evaluation of sustainable building. LEED can be defined for new constructions, existing buildings, commercial buildings and schools. Buildings which have been recognized to be eligible for LEED are offices, retail establishments, institutional buildings and service establishments. LEED rating system provides a variety of benefits and cost savings. The benefits include reducing the operating costs, reducing resource utilizations in terms of water and electricity, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. The other cost savings includes the tax rebates and zone allowances

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