The rising costs of energy and growing industry shifts towards cleaner and more sustainable construction has made green architecture the new norm. It has gradually become the standard practice for builders and developers over the last decade. With the savings and efficiencies it offers, going green is no doubt the more sensible choice for most businesses.
By definition, a green building is a project that allows you to preserve the natural environment around the project site as much as possible, while being able to produce a structure that is going to serve its intended purpose. The construction and operation of such a building must promote a healthy environment for everyone involved. It should also not be disruptive to the land, water, and energy resources in and around it.
According to the U.S. EPA, green building refers to the practice of building structures using resource-efficient and environmentally responsible technologies and processes throughout the life cycle of the structure—from siting all the way to the construction, maintenance, operation, and eventually, deconstruction. Green building complements and expands the concerns that are involved in classical building design, namely, economy, comfort, utility, and durability. It is also known as high performance or sustainable building.
Adopting greener building practices is the way forward. Green buildings are intentionally designed in such a way to promote human health and reduce overall environmental impact and by:
- Reducing pollution, trash, and environmental degradation – This includes features like material recycling facilities and the use of reclaimed or recycled, and environmentally friendly materials.
- Efficiently using resources such as energy and water – Some green buildings have integrated rainwater collectors, wind turbines and solar panels for energy production. They also have well planned layouts to maximize sun exposure to save on lighting and heating costs.
- Protecting the health of occupants and improving productivity – Green buildings maximize the integration of the natural environment with the structure to promote the well-being of its occupants.