Green Building or Sustainable Building Concept

Green Building or Sustainable Building Concept:

What is green building or sustainable building:

Our ancestors worshiped the five elements of nature:

Earth as ‘Prithvi’

Water as ‘Jal’

Agni as ‘Energy’

Air as ‘Vayu’

The sky as ‘Akash’

A green building or sustainable building or environmental building is a building that seeks to harness all these natural elements in its design and construction to an optimum level so as to have Eco-friendly, low energy & low water consumption building and at the same time providing a fresh and healthy environment to its occupants.

The term green building applies not just to products, but building design, orientation, construction strategies, landscaping, design, orientation, maintenance, and more. The less impact a building has on human health and the environment, the more green it is.

In the concept of green planning, the building incorporates and integrates a variety of strategies during its planning, design, construction, and maintenance of building projects.

The common goal of green building is achieving aesthetic harmony between a structure and its surrounding environment and using those resources that help in environment protection or disturb the least to the environment compared to other available. 

Green building movements is infecting the result of contribution from architects and engineering in maintaining the ecological balance, thus a step forward by architects and engineers to work as an environmentalist.

As regards the cost impacts in the design of a green building, the cost could be slightly higher than a conventional building. However green buildings, on account of their design features, consume less energy and less water vis-a-vis a conventional building. Thus this extra cost gets paid back in 3-5 years’ time.

Green Building or Sustainable Building Concept
Green Building or Sustainable Building Concept

Goals of Green Building or Sustainable Building:-

The main goals/aims of the Green Building or Sustainable Building are:

1. To make optimum use of five elements of nature: Prithvi, Jal, Energy, Vayu, and Akash.

2. To make minimum use of energy in building design, construction, use, and maintenance.

3. To reduce the use of water in a building.

4. To minimize damage to the environment.

5. Re-use of waste materials in the construction.

6. To reduce the production of wastes during construction.

7. To reduce the production of Green House Gases.

8. To maintain the equilibrium of the environment.

9. To provide a fresh and healthy environment to the occupant of a building.

10. To promote the use of ‘local materials in the construction.

Need for Green Building or Sustainable Building:-

The basic resources like ground cover, water, forests, and energy are depleted to construct and operate buildings. This is where green buildings step in with an aim to address all these issues in an integrated and scientific manner.

In India the population growth rate is about 1.3% wild the energy consumption rate is growing at 4.3% in the building sector is a major energy consumer, to a large extent to address this issue.

India being a fast-developing county, is witnessing tremendous growth in construction thus putting pressure on both energy and water resources.

Therefore it is imperative to adopt green construction to minimize the impact on the environment and natural resources. There is tremendous potential for the construction of green buildings in India.

Features and principal of Green Building:

The different elements of a Green Building are as follows: 

1. Sustainable site selection

2. Energy efficiency

3. Water efficiency

4. Materials efficiency

5. Design efficiency

6. Occupant health and safety

1. Sustainable site selection:-

Site selection, its development, and the construction process are basic considerations for any project. The impact of the project should be minimum on the ecology so that nature adjusts itself within a short period.

Therefore, the first objective of site selection that does not to disturb the ecological balance of the area. The natural landscaping and natural features not be destructed as far as possible.

Architects and engineers including administrators have to consider the factors like,

The number of industries/buildings existing and proposed.

Surface and groundwater quality.

Air quality


Land use

Services existing near such development

Flora/fauna conservation, etc.

During the site selection process.

2. Energy efficiency:-

The building consumes energy mainly for cooling, heating, and lighting. The design of a building should be such that it can use the maximum available. The energy of nature and this type of design is termed as the passive design of a building.

The passive design of a building can dramatically change the energy use pattern of a building. The measures include building shape and orientation, passive solar design, and the use of natural lighting.

Some of the energy-saving measures are:

Use solar energy for lighting, water, and air.

Maximum use of natural lighting and air.

Use the minimum glass on east and west exposures.

A brick wall with an air cavity can also significantly reduce that heat ingress.

3. Water efficiency:-

Water is going to be a scarce natural commodity, leading to clashes between users and even between governments. Thus neither it can be wasted nor can it be polluted.

Thus water efficiency can be achieved only if the water is efficiently used without wastage, reused to the maximum extent and water pollution is stopped.

Measure to improve water efficiency:

Portable water should not be used for purposes other than essential requirements.

Use wastewater for floor washing and gardening.

Water meters should be installed.

4. Materials efficiency:-

The selection of new construction materials and the use of recycled and scrap materials are the two important factors in the construction of green buildings.

Such production promotes resource conservation and efficiency. Using recycled materials also helps in solid waste management systems.

Green building or sustainable building materials offer the following benefits:

Energy conservation

Lower costs

Greater design flexibility

Various green building or sustainable building materials:

(A) Fly ash

(B) Green concrete

(C) Red mud

(D) Marble dust

(E) Cinder waste glass

(F) Bamboo strips

Have also been demonstrated by research.  

5. Green building or sustainable building design efficiency:-

The design of a building is very important as it plays a vital role in introducing the energy requirement of a building during its life.

Green building or sustainable building design has to consider the following:

(A) Optimum use of solar energy.

(B) Optimum use of renewable energy

(C) Selection of energy-efficient fittings, plants, and equipment.

(D) Adoption of environment-friendly and energy-efficient materials.

(E) Adopting energy-efficient design and technologies.

Green building or sustainable building Benefits:

(1) Economic benefits (tangible benefits):

(A) Energy efficiency:

Green buildings are around 25-30%  more energy-efficient, with the gold-rated building as much as 37% efficient.

(B) Water efficiency:

Green building uses 20-30% less water compared with similar convention building. This reduces operating water costs.

(C) Waste reduction:

Green building is an emphasis on waste reduction.

Construction wastes and demolition debris are the main wastes produced during the construction process, which degrade the quality environment.

Improve employee productivity and satisfaction.

Enhance asset value and profits.

Optimize life-cycle and economic performance.

Incorporate the latest techniques and technologies.

(2) Environmental benefits:-

Enhance and protect ecosystems and biodiversity.

Improve air and water quality.

Reduce solid waste.

Conserve natural resources.

Reduced water consumption.

(3) Health and community benefits:-

Improve air, thermal, and acoustic environment.

Enhance occupant comfort and health.

Contribute to the overall quality of life.

Enhance images and marketability.

Disadvantages of Green Building or Sustainable Building:-

Increases in 15-20% cost as compared to ordinary buildings.

Modern techniques are required.

Expert knowledge of the persons in the field is necessary.

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