With the constant need for adopting more sustainable practices in order to stop the deterioration happening to the environment, “green buildings” are something that have been largely overlooked in India. With India having ratified the COP 21 climate change agreement, green buildings promise to be a great source to reduce the overall Carbon footprint.
Any building that makes optimum use of natural resources throughout its life—from planning, design, construction, and occupancy to its decommission—can be called a Green Building. It is the practice of creating more resource-efficient designs, which can be sustainable. It has an overall positive impact on the ecosystem. For example, from taking care of the well-being of the construction workers to making sure that the construction material has maximum re-usability, there are many factors that contribute to a building being green.
According to research, buildings account for 18 % of total CO2 emissions. If construction keeps growing at the present rate, the emissions will double by 2050, according to a report from the United Nations Environment Program. This is where the rub lies. While buildings are a major contributing factor to global emissions, they also hold the most potential to deliver significant cuts if we start focusing on building greener.
A green building has a variety of advantages. We can broadly classify them into three subheads:
Environmental Benefits: Green buildings have a huge positive effect on the environment. They use fewer natural resources as compared to a normal building. A green building ensures that it is water-efficient and energy-efficient, and has a much smaller carbon footprint. A green building also ensures that the surrounding eco-system is protected and further enhanced.
Economic Benefits: It is commonly believed that green buildings are costlier than normal buildings. While that might be true at the initial stage i.e. while the building is being made, it has been effectively proven that the overall costs are much lesser than the normal buildings. They consume less resource, and improve the productivity of occupants. Green buildings also entail higher real estate value. Besides these benefits, incentives are also given by local government bodies in order to achieve a sustainable future.
Social Benefits: Green Buildings have been proven to have a positive impact on the health of residents. Since they provide a balanced and optimal eco-system for residents, they have a positive effect on the productivity and well-being of those who occupy the building.
A green building rating system evaluates and rates the performance of a building according to a set of pre-defined parameters. It measures the building’s impact on the environment throughout the life-cycle of that building.
In India, pre-dominantly three rating systems exist—LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), IGBC (Indian Green Building Council), and GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment).
Go Green and save our Environment..