Benefits of going green in construction industry – is it still a long road ahead?

As much as we give it back to nature, the question at the end of the day remains- Are we doing enough for it? Well, today there are avenues present that help us see the real side of ourselves and at times compel us to feel that we need to do a lot more to sustain the environment that we live in. We have started to do our bit when it comes to limiting carbon emission levels by taking appropriate steps like monitoring it and curtailing the usage. As far as infrastructure is concerned, Green buildings have become a norm these days at least in the developed nations.

One thing is for sure; we have become environmentally more responsible. The fact is that we know the adversities we may land ourselves in if we are not doing enough to assist nature. Infrastructure, especially the buildings that we build have started to see the influx of nature in them. Eco-friendly construction as we often call the process can be seen almost at all places where new construction projects are coming up. They have their own set of advantages that are sure going to have a very positive effect on the times to come. One of the most recommendable attributes of a green building is that it involves low maintenance and operational cost.

The fact that a green building incorporates features that ensure efficient usage of water and electricity itself gives an idea as to how much cost they tend to save. The construction of green buildings might involve a much higher cost than its non-green counterparts but if one sees the cost-effectiveness it carries in the long run, they should always be given a priority. Dependency on energy is also taken care of when it comes to green buildings. The designers make it a point to give the least importance to non-renewable sources of energy such as coal. The best tool that they are using these days is solar panels that tap the energy coming from the sun and use it in the most efficient way within the building itself. Besides, equal if not more importance is also given on the placement of windows where the sunlight gets to pass into the premises and thus results in the usage of minimal artificial lighting.

Indoor environment quality tends to become healthier in case of green buildings. With windows being placed strategically, enough sunlight gets allowed inside which in turn leads to lesser usage of energy which emits elements that can prove to be dangerous to health. Eco-friendly buildings when being constructed avoid usage of plastic by-products that are mainly the root cause for releasing toxic materials. These materials may have an adverse effect on the people living inside over a period of time. We also get to find a lot of waste coming out during the construction of infrastructure which is not built on following green practices. Green Buildings use materials that are long-lasting, renewable and during the entire process of construction use less water and raw materials resulting in overall material efficiency. These materials are obtained from natural sources that are managed as well as harvested sustainably.

We all are witness to the climate change that is taking place regardless of whichever place we are living in. By reducing the energy usage that pollutes the environment, these green buildings are the stepping stone to make the surroundings clean. They have surely helped in reducing the pace of climate change by a few notches.

Recently, it was all over the news that Cape Town, South Africa had run out of water. In India, Chennai also went through a similar complication. It will not be long enough that places facing resource scarcity get outnumbered. Green buildings help reduce the strain on the environment by using lesser resources as compared to the regular infrastructure. It may sound difficult but the point is that we have to give our generations a comfortable environment to stay in. We can still survive with ease without endangering the environment and depleting the resources. Eco-friendly buildings do not compromise on quality and at the same time keep a tab on the health and comfort of people staying in.

Come to think of it, there are certain traditional practices which are gaining a lot of momentum today especially in the Green infrastructure scenario. For e.g. Rainwater harvesting has found a suitable place in the modern buildings today. Most of the green buildings that get built offer an option of Rainwater harvesting as well. This is done keeping in mind the resource conservation and try practices that don’t give a dent to the environment. The overall architecture of a green building also compliments the erstwhile design practices which were followed. Better ventilation system to control sunlight and humidity is a perfect example of it.

Water management is one tough task that a green building does pretty intelligently. Rainwater catchment systems that recycle water for irrigation or toilet flushing have become common in these buildings. Besides, self-closing and spray taps have become a norm today which give a push to the theory of less water usage.

The green concept is not only for the new construction. Just imagine the number of buildings that have been built without the green parameter. Renovating and remodeling the old into new ones is possible. Installing solar panels in a home, replacing the lighting systems in an office or at home with the more efficient LED’s and retrofitting factory plumbing fixtures with showerheads, low flow toilets and faucets are some of the few green tasks which can be accomplished in the older buildings. The 102- story empire state building is the most befitting example which can be looked into. Recently, it has undergone energy retrofit and renovation placing it inside the bracket of a green building.

Green Buildings can help you save cost, enjoy better health, reduce the burden on the environment. That’s a lot of value you are getting at a cost which might look bloated today but will surely reduce the expenditure in the longer run.

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Editorial Team