Green Buildings - an Imperative, Not a Choice

<span>Across the globe, 5th June is celebrated as World Environment Day, which is the principle platform of the United Nation to create more awareness and action towards protecting Earth&#39;s environment. This day has a very special significance for the real estate sector.Over the past few decades, fast-paced economic development...</span>

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Across the globe, 5th June is celebrated as World Environment Day, which is the principle platform of the United Nation to create more awareness and action towards protecting Earth's environment. This day has a very special significance for the real estate sector.

Over the past few decades, fast-paced economic development coupled with rapid population growth and urbanization has led to a rapid depletion of natural resources. The accelerated rate of resource consumption and rise in greenhouse gases' emission has resulted in significant environmental degradation. This has, in turn, resulted in climate change, the rise in average temperature and deterioration of air quality.

The building sector is one of the major consumers of natural resources such as water, energy and other raw materials. It generates a large number of wastes and pollutants during the three phases of its life cycle - construction, maintenance and deconstruction. As per estimates, the construction sector consumes an approximate 25% of water and 35-40% energy, apart from other raw materials.

Additionally, it emits 40% of global wastes and 35% of greenhouse gases. Looking at the rampant degradation of the environment across the globe, it has become imperative to take measures for the optimal use of natural resources, reduction of wastes and restricting the pollution.  The use of green building practices can help in addressing these concerns along with giving an impetus to build a sustainable environment for future generations.

What is a green building?

Apart from a noun, green building is also a verb – namely the practice of using processes and technologies which are environmentally friendly and energy efficient throughout the building's lifecycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction.

Green building practices can improve the environment's ecology in numerous ways. They can reduce energy consumption by 20-30% and water usage by 30-50%, and significantly reduce waste generation by extensive recycling. Apart from the obvious protection of the ecosystem and biodiversity, the use of green building practices leads to:

  • Better air quality
  • Enhanced daylight, leading to lower electricity consumption
  • Superior health and overall wellbeing
  • Enhanced productivity

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Source: livingarchitecturemonitor.com