by Senior Writer, Laura Stoškutė.
The world’s greatest buildings – be it residential homes or office spaces – are no longer only determined by their security and design. Buildings are now built with the highest sustainability rankings in mind, now making foundations, energy and waste management the most substantial factors in construction.
What is a green building?
According to the World Green Building Council, a green building is “a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment.” In other words, the green building should not disrupt the land, water, resources and energy in and around the building.
Why should we care?
Green buildings are more than a sustainability trend. Many architects, construction engineers, and clients agree that smart and environmentally friendly buildings are becoming imperative to sustainable transformation.
According to International Energy Agency (IEA), buildings account for almost 40% of global energy-related CO2. What is more, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) states that buildings are responsible for a staggering 30% of raw material consumption, and 12% of clean water consumption.
In addition, long gone are the days when green buildings used to be known for poor return on investment (ROI). With the cost of renewable energy going down significantly and continual advances in engineering, design and construction technologies, green buildings are becoming a more viable option.
What are the environmental benefits of green buildings?
According to Green Built Alliance, there are four main environmental benefits of green buildings:
- Enhance and protect biodiversity and ecosystems
Green building projects should be designed and implemented to make as little harm as possible to the natural habitats and biodiversity. Notice nature declares that environmentally friendly building contractors must protect birds and their habitats as well as provide green spaces by re-planting trees around newly built homes and office spaces.
- Improve air and water quality
According to USGBC, buildings account for 12% of total water consumed in the US. Green buildings use water efficiency developments which involve using water resources in a way that saves water and ensures that future generations can have a reliable supply of clean water. Furthermore, the growing concern around CO2 emissions and air pollution make it crucial to create designs that do less harm to the environment.
- Reduce waste streams
Waste is one of the greatest environmental issues today, therefore green builders focus on minimizing it by developing innovative construction practices. Engineers use as little of materials as possible to avoid potential waste, utilise energy efficient designs and appliances.
- Conserve and restore natural resources
According to Smart Cities Dive, green buildings utilise nearly 40% less raw materials as they prioritise to use recyclable materials. This leads to a significant 3 billion ton reduction of raw materials use annually.
For more information, some of the most fascinating buildings in the world which are praised for their sustainable architecture.