For any green building following the 3 ‘R’ are a must.
Rapidly renewable material usage like bamboo, fly ash etc.
Recycled materials, usage of reused building materials.
Regionally sourced materials such as clay bricks and granite.
This apart, compulsory adoption of rain water harvesting system in every building, using of recycled water are also part of LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification programme. Many buildings, both commercial and residential, are using various efficient ways like streamlining the energy expenditure like hybrid cooling system (air/water cooled/chilled) for air conditioners, solar powered landscape lighting and low energy consuming light fixtures like LED etc.
A typical green building consists of using recycled building materials, low toxic, low-embodied energy, high bio-degradability and long durability. High levels of indoor air quality are also part of this concept. Passive solar design, day light harvesting, use of renewable energy like solar, wind and bio mass will add to the efficiency of green buildings.
Opt for green decor
Opting for green decor also plays a significant role. There are many eco-friendly products available in the market which may not be too heavy in terms of money but their value to us is surely worth it. One of the basics for green indoors is the wall paints used. Indoor air quality at home has a great impact on health. It is directly connected to the paint used. The benefits of eco-paints and strainers help reduce many health hazards like headache, nausea, respiratory disorders and dizziness.
Energy-efficient homes need holistic approach for true sustainability. It must be properly air-sealed, have high efficiency heating and cooling systems which are properly sized to suit the building. Air-tight ducts for good circulation and double panel low emittance windows are also crucial. Also important is the fixing of low flow fixtures and fittings and small landscaping which reduces the usage of water.
Within a home, residents can make eco-responsive choices like using rapidly renewable fabrics like cotton, silk or wool. Selection of low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and integrated furnishing made from recycled wood and metals can also make a big difference. Roofs with solar panels and green roofs are other eco-friendly options.
Many western countries including the US are going in for more and more green ventures in building construction. In Denmark, for example, many building complexes are multi-use. A residential space along with space for office and retail store is one part. The complex also includes two large court yards basking in bright sunlight and cooling in green roofing. Another speciality is the bicycle path which runs up to the tenth floor, which will reduce the usage of elevators and escalators.
Green buildings lower energy consumption levels and also increase the productivity levels in any work place by more than 10 per cent.
According to many surveys, buildings constitute about 40 per cent of the world’s total energy and about 25 per cent of wood harvesting and 15 per cent by way of water. It is also responsible for about a third of the greenhouse gas emission that causes global warming.