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What Is Green Building & It's Concept?

Published & Updated as on - 2010-11-25

Basically Green Building is a practice to create buildings by using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle i.e. right from the point when the building is designed, constructed and all the way till it's demolished. This practice complements the classical building design concerns of comfort, functionality and economy. Green building also popularly known as eco-homes or sustainable building or green construction is a concept that is believed to reduce the energy bills by efficiently utilizing energy, water and other resources and thereby offering a healthier and comfortable living, along with its role in reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation.

Green Building derives its roots from basic principles of science. The entire practices of green building along with the criteria for the selection of the appropriate building materials revolve around a few basic principles of science i.e. conduction, convection and radiation.

Green homes are really not new in an Indian context. If you look at traditional Indian designs and practices for homes, you will notice that we were extremely green in our approach and practices - we recycled almost everything, we used local materials in all our construction be it mud blocks or white wash which ensured that the carbon dioxide levels in the rooms were very low (lime is a good absorber of CO2). Similarly all our buildings were well lit and ventilated. If you look at traditional south Indian homes, the doors are aligned in a straight line from the home entrance till the back of the home to facilitate better cross ventilation. Similarly the "mutham" of our olden day architecture is nothing but an internal courtyard that brings in light into most parts of the house.

Basic Principles and Important factors to be observed

A building or home is units of many inter related parts.
Each time energy is converted from one form to other, it loses some of its potentiality. This exactly explains why the passive solar heat is much more efficient than electric heat.
One should keep in mind that the construction of a building should be customized based on the surrounding environment.
Each and every part of the building is directly or indirectly involved in controlling the movement of heat, air, and moisture.
One can enhance the energy efficiency of a building by purchasing eco friendly products.
One can significantly lower down the heating and cooling costs of a building by using passive solar design with high levels of insulation and energy-efficient windows. Such implementation of natural daylight design practices reduces a building's electricity needs, and improves people's health and productivity.
One should try to make use of low energy appliances and devices at home that produces energy efficient lighting and works on renewable energy technologies which uses solar panels and wind turbines.
One should also take care of the air leaks in the building envelope that represents a significant loss of energy and results to moisture damage inside the wall and ceiling cavities.

Advantages of Green Buildings

Green building concept has emerged from the need to meet high standards of energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. Focus is mainly on resources such as energy, water and materials and attains efficiency of these resources.The energy savings could range from 20 - 30 % and water savings around 30 - 50%.
It is said to reduce the energy bills and offer a healthier and more comfortable living environment.
Reduce the effect of environmental hazards and ease its effects on human health and environment too.
It is said that natural daylight design reduces a building's electricity needs, and improves people's health and productivity.
Passive solar design can dramatically lower down the heating and cooling costs of a building, as with high levels of insulation and energy-efficient windows.
It is generally agreed that green buildings are structures which are designed, sited, built, renovated and operated to energy-efficient guidelines, and that they will have a positive environmental, economic and social impact over their life cycle.

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