Studies show that buildings all over the world consume at least 40 percent of energy. They are one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases. In the United States alone, buildings consume around 68 percent of electricity, 30 percent landfill waste, 38 percent emission of carbon dioxide, and 12 percent of water consumption.
According to the United Nations Environment Program, if the construction industry will continue the traditional norms of buildings, then the greenhouse gas emissions would definitely be doubled by the year 2030. If this happens, imagine how polluted our environment could be. A nightmare, isn’t it?
It was in the late 2000s when real estate developers considered shifting to green buildings. It started as an experiment for a few companies. Since then, many developers have attempted to “go green” because they saw several advantages and benefits. Among the multi-million companies that have shifted to building green are Toyota, Bank of America, IBM, and Genzyme.
Why Go Building Green Continuous building constructions have several impacts on human health and the natural environment. Daily building operations consume most of our natural resources, but green building offers a holistic sustainable design. It increases the efficiency of buildings by reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses. It uses environment-friendly materials that reduce energy and water consumption, which is why building green is the way to go.
Benefits of Building Green for the Environment
Green building protects the ecosystem’s biodiversity. Since it uses environment-friendly materials, there will be a significant improvement in water and air quality. It also reduces waste disposal on streams. Hence, it conserves and restores our natural resources.
According to Harvard Business Review, Genzyme Center reduced about 42 percent of energy consumption and 34 percent less water waste since the day it shifted to green building.
Benefits of Building Green for the Economy
Building green reduces operating costs because the materials used in building are cheaper. As a result, the company’s assets and profits increased. Economists say that building green is an ideal route for businesses that want to optimize their profits.
Materials Are Eco-Friendly
The most common materials used for building green are:
· Renewable materials such as bamboo and straw
· Recycled metal and stones
· Recycled ceramic tiles
It avoids using flooring adhesives and sealants that contain volatile compounds and other toxic chemicals. Carpets are made from natural fibers or recycled materials like seagrass or wool. Building green makes sure to use biodegradable materials such as linseed oil and limestone.
The crux in achieving energy efficiency is to use petrochemicals for building insulations. They usually come in the form of stretchable blankets or sheets made from natural fibers such as sheep’s wool, mineral wool, hemp, flax, wood fiber, clay pellets, and cellulose. It may also be recycled fiberglass.
Solar panels are the most common technology for gathering energy from natural sources – sunlight. With the use of solar panels, the use of energy is minimized throughout the stages of building construction.