The world of architecture is changing. With ever-increasing damage to Earth’s ecosystems, the natural resources available to us are rapidly decreasing. Therefore there is a need to rethink the way buildings are made. The priority should be to ensure efficient use of resources and long term sustainability while preventing damage to the environment. The “green” building approach incorporates these priorities. This article discusses what a green building is exactly, reasons that we need to go green and how today’s architects can help residential and commercial building owners in this regard.
What is a green building?
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, green building is using processes that are resource efficient and environmentally responsible during the entire lifecycle of a building, beginning from deciding its site to its design, construction, subsequent daily operations, renovations and gradual deconstruction. These buildings are also considered to be high performance and sustainable buildings.
Why go green?
Here are just a few reasons for going green with your building, be it residential or commercial.
1. Energy Efficiency
Green buildings are energy efficient. This is because the design of the building attempts to reduce the dependency of energy on environmentally harmful means. These buildings usually have solar panels installed; their windows are designed to permit greater amounts of natural light, hence reducing the amount of artificial light necessary. Green roofing solutions reduce the load on traditional HVAC systems, as they facilitate maintaining a constant temperature within the building.
2. Water Efficiency
This involves efficient utilization of existing resources of water. This can be accomplished by installing measures that allow for rainwater to be used, installing plumbing that reduces water waste or by installing water purification systems that allow for water to be recycled.
3. Material Efficiency
These buildings make use of materials that are recyclable and durable. Moreover, the design of the building is such that it allows for reduced usage of materials. The process itself utilizes lesser raw materials, water and energy. All of this contributes to making these buildings material efficient.
The need for professional advice
As the trend in going green is starting to gain traction, architects have also upgraded their skill set and knowledge of green building processes. If you are in the process of having a building made (residential or commercial), it is always best to consult professionals who have studied architecture. Architects are better able to understand the utility that the owner of a building seeks, and draw up construction plans that are more accordingly in line. They are also more aware of local building codes and requirements; in some cases building owners need to have plans that have been designed by an architect, before the construction of their building can begin.
Most importantly, architects can easily help you design buildings that are energy efficient, sustainable in the long term and do not damage the environment.
Architects have begun designing buildings that are completely green. As mentioned before, ensuring that a building is truly green is something that begins from its planning stage. For example, green building practices would involve using passive or solar water heaters or insulation that is efficient. These are installation choices that have to be made right at the beginning. Furthermore, building designs that optimally utilize natural light or sunlight for heating also have to be selected before construction begins.
Building a house is a milestone in anyone’s life. It takes time and a lot of investment to make a home for yourself, which is why it’s better to build a home that lasts for a lifetime and for generations to come.