Green construction is more important than just a luxury amenity. We are all aware of the pressing environmental issues such as global warming, water, and air pollution, and resource conservation. But are you aware of the impact that your home or office could be having on the environment?
Buildings consume 30-35% of the total energy consumption in India. Aside from energy consumption, buildings have major environmental impacts over their entire life cycle. Resources such as ground cover, forests, water, and energy are depleted to construct and operate buildings. Energy-consuming systems for lighting, air-conditioning, and water heating provide comfort to occupants. Once constructed, buildings generate large amounts of waste which needs to be managed.
As a result of India’s rapid economic and population growth, this energy and resource consumption is rising at an alarming rate. The massive increase in demand for housing and expansion of commercial office spaces leave no doubt that living in a sustainable environment has become the need of the hour.
What is green construction?
Green construction principles strive to minimize the adverse impact that buildings have on the environment. From selecting the location to daily operation, green buildings are held to the highest standards of environmental responsibility and resource efficiency. These buildings optimize their use of local materials, minimize their impact on local ecology, and, most importantly, are built to reduce power, water, and material requirements.
There are 5 fundamental principles of green construction.
- The principle of sustainable site design ensures that key environmental assets are preserved and needless destruction of valuable land, habitat, and open space is prevented.
- Water quality & conservation preserves the existing natural water cycle and minimize the inefficient use of potable water while maximizing the recycling of water, including rainwater harvesting.
- Focus on energy & environment maximizes the use of renewable energy and other low-impact energy sources while minimizing the adverse impact on the environment through optimized building design, material selection, and use of energy conservation measures.
- Making sure indoor environmental quality is high provides a healthy, comfortable and productive environment for building occupants. This involves utilizing the best possible conditions in terms of air quality, heat management, natural ventilation, and lighting.
- Sourcing materials and resources is an important part of the construction process. Green construction minimizes the use of non-renewable construction materials while maximizing the use of sustainably managed recycled materials.
There are certifying agencies, such as the Indian green building council (igbc) that assist real estate developers to implement these principles and get the green certification.