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The Growing Concept of Green Buildings

Construction Tech Review | Wednesday, June 09, 2021

People can be enticed to choose green buildings by incentives such as increased floor space index and lower local taxes. The fact that green retrofitting saves a lot of money can also help.

FREMONT, CA: Buildings consume 40 percent of the world's energy, 25 percent of the world's wood supply, and more than 15 percent of the world's water. Green buildings are a well-established concept. Retrofitting existing structures for energy efficiency is a relatively recent concept with environmental, economic, social, and regulatory advantages. While green buildings and sustainability have become part of architects' and engineers' professional lives, stakeholders place a higher value on money than the environment. They wrongly believe the green premium is far higher than it is.

As the ratio of existing buildings to new green constructions is skewed, retrofitting the former would have a faster effect on the climate. Energy-efficient retrofitting of components like walls, fenestration, roof, base, and external shading devices will minimize the majority of heat ingress in buildings. By introducing passive energy-efficient strategies, high-rise apartments in Hong Kong could save 31.4 percent on energy.

Top 10 Green Building Solution Companies - 2020Inside a building, walls provide thermal and acoustic comfort. Advanced designs can be implemented to improve energy efficiency and comfort. Fenestration, or openings such as windows and doors, is critical for maintaining thermal comfort and minimizing the need for lighting. Roofs are vulnerable to solar radiation and account for a significant amount of heat gain/loss, especially in tropical summers. They can hold heat for an extended period, reducing indoor comfort and raising cooling costs.

This can be mitigated with cool roofs, which minimize energy bills and prolong roof service life, and green roofs, which are partly or entirely covered with plants and shield the underlying structure from sunlight, lowering its temperature. The latter also helps to boost air quality by reducing stormwater runoff and absorbing contaminants. Existing structures may also save water by incorporating technologies such as water-saving plumbing fixtures. They can also benefit from a lighting system that is energy efficient. LED lighting, for example, does not heat up, lasts longer, and uses less energy than conventional bulbs and CFLs. When motion sensors switch lights off when they are not in use, they save both money and energy.

People can be enticed to choose green buildings by incentives such as increased floor space index and lower local taxes. The fact that green retrofitting saves a lot of money can also help. The industry needs a green content database to use the best substances. To meet the increasing demand, the government should promote research and development of green materials and recycling methods. Green standards are here to stay, according to all facts. Green buildings can solve a wide range of issues, from local to global, environmental to the financial, community to industrial.

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