From their construction to their daily operation, green buildings are held to the highest standards of environmental responsibility and resource efficiency. Homebuyers should be aware of how the 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.
The design and construction of green buildings highlight their eco-friendliness. They use state-of-the-art construction materials and innovative conservation practices that are characterized by reduction in water and energy consumption from day one of occupancy, enhanced air quality, use of natural lighting, and significantly decreased CO2 emissions to minimize any carbon footprint.
Great care is taken to reduce, reuse and recycle natural resources. Green buildings are designed to be as energy efficient as possible – from the choice of the envelope materials, to the design of the electrical layout and the choice of the star-rated electrical fittings.
There are five fundamental principles of green buildings.
There are certifying agencies, such as the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), that assist real estate developers to implement environmentally-friendly practices and get green building certifications. Homebuyers should ask if their project has been certified in a similar manner.
Long Term Benefits of Green Buildings
While environmentally friendly homes may cost more than regular homes, the overall advantages far outweigh their short-term costs. The benefits of environmentally friendly buildings are not just limited to improving the environment. The savings generated in energy, water, maintenance, operations, and healthcare can offer short and long-term investment returns.
For example, installing solar panels can save a considerable amount of energy costs every month. Replacing traditional light bulbs with LED and CFL, and integrating energy-saving fixtures will also lower the electricity bill. Optimizing energy and water resources will not only decrease the use of natural resources but will also reduce your water and power bills.
Investing in green design will significantly increase the overall value of the property. Solar panels and water-conservation features will increase the value of your home. Green buildings are always in demand for their sustainable components that lower maintenance costs. This is an important aspect that attracts potential buyers.
Environmentally buildings are built with recycled materials, which last five times longer than traditional building materials. The increased durability of the building makes your home last longer and can save maintenance costs in the long run.
As governments, developers and homebuyers shift their focus towards environmental responsibility, the availability of green amenities is on the rise including solar panels, rainwater harvesting, waste management and high-efficiency lighting. Some municipalities are even incentivizing green design by offering grants, tax exemptions, local rebates and other incentives. It is clear that environmentally friendly buildings provide benefits to all stakeholders.