Green construction is more important than just a luxury amenity. We are all aware about 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?
The real estate development industry is a massive energy consuming sector in the economy. 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, building 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. 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.
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.
There are certifying agencies, such as the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) that assist real estate developers to implement these principles and get green certification.
1. Effective management of resources and cost-savings
According to estimates by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), if all buildings in India’s urban areas were to adopt green construction principles, India could save more than 8400 megawatts of power, which is enough to light 5,50,000 homes a year. If we switch to green construction in India, we could not only save the environment but reduce our total ownership costs as well.
2. Higher living standards and productivity
The impact of green construction on our quality of living has become much more apparent in recent years. Green buildings are designed to be healthier and have a more enjoyable environment, which leads to reduced stress and higher productivity.
3. Improved habitat
Green construction considers location as one of the most fundamental aspects of the entire project. By selecting a location with optimum surroundings, sun exposure and air quality, we can enhance a building’s sustainability and biodiversity.