What are Green Buildings?

Today, with increased awareness, there is a lot of talk about going green. However, the majority of the population still does not have any clue about what going green actually means, and what exactly green buildings are.

According to the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) a green building is a holistic concept with the basic understanding that the built environment can have intense effects that can be positive as well as negative on a daily basis, on the environment and the people who occupy buildings. Green building is an endeavor to enhance the positive and reduce the negative effects throughout the lifecycle of the building.

Why Green Buildings?

Climate change, or change in the average weather conditions across the planet is playing havoc, and the only probable solution, apart from cutting down on the use of fossil fuels, is to build more Green Buildings. The buildings in which we live and work consume many of our natural resources and 42% of the total energy is utilized by buildings. Green Buildings are specifically designed to increase the efficiency of resource use, including energy, water and materials. A green building helps reduce the impact on human health, thanks to better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal. A Green Building needs to be designed and built in such a way that it reduces the overall impact of the built environment on its surroundings.

What the world needs badly today is more and more green buildings, which can help conserve precious energy as well as resources. Green buildings also focus on recycling materials, and also help in reducing toxic emissions throughout the lifecycle of the building. Moreover Green Buildings blend in harmony with the local climate, culture and traditions helping create a pleasing and safe environment.

More importantly, Green Buildings play a vital role in sustaining and improving the quality of human life, simultaneously helping maintain the fragile ecosystem locally and globally. Climate change is a global phenomenon and solutions are required with a broader perspective. Green buildings not only make ideal use of resources but also help with substantial operational savings in the long run, apart from enhancing productivity at the workplace.

A Green Building leads by example and sends the perfect message about how well an enterprise is run and how responsible and committed it is to the future generations. International research has established the fact that Green Buildings consume far less energy, water and more importantly generate less waste, leading to the creation of a healthy, conducive and productive environment for the occupants/employees.

It is a fact that in the long run, the practices adopted by a Green Building can help cut the operational costs by as much as 9% and also enhance the building value by 7.5%, with a guaranteed ROI of 6.6%. Apart from making perfect ecological and environmental sense, Green Buildings make great economic sense as well, which is probably the best incentive any business can hope for.