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Green building is the art of constructing structures and using methods that are environmentally friendly and good use of resources available. From the place where the building is going to be located to its designing, constructing and maintenance costs, renovating and demolishing if any, the architect has to put all the above mentioned into consideration (Yudelson 24). This ensures the structure is durable and provides comfort. Although experts are sparing no effort in ensuring newer practices are found to back up the greener constructions, the main idea is that, green building are meant to minimize the consequences that the already built structures have on the individual’s health and atmosphere at large (Yudelson 26). This is being made possible through making use of natural resources in an efficient manner, raising the worker’s productivity, and minimizing acts of polluting the environment. Constructing of structures using natural things is another way of ensuring the environment is not tampered with (Yudelson 26).
Sustainable architecture attempts to elaborate designs that are friendly to environment in the work of architecture. It attempts to reduce the effects which are harmful to the environment by using resources which are readily available and utilizing of the available space for the structure (Yudelson 34). In other words, the idea behind this phenomenon is to ensure that what we do today does not close the opportunities of the generations to come. The concept can be used to expound on a conscious way of designing structures. Particularly on energy, experts have always tried their best in ensuring they use different methods and to come up with their own energy (Yudelson 41).
Although green building does not address all issues emanating form structures, at least it has helped in reduction of negative effects on the environment. Structures being put up are at least trying to reduce on the effect they can have on the environment (Yudelson 47). Structures in most cases take a good percentage of our land, uses too much of our energy and water. It also has an impact on the air we breathe and the atmosphere (Yudelson 52). If research carried out is anything to go by, something needs to be done to minimize resources used while constructing a structure. This goes hand in hand with controlling the height of pollution that comes with this whole process of building if our future is anything to go by (Yudelson 59).
Statistics has it that, over 40% of energy in the world is used while constructions take place. The harmful gases that are found in the atmosphere has an enormous percentage coming form the buildings. Although green building does not put the matter to rest in whole but it helps in reducing the level of harmful emissions in the atmosphere. The saving of energy will continue being realized in each waking day (Pollington & Sebestyén 133). The consequence that comes with constructions of buildings is in most cases overlooked by many and the cost that comes with it put way above. Studies carried out indicate that people put it way above with over 250%. According to this study, 20% of the emissions in the atmosphere emanates from buildings (Pollington & Sebestyén 134).
The idea of green building came into being in 1970 following some interest in reducing contamination of the environment. Particularly in the United States, green building emanated from the desire to have to have a lot of energy which was reliable and friendly to the environment. Green building comes with some benefits attached in all perspectives. Apart from environmental issues, there are social and economic benefits attached (Pollington & Sebestyén 135).
Green building puts together a number of practices and methods to minimize and eventually do away with effects that comes with latest buildings on atmosphere and individuals health. In yet anther perspective green building insists on how to make use of renewable energy in full. For instance, energy from the sun can be utilized fully through solar panel and this would really help in saving other forms of energy (Pollington & Sebestyén 136).
With technology on green building continuing to improve, and new practices being introduced on the same, concrete principles where the idea emanated are there. The green building has emanated from those principles (Pollington & Sebestyén 138). They include methods of reducing wastes, methods of designing structures, water and material efficiency. There exist several stages in regard to designing long lasting buildings which do not have an impact on the environment (Pollington & Sebestyén 140). Any project that is meant to be put in place should have its foundation strongly based on designing and concept. To say the least, the concept level stands out as one of the important steps in any project as it is has an impact on price and performance (Pollington & Sebestyén 144).
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When experts decide to design buildings which are environmental friendly, the idea is to reduce the impacts on the environment that comes with all the stages involved. Building is not the same in all structures and it is hard to have an identical structure. In addition, buildings are complicated products which consist of materials reached upon during design stage. If the design is altered, it may have an impact on the building’s life cycle (Pollington & Sebestyén 149).
Green building also attempts to minimize on the energy used. The windows are placed in such a manner that they will allow light to enter in the building in daytime to minimize the use of electricity. The buildings allow for shading of window and roof during summer time and making use of solar power in winter (Pollington & Sebestyén 150). By using solar power to heat water the energy that could have been used is otherwise saved. By using renewable source of energy by utilizing sun and wind among others it can help minimize effects that building causes on environment. Though expensive, power generation system is very vital in a building (Pollington & Sebestyén 151).
Minimizing amount of water used in a building is a vital thing to do. As far as conserving and protecting water is concerned, a building can be fitted with a recycling system that will ensure water used in toilets is recycled (Pollington & Sebestyén 152). The water used in flushing of toilets may be conserved to be used again. The amount of water used every flushing in toilets is done can be minimized. By use of bidets, tissue papers can be sorted to remain with water (Pollington & Sebestyén 154).
Materials used for construction can also be like the renewable bamboo which is locally available. Organizations like Environmental Protection Agency advice those putting up structures to use materials such as foundry sand which can be recycled (Pollington & Sebestyén 155). The materials that are to be used in construction should be exploited and processed at the place where construction is taking place as this helps to minimize power that could be used in transport of the same. If conditions allow, materials should be processed away from the site and taken there, this automatically helps in recycling materials which are of high standard (Pollington & Sebestyén 155).
Indoor Environmental Quality is meant to bring comfort and productivity of the individual occupying the building. The IEQ ensure there is a proper design and ways to follow that regards air circulation, lighting and heat quality. Air circulation quality helps to minimize elements which are harmful (Kibert 222). Buildings depend on the system which provides good airing alongside other departments such as kitchen on their separate rooms. The materials for doing final touches in a building should be environmental friendly which do not emit harmful substances (Kibert 223). A lot of building materials do release harmful gases in the environment and they can affect the health of the one staying in the house. Such materials should be avoided as much as possible. Controlling flow of air in the building will help in maximizing heat in the building. If fitted with materials that can illuminate light, it will greatly assist in ensuring natural light is used effectively during the day (Kibert 224).
However much sustainable a structure can be while being designed or constructed, it can retain its sustainability if it well operated and taken care of. A building can only remain green if from the time it was constructed; efforts have been made to maintain its green nature. This helps to increase its chances of it living more (Kibert 226).
Green architecture helps a lot in minimizing wastage of energy, elements and water during the time of building. For instance, in California almost 59% of the waste emanates from commercial constructions. At the time of construction, one objective should be to minimize the materials used (Kibert 238). Buildings which are perfectly designed aid in minimizing level of waste brought by those occupying the building by ensuring there is a place to dispose the garbage. To minimize the effect on wells or water catchment areas, there are some preferences. Water which could otherwise be wasted after being used, it can be treated for such things as washing vehicles, and used in toilets. Water from the rain can also be used for the same purpose (Kibert 242).
Systems installed in the house for treating waste water can be very expensive but the cost is worth it. The other possible option which is not expensive is to use the same water as fertilizer which comes with an equivalent benefit (Kibert 243). Fertilizer which is in liquid form can be manufactured from human waste and can be very useful to plants. This came into effect in 90s. Such practices help in placing carbon where it rightfully belongs and reduce chances of it going into the atmosphere. Fertilizers which are artificially manufactured are expensive compared with the above described above (Kibert 244).
What many people don’t like about the green building is the cost that comes along with it. Latest introduced things that involve technology are very expensive. However, much as they are expensive, their benefits are ten times as much (Kibert 256). One cannot compare your whole life with costs which are only incurred once and you forget about it. When constructed, the bills in the long run will reduce. In overall, a lot of billions can be saved if green buildings were given a priority. Research carried out for the last two decades indicate that, green buildings have increased on investment specifically in real estates. Although rent in the long run might be very high but the cost is worth it (Kibert 259).
The Green Building Council records that the industry managed to make sales of over $4.9 billion dollars in the year 2007 and 2008 and as things stand it has a staggering $11.5 billion to its credit (Bauer et al 118). If the above figures are anything to go by, it is evident that the industry is indeed growing at a relatively high rate. In many states many are likening the idea of LEED coming in as far as buildings meant for public are concerned (Bauer et al 119). The laws that only were requirement for commercial structures are slowly becoming a must thing for most homes being built in many states. To some extent, there are some learning institutions which have welcomed the move as well as some hospitals (Bauer et al 120). Due to this, the sector has continued creating jobs for many who are willing to take part in the industry. For one to be a planner of green building one must be a holder of a bachelor of the same or an area close to it. The candidate is also anticipated to have experience in the same field. Finally LEED must certify the candidate (Bauer et al 120).
As for an architect, he has a sole responsibility of minimizing the negative effect that structures and construction puts on the environment via energy and natural resources. The architect is well remunerated going by the place where he is located and is over $45, 000 dollars. As time goes by, salary goes up given that one has more experience. It I mandatory for the architects to be licensed otherwise one cannot operate (Bauer et al 122). For one to be licensed, one must be a bachelor holder in the field of architecture and must sit for an exam for license which you must pass. If green building is anything to go by, the number of architects’ needed in the next few years will definitely go up. This observation was made by Bureau of Labor Statistics (Bauer et al 124).
As people continue yearning to have a greener world, authority and architects are doing all that there is to bring this to reality. If what American planning association promised is anything to go by, plans are underway to bring more green building. This has equally been echoed in the building industry which welcomes the move. Places well known to take this seriously are California and Pacific Northwest (Bauer et al 189).
United States Green Building Council has put in place a method for those who design and architects the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Bauer et al 193). LEED plays a major role in ensuring green building is taken seriously through raising its importance in the United States (Bauer et al 194). The organization has promoted ways of building to sustain areas that deals with individuals overall health. Many institutions of learning are offering courses as a result of the emergence of green building. This has been assigned a department of its own in those universities offering it. Other schools which offer courses that deal with architecture are also embracing the idea (Bauer et al 196).
If reduction of harmful emissions is anything to go by, it must start from the construction work through having green building. This should be a must thing in all nations and life would be really enjoyable (Bauer et al 198).
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