Climate change has been a big topic among politicians, scientists and environmentalists for some time now. This topic is constantly in the focus of the public since the severe changes in the weather, at the very least, are the main warning signs that this issue has to be addressed more seriously and urgently. One of the ways is to embrace green building architecture, which is a proven manner of being environmentally responsible and resource-efficient. This means that due to their special construction properties, these types of buildings use less energy and thus produce less carbon dioxide, one of the main pollutants of the atmosphere and No. 1 cause of global warming.
But is this trend something we can expect to become the architecture and construction practice of the future, or is it just a passing fad? The answer may be in some instances from recent years.
World Green Building Council
Just like with normal construction, green building also requires resources and solutions with an emphasis on the type and manner of exploiting them, as well as the end goal. The green building movement has been active since the ‘90s, and today the World Green Building Council consists of over 70 member countries from all over the globe. WorldGBC is constantly educating the public, politicians and developers about the necessity to accept this method of construction. Their main goals are to reduce the carbon dioxide produced by the construction sector, limit the temperature rise and help develop conditions so that all buildings are emission-free by 2050.
The popularity of green building in Australia prompted the Green Building Council of Australia and the Property Council of Australia to found the Green Cities Conference, which will be held next March in Melbourne. This will be the 12th year when experts from all around the world and country gather and exchange the findings, experiences and thoughts on the future of the green building initiative.
Green building is not an easy process, even though many think that all it takes is to use different resources and practices. All buildings have an impact on the environment at all times, not only during construction. This is the main reason why green buildings were created since during occupancy the sites release energy and waste, and consume water and power. Although officially recognised in the ‘90s, green building actually has its roots in the ‘80s when green product standards appeared on the market. Today, there are 600 green product certifications at the global level and which one a construction company should use is based on the approach and requirements, something everyone agrees is a time-consuming and challenging process which needs to be re-established.
What is actually a green building
The common belief among the public and companies is that green building is something so sophisticated that it must be more costly than regular construction work. The fact is that it will cost more in the beginning for the permits, materials and special conditions, but once constructed and operational, a green building will save the environment and your wallet at the same time.
The idea of green building is to use natural resources like solar energy and rainwater and turn them into supply material for the occupants. Design is dedicated to reducing the excess use of water, protection of the ecosystem and biodiversity, improving air and water quality and also conserving natural resources. Succeeding in these goals will fulfill the ultimate ones and that’s better quality of life and health conditions, sustaining the environment and preserving all life and nature on the planet. Wellness Within Your Walls dedicated its resources and was awarded for their continuous effort to educate the public on the toxicity of building materials and methods to prevent the decrease of indoor air quality by supplying a list of vendors with materials and products with fewer unhealthy chemicals.
How these structures function
The key features of green buildings are the ability not to emit excess energy into the atmosphere and thus create carbon dioxide. This is achieved with proper sealants on the doors and windows so the heat doesn’t escape out, as well as with a smart irrigation system which is sensitive to atmospheric conditions. Namely, you will still need to use the hose during the hot summer months to water the plants, but you won’t be able to use a large amount of water, but only as much as actually necessary, which is what companies like Hoselink strive towards. Just like any building, it needs regular maintenance and monitoring in order to preserve its primary function and that’s to be environmentally friendly.
This may be a small step, but combined with all other initiatives for environmental protection, life on Earth can be healthier, safer and preserved. If the ongoing climate change doesn’t lessen with current efforts, the members of the Paris Climate Accord will have to up the ante and deal with the devastating state of our environment more drastically and actively. The fate of humankind depends on the actions each and every one of us takes today to preserve and respect life and nature all around us.
Guest post by Chloe Smith
About the Author
Chloe Smith is a cycling enthusiast, business consultant, and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success.
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