Ironically, the world is degrading and advancing at the same time. The quality of life is being traded for much more comfort and the natural world is paying the cost of technological advancements. Thankfully, some measures have come up to tackle the problem to some extent and green building is one of them. There are several advantages and disadvantages of green building which this article will investigate. The article also highlights the economic benefits of green building and how it improves the quality of life.
What is a Green Building? What Qualifies as a Green Building?
The method of construction which is resource efficient is green building. It produces healthier buildings, which do not harm the environment much. They also cost less to maintain in the long run. Sustainable design and development are a major part of these types of buildings. This is an effort to enhance the positive and reduce the negative effect of the built environment on the natural environment around it. It takes into consideration the use of water, energy, indoor environmental quality, material selection, and the effect of building on its site. Green buildings are also termed green constructions, sustainable buildings, and high-performance buildings.
Any building which keeps in mind the indoor and outdoor environmental qualities’ protection during the design, construction, maintenance, and uses, qualifies as a green building.
6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Green Building
A green building has many advantages and surprisingly some disadvantages too. Read this pointer to know in detail about the advantages and disadvantages of green building.
Green Building Advantages
1. Lower Maintenance Cost
Green buildings have lower maintenance costs compared to traditional buildings. Specially engineered design elements are featured which lowers energy consumption, while also helping in reducing energy costs and water bills for each occupant. The construction cost is, however, higher than the traditional building, but the long-term maintenance is much cheaper.
2. Improves Indoor Environment
Green building improves the indoor environment. The environment around us and our surroundings have a major impact on our health. The green building concept dramatically reduces the negative impact and helps in improving the quality of life.
These structures keep the environment as well as the planet clean. They are sustainable and reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy resources. They even help in fighting pollution and the consequent climate change.
4. Prevent Water Wastage
Green buildings use water-efficient plumbing fixtures which prevent the wastage of water. Not only it enables water recycling but also reduces the strain on shared water resources. Through these developments, clean water is protected for our future.
5. Enhances Health of Occupants
One of the greatest advantages of green buildings is the enhanced health of their occupants. This is due to the eco-friendly materials utilized during the construction. It provides a sustainable living option.
6. Energy Efficient
Green buildings also ensure that there is energy efficiency in their structures. Hence, structures are developed which use natural sources, like sun, water, and wind, to derive their energy.
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Disadvantages of Green Building
1. High Initial Investment
One of the main disadvantages of green building is the high initial investment. This discourages many people from opting for this beneficial structure. The cost increases with the type of technologies you want to invest in.
2. Getting the Right Materials
Another problem is getting the right materials for green buildings. They are not available in every part of the world and may cost time and huge shipping. At the same time, technology is not feasible as well.
3. Long Time to Build
A green building isn’t as easily put together as a normal building. It takes a lot of a long time to build a green building. You’ll need to spend time planning and designing it before it’s actually on the ground. It can take up to 3 years or even more to build a green building. The time varies depending on your circumstances.
4. Difficult to Control Indoor Air Temperature
It is difficult to control the indoor air temperature in green buildings. They use solar energy to generate heat and do not use ventilation systems. Hence, they are not suitable for hot areas.
5. Selecting Right Location
The selection of the right location is essential for green buildings because these buildings use solar power to generate energy. An area with very few sunny days in a year is definitely not suitable for constructing green buildings.
6. Finding Right Labourers
It’s a fairly new industry and thus finding experienced as well as skilled labor here is hard. You’ll have trouble finding them for the initial construction of your building as well as for its repairs
Social, Environmental, and Economic Benefits of Green Building
After looking at the advantages and disadvantages of green buildings, let us look at their social, environmental, and economic benefits.
The following are the economic benefits of green building:
- Green buildings require lower maintenance costs because sustainable components are used in their construction.
- The operating costs are drastically reduced in a green building while enhancing occupant efficiency.
- There are also large savings on tenant utility bills.
- On average, green buildings are able to save between 10% – 40% of water consumption, and 25% – 50% of energy, and maintenance costs are reduced by about 12%.
The following are the social benefits of green building:
- The comfort and health of the occupants are improved.
- Along with the great purpose that they serve, green buildings also heighten the aesthetic appeal.
- The strain on the local infrastructure is minimized.
- The overall quality of life is drastically improved.
The following are the environmental benefits of green building:
- The biodiversity and ecosystems are enhanced and protected by green buildings.
- The air and water quality are also improved.
- There is proper waste management, and waste generation is also reduced.
- Natural resources are conserved and restored efficiently by green buildings.
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Characteristics of Green Buildings
Some important characteristics of green buildings are: –
- Green buildings are energy efficient. It makes use of efficient lighting fixtures.
- Renewable energy, like solar and wind energy, is used for a variety of purposes in green buildings.
- Green buildings use sustainable materials in construction and development.
- Specific measures are taken for pollution reduction, waste reduction and management, and wastewater management.
- Green buildings have good indoor air quality.
- Rainwater harvesting is also practiced here.
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7 Components of Green Building
The advantages and disadvantages of green building are already discussed above. Now it’s time to look at the 7 components of green building and they are: –
1. Aluminum panel: The first component of green building is the aluminum panel. This panel is weather resistant and insulated. It helps in regulating indoor temperature, preventing pests and moisture from entering. It creates a tight seal, keeping the insides dry and clean.
2. Green roofs: They are an important component here. It easily insulates a home while reducing the amount of heat loss through the roof. The stormwater runoff is also reduced, resulting in additional living space for animals and plants.
3. Windows: The windows in the green building are energy efficient. These windows prevent heat loss while keeping it inside.
4. Solar power: It undoubtedly, is a major part of green building. It cools and heats a home while also being able to generate electricity. It is a great way of reducing carbon footprint.
5. Water conservation: Green buildings keep in mind the necessity of water conservation. They practice things like installing reduced toilets and shower heads, rainwater harvesting, and xeriscaping the landscaping. Not only is the water saved, but also the bills are reduced.
6. Promote recycling: Green buildings promote recycling. It is a great way to minimize the amount of waste generated in homes. Materials are also reused in this way.
7. Landscaping: It is the practice that enables the air around your house to be cooled. It also reduces the amount of heat absorbed by your home.
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Goals of Green Building
Now you are thorough with the advantages and disadvantages of green building. The goals of the same are talked about here in this pointer.
1. One of the major goals of green building is to use natural resources to the minimum during the construction time and extend it to the times of operation. They effectively press upon the three R’s.
2. Green building ensures that the natural environment is not being affected negatively by the construction and operation of buildings. The natural environment is preserved to a large extent.
3. The use of efficient construction materials and practices is promoted by green buildings. The use of natural resources is boosted while also using highly proficient equipment for indoors. Useful methods of water and waste management are also practiced.
4. Energy saving is another important goal of green building. It reduces the amount of energy consumed in air conditioning, lighting, and other building operations. It makes use of renewable energy sources, which do not generate harmful substances and are safe for the environment.
5. Waste reduction is another goal here. It emphasizes and improves the design of products, reusing, and recycling materials at the same time.
6. Green buildings offer a safe and clean environment for people to live in. It directly affects and improves their health. This also boosts human productivity.
Green building is a great technology overall. It is something worth investing in. There are several green building advantages that we have discussed in this article. The advantages and disadvantages of the green building give us a wider picture, but still, this technology is better for us and our environment.
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