What Is Green Building Technology?

Green Building Technology, also known as Green Construction, is the implementation of design in structures, buildings and commercial spaces that are environmentally accountable and resource-efficient throughout the building’s life cycle, i.e., from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and demolition.

When you read the phrase “Green Building Technology”, someone with even a tiny amount of knowledge about engineering or construction materials would guess that it is associated with environmental conservation or something concerning the environment.  Those with an IT  background might think that GBT (Green Building Technology) is a new piece of software for designing eco-friendly structures.

Basically, if we learn how green building technology helps in the conservation of the environment and then try to adopt certain techniques to save the ecosystem through such measures, it will help our current situation a great deal. 

One of the most cherished things in life is a person’s house, which is why everyone tries to use the best available materials for home construction, as well as the best location and orientation for their house. However, in this process, the environmental impacts that the building/house will have is traditionally one of the least important or least considered factors. This needs to change. In today’s world, where the world is rising in support of environmental causes, it is critical that we “start the work at home”. There is no better way to do that than designing your new house in an environmentally friendly manner!

Urban heat island

‘Urban Heat Island’ is a phenomenon that leads urban areas to be much hotter than its surroundings due to the dense concrete structures (which contribute towards greenhouse gases) present in the area; this indicates a large population in the area, which in turn means much less green surface. The exploitation of the environment is at its peak today, so even small steps towards conservation hold immense importance.

Green eco city and sustainable architecture banner(kotoffei)s

Sustainable Development is essential for the future (Photo Credit : kotoffei/ Shutterstock)

Necessity of Green Building Technology

The concept of Green Building Technology is often referred to as ‘Sustainable Building Technology’, which means that the building is designed in such a way that it consumes less energy, has great design flexibility, a low maintenance cost, improved air quality, etc. According to data, building and construction activities worldwide consume 3 billion tons of raw materials every year! By using green building technology, we can minimize this number without compromising the durability and strength of our structures.

Confused whether to use GBT or not due to financial reasons??

Confused whether to use GBT or not due to financial reasons??

There is a good amount of evidence proving that green buildings provide financial rewards to owners, residents and those operating the structures, as they have low annual costs for energy, water, repair, etc. Most importantly, these improved costs don’t come at the expense of higher initial costs! Through the use of modern techniques and integrated designs, the total cost of the building can be reduced to the price of a traditional building—and sometimes even lower! Some designs may have a slightly higher initial cost, but the life cycle and payback cost savings of the building compensate for that over time, but that fact is often ignored by those who don’t want to change “business as usual”.

Construction of a Green Building

Material selection is very important for the construction of a Sustainable Building. Appropriate steps must be followed for the proper environmental assessment of the building material, i.e., Survey (gathering technical information), Evaluation (calculating the cost, checking for durability, strength, etc.), Selection (using the evaluation to compare materials, and then selecting the most preferable material).

Various alternative materials can be used in place of commonly used materials and they should be selected based on resource efficiency, indoor air quality, efficient usage of energy, water conservation and economic cost.

The use of recycled material, including post-industrial content, the use of resources that are available in abundance in nature and are locally available (reducing transportation costs and promoting the use of local materials), and the use of materials that are long-lasting and strong when compared with conventional materials are all factors to consider. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) also plays an important role in material selection for construction, i.e., use materials with few or no toxic elements present in them, that are resistant towards moisture, and have minimal emission of Volatile Organic Compounds, as these are harmful to health.

Using GBT in structures that already exist is also possible if you follow the steps given below:

  • Flow-restricting devices can be installed in your taps.
  • Use automatic taps and flushes in lavatories to save water.
  • Switch off lights and other electronic devices when not in use to save energy.
  • Use rainwater harvesting systems to conserve rainwater.
  • Do not use Air Conditioners at temperatures lower than 25.5°C.
  • Use solar panels in regions that receive ample amounts of sunlight throughout the year.

If you’re reading and learning about all these different ideas, you can see that it isn’t particularly hard to implement these practices as soon as possible to help the environment!

Conclusion

Green Building Technology is not only environmentally friendly, but also very economical and is being adopted by various construction companies around the world. GBT is a prime example of a modern development that meets the need of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. GBT helps in saving a huge amount of energy, which can then be used for other tasks, thus helping to minimize the use of fossil fuels. Green Building Technology will prove to be a blessing for developing nations, as it helps in limiting energy consumption and promoting sustainable development.

References

  1. Ijser
  2. EPA Archives
  3. CalRecycle
  4. GovHK
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About the Author:

Sarthak Singh Gaur is a third-year civil engineering undergraduate at Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bengaluru. He has done his internship at IIT, Kanpur in the field of GNSS and Navigation Messages and is interested in mathematics and its applications in various fields. He also is a huge football fan and has represented his school in various national level football tournaments.

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