The Green Building concept is so popular nowadays that it has become a trend in developed countries. One does not need to be a rich city to be green. Berlin for example, having one of the lowest GDP in Europe was ranked as the city with the most green buildings, much higher than cities such as Paris. The process of going green includes the awareness that the process of constructing a building involves the creation of structure and usage of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient throughout a building life cycle, from design all the way to completion, from operation to maintenance, and from renovation to deconstruction. This modern way and concept is merely an extension of the traditional concept of building which focuses on comfort, durability, and most importantly on economy.
Ways to achieve this “holy goal” includes efficient usage of water and other resources, focusing on protecting the occupant health and improving employee productivity, reducing waste, pollution and most importantly environmental degradation. One might ask the question: “Why would we need to go to this path?” It would not be economical to focus our attention to “go green”. Well, one must realize that the concept of green building and economical building as well as the focus on comfort complement each other. Building accounts for a large amount of land use, energy and water consumption as well as air and atmosphere alteration.
Realizing this fact, it can be said that the green building concept is like throwing two birds with one stone. The environmental impact of building is often underestimated, while the costs are usually overestimated. According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the green costs are overestimated by a remarkable 300%. Developers generally overestimate the cost of going green triple the true cost. As such, the importance of going green is regularly down played by the cost factor, when in fact, the savings cover a stronger number in the mid and long term range. Modern green building practices tend to focus on the creation of synergy effects amongst other practices used. On the architectural aspect of the building, green building tends towards a harmony design with the natural features and resources of the surrounding sites. One main way of achieving this is by generating energy for consumption for renewable sources such as wind and solar.
Apart from renewable forms of energy production, green buildings often include measures to reduce energy usage. This can be achieved through a high efficiency building, passive solar design, as well as efficient light bulbs. According to statistics, lighting accounts for 17% of energy usage. A saving in this area does not only ensure a saving in terms of cost, but also the environment, of which we all should feel obliged to do so that our kids and grandkids can also be part of the nature of which we have privileged to be part of.