Over the years, there have been several talks around green housing solutions and sustainable living, addressing the pressing issues of global warming and climate change. This growing awareness makes many home buyers look for environmentally friendly housing solutions. Whether you're a building developer or a home buyer, everyone needs to start implementing effective strategies to come a step closer to the environment and sustainability.
Going through various life cycles starting from design, construction, renovation, to eventual demolition, there are a few ways that should be implemented to maintain the green building and lower the environmental impacts during their maintenance phase. Let’s read about five simple ways that can help in improving the green rating of the building and ensuring eco-friendly housing solutions:
Follow a better approach to energy usage
Energy consumption is one of the major aspects to maintain in a building. Starting from the time of construction to the time when it becomes functional, a lot of greenhouse gas emissions take place that ultimately cause global warming and climate change. An effective approach when followed and implemented can prevent excessive consumption of energy usage. And one of the easiest ways to significantly maintain or improve the green rating of a building is by optimizing its energy consumption. This energy consumption optimization can be done by implementing some suitable & proportional solutions. Energy consumption can also be reduced by switching to energy-efficient lighting solutions. There's an availability of smart lighting options that are not only a good investment but also good for the environment. Also, the building's light fixtures and lighting systems can be connected to motion detectors or daylight sensors for energy saving. Motion sensors, photo sensors, contact sensors, temperature sensors are a few examples.
Safeguarding water with proper water management
Building and maintaining a green building also requires a focus on water management. We need to understand that water is a limited natural resource and hence has to be taken into consideration while using it. With only 0.5 % of portable water, humans need to understand the worth of this valuable resource.
Thus, water resources require proper management. To maintain the green building and make it self-sufficient in water supply, one should harvest rainwater on site. With proper water treatment, this water can be re-utilized for various non-potable purposes in buildings. For each square metre of area, we can collect about 1,000 liters of water per year, which is quite a save.
Keeping the environment green
All of us would love to reside or work in a space which is surrounded by greens and hence landscape is another crucial factor that should be taken care of. Planting trees around the building will help reduce the percentage of carbon emissions and can also provide a calm environment. One can achieve an improved green rating of a building by planting trees all around the building's vicinity. Trees and vegetation reduces the surface and air temperatures through evapotranspiration. Shaded surfaces are around 11–25°C cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded materials. Evapotranspiration, along with shading, can minimise peak summer temperatures by 1–5°C.
Think ‘Smart’ when it comes to maintaining a building green
You need to think smart and wisely about building green with sustainable facilities. The buildings that create the least environmental impact and deliver useful services to improve the resident’s productivity at the lowest cost are sustainable ones.
A smart building optimises and minimises energy usage that contributes to a green environment. Some of the elements that can help you reduce the energy consumption are green roofs, energy efficient windows and recycling the waste. A building's energy efficiency can be improved by 10%, yielding $0.30 per square foot in annual savings using smart building technology. Green roofs can help insulate the building by reducing the heat gain as well as heat loss, whereas the new technology termed as cool roofs can reflect more sunlight than a conventional roof, absorbing less solar energy. Inspect and fertilise the green roof twice a year to maintain its functionality. Low - emissivity (Low - E) glass is also gaining immense popularity these days due to its heat reflecting property. Installing windows with low E glass will improve the durability, aesthetics, and functionality of the building. Recycling is another crucial way to help minimise the amount of waste generated in the landfills. Using recycled build materials is a great way to promote sustainability in buildings.
Following a building's maintenance plan
One of the ways to maintain your green building is by implementing a preventive maintenance plan for the building. In buildings, many pieces of equipment and machines work around the clock. There should be a preventive maintenance plan that can help in maintaining the equipment and reducing the waste generated from it. Another crucial way is by using software for the machines and equipment that can automate the process of maintenance and keep detailed records. Building Management System (BMS) manages the machines and equipment. It is majorly used in commercial buildings having centralized systems. Plus, the use of paper will be minimized to a great extent.
Although the concept of green buildings is not new, we fail to implement easy steps that could increase the sustainability of their structures. You can ensure that your facilities live up to the promise of their green design by ensuring you or your team understand sustainability principles and adhere to best practices in maintenance, monitoring, and usage.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. IIFL Home Finance Limited (including its associates and affiliates) ("the Company") assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the contents of this post and under no circumstances shall the Company be liable for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment, etc. suffered by any reader. All information in this post is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness, or of the results, etc. obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. Given the changing nature of laws, rules, and regulations, there may be delays, omissions, or inaccuracies in the information contained in this post. The information on this post is provided with the understanding that the Company is not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal or other competent advisers. This post may contain views and opinions which are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency or organization. This post may also contain links to external websites that are not provided or maintained by or in any way affiliated with the Company and the Company does not guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any information on these external websites. Any/ all (Home/ Loan Against Property/ Secured Business Loan/ Balance Transfer/ Home Improvement Loan/ NRI Home Loan/ Home Loan for Uniformed Services) loan product specifications and information that may be stated in this post are subject to change from time to time, readers are advised to reach out to the Company for current specifications of the said (Home/ Loan Against Property/ Secured Business Loan/ Balance Transfer/ Home Improvement Loan/ NRI Home Loan/ Home Loan for Uniformed Services) loan.