Benefits of green buildings

Alharethy 1

Benefits of green buildings

Abstract

The concept of green buildings is emerging in various countries. They are very good when their benefits are considered. They reduce the usage of water, energy and many other sources without disturbing the overall functionality of the people. The health of people improves in green environment. Workers feel good their performance improves. However, green buildings have not been accepted widely due to some rumors about them. They have a lot of potential and people should think about going green for long term benefits.

Introduction

Green building has received increased attention over the past decade from both environmental economists and policymakers. While there is no single definition of green buildings or its related policy, researchers and organizations tend to emphasize resource efficiency in building and reducing the impacts of buildings on human health and the environment. Thus a growing array of building sector policies has been implemented in the United States and other countries aimed at energy efficiency and reducing environmental impacts of the structure or site (C. Matisoff, Daniel).

The ideal green building would be a building project that would allow the people to preserve most of the natural environment around the project site. The construction and operation will promote a healthy environment for all involved, and it will not disrupt the land, water, resources and energy in and around the building. This is the actual definition of a green building.

The U.S. EPA says “Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high performance building.”

With new technologies constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the benefits of green building can range from environmental to economic to social. By adopting greener practices, people can take maximum advantage of environmental and economic performance. Green construction methods when integrated while design and construction provide most significant benefits (KUKREJA, RINKESH.). 

Why is it so important to go green? Most people will find when going green that they are able to reduce their carbon footprint and actually lend a helping hand to the environment (KUKREJA, RINKESH.). It can be done in a variety of different ways, but builders and construction workers must do their part as well. Green buildings are designed in such a way to reduce overall impact on environment and human health. Green buildings don’t disturb the overall functionality and improve the performance of human beings.

Body

The building environment can have both negative and positive impacts on the occupants’ quality of life. Negative impacts include illness, absenteeism, fatigue, discomfort, stress, and distractions resulting from poor indoor air quality, thermal conditioning, lighting, and specific aspects of interior space design (e.g., materials selections, furnishings, and personnel densities). Reducing these problems through sustainable design often improves health and performance. Improved indoor air quality and increased personal control of temperatures and ventilation have strong positive effects (T McKernan).

Green building practices emerged to mitigate the effects of the increasing impact on the environment and to improve the building construction process. Green Building is the practice of improving the building’s efficiency throughout the whole building life cycle (design, construction, operation, maintenance and demolition). Improving today’s conventional design, building practices and standards, extending the building life by making it more durable and efficient, and minimizing its operative cost, increasing its productivity, and giving a healthier living and working environments to its occupants (O’Connor).

The goals of green building are very clear. Of course, one of the main goals is to make the earth more sustainable, but it really does go deeper than that. When people decide to go green, their goal will be to actually help to sustain the environment without disrupting the natural habitats around it. When people start a building project, and they disrupt the natural habitats around it, they can actually make an impact in the wildlife and environment that will be much like a butterfly effect. Even the smallest changes that they can make will help to promote a better planet earth and a better place for us all to live- not just us humans, but also the plants and wildlife that take up their residence here on earth as well (Olson, Stephen).

Green building is something that everyone should really jump on to. If people don’t plan to rebuild their home, then they may just want to make a few green changes within their home to ensure that they are able to get the goals that they want out of it. They can cut down on their energy usage, save money, and make a big impact on the environment. They will find that it isn’t as hard as people make it out to be, and they will feel better about their selves when they go green too. Green buildings enhance the productivity of workers (Owensby-Conte & Singh, Amanjeet).

Voluntary building certification programs reduce the costs of acquiring information about a building and, by using a third-party certifier, credibly verify the environmental performance of a building. There are two related economic rationales for green building and related policies: to encourage firms to internalize externalities and to encourage the private provision of a public good. Rather than stipulating specific standards or technologies, green building certification programs allow for the adoption of customized solutions for individual buildings. This flexibility is a key feature of green building programs. Certification programs, such as LEED, offer a menu of building technologies and construction practices, including Energy and Atmosphere, Water Efficiency, Materials and Resources, as well as other categories. Builders earn credits by fulfilling certain criteria across a range of categories Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum) to achieve a tiered certification of the life cycle impact of a building (C. Matisoff, Daniel). 

Counter argument

Despite the many potential benefits of building green, there are key market failures that cause the market to systematically under produce green buildings. These market failures include information asymmetries and externalities. The trend towards green building can be understood as an effort to better align the private costs of buildings with their social costs. People have not recognized the potential of green buildings in many countries till now. Serious marketing efforts have not been seen in this concern. People have believed in rumors about the potential of green buildings.

Conclusion

Some people feel that they just can’t go green because it will cost them more money, but that is really a common misconception. While it may cost them a bit more to get started when they are going green, because green materials and products can be more costly, they really have to consider the type of savings that you will be able to reap. They will be able to save on energy costs, because going green also means conserving energy. They should really look at the green building as more of an investment than anything else.

Sources

KUKREJA, RINKESH. “What is a Green Building and Benefits of Green Building? – Conserve Energy Future.” SunPower. 1 Jul 2016. Web. <http://businessfeed.sunpower.com/articles/written-what-is-a-green-building>.

Matisoff, Daniel, Douglas S. Noonan and Mallory E. Flowers. Buildings-Economics-and.” Policy Monitor—Green Buildings: Economics and Policies. 10.1 (2016): 329–346. “https://academic.oup.com/reep/article/10/2/329/1753179/

O’Connor, Stephen, Christopher Meek, Alon Bassok and Cole Kopca. “The Value of Green Building.” Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies | University of Washington. Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, 2015. Web. <http://realestate.washington.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/green-building- leed2.pdf>.

Olson, Stephen and Shana Kellum. “The Impact of Sustainable Buildings on Educational Achievements in K-12 Schools.” Emissions Services by Cleaner and Greener®. Leonardo Academy Inc., 2003. Web. <http://www.cleanerandgreener.org/download/sustainableschools.pdf>.

Owensby-Conte, Diana and Víctor Yepes. “http://www.sapub.org/global/showpaperpdf.aspx?doi=10.5923/j.ijcem.20120103.03. ” Green Buildings: Analysis of State of Knowledge. 1.3 (2012): 27-32.

Singh, Amanjeet, Matt Syal, Sue C. Grady and Sinem Korkmaz. “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2920980/.” Effects of Green Buildings on Employee Health and Productivity.9.100 (2010): 1665–1668.

T McKernan, Lauralynn, Donna S Heide, Andrea H Okun and Gary Scott Dotson. “Occupational safety and health, green chemistry, and sustainability: a review of areas of convergence | Environmental Health | Full Text.” Environmental Health | Home page. Occupational safety and health, green chemistry, and sustainability, 2013. Web. <http://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-069X-12-31>.

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