Sustainable or high-performance building
A green building is an efficient construction method, which applies the principles of efficient use of water and energy, enables recycling and pollution reduction measures, and adapts the environment-changing design. Green construction aims to create conditions for a healthy lifestyle in the quality indoor environmental air. Sustainable buildings are designed, constructed, and maintained to minimize the negative environmental impact.
A green building (also referred to as sustainable building, green construction, or high-performance building) is a method of construction, which in its location, design, maintenance, operation, renovation, and demolition eliminates or at least reduces negative effects, and influences the natural environment positively. Green construction aims to preserve natural resources.
Different countries, depending on the climate, culture, architecture, and other peculiarities, set their priorities and approaches to green buildings. However, certain criteria and characteristics to sustainable building can be applied universally.
The top rating and certificate systems for the design, operation, and maintenance of green buildings are:
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
- Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e.V. (DGNB System)
- Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE)
- Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS)
- Green Building Index (GBI)
The main criteria and characteristics of green building
- Favorable location. Construction on previously developed sites is considered to be more ecological in comparison to using new land. Traffic minimization can also be achieved through a building near the existing infrastructure, so people can fulfill their daily needs within walking distance or using public transportation.
- Reducing water consumption. Water reduction can be achieved in construction and design by using ultra-low flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, dual plumbing recycling water (greywater irrigation), rainwater harvesting.
- Efficient use of energy. Green buildings use less operating energy. Effective placement of windows for daylighting, air leakage reduction, insulation in walls and ceilings, landscape design for the necessary shadows, green materials are only a few methods actively used in sustainable construction, which create a long-run positive effect. Onsite generation of renewable energy through solar, hydro, wind, biomass, geothermal sources reduce the negative effect of building maintenance significantly.
- Recyclable construction materials. Durable, reusable, non-toxic materials, which come from natural and renewable sources and come with minimal transportation are valued in green construction. Innovations in remanufacturing building materials inspire talented inventors all over the world.
- Indoor environment. Modern lifestyle implies spending most of the time indoors, which emphasizes the importance of creating conditions for quality indoor air. Green buildings are constructed in a way to provide a healthy and safe interior using low-emitting materials, formaldehyde-free furnishings, moisture-resistant products, and improved ventilation.
Aiming to reach a sustainable world is a challenging and controversial task, which we are constantly exploring. Creating a better conscious future has become a motivation for the progressive representatives in the construction industry and has made leading a business old way unacceptable. The goal of sustainability as defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” is remaining a guideline for the professional developers as well as individual homeowners.