Jan 102011

The oil crisis and the series of natural disasters are a wake up call to all of us. They remind us how fragile our modern lifestyles are and force us to accept the reality that all these conveniences we enjoy can be taken away in a flick of a finger. The only way we can ensure that our limited resources can cope with our needs and demands is through technology, which is not without consequences. Oil spills, radioactive wastes, and the likes of biochemical weapons, are examples of its undesirable and oftentimes destructive products.

Times like these do more than give us an excuse to worry. They offer us an opportunity to think out of the box. The practice of green building is a prime example of how we can meet today’s challenges through effective use of technology.

The Meaning of Green Building
The two main principles behind green building are efficiency and reduction of the negative environmental impact on human health and the environment. These buildings are designed to maximize the use of energy, water, and building materials. They are also designed to protect the health of the occupant, improve the output of employees and, most importantly, reduce the overall harsh effect of pollution and waste. Green building is also known as sustainable construction, sustainable design, and green architecture.

What are the Main Features of Green Building?
Green building has consolidated a wide-range of services and techniques to minimize and eventually extinguish negative impacts of buildings to the people and the surroundings. It banks on the use of renewable resources like natural lighting and greenery, however, green building is more than just using environmental-friendly materials; it requires careful planning, design and integration of the green building’s best practices to maximize its impact during its entire life cycle.

Green Site
The most notable element of green building is to retain existing landscapes and organic elements of a place to be developed. Green materials are also typically included and manufactured locally to the building site. For plants selection, those that can survive on low water are ideal for green buildings to save time and effort. Environment-friendly compost and mulches are used in place of pesticides.

Energy Efficient
Effective green building design strategies can affect the shape and orientation of the building and the use of natural lighting through effective window and wall placements. Natural lighting is deeply encouraged in green building concepts because it doesn’t only have a positive impact on the well being of the occupants; studies have also proven that it increases the overall productivity of the employees.
Green buildings also make use of highly efficient lighting systems, properly-sized energy-efficient heat and cooling systems, and solar water heating.

Materials Efficiency
Green construction projects are efficient in using recyclable, durable, and sustainable harvested building materials. They also make use of materially efficient strategies to reduce the amount of construction materials and reduce construction costs.

Water Efficiency
The water systems in green buildings are designed to use recycled water for toilet flushing. They also utilize the gray water system that retrieves rainwater for site irrigation.
Aside from that, they use ultra low-flush toilets and other water conserving fixtures to minimize wastewater usage. Re-circulating systems are also employed for hot water distribution.

Green construction is rapidly used and practiced in several countries around the world like Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, UK and the US. It is one of the world’s best answers to abnormal climate change and global warming. It might as well be our best hope to save the Earth.

For more information on green building, visit [http://www.yourgreenexpert.com]

YourGreenExpert – Is a LEED Accredited Professional with over 13 years experience in the sustainable construction industry. He has managed the design/construction of over $100MM of LEED certified projects consisting of over 325,000SF of space. While working with some of the largest construction managers and home builders in the Nation. To learn more visit him at [http://yourgreenexpert.com/]

Author: W M Williams
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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