An integrated process that emphasizes the connection between the built environment and the natural environment is what is meant by “green construction.” During all phases of a building’s life—from design to construction to operation to maintenance to restoration and demolition—it aims to minimize any detrimental environmental consequences and increase value. It transforms into a resource and energy producer as opposed to just a consumer.

The definition of green architecture

Creating structures with an eye on minimizing their negative effects on the environment is known as green architecture, green building, or sustainable building. Every activity conducted under this technique, including building, operation, and maintenance, is intended to ensure effective use of natural resources, including energy, water, and other materials.

Factors to Take Into Account for Green Architecture – 

It should come as no surprise that green building is becoming more and more popular, but what exactly is green design given our society’s growing concern for the environment? Architects are learning new sustainable design techniques for anything from residential buildings to commercial spaces in order to protect our ecology and lessen our carbon footprint. The 10 factors listed below should be taken into account while planning a green building:

  • The orientation of the building
  • Solar shading 
  • Building material choices
  • Building envelope
  • Window-wall ratio 
  • Structure design efficiency
  • Efficient lightning
  • Water efficiency
  • Renewable energy systems
  • Waste management

1. The orientation of the building: Orientation refers to a structure’s placement in relation to the sun’s and the wind’s paths. One of the passive design strategies for enhancing thermal comfort inside the building is this one. The first stages of planning require careful consideration of climatology, which optimizes the building’s heating and cooling requirements.

2. Solar shading: The building’s energy efficiency is directly impacted by solar management and shading. To one-fourth of the building’s load, the cooling demand can be reduced. Fins and chajjas (overhangs), two types of shading structures, are made to minimize the summer sun’s exposure while enabling the winter sun to enter the area. By doing this, the building’s electrical load can be controlled and reduced. When developing a functional shade device, solar orientation must be taken into account. Examples of solar shading components include trees, hedges, overhangs, vertical fins, low-shading coefficient glass, blinds, and louvers.

3. Building material choices: The building’s environmental impact is greatly influenced by the materials used in its construction. To lessen the impact of transportation on the environment, non-toxic, locally accessible materials should be used for construction. Additionally, recycled materials can reduce environmental waste. To lessen the building’s heat uptake, UV-reflective paints can be applied to the outer walls. The material on the roof has a significant impact on the building’s energy effectiveness. Among the materials that can be used as roofing are China mosaic white finish, vermiculite concrete, and polystyrene insulation. The building will absorb less heat if the material utilized for the roofs is lighter in color.

4. Building envelope: The partition or barrier that separates a building’s interior from its exterior is called the building envelope. In the interior of the building, it regulates the flow of air, water, heating, and cooling. It is crucial to take into account the elements that go into creating the envelope. It encompasses the building’s foundation, roof, walls, doors, and windows. It accounts for air, heat, and moisture loads in addition to a variety of structural loads. Additionally, the exterior of the building’s color and texture affect how much heat is gained or lost by the structure. According to the climate where the structure is located, an envelope can either be tight (in cold regions) or loose (in hot climates). A loose envelope allows air to circulate freely throughout the structure, whereas a tight envelope manages airflow into and out of the structure.

5. Window-wall ratio: The window-wall ratio measures how much of the facade’s windows are compared to its outside walls. It is a crucial factor in figuring out how energy-efficient the structure is. Heating, cooling, lighting, and ventilation are all impacted by windows since they lose energy twice as quickly as a wall does. As a result, it is important to design the size and quantity of windows in accordance with the climate. Furthermore, high-performance glazing systems, interior and external shading, and other measures can lessen the unwelcome solar heat gains through windows.

6. Structure design efficiency: The building and construction industry uses and consumes over half of all raw materials, which leads to the depletion of the planet’s natural resources. Thus, the choice and optimization of structural systems with regard to the minimum weight of the structure contribute to reducing the depletion of natural resources. In order to improve the construction, typical shapes, cross-sections, and variants are also being designed.

7. Efficient lightning: Lighting includes both natural light from sources like windows, skylights, and bay windows as well as artificial light from sources like bulbs, CFLs, and LEDs. An inconsistency in how the light for a location is chosen might have detrimental physical and psychological impacts. Unsatisfactory lighting design can lead to issues including headaches, lost productivity, diminished comfort, and elevated blood pressure. Therefore, incandescent bulbs should be replaced with energy-efficient lightning-like CFLs or LEDs to reduce both heat pollution and energy consumption.

8. Water efficiency: A green building’s primary objectives are to control water usage and preserve water quality. As a result, dual plumbing design might be considered as a way to secure water over the building’s lifespan. Reduced water waste can also be achieved by using plumbing fixtures that utilize less water. Toilet flushing and landscaping may both be done using reclaimed gray water. To guarantee the least amount of water loss possible, proper drainage infrastructure and water collection pits must be developed.

9. Renewable energy systems: In order to lower the interior temperature, renewable integrated systems like solar water heaters and solar chimneys are now being utilized. Photovoltaic systems installed on roofs or building facades can be used to generate electricity using solar energy. The building can go off-grid after its demands have been met, which provides many advantages including lower electricity costs, a source of power for the community, and maintaining a clean atmosphere. Geothermal energy is still in the research and development stage for its practical application at the building level.

10. Waste management: To lessen the amount of waste generated by inhabitants that is dumped in landfills, waste management is necessary. The garbage produced by the building is implemented, reduced, recycled, and reused. As a result, early design stages necessitate consideration for dedicated space requirements. On-site separation of generated trash into degradable and non-degradable categories is required. Plumbing systems and wastewater collecting systems must therefore be well-planned and well-designed. All waste management techniques are put into practice throughout the construction phase. The trash and recycling systems must have enough room on the site.

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Green building encourages the use of regional products and resources, which benefits local businesses and a diverse economy in addition to your home itself. Due to lower shipping costs, this keeps your money in your community and lowers energy use. Engineered wood products are recommended because they effectively utilize scrap wood, minimizing the environmental effects of the wood industry. Products with recycled content not only utilize resources that would otherwise need to be transported to landfills in a useful way, but they also lower the costs and negative effects of manufacturing goods from virgin materials.

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