Green Building Design:
The world is worried about global warming and climate change. The effects of increasing urbanization of large tracts of land which earlier were nature’s exclusive preserve are giving sleepless nights to ecologists.
People who seek to preserve nature at its pristine best for future generations are seeking to reverse or mitigate climate change.
Various stratagems were planned to lessen the negative effects of urbanization. The foremost of these is green building design.
Green building design does not aim to curtail concrete jungles. It is a step towards making concrete buildings climate-friendly — some measures adopted by green building design help to achieve this aim.
Most of us grumble about the rising power bills and crib if there is an outage. We feel irritated that it is too hot or too cold when electricity is not available.
People do not realize that leaving lights on and air conditioning running when the room is not being used can cause damage to the environment.
It is quite common to see lights on and the air-conditioning functioning full blast when there is no one to take comfort from it and the room. Sometimes the entire house is vacant.
Green design buildings have occupancy sensors. This is a mechanism which automatically switches off electricity in areas when it senses that there is no one there.
This results in lesser carbon dioxide emissions. In this manner, there are big savings on power bills, and damage to the environment is also controlled.
Daylight-controlled lighting systems:
Another similar gadget is daylight-controlled lighting system. Just as occupancy sensors switch off the electricity when there is no human occupation, daylight-controlled lighting systems switch off the electricity when there is enough daylight for human beings to function.
It has become a habit with consumers to switch on lighting fixtures in spite of daylight being enough to work in. Unnecessary use of lights leads to huge bills, and the other major damage is the heat that is generated.
This heat damages the natural balance in nature. It is harmful to the indigenous flora. It destroys the natural habitat of many species and in some cases leads to extinction due to loss of habitat and climate change.
This gadget also helps in regions where daylight saving is the norm during winter months.
Low solar heat gain coefficient of glass:
Modern architects use a lot of glass in the façade to design outstanding buildings.
Glass fronted buildings absorb the heat from the sunlight as it passes through the glass and become very hot inside.
This results in excessive use of air-conditioning. Electricity bills become more troublesome. The effect on the environment is worse than the effect on your pocket.
If there is less heat absorption, the building remains cooler inside. Green design buildings ensure that heat absorption is controlled. While the building is energy efficient, it is also cooler.
Air tightness and vapor barrier in building walls and surfaces.
If you have ever received a jolt from leaning against a hot inside wall, you will appreciate that the outer surfaces need to be treated so that they do not transmit hot external air into the rooms.
Green design buildings have outer walls that are specially treated so that humidity in the atmosphere does not percolate into the inside of the building.
Vapor adds to the heat in a building in a similar manner. Green design buildings have walls with special treatment to prevent this.
In this manner, less electricity is used, and the environmental damage is controlled.
Green design building is mankind’s renewed effort at controlling the ill effects of urbanization.
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