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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How much money can be saved constructing green buildings?

The environment benefits from the use of green buildings
Global energy consumption can be reduced up to 25% using green architecture

By Vector Foiltec

Article exploring the “real world” influence of green buildings, and discovers how much energy could be saved globally were all buildings “green.”

Deciphering green buildings

What does green building actually mean? For many, it relates to how much energy a building uses, and how much of that it is able to save by recycling or reusing energy throughout the structure.

The more thorough, and widely used definition, is that a green building takes all of the components of a construction into account. From the land the building is to be built on, to the design process, to the materials used, right through to how the building is constructed. How the building is used after that is in many ways an afterthought.

There are differing views around the world with regard to the success of green buildings and the results they bring. We sought the advice of Karan Grover, the architect who is designing what will be India’s tallest building, to be built just outside of Delhi.

Energy savings

It is Grover’s view that up to a quarter of the total energy used around the world could be saved if every new building was built with green principles in mind. When one realises that it is estimated that buildings account for around 50% of global energy use, it is easy to understand how colossal a saving that truly is.

Talking about the need to embrace green and sustainable building, Grover said, “If we could design green and energy efficient buildings, we could cut global energy consumption by 25%.”

The main principles that Grover uses in his designs are to consider the proper use of sunlight and ventilation within a building. A building that faces south, for example, will be a lot more energy efficient in terms of solar gain than if it faces in any other direction.

It is estimated that ensuring both of these factors are correctly considered will immediately cut energy usage by over 60%. This would translate into a monetary saving equivalent to the cost of most buildings within a 15 – 20 year period.

Grover is in no doubt that this is the way forward, stating, “Today we have technology to build structures which are green and people can take advantage of it.” It is clear that Grover works to his beliefs – now he just needs the rest of the world to buy into his ideas.

India’s emergence

India is the world’s coming power when talking about green buildings. It has recently displaced Australia as the second most prolific sustainable building producer, and hopes to have overtaken the United States by 2030.

About the author: Vector Foiltec invented the use of Texlon, a technology that is now being used worldwide in the building design and construction industry.

Image attribution: Daderot; GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0


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    -Sharone Tal

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