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Sustainability and green building are some of the words that are dominating the world today. We need to understand that they are not just some buzzwords or a term that is part of a trend, but something that we need to adopt in our life to save Ourselves and the planet. We are using the resources on the planet at an alerting rate that they will run out shortly. Therefore, adopting a sustainable lifestyle and being part of the great sustainable movement is the need of the time.
Today, people are very much aware of the depletion of resources and the impact of human activity on global concerns like climate change. Due to this rising consciousness, many people are focusing on constructing a green buildings. But what exactly is a green building?
What is a green building?
A Green building is a building that is designed to reduce the negative impact on the environment and can create a positive impact on the environment. But it is not just a building that does not negatively impact a building, but in turn, it will preserve most of the elements of the natural environment around the place where it is being constructed.
The main goal of green buildings is to construct a building that will promote the well-being of the environment. It tries not to disrupt the water, soil, and other natural resources that are surrounding the building. Thus, we can say that green building is creating an environmentally responsible structure and is resource-efficient while designing, maintaining, constructing, deconstruction, and renovating.
Benefits of green building
Now let us look at the reasons that make green building important in today’s world.
Improve the quality of life
To stay healthy and improve our quality of life, our environment plays a major role. By building green buildings, you will be able to reduce the negative impact the building has as you will be surrounded by the goodness of nature. You will be surrounded by quality air and energy, which will reduce your stress level.
Protecting biodiversity and ecosystem
Through efficient use of energy, water, and resources, green building will help you in saving resources, thus helping in protecting the ecosystem. Measures like using solar energy and measures for re-using and recycling material will reduce waste generation, Moreover, the materials used in construction will be ethical.
You might think constructing green building cost more. But in reality, construction costs of green buildings are less and their asset value is higher.
One of the main goals of green buildings is to create a building that is environmentally friendly and supports a much healthier and happier life. You can reduce utility bills through efficient use of water and energy through green buildings.
So, construct a green building for your overall well-being as well as to protect our environment.
With rising environmental issues like global warming and climate change, it has become vital to become environmentally aware and active. However, as we all know, the main reason for the deteriorating condition of the environment is human activities. But recently, people have become more aware of their actions and their negative impact on the environment. As a result, more and more people are showing interest in green building techniques.
Green building techniques will use various methods to help replace your room with a greenhouse from an emission-producing power house. This technique will focus on making simple changes like using energy-efficient equipment and design, using sustainable materials, thus reducing the impact on the environment, improving human health, and effectively managing water resources.
You can look into this guide to learn some green home-building ideas and techniques.
Take note of the location
If you are planning to buy a property, you need to take note of some things, including:
- Make sure the building is not facing west. A west-facing home will be cool as it minimizes exposure to the sun.
- Ensure that you do not build your house or purchase property in environmentally sensitive areas such as earthquake and flood-prone locations.
- Make sure you have access to public transportation and a grocery shop near you. This will prevent the usage of your vehicle frequently.
Build a smaller house
When building a house, make sure that you build a small home using eco-friendly techniques because this will have a lesser environmental impact than large houses. A large house will require a lot of cooling and heating. So, build manageable and cost-effective buildings instead of going for a large house.
Use energy-efficient equipment
Install equipment that has an energy star label on them. An energy star label means the equipment is recognized as energy efficient by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By using an energy star label appliance, consumers can reduce the cost and save energy without compromising on performance.
Insulation is one of the most important things you should consider while building a green home. Heating and cooling account for about 50 percent of your home’s energy use. So, do not let this energy go waste due to poor insulation.
There can be air leaks around windows, doors, and ductwork that can result in heat loss. Proper insulation will help reduce energy consumption, and you can reduce your electricity bills. You can use green insulations to reduce the usage of high-end finishes made from non-renewable resources.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle
Reduce purchasing products that are not sustainable. Reuse materials like wood floors, doors, and windows from your old house when building the new house. Recycle materials such as aluminum, tiles, and recycled plastic cans in your green home building.
By creating and managing a green home, you will be protecting the environment and improving your family’s well-being and health. Even though you might find the initial cost needed for renovations costly, it will save you money in the long run.
Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) is an international standard to rate commercial buildings to employ sustainable building practices. This certification is administered by Canada Green Building Council (CaGCB), which was introduced to provide a holistic approach to the green building movement. These buildings’ rates measure the industry’s transformation and its effects on the people around them. They are mainly employed to provide a safe and secure environment inside and outside the house.
Although the entire movement has been around for a long time, LEED homes were introduced first in 2009 and are now applied to all single-family dwellings or multi-story homes up to three units. These homes should meet standards different from conventional buildings that employ sustainable, efficient, and healthier energy-efficient homes.
Benefits of LEED Homes
It is a no-brainer that LEED-certified homes are non-hazardous to the environment and will help reduce non-reusable energy. There are other added benefits as well.
LEED Homes promote the health and well-being of the people living inside by allowing maximum fresh air to circulate in the house and minimizing toxins in the following ways:
- They help decrease air pollution and provide ample ventilation by burning fewer fossil fuels.
- These homes are generally located near community centers and along public transit lines, which allow residents to reduce their commute and increase the demand for the use of bikes, cycles, and public transport for the commute.
- Using combustion venting and advanced combustion venting helps reduce toxins like carbon monoxide in the atmosphere.
- These homes are generally no smoke zones which also prevents second-hand smoke.
- The products used in these homes emit fewer volatile organic compounds essential for a healthier body.
LEED homes use sustainable methods to help reduce the cost of energy using alternative resources and fewer resources for daily activities. The potential energy reduction for different levels of LEED homes are:
- Up to 30% for all LEED-certified homes
- Almost 30% of all Silver certified LEED homes
- Nearly 48% of all gold-certified LEED homes
- Up to 60% for all platinum-certified LEED homes
Reduces ecological footprint
Since all LEED-certified homes pass third-party inspections, they are often modernized in their durability and design compared to conventional homes. In addition, since they use non-toxic, local, recycled, and reclaimed construction materials, they help reduce the overall ecological footprint and enhance their performance.
Increases value of homes
Since all LEED homes are green, they are resold at a more excellent value when compared to traditional houses. According to researchers, between 2007 and 2012, California saw a 9% hike in home resale value across all green homes. In addition, these homes can also qualify for tax breaks, discount insurance, and other benefits. For instance, the co-operators insurance offers almost 10% insurance for all LEED-certified homes.
Ever since Earth Day was celebrated for the first time in 1970, green living has become a part of the mainstream lifestyle. But it was in 1993with the development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) standard by a non-profit organization the USGBC, green living entered popular consciousness. Since the establishment of LEED, sustainability, energy efficiency, environmental awareness, and pollution control became the benchmark to improve the quality of our life as well as the planet.
By 2013, USGB has redefined the rules and introduced various rules to design and construct houses and buildings without destroying the planet and its resources. By constructing homes according to these rules, you are showing your respect and love for the environment and deep appreciation for craftsmanship. So, having LEED certification will ensure that your home is constructed to suit your lifestyle along with respecting the environment.
Having LEED certified home has many benefits as it focuses on the well-being of the environment as well as your family. Following the guidelines of LEED has numerous benefits such as:
One of the most obvious benefits of building homes according to LEED standards is that they are environmentally friendly. These houses will be using sustainable designs and eco-friendly materials to increase energy efficiency and reduce water and resource wastage. All these changes in your home will help in reducing the carbon footprint. If you are not going for sustainable houses due to the cost of construction, understand that they will help in reducing your utility bill.
Improve the well-being of your family
Building houses that are sustainable and do not destroy the environment will boost the well-being of your family. Compared to traditional homes, LEED-certified homes improve the quality of air as it is constructed in such a way that it boosts ventilation. Moreover, the resources used for building homes are made of environmentally friendly resources, hence they won’t pose any health problems.
Better quality of life
To get a LEED certification of a certain level, you will have to build your house in a neighborhood that is surrounded by trees and should have green spaces. This will help you and your family get connected with nature. The eco-friendly interiors with trees and greenery will ensure that you stay connected with nature as well as with mainstream society.
Gain Federal tax credits
Along with improving your overall well-being, you will receive federal tax credits if you follow LEED standards.
Low charges for home repairs
When you are constructing a house following LEED standards, you will be using the best resources available for construction. Thus, your green home will be long-lasting with lower chances for any repair work.
So, construct a LEED-certified home to lead a healthy and happy life along with embracing nature.
Developed by Belle Telephone researchers in 1954, Photovoltaic cells were first used to power U.S. space satellites. Later they were used to generate electricity in areas where electric lines were not present. By 2004, in the United States, most of the PV systems were connected to an electric power grid with utility power facilities and were installed in hundreds of homes and buildings. Their lower costs, advanced facilities, and financial incentives provided by the government have made PV systems extremely popular and made their utility-scale Power plant rise from 6 million kWh to 112 billion kWh in a decade.
What is Photovoltaic (PV) electricity?
Photovoltaic electricity is the electricity that is generated by converting sunlight into electricity usually by using a device called photovoltaic cells. The device works on Einstein’s photoelectric effects which won the Nobel prize in 1921.
How does PV technology work?
The core component of the PV system is PV cells. A single cell will range from 0.5 inches sizes to4 inches and can only generate 1 or 2 watts of electricity that are enough only for powering electricity for small uses.
PV cells will be grouped and packed together in a PV module or panel that is capable of surviving the harsh weather conditions of the world. The size and capacity of generating electricity will vary from one PV module to the other. And to generate more electricity, more PV cells can be added to the module. These PV modules can further be grouped to form an array. The array size can vary from 2 to 500 modules. The amount of electricity that can be generated will be based on the size of the array (the number of modules connected).
Photovoltaic cells generate direct current (DC) that can be used to charge batteries that work on DC. These batteries, in turn, can power devices that use DC. To power devices that work on AC, a device called an inverter can be used to change DC into Ac electricity.
PV cells and modules generate maximum electricity when they are facing the sun. So, to constantly face the sun, they can use tracking systems. Modules will be placed in such positions and angles that will optimize their performance.
As the scream for cheaper and renewable electricity is getting louder, photovoltaic electricity will become more popular in the future.