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Vertical Green Building – A step towards Sustainable Development

Green building is a practice of construction which uses the processes responsible for environment friendly and efficient in resource usage through the life cycle of building starting from design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and till deconstruction process. In recent years, green architecture has attracted the attention of many contemporary architects and designers in the world. The aim of this concept is to increase green space in urban areas and greater efficiency in buildings especially in cities. It is a step for the survival of human interaction and environment which is derived from the concept of sustainable development in harmony with environmental compatibility to meet the needs of people.

Need for Green Building:
Maximum use of fossil energy and explosive growth of greenhouse gases are the main cause of global warming today. On the other hand, the increasing population of the world as a result of indiscriminate construction has faced cities with serious problems of air pollution. With the population growth, increasing development of cities and subsequent destruction of green spaces has increased the need to find ways to coexist with nature which will conserve energy, prevent land pollution, and reduce energy consumption. Now-a-days vertical housing has become the solution for fulfilling the housing need in urban areas. According to the World Green Building Council’s report, buildings contribute to 33% of carbon dioxide emission, 17% of water consumption, 25% of wood consumption, 30-40%of raw material consumption, and 40-50% of energy consumption in its construction process and operation. Therefore based on these facts, an environmentally sound construction and development should be considered to reduce the energy consumption. So the Green Building concept is being a trusted way to solve this issue. It is said that the building construction companies produce the second largest amount of greenhouse gases (30-40%) and demolition waste. The major energy consumption in building comes from modern lifestyle equipment like air-conditioning system, cooler, water heating to provide comfort to building occupants etc. These all add to pollution. Occupant activities also generate large amount of solid waste and water waste as well. As compared to a regular structure, a green building uses less energy, less water and other natural resources which create less waste and greenhouse gas and provides a healthy living place for people.

A vertical green building
Fig 1: A vertical green building

Designing methods for Green Buildings:
To construct green buildings in the city, both vertical and horizontal green surfaces should be used. Vertical green surfaces include green walls, green facades, indoor and outdoor living green walls, Bio-Shades, Bio-Facades, vertical gardens etc. Horizontal green surfaces include roof garden and green roof.

Benefits of Green Building:

Green Buildings in India:
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) formed a council on green building with an aim of bringing the green building movement in India to become one of the global leaders in green buildings by the year 2015. The council was named as Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). IGBC has developed green building rating programs to cover residential, commercial, factory buildings etc. Each rating system divided into different levels of certification are as follows:

At present IGBC has achieved significant milestones with the strong support from various stakeholders. There are 6287 projects registered with IGBC from various parts of India and abroad, amounting total footprint of 7.75 billion square feet. Some Green Building projects of India are Suzlon Energy Limited of Pune, Biodiversity Conservation India of Bangalore, Nokia- Gurgaon and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport of Hyderabad etc.

Applying the green building concept can resolve national issues like energy efficiency. Making building sustainable will not only improve the standard of living but also will help the future generation of India to become healthier. Though practices and technologies employed in green building are constantly evolving and it may also differ from region to region. We should practice the green building techniques together to reduce and ultimately eliminate the impacts of building on environment and health.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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