Nowadays, the world faces many challenges and problems from climate change and global warming. Many scientific studies reported that different industries have huge roles to generate this condition. Specially, the construction industry has the most responsibility about these challenges on the earth. Doubtlessly, the utilization of inappropriate technologies, appliances, and materials in buildings has threatened the environment and human health today. The engineers and technologists have realized the environmental problems are from using some technologies and materials in construction industry since over the past few decades. Scientists suggested the best way to overcome the aforementioned threats is to consider “sustainable” or “green” design for buildings. So, the main intention of sustainable building is to shift from harm to harmless technologies and materials in buildings.
The main target of sustainable building design is to develop “environmentally friendly construction practices” that contribute to save energy, water, and raw materials; minimizing water surplus and greenhouse gas emissions; and consuming reuse and recycle of materials, in order to create houses that are comfortable, clean, safe, and productive. Sustainability in construction engineering is a philosophy and an integrated design process, not only a building style. The sustainable (green) building design is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible throughout a building’s life cycle, such as, “site selection”, “design”, “construction”, “operation and maintenance”, “renovation”, and “demolition” respectively. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerning economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Sustainable building is also known as a green or high-performance building. The paper the different facets of sustainable green building based these laid down criteria and performance parameters.
Key words: Sustainable, green building design, environment-friendly construction practices
1.0. Concept of Green Building
A green building is an environmentally sustainable building, designed, constructed and operated to minimise the adverse environmental impacts (https://buildgreen.co.nz/definition. The general perception as regards the Green building is that they cost more, but the fact, in reality, is that many green strategies and technologies actually cost the same and some even cost less than traditional ones. The basic idea behind the Green building is to carve out fine techniques and skills to bring down the effect on the environment and human health to a lesser degree and by promoting the optimal use of renewable resources, e.g., using sunlight through passive solar, active solar, and photovoltaic equipment, and using plants and trees through green roofs, rain gardens, and reduction of rainwater wastage. It, in fact, lays emphasis on the energy efficiency and conservation, water and air quality by a careful designing. Green building concept is popularly known as “Sustainable Architecture” and “Ecological Design” because of basing upon the idea of Sustainable development.
The ideal Green building would be a building project that would allow preserving most of the natural environmental resources around the project site, while still being able to produce a building that is going to serve a purpose. The construction and operation will promote a healthy environment for all involved, and it will not disrupt the land, water, resources and energy in and around the building. This is the actual definition of a Green building. The U.S. EPA says “Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from sitting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a Sustainable or High performance building.”
Green buildings have only been building up by individuals and companies for the past thirty years. During the energy crisis of the 1970’s, green building moved from research and development to reality (https://www.ijlret.com/Papers/Vol-2-issue-1/5-B2016006.pdf (last visited on May 3, 2016). Green measures can help in improving the ecological environment and helps in reducing energy uses by at least 30-35%, carbon emission by 35% and wastages by 70% and use of water by more than 40%. On the aesthetic side of “Green Architecture” or “Sustainable Design” is the philosophy of designing a building that is in harmony with the natural features and resources surrounding the site. A Green building is designed to use less energy and water, improved indoor air quality and to reduce the life-cycle environmental impacts of the materials used.
Green building has been defined in various, but related ways. Examples include: – A structure designed, built, renovated, operated, or reused in an ecological and resource-efficient manner (CalRecycle.ca.gov) – A process of creating buildings and supportive infrastructure that reduce the use of resources, create healthier living environments for people, and minimize negative impacts on local, regional, and global ecosystems (Source: Global Green USA). Green Building embodies the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources – energy, water and materials. At the same time, its design also aims to reduce building impacts on human health and the environment during the building’s lifecycle, through better sitting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and final removal. Green buildings are designed to achieve these goals by (Figure 1):
- Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources
- Protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity
- Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation.
1.1. Benefits of Green Building
With new technologies constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the benefits of green building can range from environmental to economic to social. By adopting greener practices, we can take maximum advantage of environmental and economic performance. Green construction methods when integrated while design and construction provide most significant benefits. Benefits of Green building include:
- Reduce wastage of water
- Conserve natural resources
- Improve air and water quality
- Protect biodiversity and ecosystems
- Reduce operating costs
- Improve occupant productivity
- Create market for green product and services
- Improve quality of life
- Minimize strain on local infrastructure
- Improve occupant health and comfort
1.2. The Goals of Green Building
Now, we should consider the goals of green building. Of course, one of the main goals is to make the earth more sustainable, but it really does go deeper than that. When you decide to go green, your goal will be to actually help to sustain the environment without disrupting the natural habitats around it. When you start a building project, and you disrupt the natural habitats around it, you can actually make an impact in the wildlife and environment that will be much like a butterfly effect. Even the smallest changes that you can make will help to promote a better planet earth, and a better place for us all to live- not just us humans, but also the plants and wildlife that take up their residence here on earth as well. There are various systems in the form of design standard or practice code worldwide to enhance the use of green building design. Usually their performance is based on certain sustainability criteria which are combined to assess the design effect. These criteria, in general, cover:
- Energy and CO2 Emissions – Operational Energy and emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere
- Water – The consumption of potable water from the public supply systems or other ground water resources.
- Materials – The environmental impact of construction materials for key construction elements
- Surface Water Run-off – The change in surface water run-off patterns as a result of the development.
- Waste – Waste generated as a result of the construction process and facilities, encourage recycling of domestic waste at home.
- Pollution – created from the operation of the dwelling.
- Health and Well-Being – The effects that the building design and indoor environment has on its occupants.
- Management – Steps that have been taken to allow good management of the environmental impacts of the construction and operation of the home.
- Ecology – The impact of the dwelling or the final effects on the ecosystem.
1.3. Defining ‘Green’ and ‘Sustainable’
A “Green” or “Sustainable” facility is a structure designed, built, renovated, or operated in an ecologically and resource-efficient manner (Dick, 2007). These buildings often utilize energy-efficient processes to accomplish long-term cost savings (Yost, 2002) Sustainability has also been defined as a “holistic approach to protecting the environment by incorporating design practices and materials that use energy most efficiently” (Fried, 2005). Sustainable initiatives work with the environment rather than against it (Suttell, 2006). Green buildings can be designed to protect occupant health, improving employee productivity, utilize resources more efficiently, and reduce environmental impacts (Environmental Building News, 1999). The terms, “High performance”, “Green”, and “Sustainable construction” is often used interchangeably. Both terms focus on ecological, social, and economic issues of a building. The major goal of sustainable construction is to create a healthy built environment based on efficient use of resources and smart ecological design (Figure 2). The major elements of Sustainable (Green) Buildings, inter alia, include: Sustainable site development, Water conservation and savings, Energy efficiency, Resource Efficient Materials, Healthy Indoor environmental quality.
According to the World Commission on the Environment and Development (WCED), sustainability is “a form of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
1.3.1. Green and Sustainable Design: The Concept
Sustainable design shares that big-picture view of how our choices affect more than the present. Effective sustainable design is a comprehensive approach to selecting and integrating products and processes that account for long-term consumer satisfaction and environmental conservation. Sustainable design is about building the future, not just a structure. Sustainability is as much about process as it is about product. Seeing sustainable design as a process empowers “green” designers to better evaluate and anticipate the environmental, economical and social impacts and costs of building products. Bigger-picture evaluations at the start of a project lead to better long-term decisions—and that leads to greater overall success. Programmes like Better Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) and industry-certification programs like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design can help you design more effectively with sustainability in mind as shown in Figure 3).
The principal issues associated with the key sustainable building themes has been mapped out and collated in the Table 1.
1.3.2. Sustainable Design of Green Buildings: Principles and Challenges
The concept of sustainable development can be traced to the energy (especially fossil oil) crisis and the environmental pollution in the (1970’s) shortage of energy, global warming, urban sprawl, air pollution, overflowing landfills, water shortage, disease and global conflict will be the legacy of the twenty first century unless the movement of sustainability is implemented (Ali, 2008). In broader perspective sustainability main goal is to strike a balance of interaction amongst; biological resource system, the economic system and the socio-cultural system (Newman, 2001).According to Yudelson (2009), Green building is the one that considers its impact on the environment and human health; while, high-performance building design is the building that has gain the certification from a third party certifier like; USA?s LEED, UK?s BREEAM, Singapore?s GREEN MARK or the Malaysia?s GBI.
Sustainable/green building is a subset of sustainable construction, representing simply the structure. While sustainable construction most comprehensively addressed the ecological, social and economic issue of a building in the context of its community (Kibert, 2007)
Green buildings are part of a global response to increasing awareness of the role of human activity in causing global climate change. Buildings account for more than 40% of all global carbon-dioxide emissions, one of the main culprits implicated in the phenomenon of global warming.
Green buildings have swept the construction industry since the year 2000, with commercial buildings taking the lead and office building in the trail (Yudelson, 2009). A green building is one that considers and reduces its impact on the environment and human health.
Green building, sustainable construction, high performance buildings are mostly used interchangeably but are difference. Sustainable/green buildings can be defined as the facilities which are the outcome of sustainable construction for the purpose of promoting occupant health and resource efficiency, minimizing the impacts of the built environment on the natural ecology system (Kibert, 2004)
Smart buildings and Green buildings are both subset of the Sustainable buildings and are might have some similar characteristics but might be different as mostly Smart buildings are technological oriented as they rely more on information Technology (IT). Here are some of the principles and challenges involved in Sustainable Architecture of Green Buildings:
While sustainable buildings can cost more than traditional methods and materials they are an investment in the future. Costs may be recouped over time with lower energy bills and less water usage and not all “green” initiatives cost more. Carnevale Eustis takes into consideration many factors, including upfront costs, when making sustainable building choices.
Utilizing sound building practices that increase insulation values and properly position new structures to take advantage of natural heating and cooling properties, like passive solar design, can greatly improve HVAC systems while new product offerings – from heat pumps to windows – offer amazing new levels of efficiency.
Carnevale Eustis sustainable architecture means exploring options that work with your structure and your budget. Solar panels, wind turbines, solar water heating and ground-source heat pumps are all viable options for new construction and renovation projects with the objective of being more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
Specifying recycled and low-impact building materials during the planning stages of a project allows Carnevale Eustis to provide realistic alternatives and options for sustainability over a building’s life. Green building materials, most of which are sustainably certified and qualify for LEED points, can improve indoor air quality, eliminate toxic chemicals and create a healthier building.
Waste & Water Management:
Sustainable architecture focuses on smarter on-site waste management, incorporating things like gray water systems for on-site irrigation and to flush toilets. Similarly, public water is a valuable resource which means that rainwater harvesting and grey water reuse are some of the options that Carnevale Eustis has utilized for reducing water demand.
Building placement is a critical component in sustainable architecture that Carnevale Eustis employs to exploit the benefits of the building’s environment and may naturally reduces energy consumption. New construction and addition sites are analyzed for the most intelligent building location and the best fit within the constraints of the site.
Whether or not they are of historical significance, preservation of existing buildings is the most effective way to realize truly sustainable architecture and Carnevale Eustis has developed an expertise for giving new life to buildings from the past. We love working on older homes and commercial properties, collaborating with building owners to help them realize their vision in a sustainable way.
Sustainability is a broad term describing a desire to carry out activities without depleting resources or having harmful impacts, defined by the Brundtland Commission as ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (Brundtland Commission: Our Common Future, 1987). Some broader descriptions include social and economic welfare although these can confuse the basic issue of the depletion of resources. Sustainability in building developments is a vast and complex subject that must be considered from the very earliest stages as the potential environmental impacts are very significant (ref Technology Strategy Board).
2.0. Green Building: An Efficient Use of Natural Resources to Create a Sustainable Environment
Zero-energy is a common concept adopted by many building designers. It basically combines state-of-art with commercially available renewable sources of energy. A zero energy building returns much more energy as compared to the energy it takes from the utilities. Sustainable building involves the consideration of many issues, including land use, site impact, indoor environment, energy and water use. Hence, the Green building may be defined as a building which uses a very least amount of natural resources and at the same time provide a healthy space for human being and hence environmental friendly by producing less amount of pollution (Xiang Zhao et al, 2010). So, in a general sense, a Green building is a building that uses most environment friendly materials. Most of them are bio degradable which ultimately reduces pollutions emitted to the atmosphere and create a good and highly efficient sustained and healthy environment to the people who are living in that building. To start the concept of green building designing one has to through off the old concept and has to accept the new concept and technology. The value of this product is much more less as compared to the gain in terms if environment benefits in a long run as are linked to the Green building policy in a mission mode, as illustrated in Figure 4.
As such the concept of green building involves a lot of advanced technology but in real sense the cost of designing a green building is nearly equal to the cost of designing an ordinary building.
2.1. Green Materials and Devices used in Designing of Green Buildings
As long as a material has at least one positive impact on the environment, it could be defined as green. However when analyzed more carefully, this same material could actually be harming the environment more than it is helping. Therefore it is extremely important to know who is labeling a material as green. Many labeling organizations are sponsored by material industries and will consequently be lenient in granting those materials green status. This complicates the process of determining exactly how green specific materials are. However, by examining the problems and corruption of the green labeling industry, one can indeed gain an understanding of the complexity of variables that contribute to the greenness of a material and how to apply these principles in design and building. The following are some of the illustrative examples of the uses of Green materials in construction of Green buildings.
Woolen fibers are added to the clay materials while designing the bricks. The polymer that can be employed may be alginate conglomerate which is a natural occurring polymer. This product is 37% stronger than the ordinary bricks.
The glazed window basically a triple layer glass is most suited for buildings. The air gap provides the insulating layers that slow down the heat loss and reduce the opportunity for condensation. In summer it protects the house from blistering heat and keeps the room cool. The thermal performance of the double glazing can be further improved by filling inert gas such as argon and krypton between two glass panes instead of air.
Designing of the Wall
The wall must be designed in such a manner that a gap must be provided between the two bricks. The small amount of gap acts like an insulator and hence keeps the room cool in summer and warm in winter (Figure 5).
Ventilation System in Green Building
Cross ventilation is necessary for those houses which are east facing. It increases the indoor air facility and creates a good environment (Figure 6).
There are some methods or devices which can be adopted for successful construction of Green buildings such as.
Solar photovoltaic are the devices which uses sun light as a source of energy and through some chemical conversion produces electricity at its terminals. Photovoltaic generation uses some solar panels composed of a number of solar cells containing photovoltaic materials. From an estimation it was found that if the entire world is covered with solar photovoltaic then it can provide the energy requirement of the whole world for at least one year. For a standard house hold system a solar photovoltaic of 1600 watt panel can meet the demand for energy for round the clock in a day.
Passive use of Solar
The doors and windows can be designed in such a way that in summer it rejects the solar heat back to the environment and spread it across the room and keeps the room warm and healthier. The name is passive because it does not involve the use of mechanical and electrical devices for its conversion.
Rain garden involves accepting and collecting the rain water over the top of the roof and make them use for harvesting the electricity through micro hydro turbine. In addition to the energy generation the same water can also be used for garden plant and if properly recycled can also be used for toilet purpose. The main purpose of rain garden is to improve the water quality.
In sum, with the need to reduce the green house gases emitted in to the atmosphere and to make more efficient use of expensive fossil fuels building design is necessary throughout the world. The above stated systems have some useful advantages such as minimum consumption of energy, minimum purchase from the utility resulting in cost saving of the user, green energy storage and no disposal of waste and better energy utilization due to smart energy management. In near future, with the increasing in the energy consumption of electricity by the user utility may not be able to complete the user demand. Therefore, such micro grid enabled system would solve such concerns.
3.0 Sustainable Green Buildings: Case Studies
The following are some of the representative cases of sustainable Green building constructed in different parts of the world as global models to emulate by the future generation.
3.1. Green Square South Tower – Brisbane, Australia
South Tower of Brisbane, Australia is the Award winning facility achieving 6-Star result for Brisbane City Council (National Australian Built Environment Rating System – NABERS). The Brisbane City Council’s ‘Clean, Green City’ carbon-neutral vision for 2026 has made the environmental sustainability of Council’s new headquarters a top priority. The Green Square South Tower in Brisbane, QLD, now stands as a market leading example of the sustainable results achievable using NABERS ratings. NABERS is a Government initiative to measure and compare the environmental performance of a building against its market. The goal of NABERS is to encourage innovation and market best practice to achieve positive environmental outcomes that improve sustainability in the built environment.
In February 2009, as sole tenants of Green Square South Tower, Brisbane City Council made a commitment through the national City-Switch Green Office Programme to achieve a NABERS Energy rating of 4.5 stars. The Council achieved this goal in 2010, receiving 5.5 Stars. By 2011, the building attained the highest accolade possible under NABERS: a rating of 6 stars, setting an important precedent for other commercial buildings throughout Queensland.
The high-rise as a building type has proliferated in the city centers throughout the major cities in the world. It has come about as a consequence of increasing land values and other land economy factors influencing the location of businesses. The evolution of the last years resulted in tall buildings built using a wide spectrum of creative structural solutions. A major reason for regionally diverse solutions is the varying handling of energy resources. The construction industry is under growing pressure to incorporate renewable energy systems in the design and construction of new developments. Some of the representative cases of high-rise building using renewable energies are cited below.
3.2. Bioclimatic Skyscraper: The Menara Mesiniaga, Kuala Lumpur
The Menara Mesiniaga designed by Ar.Ken Yeang is the epitome of building design that reflects climate characteristics specific to the location of the building.
The building design reduces long-term maintenance costs and lowers energy use.
The trussed steel + aluminum sunroof also incorporates solar panels that power the building.
Some other features include the skycourt, vertical landscaping, and naturally ventilated core.
3.3. Bahrain World Trade Centre (BWTC): Renewable Energy Solutions in Tall Buildings
The Bahrain World Trade Centre (BWTC) has been named the best tall building in the Middle East and Africa region for 2008 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).
Designed and engineered by Atkins, the BWTC is the world’s first commercial building to harness wind power for energy with the incorporation of large-scale wind turbines.
Three, 29-metre diameter wind turbines will generate up to 15 percent of the two towers’ electrical requirements (Figure 10).
3.4. Hearst Tower, New York – Diagrid Structures
Hearst Tower, New York, designed by Sir Norman Foster is 46 stories.
The tower’s most prominent feature is the geometric pattern of its glass and steel, which the architect calls a “Diagrid”: a diagonal grid of supporting trusses, covering the façade with a series of four-story-high triangles.
The pattern uses twenty per cent less steel than a conventional skyscraper frame would require.
Sustainability Features of Hearst Tower are as follows:
- The Hearst Tower became New York City’s first skyscraper to achieve LEED Gold accreditation from the USGBC.
- 80% of the steel used was recycled.
- On the inside, the floors and ceiling tiles are made from recycled materials.
- Rainwater is collected on the roof and is funneled into a 14,000-gallon tank in the basement.
- The Hearst gathers enough water from the sky to account for 50% of the tower’s usage.
- This water is pumped into the cooling system, used for irrigating plants and for the innovative water sculpture in the main lobby.
3.5. Swiss Re Tower, London
Swiss Re started developing proposals for the site in 1998. Swiss Re, being closely involved in sustainability issues in the realm of insurance risks resulting from global climate change, emphasised in their brief the need an environmentally progressive design, together with a high standard of internal working environment for staff. Design, procurement and fabrication processes were integrated through the use by the design team of three-dimensional modelling of the steel frame and a parametric approach to the design, enabling complexity to be managed with reduced risk and greater economy. The project shows the ability of structural steel to enable radical architectural ideas to be realized. The special features of the Tower include (Figure 12):
Architect Sir Norman Foster
Windows in the light wells open automatically to augment the air conditioning system with natural ventilation resulting in energy savings of up to 40%
The Steel spiral Diagrid structure creates an aerodynamic form that provides the lowest resistance to wind and diminishes the danger of strong downward winds in the area around the building.
3.6. Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China
Pearl River Tower – a green skyscraper, under construction which is designed to harness winds at lofty heights will use internal wind turbines to keep the lights on (Figure 13). Fashioned like a giant wing, the tower pushes air through wind tunnels on two of the building’s 71 stories. This building will also employ geothermal heat sinks, ventilated facades, waterless urinals, integrated photo-voltaics and daylight responsive controls when it opens in late 2009. The aim to build the Tower was to build a ‘Transformed, Integrated, High Performance, and Environmentally Responsible Design’. ‘High performance’ to mean a structures whose ‘energy saving systems’ would work together in an integrated manner to consume nearly 60% less energy than a traditional building.
3.7. India Tower, Mumbai, India
The 300 m high India Tower, designed by New York based FXFOWLE architects currently under construction in Mumbai
India’s tallest building is going to be one of its greenest and will have;
- A solar chimney to generate electricity
- On-site waste water reclamation
- Solar shading, natural ventilation and rainwater harvesting.
3.8. Retrofitting the Empire State Building (NY) for Energy Efficiency
In general terms, Retrofit Measures for Energy Conservation include:
- The main goal behind the renovation is energy efficiency, with the project aiming at a 30% reduction in energy consumption.
- The entire lighting system will be retrofitted with energy-efficient light bulbs, room sensors and solar panel technology.
- Other considerations include the removal of the extremely hazardous asbestos within the original insulation, and the replacement of the window seals, to prevent the cold, or hot air, from leaving the building.
- The architects in charge of the project hope to obtain a LEED silver rating from the Green Building Council
- The 102 story Art Deco skyscraper, the Empire State Building (Figure 15), once the world’s tallest building is now set for a $100 million ‘green renovation.’
- The Clinton Climate Initiative, Johnson Controls Inc., Jones Lang LaSalle and the Rocky Mountain Institute partnered to come up with a plan to reduce the building’s energy consumption by 38 percent, or $4.4 million, annually.
Promoters hope that this iconic skyscraper can become an efficiency model for buildings worldwide.
3.9. Retrofitting of United Nations Headquarters Building, New York
The 554 ft. tall UN building was designed by an international group of architects led by Wallace K. Harrison, Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier in 1951 (Figure 16).
This building will be undergoing extensive renovations that will transform the building into a model of energy efficiency for all to follow.
4.0. International Green Rating Systems
4.1. The Basic Features
Currently, the system has been developed to help ‘design and evaluate’ new buildings (buildings that are still at the inception stages). A building is assessed based on its predicted performance over its entire life cycle – inception through operation. The stages of the life cycle that have been identified for evaluation are the preconstruction, building design and construction, and building operation and maintenance stages.
The top four systems — LEED, Green Globes, Green Star and BREEAM — remain the same. However, this guide gives visibility to several other very effective systems which could be considered by anyone seeking certification for their facilities. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) (or a derivative thereof), is still the fastest growing rating system within the industry. This is possible through localization within various countries and regions through the Green Building Council organizational design (e.g., the South Africa GBC, New Zealand GBC, Germany GBC, etc.). However, BREEAM still remains the leader in total buildings certified, exceeding LEED by almost 150,000 buildings (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources 2013). Green Globes has experienced success, as well, with its unique system adopted by many satisfied customers, including the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The Green Star rating system was developed by the Green Building Council of Australia as a national, voluntary appraisal tool that evaluates the environmental design and construction of buildings and communities. It continues to be a great contender and solution for many in the Southern Hemisphere. This includes information on utilizing the triple bottom line in your decision-making process. Last, but absolutely not least, we have highlighted successful case studies and useful information in aiding your ability to create your own business case.