One thing that bothers everyone after buying a residence is the bills that follows and what makes me personally happy about sustainable buildings is that they’ve secured a safe way for us to avoid the piling up bills that no one wants to pay. Another thing is feeling satisfied about doing the right thing, I mean who wouldn’t! Feeling that you live in a house that connects you with the environment around you and knowing every second that you’re helping all these beautiful sights stay there for a longer time.

Normally, sustainable or green buildings are built using environmentally friendly materials like bamboo for example and that doesn’t require big machinery transportation to move as transportation harms the environments in a way as well. Green buildings conserve the many types of energy we use while living in them which, in the long term, saves lot of money.

Taking a closer look at the traditional built houses that we live in and how it affects our planet, we find that it’s responsible for a huge percentage of the greenhouse gas emissions as they’re responsible for 38% of all CO2 emissions. Another thing is the energy that our buildings consume. according to the U.S. Green Building Council buildings account for an average of 41% of the world’s energy use. Which adds up to our bills and raises a warning sign that  we’ll be broke very soon because of our air conditioners and fridges. So generally, the non-green buildings are using our up the energy and it’s also affecting us negatively in many ways. one way is the sick building syndrome (SBS). Something like this actually exists that can results in lowered productivity and higher absenteeism. The green buildings help maintain more effective comfort levels that results in reducing SBS. That’s why an average of 27% of the green building’s occupants are generally more satisfied than non green building occupants.

Financially Talking

The cost of green homes usually cost the same or a bit more than a conventional home to build. So, if you are one of the people who has heard that ‘Building a green home costs a fortune and these homes are only for millionaires’ myth then you should go dump that into the nearest trash because it’s not true. Which leads us to why you will pay less bills. The lifetime cost of owning and living in a green home is less, because owners save money on power, have lower maintenance costs, can have lower water bills which leaves everyone happy and satisfied.

Utility policies

In simple words, homes that are built green usually have excess clean energy. Like energy produced by wind power or solar photo-voltaic panels, where power companies require that surplus energy to buy. So the the return on investment for the construction of your green homes is accelerated.

“Green buildings are a hallmark of economically sound business decision, thoughtful environmental decisions, and smart human impact decision”   -Rick Fedrizzi

What’s interesting about green built homes

Maybe the most obvious thing you’ll notice when you enter a green home is the solar cells located in the roof or in the garden but, some other interesting things a green home might has is a bamboo roof, the site of the building, the design flexibility and simplicity, the geothermal heating\cooling system and you’ll definitely notice the indoor air quality.

  • Green Roofs 

A green roof  is an important energy supplier for the house that’s always taken into consideration for the builders if the house is running on solar energy. Other houses my also operate on wind energy or other renewable energy sources. These roofs are completely or partially covered with vegetation which helps to minimize heating and cooling costs, prevent storm-water runoff, and filter pollutants.

Another type of green roofs which are trending right now because of their low cost and the beautiful view they give are the Bamboo roofs. The fact that Bamboo is a natural raw material and has a strong capability to that of wood, bricks and as strong as steel has picked the interest of many green home lovers. Beside that you can find bamboo roofs builder locally with a cheap cost and it’s environmentally friendly of course. Normally, Bamboo is used in roofs but it also  can be readily used as a substitute material in flooring and reinforcement in place of steel in building earthquake resistant houses. Bamboo requires easy transportation due to it’s light weight. The best thing in growing Bamboo is that it consumes high quantities of nitrogen and this helps in reducing the water pollution.

  • Geothermal heating\cooling systems (HVAC)

These systems are becoming more popular with the green home owners due to their high efficiency and low operating costs. Unlike ordinary heating and cooling systems, geothermal HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning) systems don’t use fossil fuel to generate heat. They extract heat from the ground to heat the house in the winter and dump heat into the ground in the summer. This is considered the money saver of the house here.

“I just installed it in my house and just haven’t seen a better way to heat and cool with one packaged unit.”    -A HVAC system user’s review.

  • Site and Size

You’ll probably notice that green home’s  size is usually small and conventional to help attribute in preserving the heat of the house and so the cost. as designers and builders usually reduce energy consumption and green house gas emissions by designing more compact living spaces.

The site of the house is another important thing as designers always make sure that the house is positioned to provide the house with a good ventilation and also to receive the largest amount of natural daylight in order to avoid unnecessary artificial lights that have negative impact on the health and the wallets.

Occupant’s comfort

Keep in mind that the green designs seek to create buildings that keep people comfortable while minimizing negative environmental impacts. These buildings need to keep people comfortable, efficient, healthy and safe as the people set about their life tasks. For example they provide:

  • Thermal Comfort 

Which is maintaining a personal thermal comfort means ensuring that they don’t feel too hot or too cold. It keeps the temperature, humidity, airflow and radiant sources within acceptable range.

 

  • Visual Comfort

Maintaining visual comfort means ensuring that people have enough light for their activities, the light has the right quality and balance, and people have good views.

  • Air Quality

It’s important that the air is clean, fresh, and circulated effectively in the space.

  • Acoustic Comfort

Acoustic comfort means having the right level and quality of sound to use the space as intended it depends on the quality of noise isolation of the house.

Here’s also a comparison I found interesting while researching between built green homes and traditionally built homes.if you have some extra time you can read it here  http://www.bpcgreenbuilders.com/green-home-vs-ordinary-home/

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A first year student in ASU faculty of environmental architecture and urbanism. I'm also a writer.


2 Comments » for Why Building Green Matters
  1. Ashraf M Ahmed says:

    It’s a great research effort, l which you a promising future.

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