Monday, March 16th, 2015 by Danny Peterson
Nowadays, green buildings are no longer seen as a fleeting architectural trend, and with good reason. With benefits that are hard to miss, (read: economic, social and environmental) its popularity is expected, if not long overdue. Discover some of the reasons why building green has become the preferred choice of engineers, contractors and architects alike.
Since green buildings are built with sustainability in mind, more often than not, they require minimal upkeep. Understandably, they are also designed to last longer than their traditional counterparts.
When it comes to reducing energy consumption, green buildings are deemed consummate as opposed to other structures made of steel and brick. In addition, with features like energy-efficient windows, passive solar design and extra insulation, it’s not only environment-friendly but cost-effective as well.
Understandably, since often made of sustainable components, green buildings demand a higher value in the market. And since the use of energy, water and gas are dramatically minimized, enticing potential buyers would be walk in the park.
A survey conducted in California indicated that stores that make use of natural light/skylights experience a surge of up to 40 per cent in their sales. In addition, a significant reduction in their electricity usage has been observed as well.
With favorable features like good ventilation and natural lighting, among others, employees are less likely to get sick as opposed to those who have a less than favorable working environment. A study conducted in Seattle showed that sustainable building designs have helped reduce absenteeism by as much as 40 per cent. In most cases, minimal absences can often translate to an increase in productivity, and of course, more profit.
Carpeting, poor lighting, pesticides and other pollutants can pose serious health hazards to building occupants. In most cases, these hazards can manifest in the form of asthma, respiratory diseases and allergies. Fortunately, creating a healthy environment is a common feature most green structures share.
Most sustainable buildings take water conservation into account when designing their structures. That means aside from recycling rainwater and using it for flushing toilets, fixtures that help ensure water conservation are installed (i.e. ultra-low flush toilets and water saving shower heads, among others).
Contrary to popular belief, sustainable buildings do not cost more to build compared to their conventional counterparts. While in some instances (because of special requirements) spending a little more is observed, expenses are often recouped in the form of eventual savings over the years. With all the benefits it offers, it won’t come as a surprise if sustainable structures will become the new building standard in the not so distant future.
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