Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Green Building: A Game Changer by Florserfina Guisadio-Tañada*

            Sustainability is the new "buzz word" in the world of environmental advocacies. Thus, proposal on new development projects aiming to provide a better and effective way of consuming our natural resources is now being launch globally. Developers from other countries are now realizing the benefits of sustainable building and the opportunity of increasing the value of their assets as time goes by. 
According to the Emirates Green Building Council,  "sustainable buildings can save about 20 per cent of their energy bill through low-to-no-cost measures alone, that all pay back within 12 to 18 months with an internal rate of return upwards of 40 per cent".  Thus, sustainable buildings are beneficial to consumers and businessmen, as well as to our environment.
            One of the main proposals in Green Building is the use of renewable energy, such as solar energy panel. Solar power is one of the unlimited energy sources that we can take advantage of to reduce our carbon footprint. There are different types of solar power cells that will fit perfectly to the needs and requirement of an individual. These include crystalline silicone, ordinary silicon cells, thin film cells, and concentrator cells.

         Another proposal is on water conservation. It is emphasized that the protection of water supply should be considered when planning the life of the building. Builders should consider providing waste water treatment and water recycling units. It is also suggested to utilize low or ultra low-water-efficient plumbing fixtures and integrate other water-saving devices into buildings. Reducing water consumption and maintaining the high quality of water in buildings are key objectives of a sustainable design.

          The use of rapidly renewable materials, such as bamboo or cork flooring, is also one of the considerations in Green Building, for they have high recyclable contents. Using locally harvested and/or manufactured raw materials are highly recommended by Green Building advocates. This is to reduce the amount of energy needed to transport materials to the construction site.
               We are inevitably at the forefront of an environmental battle as we suffer the effects of our own trashes. The effects of nature's wrath caught the whole world unprepared, and we are rushing to find ways to appease the nature. Green Building is indeed a step forward, a game changer, in the environmental battle we are currently living in. Let us move, while we still can.

* Florserfina Guisadio-Tañada is a MENRM student

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