It is no surprise that Green Building continues to grow in popularity. This structure represents one of the biggest global investment opportunities of the next decade, estimated by the IFC to be 24.7 trillion USD by 2030.
Buildings generate around 40% of annual global CO2 emissions.
Of those total emissions, building operations are responsible for 28% annually, while building materials and construction (referred to as embodied carbon) are responsible for an additional 11% annually. (Source: Global ABC Global Status Report 2018)
Building “green” represents a great opportunity to reduce negative impacts on human health and the overall environment, in addition to the important cost reductions.
What does “Green Building” mean?
Green Building, also known as Sustainable Building, is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life- cycle: From Construction to Energy, Materials and Water Efficiency.
This structure expands and complements the traditional building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.
Investments in Green Buildings have risen continuously over the years
(Source: BNP Paribas Real Estate)
Benefits of Green Building
Green building brings a variety of benefits, let’s name a few.
According to multiple studies, Green Buildings avoid using building materials that may contain dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or plastic by-products which release toxic fumes and carcinogens into the atmosphere. These materials are linked to respiratory diseases, allergies, and other health disorders.
What is even more fascinating is that workers in green, well-ventilated offices recorded a 101 percent increase in cognitive scores (brain function), according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Lower maintenance costs
Although the expense required for building owners to build “green” structures may be initially higher than the traditional forms of architecture, the cost over the long term is recovered steadily and exponentially.
Carbon footprint reduction
A green building uses less overall energy which can notably shrink a building’s overall carbon footprint or even have a net positive on the environment. Intelligent Energy Management is crucial as it reduces carbon emissions from our home’s energy systems.
Overall durability for green owners
Green buildings offer improved durability due to their use of sustainable materials, energy efficiency, water conservation, and indoor air quality measures. This results in lower maintenance costs and a longer lifespan for the building. Therefore, it is beneficial for owners in terms of both financial and environmental sustainability.
Important cost savings on utility bills*
Cost savings for owners are a result of reduced energy bills, reduced maintenance costs, and increased property value. These buildings are designed to use resources efficiently and reduce the strain on mechanical systems.
Efficient & Sustainable Material
Efficient and sustainable material helps reduce the environmental impact of buildings and improve their overall performance. Here are some examples:
– Recycled materials
– Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) materials
– Renewable materials
– Insulating materials
Making a Smart Move
The role of smart technologies has become very important and super useful in finding solutions to the main population issues nowadays and providing a sustainable future.
They generally come in the form of sensors and receivers that can show how much energy is being used in specific areas of a building or by certain machines.
Smart technologies provide continuous monitoring in real-time:
Data collected by the sensors is sent back to a central dashboard and you can see the energy usage details across your building or organization, without having to wait for energy billing.
Implementing Instant changes = Great cost-savings
Smart technology enables instant reactions and implementation of changes to reduce energy consumption. This plays a huge role in identifying outdated equipment that is no longer performing well, along with solving a ton of complicated issues in real-time.
Improving Energy Efficiency in Green Buildings
To be considered Green, a building should be Energy Efficient.
In 2019, spending on energy efficiency in buildings across global markets increased to USD 152 billion, 3 percent more than the previous year. (According to the UN Environment Programme)
Energy efficiency is defined as the use of reduced amounts of energy to produce the same output, and it does more than reduce the impact of buildings on the climate, it also plays a huge role in harnessing enough renewable electricity sources like wind and solar.
There is no need for a great deal of investment to achieve high energy efficiency when basic maintenance is supported by IoT devices and smart building systems.
Building Efficiency Is One Of The Most Affordable Ways To Cut Emissions
(Source: World Resources Institute)
Here are a few solutions to reach high levels of energy efficiency:
1) Power measurement
Power measurement allows the field operator to be informed about the electrical flows in the network. This gives him the capability to optimize energy use, improve efficiency and save cash.
To do this, you might want to consider implementing an advanced power monitoring system. An accurate and powerful device that will provide detailed information on electric flows.
To help you do this, Wattnow provides a great power monitoring solution that will help you save energy and cash. Click here to get a free demo and find out more.
2) HVAC control
Advanced control strategies can be applied to most Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to optimize their performance and reduce energy use.
These are some of the most cost-effective methods to improve energy efficiency in existing buildings.
3) Lighting control
Lighting can make up for around 40% of energy consumption in some types of buildings.
We can reduce electricity usage by installing more efficient lighting, such as exterior solar- powered lighting or LED light bulbs to improve energy efficiency in green buildings.
4) Energy management systems
Energy efficiency and energy management systems are now a necessity in all types of buildings.
As discussed in a previous article, there are certain standards based on the best practices worldwide that are required for making buildings sustainable and to help them achieve efficiency.
5) Water Heating
This is especially the case with residential buildings. By installing sensors to control the heating mechanism, energy consumption can be reduced without affecting users.