75% of the world’s energy is consumed in cities, 40% of the world’s energy is consumed in buildings. The most interesting potential for CO2 reduction in cities from the economical point of view lays in the modernization of the building’s infrastructure. Converting existing and new buildings into Green Buildings is one of the most effective levers to meet the challenges of CO2 reduction in cities. “Sustainable building” is the design and construction of buildings using methods and materials that are resource efficient and that will not compromise the health of the environment or the associated health and well-being of the building’s occupants, construction workers, the general public or future generations. Sustainable building involves the consideration of many issues, including land use, site impacts, indoor environment, energy and water use, solid waste, and lifecycle impacts of building materials.
The built environment has a vast impact on the natural environment, human health, and the economy. By adopting green building strategies, we can maximize both economic and environmental performance. “Green” construction methods can be integrated into buildings at any stage, from design and construction, to renovation and deconstruction. However, the most significant benefits can be obtained if the design and construction team takes an integrated approach from the earliest stages of a building project. Potential benefits of green building can include:
• Enhance and protect biodiversity and ecosystems
• Improve air and water quality
• Reduce waste streams
• Conserve and restore natural resources
• Reduce operating costs
• Create, expand, and shape markets for green products and services
• Improve occupant productivity
• Optimize life-cycle economic performance
• Enhance occupant comfort and health
• Heighten aesthetic qualities
• Minimize strain on local infrastructure
• Improve overall quality of life
The main factors that are taken into consideration in “sustainable building” are the following: site sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, material and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation and design.
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