Green building or green construction is a construction process that uses resource-efficient and environmentally friendly technology in the projects lifecycle, right from design, planning, construction and renovation to demolition stages. Green building construction requires a close working relationship between the architects, engineers, contractors and the clients at all stages of the construction process. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognised certification system which offers verification to ascertain that a building has met the green building components. The following are the main elements of green building designs.
Green building construction materials are sourced from natural and renewable sources and should be managed in a sustainable way to protect the environment. These materials are also sourced locally to minimise the energy costs that would have been the case if the materials were to be transported from places far from the site. The materials are then assessed to determine their durability, ability to reuse, and waste minimisation, among others.
The Energy System
Green buildings are designed in a way that there will be a reduction in the cooling and heating costs when the installation is complete. This is made possible through the use of renewable energy, such as solar panels and wind turbines, energy-efficient windows, energy-efficient lighting, and insulated walls.
Water Management System
Green buildings are designed to minimise water wastage by incorporating designs that allow rainwater harvesting or by use of a greywater catchment system, which recycles water that can be used for toilet flushing. Another way is by the use of appliances that use water efficiently, such as low flow showerheads.