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Environment Friendly Buildings

Environment Friendly Buildings

Environment friendly/sustainable building concept has become increasingly popular during nowadays where the environmental problems such as global warming and clean water supply have reached serious concern levels. Hence, it was set forth as a result of the researches that approximately 40 percent of world’s energy consumption comprises of water consumption and approximately 30 percent of this consumption originates from the buildings. In addition, neatly ninety percent of human life is spent inside the buildings. All of these foregoing reasons bring the needs forefront for less resource consuming, more efficient and more livable environment friendly buildings. The environment friendly buildings not only enable the savings on energy and water but also, there is a significant importance attributed to the health and comfort of such buildings’ residents. While the environment friendly buildings are designed, the factors directly affecting the human health such as indoors air quality, natural lightning, temperature and humidity controls and waste management are all planned thoroughly and furthermore, it is targeted to leave cleaner environment for the end users through the methods used during their constructions. According to some international sourced researches, it has been observed that the people living or working in the environment friendly buildings are getting less sick and have higher working performances than the people living or working in buildings of other sorts.

Why do we build Environment Friendly Buildings?

Buildings constructed with traditional methods consume 70% of the energy and materials, 17% of the water and 25% of the forests and they cause the increase on CO2 emissions by 33%. In the traditional buildings only 5% recycled materials are used.

With the Green Buildings, it becomes much more possible particularly to increase savings on energy and water and to decrease the waste as well as increase of indoors air quality, accomplishing comfort and efficiency of building users; diminishing of healthcare costs of employees and finally to achieve lower operating and maintenance costs. Green Buildings in general consume approximately 30% less energy than classic buildings. The water consumption of Green Buildings is also in very quite low levels and hence nearly up to 50% water savings can be accomplished by using waterless urinals, efficient reservoirs, sinks and shower faucets. By following up some certain strategies within green projects, 50% water saving can easily be accomplished on landscaped areas.

Environment Friendly (Green Building) Certification

LEED “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”

The LEED certificate system is being implemented since 1988 and is developed by the American Green Buildings Council (USGBC) as an environment friendly building certification tool.

The LEED system is a long process beginning with the building’s design stage until its completion phase. During this process covers several techical aspects of the building design. The LEED system has different categories in effect, applicable to different  building types, which are in constant development. The categories are as follows;

  • New Construction

  • Core & Shell

  • Commercial Interiors

  • Schools

  • Existing Buildings: Operation & Maintenance

  • Homes

  • Healthcare

  • Retail New Construction / Retail Commercial Interiors

  • Neighborhood Development 

LEED system reviews and evaluates the building under 7 main sub-categories as defined below:

 1.    Sustainable Lands

 2.    Water Efficiency

 3.    Energy and Atmosphere

 4.    Materials and Resources

 5.    Indoors Living Quality

 6.    Innovation

 7.    Local Priority Order

Under each sub-category there are certain preconditions and credit definitions. A building must first of all meet the preconditions and then earn points under each one of such credits. The project is awarded at Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum levels, according to the points earned under these sub-categories.

The certificate levels according to the earned total points are as follows:

Certified:  40-49 points

Silver:       50-59 points

Gold:         60-79 points

Platinum: 80-110 points

Within the scope of LEED headings, the below listed topics are evaluated and given points:

−     Encouragement and promotion of mass transportation and alternative transportation systems,

−     Application certain methods for water saving and efficient water use

−     Having design and system selections assisting increased energy efficiency,

−     Increase and control of indoors air quality,

−     Prevention of volatile substances and tobacco smoke, removal of such hazardous substances from indoors,  

−     Benefiting from sunlight.