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The importance of green building


Today, green building in Europe represents one of the most significant and most exciting opportunities for sustainable growth at both national and global level. Owing to the fact that the design of built environment has an impact on all of us, on our economies and the natural environment, the objective of Croatia Green Building Council is to guide the transition of built environment towards sustainability. 

Design:

  • of our homes plays an essential role in the quality of our lives, comfort level and health 
  •  of our schools has a lifelong impact on those who study in them, in terms of influencing students’ attention and health, thus influencing the ecological awareness of future generations
  • our workplaces influences employee productivity and health and the business success of our companies
  • of our hospitals has an impact on patients' recovery period and overheads in healthcare institutions. 

Finnaly, the design:

  • of our cities and communities strongly defines their economic and social dynamics.

 

GREEN BUILDING:

... represents an intelligent approach to energy 

  • it impacts energy consumption minimisation at every stage of the lifecycle of a building, ranging from the idea formation and realisation, to the final usage, thus rendering new and renovated buildings more comfortable, less expensive to maintain as well as more suitable for the environment ; at the same time, it helps users of buildings learn how to efficiently use energy resources that are becoming increasingly expensive and unavailable
  • It integrates technologies which encourage the use of renewable energy sources and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the environment, in order to provide buildings with optimal supply of energy resources, thus making the building design completely efficient and harmonised with the natural environment

... It protects our water resources 

  • green building searches for ways to achieve effective managing of water resources as well as efficient managing of drinking and waste water, through the use of innovative methods for collecting water for safe use indoors and reduction of water use in building construction sector, in general
  • Considering the impact of built environment on rainfall and rainfall runoff drainage system, green building ensures the use of technologies which foster healthier interaction between water, soil and the whole environmental system

... It reduces waste and encourages re-use of materials through recycling

  • reduced use of building materials, use of materials of higher quality and longevity, reduced construction waste production, including correct calculation of the duration of the lifecycle of a building, from design and construction up to its use, conversion and demolition
  • It encourages building owners and users to properly use, store and recycle building materials, so that they can be reused

... It promotes health and well-being of all building users

  • through an adequate supply of fresh air throughout the building premises, which is achieved by good ventilation which maintains high indoor air quality, and avoidance of materials and chemicals that can cause emissions of harmful gases 
  • It encourages extensive use of natural light to illuminate rooms and makes sure that their occupants have a nice view of the surrounding environment, which not only provides the building users with great amount of comfort and a possibility to enjoy the surroundings, but also reduces the need for artificial room lighting.
  • It is a design that “appeals to both eyes and ears”. In fact, when it comes to schools, health care institutions, private homes and workplaces, acoustics and sound insulation play an important role in providing an ambience that is good for concentration, recovery as well as for enjoying work and spending time in one’s own home 
  • By providing a pleasant indoor temperature regardless of the season or outside temperature, for which it uses intelligent building solutions, it contributes to the creation of a good atmosphere and a pleasant microclimate in rooms where people spend most of their time

... It keeps our landscape green

  • at the same time emphasising the need to preserve the nature in our urban areas and to contribute to protection of the environment; it ensures the conservation or special monitoring of flora and fauna diversity as well as of soil quality, and creates green areas through remediation of contaminated soil
  • It looks for ways in which it can make our urban areas more productive and in which it can bring agriculture into our cities or even on our rooftops

... It produces resilient and flexible building structures

  • it easily adapts to changes in the environment as well as to the caprices of nature and makes sure that buildings are resistant to natural hazards, such as floods, earthquakes or large fires, thus enabling the buildings to stand the test of time and renders spaces safer for people
  • It designs flexible and dynamic spaces, by foreseeing changes in their use through time and thus avoiding the need for their demolition, rebuilding or renovation, which effectively prevents their abrupt deprecation

... It connects us 

  • by creating diverse social environments which encourage the process of establishing new connections among communities as well as their growth. It searches for ways in which buildings can contribute to their spatial context in terms of exerting a positive economic and social impact; it encourages the local community to participate in the planning of the construction of higher-quality neighbourhoods and urban blocks.
  • As early as at the design stage of a building, thought is given to shortening the distance between people’s homes and workplaces or other social locations, which results in a reduced environmental impact of personal vehicles as well as of road and rail traffic in general
  • It encourages the use of environmentally friendly means of transport, such as bicycles
  • It investigates the potential of ICT technologies for improved communication with the rest of the world, for example through smart grids, which distribute energy depending on the place and time of actual energy demand

... It takes into account every stage of the lifecycle of a building

  • thus reducing its negative impact on the environment and showing respect for its social and economic value over its entire lifespan, beginning with its design and construction, through use and maintenance, up to its renovation and demolition. In green building, the fragmentary nature of valuation in the building industry chain implies long-term maintenance of buildings, but Green Building Councils promote integrated operation of the entire building chain, ranging from idea formation to the realisation of the building;
  • making the invisible visible. Embodied resources are the invisible resources used in buildings: for example, the energy or water used to produce and transport the materials in the building.

 

Why does it matter? 

 

Generating sustainable growth The building constructions sector is a driver of GDP, and green building offers an opportunity for increased output with decreased impact. Global construction output is predicted to grow significantly by 2020, and with markets moving towards greater resource efficiency, policy makers have a central role to play in keeping European companies at the forefront of the global green buildings market.

Creating jobsEurope’s construction industry employs tens of millions of people, but at the same time it suffers from a lack of skill. Attracting talent and investment is one of the key challenges ahead. Green building offers a chance to be part of the solution to global challenges, to explore new and exciting technologies and to learn skills that will stay relevant for a longer period of time.

Increasing energy security and reducing fuel povertyEurope’s oil and gas imports cost us hundreds of billions of Euros each year. Higher energy efficiency across our countries’ buildings will help reduce this unnecessary cost, as well as decrease the need for new and expensive national infrastructure. Personal energy security is also important, and those whose fuel bills represent a significant portion of income are also helped by increased efficiency.

Improving the providing of public servicesThe power of a strong public sector in green building is not just about helping to lead the widening of the market. Green building can lower the cost of running public buildings, increase the efficiency of providing services and help create the right environment to retain and foster the brightest ideas and innovations.

Adding and retaining financial value - Green buildings attract sales and rental premiums, help reduce capital expenditure and mitigate the risk of regulations requiring costly alterations to buildings. Energy and water efficient buildings also save businesses’ and consumers’ money during the lifetime of the property. Green buildings have a higher selling value and provide every company with a better market image

 

 

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