Sustainability based on the principle that everything we need for our survival and well-being directly or indirectly, depends on our natural environment.
Sustainability important in making sure that we have and will continue to have water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.
Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony of present and future generations.
Why is sustainable development important?
Sustainable development is now a requirement of the Kyoto Protocol (KP).
More and more people believe that if we continue in our current methodology when it comes to development we will run out the resources to sustain life.
We should maximize our natural resources and help our earth to get some relief, as pollution is everywhere.
Non-renewable energy is expensive and unsafe but through green building, we can save a lot of energy.
The phrase “Green Building” used a lot, but it often less understood what it really means.
Green buildings, also known as sustainable buildings.
It aspire to improve energy and water efficiency and to lessen their impact both during their construction and during their service.
Lynn M. Froeschle in Environmental Assessment and Specification of Green Building Materials, focuses on what kind of qualities a material should have in order to be green that explore the answer of following question: What is a green building product or material?
In general green building materials have certain commonly recognized qualities. These are:
- Low Toxicity– Materials that have low toxicity or are nontoxic and especially materials that avoid known carcinogenic compounds and ingredients. The toxicity of the materials manufacturing process and any toxic by-products of its manufacture should also be factored.
- Materials that emit few if any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are inherently greener than materials that emit VOCs. VOCs are the main cause of unhealthy indoor air quality. It is especially important to avoid materials that use (and emit) ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) (such as certain foam products)
- Similarly look for materials that can be assembled or installed with minimal use of VOC producing compounds, such as many types of glue for example. Look for materials that can be mechanical attached and that do not require VOC producing bonding or coating.
- Recycled content. Materials that incorporate recycled content into them are more sustainable than those that are made exclusively from new raw materials.
- Materials that can be produced using more resource efficient manufacturing and refining methods are going to be greener.
- Local sourcing – look at how far the product needs to be sourced from. The energy costs of transporting things over long distances, quickly adds up and overtakes other considerations.
- Recyclable materials. Look at building materials from the perspective of how easily they can be re-cycled
- Sustainably farmed or produced products. Look for renewable natural materials harvested from sustainably managed sources and that if possible have an independent certification.
- Material or component that can be reused or salvaged when the building has reached the end of its service life.
- Materials that maximize energy efficiency during normal building operation.
- Water Conserving. Materials and techniques that can conserve water resources including storm runoff.
- Durability. A green building should be designed and built to last.
- Materials that inhibit moisture accumulation in dead interspaces in the building. This helps prevent biological contamination of a structure with molds for example that can lead to poor indoor air quality issues and even serious health issues if not addressed.
- Materials or component systems that can help to improve indoor air quality (IAQ).
- Materials that easy to maintain – can be maintained without using toxic products, such as harsh cleansers that emit VOCs.
- Materials that is affordable.
Source : Asia Calling, Energy End-Use Forecasting, Environmental and Global Health, FWR Group Pty. Ltd., Green Business Guide, Green Energy Bricks, I Love to Know Green Living, Inter Press Service, The Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association, The Green Economy Post, Tree Hugger, United State Environmental Protection Agency and Western North Carolina Green Building Council.
- How are You Using Sustainable Materials? (elocal.com)
- Are All Green Buildings Healthy Buildings? (progressivetimes.wordpress.com)
- Building on Sustainability (elocal.com)