by Shailesh Ranjan, Head – Business Planning, Operations & Technical, Asahi Glass
Green buildings, also known as sustainable buildings, are structures that are designed and constructed to minimize their impact on the environment while providing a healthy and comfortable living or working space for the people who use them. The benefits of green buildings to society are numerous and far-reaching, and can have a positive impact on both individuals and the planet.
Glass plays an important role in green buildings, as it is a versatile building material that can help to reduce energy consumption and improve the overall sustainability of a structure. One of the most significant benefits of green buildings is their ability to conserve energy and natural resources. One way glass is used in green buildings is through the incorporation of high-performance glazing. These glazing systems have a low solar heat gain coefficient, which means they allow in less heat from the sun, helping to reduce cooling costs. They also have low emissivity, which means they are good at trapping heat inside the building during the winter, helping to reduce heating costs. This can be particularly useful in areas with extreme temperatures like Delhi and Northern India.
Another way glass is used in green buildings is through the use of day lighting techniques. Properly designed and placed glazing can help to bring natural light into the building, reducing the need for artificial lighting and reducing energy consumption. In addition, glazing can be designed to reflect, filter or block UV rays, which can cause damage to interior finishes and furniture, and also provide glare control to ensure a comfortable lighting ambiance for the building's occupants.
This further helps people save money, but also helps the planet by using less energy from fossil fuels, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, and helps to combat climate change.
Another important benefit of green buildings is their impact on the health and well-being of the people who use them. These structures are designed to improve indoor air quality, reduce noise pollution, and provide a more comfortable living or working space. They often incorporate features such as green roofs, which can help to reduce air pollution, and improve the overall quality of life for the building's occupants.
Green buildings also have a positive impact on the environment, as they are often constructed using environmentally-friendly materials (like glass) and methods. This means that they have a smaller environmental footprint than traditional buildings and have less of an impact on natural habitats and ecosystems. This can be beneficial for the planet, and also help to preserve important species and biodiversity.
Furthermore, many green buildings incorporate green roofs, which are vegetated roofs that help to improve air quality, reduce storm water runoff, and provide other environmental benefits. Glass can play a role in green roofs by allowing light to reach the plants on the roof, helping them to thrive.
Another benefit of green buildings is that they can help to create jobs and stimulate economic growth. The construction and operation of sustainable buildings requires the use of specialized skills and technologies, which can create new jobs and opportunities for local communities. Additionally, the cost savings associated with green buildings can also be used to stimulate economic growth, as they free up money that can be spent on other goods and services.
Lastly, green buildings are not just good for the environment and society they are also good for business. Companies that adopt green building practices are likely to attract more customers, employees, and investors. The reputation boost that come with a sustainable building, and the cost savings associated with energy-efficient operations can make for a more successful and profitable company.
In conclusion, green buildings offer a wide range of benefits to society, from conserving energy and natural resources, to improving the health and well-being of the people who use them, to promoting social sustainability and economic growth. They are an important step towards creating a more sustainable and equitable future for all. The more green buildings are constructed, the more it will help to mitigate the effects of climate change and improve the quality of life for all.