Santhakumar 1 Pranav Santhakumar Research Internship June 23, 2023 In an era of escalating environmental concerns and urgent calls for sustainability, green architecture emerges as a transformative force driving positive change. Green architecture is a method of construction that aims to minimize a building’s carbon footprint while maximizing resource sustainability. Buildings that are made with green architecture’s philosophy, also known as green buildings, have several benefits beyond lessening its carbon footprint. Benefits such as water conservation, cost savings, community benefits, increased market value, and improved branding. Green architecture’s benefits only get better and better as time goes on and some potential future improvements to the technology and innovations in green architecture hold even more promise for the future. As the world becomes increasingly aware of environmental challenges, green architecture paves the way for a brighter future, where our built environment coexists harmoniously with nature, benefitting present and future generations alike. The central part of green architecture is the reduction of a building’s carbon footprint. Green architecture helps to achieve this by thinking of carbon emissions at every step of the building and destruction process. 11% of the world's total carbon emissions are from gathering the materials for buildings and the construction of buildings. Green building practices focus on minimizing this pollution during construction by adopting measures such as proper waste management, dust control, and the use of low-emission construction equipment. Similar methods are used during the destruction process to minimize the effect it has on the building's surroundings. Santhakumar 2 Green buildings not only increase environmental sustainability during construction but increase sustainability during the operation time of the building too. One of these ways is the conservation of energy. This is achieved with the help of renewable energy resources like solar panels, efficient heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, and LED lighting. Using renewable energy sources also helps to reduce carbon emissions as renewable energy has close to no carbon footprint while the power usage of traditional buildings contributes to 28% of global carbon emissions. One of the most overlooked factors of green architecture is water conservation. Low-flow plumbing components, rainwater collection systems, and efficient irrigation methods are examples of water-saving technology utilized in green buildings. These techniques can cut building water consumption by up to 20%, reducing demand for water resources and promoting water conservation. Additionally, green buildings usually have on-site wastewater treatment facilities to recycle and reuse water and minimize the load on regional water systems. One of the benefits to the businesses that own the building is cost savings. Energy-efficient technology and water conservation in green buildings help result in lower utility costs for the residents and the homeowners or the business that owns the building. Green buildings are, on average, 14% less expensive to operate than traditional buildings. Green buildings also make use of sustainable and natural materials that end up, more often than not, requiring less maintenance and replacement costs over the building’s lifespan. Green buildings do however have higher initial costs than normal buildings; on average, about 2% more than a traditional one, but that extra money is gained back and more in the long run. Green architecture can benefit the community around the building too. This is done by installing green roofs. Green roofs are vegetative layers grown on the rooftop. These don't just Santhakumar 3 have to be on the roof but can be anywhere on the exterior of a building. These provide shade, naturally absorb and retain rainwater, and improve air quality. These also help in reducing heat island effects. The heat island effect is a phenomenon where cities tend to be hotter than the rural areas near them due to human activities. A city's heat island effects are significantly reduced when green roofs are added, which, among other advantages, can result in a temperature reduction of up to 5°F citywide. The most important benefit of green architecture for businesses is improved branding and marketability. Green buildings are increasingly sought after in the real estate market. As sustainability becomes more important to individuals and organizations, green architecture can enhance the market value of properties. Green buildings often enjoy higher resale or rental value and can attract environmentally conscious tenants or buyers. Additionally, adopting green architecture can contribute to a positive brand image and demonstrate a commitment to the environment and the community. Now let's take a look at what the future could look like with green buildings implemented worldwide and with green architecture technology advancements. One key technological advancement in green buildings will be the integration of smart technologies. As time goes on, buildings will become increasingly networked and smarter, employing connections and the Internet to save energy, improve indoor air quality, and improve overall efficiency. Smart sensors and automation will be necessary to operate lighting, heating, and cooling systems based on real-time data, occupancy levels, and weather conditions. Future building materials are also likely to be more environmentally friendly, with a focus on renewable resources and smaller carbon footprints. In addition, water conservation will receive more attention thanks to effective Santhakumar 4 plumbing and rainwater collection systems. Additionally, it will become increasingly typical to incorporate renewable energy resources like solar and wind power into building plans. As people around the world grow more aware of environmental problems, these developments would be encouraged. To lessen their environmental impact, governments, corporations, and people will be more likely to support sustainability programs. More builders and homeowners will invest in eco-friendly structures due to incentives and rules that support green building practices, such as tax benefits, carbon offset programs, and green certifications. The need for sustainable construction will be fueled by people's increased knowledge of climate change and the advantages of green buildings. Green buildings will be essential in reaching the world's sustainability objectives if these modifications are made worldwide. By boosting the use of renewable energy sources and reducing energy use, they will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the decreased water usage and efficient waste management in green buildings will help conserve natural resources. While the future of green buildings looks promising, some challenges and barriers to widespread implementation may persist. Some developers choose not to use sustainable techniques since the initial cost of establishing green buildings can be higher than that of conventional buildings. Additionally, it's possible that buyers, builders, and architects are not knowledgeable of green building techniques. Overcoming these challenges will require continued efforts in research and development to make green technologies more affordable and accessible. As a result of its emphasis on environmentally friendly and sustainable building techniques, green architecture offers a wide range of advantages that go far beyond only minimizing its adverse effects on the environment. Green architecture is at the forefront of Santhakumar 5 environmental sustainability, helping to improve air quality, conserve energy and water, and reduce our carbon footprint. Furthermore, green buildings help building owners save money and increase their marketability. In essence, green buildings serve as a symbol of hope for a society that is more ecologically sensitive and sustainable. We can create a better future where our built environment coexists peacefully with the natural world, benefiting both current and future generations, by realizing the potential of green buildings and embracing their advantages. The world has to adopt green architecture as we move toward a more environmentally friendly future, and the time to do so is now. Works Cited “Green Buildings Don’t Have to Cost More.” Building Design + Construction, Apr. 2023, www.bdcnetwork.com/blog/green-buildings-dont-have-cost-more#:~:text=High-performi ng%20buildings%20can%20be,more%20energy%20savings%20than%20that. Gitnux. “Green Building Industry 2023: Statistics and Trends &Bull; GITNUX.” GITNUX, Aug. 2023, blog.gitnux.com/green-building-industry-statistics/#:~:text=billion%20U.S.%20dollars.-, Green%20Building%20Industry%3A%20Statistics%20Overview,over%20the%20next% 20few%20years. “Embodied Carbon - World Green Building Council.” World Green Building Council, 28 Oct. 2022, Santhakumar 6 worldgbc.org/advancing-net-zero/embodied-carbon/#:~:text=Buildings%20are%20curren tly%20responsible%20for,11%25%20from%20materials%20and%20construction. How Green Buildings Can Help Fight Climate Change | U.S. Green Building Council. 1 Mar. 2021, www.usgbc.org/articles/how-green-buildings-can-help-fight-climate-change. “Using Green Roofs to Reduce Heat Islands | US EPA.” US EPA, 28 June 2023, www.epa.gov/heatislands/using-green-roofs-reduce-heat-islands#:~:text=A%20green%20 roof%2C%20or%20rooftop,roof%20surface%20and%20surrounding%20air. 5 Ways to Increase Water Efficiency in Green Buildings. learn.chicagofaucets.com/blog/5-ways-to-increase-water-efficiency-in-green-buildings#:~ :text=Your%20commercial%20building%20will%20use,consumption%20and%20increas e%20water%20efficiency. “Financial Benefits of Green Buildings – Are They Expensive?” Smart CRE, May 2022, smart-cre.com/financial-benefits-of-green-buildings-are-they-expensive/#:~:text=Are%2 0Green%20Buildings%20Expensive%3F,to%2019%25%20in%20operational%20expend itures.%20https:// Ragheb, Amany, et al. “Green Architecture: A Concept of Sustainability.” Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 216, Elsevier BV, Jan. 2016, pp. 778–87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.12.075. “Urban Green.” Google Books, books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ElnXgQhtlOQC&oi=fnd&pg=PP2&dq=green+ architecture&ots=4i7cEFbk04&sig=2qnOMdCZFM3re256mHGeWuP7FDM#v=onepage &q=green%20architecture&f=false. Santhakumar 7 Fan, Yuling, and Xiaohua Xia. “Energy-efficiency Building Retrofit Planning for Green Building Compliance.” Building and Environment, vol. 136, Elsevier BV, May 2018, pp. 312–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2018.03.044.