- The most common “green” technologies
- Energy Saving Technologies
- Using solar energy
- Rainwater harvesting
- Benefits of Green Building
All over the world, more and more attention has been paid recently to the development of environmentally friendly and energy-saving technologies aimed at reducing the harmful impact on the environment and saving energy. The builders did not stand aside either. The so-called “green building” is gaining increasing popularity both in the West and in our country..
Later in 1998, another rating system for certification of “green buildings” appeared in the United States – LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). To be certified in this system, the building must be distinguished by maximum use during its construction and operation of renewable energy sources. Assessment of buildings under this standard is carried out according to 6 criteria.
- Building area.
- Energy and atmosphere.
- Materials and resources.
- Air quality.
For each point, the building is assigned certain points, on the basis of which a certain certificate is then issued: for 40 points – green certificate, for 50 points – silver, for 60 points – gold, for 80 points – platinum. ?
Of course, the higher a building is rated according to these standards, the more comfortable, safe and environmentally friendly it is. Note that Russia is currently developing its own environmental standards for construction.?
The most common “green” technologies
Energy Saving Technologies
One of the basic principles of sustainable construction is energy conservation. That is why more and more attention is paid to the development of technologies that would make it possible to minimize energy losses during the operation of buildings. Among the main methods of energy saving are:
Providing effective thermal insulation.
Recently, manufacturers of insulation and insulation materials have been offering many modern technological solutions that better retain heat inside the building. Among the most common and effective materials used in green building, we note the following:
- Expanded polystyrene boards: provide an opportunity to reduce construction costs, increase the speed of erection of walls of a building, reduce the volume of construction waste, and, of course, provide effective thermal insulation.
- Organic thermal insulation: created on the basis of the use of natural, environmentally friendly materials (non-autoclaved foam concrete, recycled wood and woodworking waste (fiberboard or chipboard), reeds, straw, fiberboard, peat boards, etc.).
- Other thermal insulation materials, inorganic origin: fiberglass-based boards, stone wool boards, mineral wool, etc..
Reducing heat loss in the ventilation system by installing recuperators.
A recuperator is a device that provides heat exchange between incoming and outgoing air streams. It is used to keep indoor air warm and clean. So, for example, during the cold season, warm air leaving the building exchanges heat with cold air coming from the street. The reverse exchange takes place in the warm season: warm air from the street, getting into the room, is cooled. Therefore, the installation of such a system ensures heat exchange in the room and a constant supply of fresh air..
Ensuring the tightness of door and window openings.
About 25% of thermal energy is lost in our homes through windows and doors. Therefore, an eco-house should have high-quality double-glazed windows and doors that provide protection against heat loss in the cold season..
Modern energy-saving windows can be of several varieties:
- Double-glazed windows, in which a special coating is applied to the inner surface of the glass, which reduces heat loss.
- Double-glazed windows filled with an inert gas, most often argon.
To reduce air loss through doorways, it is important to correctly install doors without cracks and gaps. Then the heat will not leave the room..
Reducing energy consumption through the use of modern economical appliances.
Modern household appliances are produced on the basis of energy-saving technologies. Many, for certain, have marked the inscription on the refrigerator or washing machine “energy class A”, this means that such a device consumes electricity several times less than standard models.
In addition, a reduction in electricity consumption in such a house is achieved through the use of energy-saving lamps that consume about 5 times less energy than a conventional incandescent lamp..
Due to the use of such technologies, a modern eco-house saves almost a quarter of the electricity consumed.
Using solar energy
Green Building uses not only advanced energy-saving technologies, but also alternative sources of electricity generation. As you know, the sun is a huge generator that produces an enormous amount of energy. Almost half of all solar radiation is thermal (infrared) rays, and it is on the accumulation of this radiation that all solar batteries are based. The availability of this type of energy determines its active use in the construction of “green” houses.
Giorgio de Chirico. Metaphysical Interior with sun which dies. 1971
As a rule, solar panels are installed on the roofs of buildings, but recently special photovoltaic glasses (Smart Energy Glass) have also begun to be used. Such glasses not only accumulate solar energy, but also perfectly retain heat in rooms in winter..
The possibility of partial or complete replacement of non-renewable energy sources with solar panels, which will provide power to a wide variety of building systems, can significantly save and reduce the harmful impact on the environment. That is why this technology has found its application in green building..
Technologies for the efficient and rational use of water resources also take one of the central places in green building. Even in the standards, a whole section is devoted to harvesting rainwater. Every “green” building necessarily has a system for collecting and storing rainwater.
There are several varieties of such systems, ranging from simple ones designed for small private houses, and ending with industrial-scale devices..
Rainwater is usually collected from the roof of a building. Of course, such water cannot be used as drinking water, since dust, dirt and other debris can get into it during collection. Depending on the features of the collection system, the resulting rainwater can be used for different purposes, most often, it is used for domestic needs: watering plants, washing cars, flushing in toilets, etc..
Friedensreich Hundertwasser. It’s raining far away from us
Also, a similar system can be used as an autonomous water supply in case of malfunctions in the central water supply system or any failures in the water supply.
Rainwater harvesting systems are easy to install and maintain, so the costs are generally low and the benefits are clear..
Benefits of Green Building
The benefits of using green technologies in construction can be divided into two large groups: economic and social. Let’s consider each of them in more detail..
In practice, it has been proven that the construction of “green buildings” is economically justified and more profitable compared to the construction of conventional buildings. Homes built using advanced environmental technologies have the following advantages:
- energy consumption is lower by 25%;
- water consumption is 30% lower;
- due to the higher quality of the used management and control tools, as well as due to the optimization of the operation of all systems, the costs of building maintenance are significantly reduced;
- as a rule, the number of refusals to rent and buy housing in such houses is much lower, therefore, the risks and costs of building owners are reduced;
- environmentally friendly buildings contribute to the preservation of the health of the people in them, which is important for employers, as it allows to reduce the cost of medical care for personnel;
- “Green buildings” have recently attracted more and more public attention, and this is additional advertising and an opportunity to quickly recoup construction costs;
- such buildings are an instrument of a rational economy, they are the object of interest of many Western investors, so the construction of such facilities can be an excellent project for attracting large investments;
- the basic principles of the construction of eco-buildings correspond to, and in some cases even outstrip modern environmental standards. Consequently, even with the tightening of standards, such buildings will not have to be seriously modernized and additional costs incurred..
In addition to economic benefits, green buildings have a number of social benefits that are very important for maintaining human health and minimizing harmful effects on nature..
The benefits of building green homes for human health and the environment:
- reducing the amount of pollution, toxic substances and debris that enter the water, air and soil during the construction and operation of the building;
- reduction of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere;
- creation of optimal conditions in the premises for air quality, as well as acoustic and thermal parameters;
- reduction of harmful effects on the health of people in such buildings;
- preservation of natural resources through the active use of renewable energy sources.