Ab­hishek Bansal,

Shopping Center News - - INITIATIVE -

Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of Pa­cific In­dia Group

Green architecture, or green de­sign, is an ap­proach to a build­ing which min­i­mizes harm­ful ef­fects on the en­vi­ron­ment and hence, hu­man health. The “green” ar­chi­tect or de­signer at­tempts to safe­guard air, wa­ter, and earth by choos­ing eco-friendly build­ing ma­te­ri­als and con­struc­tion prac­tices.

Many mall de­vel­op­ers are also mak­ing cus­tomers aware of the im­por­tance of sus­tain­able architecture in or­der to cre­ate a dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing fac­tor and a USP for their malls.

Green ini­tia­tives help re­duce day-to-day op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­ture:

> COSTS: Very of­ten green build­ings are con­sid­ered ex­pen­sive for they em­ploy mod­ern build­ing meth­ods. How­ever, de­spite higher build­ing costs, the costs they save on energy once op­er­a­tional is well worth it. This brings build­ing costs of an en­vi­ron­ment friendly struc­ture at par with con­ven­tional build­ing meth­ods.

> ENERGY EF­FI­CIENCY: Green build­ings have the ad­van­tage of re­duc­ing both em­bod­ied and op­er­at­ing energy con­sump­tion. Wind power and hy­dro power no­tably re­duce the in­flu­ence on en­vi­ron­ment.

> WA­TER EF­FI­CIENCY: Wa­ter con­sump­tion is an­other ob­jec­tive in sus­tain­able build­ing. Wa­ter can be wasted by drip ir­ri­ga­tion, leak­ing (toi­let leak­ing can waste up to 90 gal­lons per day), pool show­ers. Re­cy­cling rain­wa­ter and us­ing it for toi­let flush­ing can save waste­water. Wa­ter sav­ing shower heads, ul­tra-low flush toi­lets and other con­serv­ing fix­tures can min­i­mize waste-wa­ter.

> MA­TE­RIAL EF­FI­CIENCY: Green build­ings are built from green, rapidly re­new­able, non-toxic, re­us­able and re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als as lum­ber, bam­boo, straw, re­cy­cled metal/stone, sheep wool, com­pressed earth block, con­crete, cork etc.

> TEM­PER­A­TURE REG­U­LA­TION: Ur­ban heat is­lands are el­e­vated tem­per­a­tures mostly in ur­ban ar­eas, formed mostly on sur­faces where per­me­able and moist be­came im­per­me­able and dry due to some build­ings, roads etc. Ur­ban heat is­land ef­fect is caused mostly by the heat hold­ing prop­er­ties of tall build­ings and ur­ban (of­ten toxic) ma­te­ri­als – as­phalt, con­crete. It can be com­pen­sated by more green ar­eas around the build­ings such as green roofs and rain gar­dens. > IN­DOOR AIR QUAL­ITY: When con­struct­ing green build­ings great em­phases are put on the ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem. It can be pow­ered in dif­fer­ent ways – pas­sively, nat­u­rally or me­chan­i­cally. It doesn’t mat­ter which way it is pow­ered in. All that is im­por­tant is that a build­ing should have a prop­erly de­signed ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem for fil­tered and cleaner air.

> IN­DOOR EN­VI­RON­MENT QUAL­ITY: Apart from poor air qual­ity, poor light­en­ing, tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tions, badly de­signed fur­ni­ture, car­pet­ing, pes­ti­cides, paints and var­i­ous other pol­lu­tants cause dif­fer­ent dis­eases in­clud­ing headaches, der­ma­to­log­i­cal prob­lems, al­ler­gies etc. En­vi­ron­men­tally friendly green build­ings can cre­ate a much health­ier at­mos­phere.

> MAIN­TE­NANCE: Green build­ings need less main­te­nance. For ex­am­ple, most green build­ings don’t re­quire ex­te­rior paint­ing very of­ten. Also, the nat­u­ral sources used dur­ing con­struc­tion do not de­gen­er­ate as fast.

> IM­PROVED EM­PLOYEE AT­TEN­DANCE & PRO­DUC­TIV­ITY: Nat­u­ral light­en­ing, good ven­ti­la­tion, healthy cir­cum­stances all in­flu­ence the health of the oc­cu­pants of green struc­tures. Peo­ple are more pro­duc­tive, fall sick less and their work is more ef­fi­cient. A green of­fice is more at­trac­tive for and re­tains more em­ploy­ees.

> HIGHER PROP­ERTY VALUE: Green build­ings have low energy costs. Their use of gas, wa­ter, energy is highly re­duced. These sus­tain­able com­po­nents lead to higher re-sale value. They have low energy con­sump­tion and can in fact cre­ate energy and sup­ply this energy (in the form of elec­tric­ity) back into the elec­tri­cal grid.

> TAX BEN­E­FITS: Tax pro­vi­sions are ini­ti­ated to im­prove energy ef­fi­cient green build­ings. It is sup­ported on the lo­cal, state as well as the fed­eral lev­els.

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