By the end of World War II, a population boom occurred, resulting in an abrupt increase in the population worldwide. With this increase in population, various other problems also arose. To deal with these emerging problems, different countries adopted different ways. Like, China implemented a one-child policy in 1980 to keep the population under control. But this population boom encouraged various changes too. For instance, buildings and their construction also changed drastically.

Are green buildings costlier?  - Sheet1
Population Boom after world war – II_©i.pinimg.com/originals/ef/e9/f1/efe9f1bb7a3e46ca0f1d79b62a40e356

The population increase brought changes to the already evolving architecture of the era. With an increase in population, a land crunch occurred soon, and people started looking for ways to deal with this new emerging problem. Thus came the trend of Vertical cities. Vertical cities are more common now, especially in megacities where the population is double the land available to us for construction. In this manner, more people can reside in a given limited space. But is this trend leading us to a future we look forward to?

Are green buildings costlier?  - Sheet2
Growth of vertical structures after population boom_©upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fe/Detroit_Photographic_Company_%280645%29

The answer might differ from person to person, but there is no denying the fact that slowly these trends have affected the natural balance on our Earth. This can be realized by looking closely at the way our built environment around us is slowly leading towards a future where the natural balance is at stake. With more buildings and structures, more materials are used, which gradually is leading to the depletion of resources and materials already available to us. So the question arises of how we can stop this from happening. Is there any solution?

The answer is yes, there is a solution, and it is – Green buildings. As the name suggests, green buildings are the ones that use materials that are less likely to harm our natural environment. These buildings use eco-friendly features and include such methods in a structure that balances their energy intake and outtake. These buildings are gradually becoming a new trend with time. But is this necessary?

Are green buildings costlier?  - Sheet3
Green Buildings_©thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/energy-efficient-house-environmental-resources-usage-outline-diagram-energy-efficient-house-environmental-resources-231447939

The answer will come directly to you by looking at the results of a survey done by the UN. According to the survey, in the coming years, around 68% of the people living in cities will be consuming 78% of energy and ultimately producing 60% of greenhouse gas if proper precautions are not taken in time. This will for sure mark an end to the balance between the natural and the built environment around us. Why is it happening so? It is all related to the extensive use of resources as we are doing now. We have to adapt the required actions to stop the grave consequences of these harmful actions. Here comes the role of sustainability, especially in construction and buildings. Although sustainability needs to be a necessity now, people still go for traditional construction practices as they have assumed that Green buildings cost more. But is it true? 

It is a myth among people that a green building costs more. But if we move on in an organized manner, we will realize that green buildings do not cost as much as they have been assumed to be. Instead of adding these sustainable features at the end, introducing these features at an early design stage will help manage the expense of the buildings. GRIHA, one of India’s national frameworks for the assessment of environmental impacts of buildings, plays an important role in encouraging people to adopt sustainability. Thus, anyone constructing a house with sustainable features should keep in mind that the house will be there for 60 or more years. In the initial years it will cost a bit more, it would not matter as it will let us enjoy various benefits in the long run like reduced electricity bills, better comfort, and better health.

Despite knowing this, traditional buildings are preferred. But what could be the reason? A lack of knowledge about materials available currently in the market can be a contributing factor. People know about these structures, but they lack knowledge about these materials and the ways to access them. This needs to be solved for there are plenty of materials available in the market which are both cost and environmentally friendly. When in the design stage, one can just make a list of the materials as required and then look for an alternative that is more sustainable. Reduce, reuse and recycle are three components of a green building that infuse these features in the building; thus, one should. There are many such reused, recycled materials available that will provide efficiency to the built structure. For instance, some tiles are made of recycled products; one should consider such tiles. Other such examples include insulated concrete forms that can be used in place of a brick wall, which works the same, providing strength and stability to the structure. These concrete forms also last long and serve the same purpose as the bricks. It’s just that these forms are eco-friendly and contribute less towards greenhouse emissions from the building. 

Are green buildings costlier?  - Sheet4
Benefits of Green Building_©miro.medium.com/max/1400/1*AOTqym5ZgUzpBE8qgj2V5g

Thus through this, we can conclude that with an increase in population and industrialization, it has become pretty important for us to adopt sustainability in our built environment. And this can be achieved only when people will realize that these buildings are much needed now with the current climate scenario all over the world.

Author

Sameeksha, currently pursuing her architecture degree, is also inclined towards writing and pouring out her thoughts. Being an writing enthusiast as well as an architecture student, she constantly tries to grab every opportunity for writing and express her views for the built environment.

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