Many companies and individuals are trying to build or own a building that has environment friendly features in its design. The companies also opt for Green building certification in accordance to set principles and parameters such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste management, material of construction, building design etc. The certification process goes through each measure implemented in the design stage and is rated accordingly. There are various expert bodies such as IGBC, GRIHA, US GBC LEED etc. which have developed specific guidelines for a Green Infrastructure or Environment friendly infrastructure as compared to conventional practices.
However, achieving a Green building certification for infrastructure is not enough !! While having environmentally friendly features in the design stage is an important definite essential and a basis for resource efficient practices, understanding its features and practicing minimalism/resource efficiency behavior in daily operations should be the intent of the entire exercise. This can enable actual reduction in resource consumption and make the most of green building benefits.
Let’s consider some day-to-day scenarios in building operations to understand this better:-
1. Let’s say a building has optimum wall to window ratio to enhance the interior day-lighting and cross ventilation. But the windows have blinds which block a good portion of sunlight from coming inside and they are never opened to ensure fresh air ventilation. Now how can this help achieve energy efficiency and human comfort which are the core environment friendly features during design?
2. Similarly, if a campus has open exterior areas but occupants are restricted/not encouraged to use it, then how does one connect with nature?
3. Installing water meters for monitoring of water consumption but not analyzing the consumption pattern on a regular basis for required actions, will not solve the purpose of water efficiency.
Green building is a continuous system approach and not just a one time exercise. Building operations have a major role to play in contributing towards environmental goals. Occupants of the building and/or building service providers must be fully aligned to green building features and expected practices to ensure that the real benefits are achieved.
Thus, having a green building certification is a basic requirement but practicing green operations is equally integral to achieve sustainability in the long run.
We, at EKI champion Green Building ratings and certifications. We also enable companies to implement a wholesome approach for sustainable energy efficient practices. You can read more on us at www.enkingint.org and write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me if you are planning to get started on Green Ratings and need expert consultancy on sustainable solutions for your building. Come, let’s build a greener planet together!