Green and Sustainable Architecture

Context: Recently, the Vice President of India address the inaugural ceremony of the National Convention of the Indian Institute of Architects: IIA NATCON 2020 – TRANSCEND and called upon the architects of the country to adopt and promote Green and Sustainable Architecture.

Significance of Green and Sustainable Architecture

  • Sustainable construction is defined as “the creation and responsible management of a healthy built environment based on resource efficient and ecological principles”.
  • Sustainably designed buildings aim to lessen their impact on our environment through energy and resource efficiency.
  • The green and sustainable architecture includes the following principles:
    • Minimising non-renewable resource consumption
    • Enhancing the natural environment
    • Eliminating or minimising the use of toxic materials
  • “Sustainable building” can be defined as those buildings that have minimum adverse impacts on the built and natural environment, in terms of the building themselves, their immediate surroundings and the broader regional and global setting.
  • The rational use of natural resources and appropriate management of the building stock will contribute to saving scarce resources reducing energy consumption and improving environmental quality.

Challenges to Green and Sustainable Architecture

  • The general industry view is that sustainable buildings come at a premium, with a minimal connection made between the up-front (capital) costs of construction and the operating costs.
  • It is not always possible to predict whether a building will perform as predicted, whether the green costs are affordable or indeed whether the technology reliable as there is lack of research on the performance of green building.
  • There appears to be limited understanding of available green options by design professionals which includes:
    • insufficient knowledge to produce specifications;
    • lack of available high performance materials;
    • difficulties in gaining approval of new technologies for building codes;
    • uncertainty about approvals; regulatory barriers to adoption of technologies and
    • labour issues due to potential labour-saving measures

Source: PIB

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