Sri Lanka has some track record of innovation in green buildings. For example, local experts on Energy and Buildings from Morotuwa University were involved in the highly acclaimed Brandex LEEDS Platinum project. One available option to pursue a green building structure is to use the technology offered by the ‘building-blocks’ construction companies. This approach uses cold galvanized steel under a building-block approach that can expedite the construction process by up to two years, thereby minimizing the environmental impacts.
The green approach is gaining popularity world-wide and it can also be incorporated with the Smart Building concept to maximize synergies between energy efficiency and technology.
THE COMMONALITY OF SMART AND GREEN BUILDINGS
Sri Lanka has a long tradition of living in harmony with nature and our old architecture can be an inspiration for the new and emerging mega developments that are being erected in and around the Capital. Research also points to a good level of market interest in green technology so it is hoped that more developers will meet this demand.
WHY THE FUTURE IS e-building!
• Minimizing energy use in all stages of a building’s life-cycle, making new and renovated buildings more comfortable, less expensive to run and helping building users learn to be efficient too.
• Integrating renewable and low carbon technologies to supply buildings’ energy needs, once design has maximized inbuilt and natural efficiency.
• Exploring ways to improve drinking and waste water efficiency and management, harvesting water for safe indoor use in innovative ways and generally minimizing water use in the sector.
• Considering the impact of the built environment on storm water and drainage infrastructure, ensuring these are not put under undue stress or prevented from doing their job.
• Using fewer, more durable materials and generating less waste, as well as accounting for a building’s end of life stage by designing for demolition waste recovery and reuse.
• Engaging building users in reuse and recycling.
Green building… Why does it matter?
The buildings sector is a driver of GDP, and green building offers an opportunity for increased output with decreased impact. Global construction output is predicted to grow significantly by 2020, and with markets moving towards greater resource efficiency, policy makers have a central role to play in ensuring European companies are at the forefront of the global green buildings market.
Europe’s construction industry employs tens of millions of people, but it also suffers from a skills shortfall. Attracting talent and investment is one of the key challenges ahead. Green building offers a chance to be part of the solution to global challenges, to explore new and exciting technologies and to learn skills that will stay relevant.
Europe’s oil and gas imports cost us hundreds of billions of euros each year. Higher energy efficiency across our countries’ buildings will help reduce this unnecessary cost, as well as decreasing the need for new expensive national infrastructure. Personal energy security is also important, and those whose fuel bills represent a significant portion of income are helped by increased efficiency too.
The power of strong public sector leadership on green building is not just about helping lead the wider market. Green building can lower the cost of running public buildings, increase the efficiency of service delivery and help create the right environment to retain and foster the brightest talent.
Green buildings attract sales and rental premiums, help reduce capital expenditure and mitigate the risk of regulation requiring costly alterations to buildings. Energy and water efficient buildings also save businesses and consumers money during the lifetime of the property.
• Bringing a breath of fresh air inside, delivering high indoor air quality through good ventilation and avoiding materials and chemicals that create harmful emissions.
• Incorporating natural light and views to ensure building users’ comfort and enjoyment of their surroundings, reducing lighting energy needs in the process.
• Designing for ears as well as eyes. In the education, health and residential sectors, acoustics and proper sound insulation play important roles in helping concentration, recuperation, and peaceful enjoyment of property.
• Ensuring people are comfortable in their everyday environments, creating the right indoor temperature as the seasons pass through passive design or building management and monitoring systems.
• Recognising that our urban environment should preserve nature, ensuring diverse wildlife and land quality are protected or enhanced, for example by remediating and building on polluted land or creating green spaces.
• Looking for ways we can make our urban areas more productive, bringing agriculture into our cities.
• Adapting to a changing environment, ensuring resilience to events such as flooding, earthquakes or fires so that our buildings stand the test of time and keep people and their belongings safe.
• Designing flexible and dynamic spaces, anticipating changes in their use over time and avoiding the need to demolish and rebuild or significantly renovate buildings to prevent them becoming obsolete.
• Creating diverse environments that connect and enhance communities, asking what a building will add to its context in terms of positive economic and social effects and engaging local communities in planning.
• Ensuring transport and distance to amenities are considered in design, reducing the stresses of personal transport on the environment, roads and railways and encouraging environmentally friendly options such as cycling.
• Exploring the potential of smart technologies and ICT to communicate better with the world around us, for example through smart electricity grids that ICT to communicate better with the world around us, for example through smart electricity grids that understand how to transport energy where and when it is needed.
• Seeking to lower all environmental impacts and maximise social and economic value over a building’s whole life-cycle: through design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. The fragmented nature of the building industry value chain means we have long looked at parts of the life-cycle in isolation, but Green Building Councils are bringing the sector’s whole value chain together through our members to build a wider vision.
• Making the invisible visible. Embodied resources are the invisible resources used in buildings: for example, the energy or water used to produce and transport the materials in the building. Green building considers these amongst a building’s impacts, ensuring that our buildings are truly low