Common misconceptions about green building
Green building is a buzz word because of compelling reasons. Green buildings are easier to light, cool and maintain. They need less energy and therefore cause much less pollution.
The concept of green architecture or green building is quite known and generally accepted by many people as beneficial. However, there are many misconceptions about green building.
Here are three more of the most common misconceptions about green buildings which may be familiar to some of you.
5. Green building is merely a fad. Contrary to what some people think, green building is not a fad like the latest fashion trends that are easily swayed by the whims and caprices of certain designers and personalities. The green building concept is not something that will fade away.
Actually, the green building concept is not new. Many buildings of the past were climatically-adapted and responsive, which means they were designed with nature in mind. Our own “bahay na bato” attests to this with its high ceiling, porous walls with lattice works, and wide translucent windows that slide up one whole side of the house to bring in natural breeze, just to mention a few green traits.
With the advent of cheap electricity and the invention of the air-conditioner in the 1950s, people forgot the basic elements of green design. It did not matter if there were enough windows to bring in daylight—there were electric bulbs to brighten up the room. It also did not matter if the room was stuffy and poorly ventilated—one could always switch on the air-conditioner.
All these changed with the 1967 oil embargo that affected the supply of oil in the world. People suddenly realized that the ever-increasing cost of electricity was hurting their wallets. That’s when the world started going green.
The green building concept is in fact getting to be a part of mainstream design and construction as its many benefits become apparent in many green projects all over the world.
6. Green buildings are high-tech buildings.
Not necessarily. Green buildings need not incorporate the latest technological devices to make them green. Some of the most successful examples of green buildings feature the simplest and most basic elements of green design such as wide openings to allow natural light and ventilation; high operable windows to expel warm air from rooms; and white-colored roofs to reflect heat and prevent heat buildup inside rooms.
In some cases, proper building orientation alone can already provide energy savings for homes. These are just a few examples of low-tech design features that can be easily adopted to create a green building.
7. Green building means using mostly environment-friendly materials. This is quite a popular misconception—that to build green, one uses mostly eco-friendly materials. In green building, designing is the most important first step. That is why it is so important for a designer to know the basic elements of green design. These elements must be integrated seamlessly into the design at the early stage of the design development.
Thus it is wrong to think that green design features can be “pasted” on a finished building in order tobring in green concepts when most of the final construction drawings are already made.
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