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A guide to achieving sustainability in architecture

A guide to achieving sustainability in architecture

As architects, developers, and building owners embrace green building certification, they create a more resilient and sustainable environment for future generations!

The construction industry casts a long shadow in developing urban skylines. While it provides a framework for our lives, it also leaves a significant environmental footprint. But amidst the concrete and steel, a new wave is rising, a movement towards a more responsible and sustainable built environment. As architects try to minimise the ecological footprint of their buildings, green building certification serves as a guide to create aesthetic edifices and promote sustainable design and construction practices. From LEED to BREEAM, these certification systems help evaluate a building’s environmental performance and recognise sustainable design. In this feature, Ar. Sumit Dhawan, Founder & Principal Architect at Cityspace’ 82 Architects, explores the world of green building certification and how it empowers to design a future where buildings and nature coexist.

Components of green building certification

One of the primary components of green buildings is energy efficiency, wherein buildings may incorporate strategies that minimise energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Further, water conservation is another aspect of this certification, and including low-flow fixtures, rainwater harvesting systems, and drought-tolerant landscaping can conserve water resources and mitigate the impacts of drought and water scarcity. Material selection also resonates with green building certification as buildings with responsibly sourced and recyclable materials have a low environmental impact. Other components, such as sustainable site development and indoor air quality, also contribute to green building certifications.

Prominent green building certifications

LEED- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a prominent green building certification which offers a framework for green buildings with reduced carbon emissions and guarantees that the structures provide affordable and healthy areas. Another certification criterion is BREERAM- Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, which provides a comprehensive strategy for promoting sustainable principles. It addresses net zero carbon, biodiversity, social effect, lifetime performance, circularity, and structural resilience. Further, ASHRAE- American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers is a leading certification criterion that emphasises sustainability, building systems, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency. Ultimately, the Living Building Challenge goes beyond certification as it sets a stringent framework for creating net-positive buildings that generate more energy than they consume.

Achieving green building certification

Establish sustainability goals and objectives during pre-design to achieve an excellent green building certification. Engage with stakeholders and define parameters that align with the same. Strategies like passive solar design, energy modelling, daylighting analysis, and materials selection should be included in the design phase to ensure compliance with certification standards. During the construction phase, implement practices like efficient site management, waste reduction, and energy-efficient building systems installation to ensure that strategies are executed according to design specifications. Lastly, monitoring and maintenance are essential once the building is occupied so that sustainable design features continue to perform as intended. Green building certification has become a valuable tool for achieving sustainability in architecture, offering a framework for evaluating environmentally responsible design and construction practices.

For more information, visit: https://cityspace82.com/


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