Green building design is growing in popularity globally. This is being driven by the impact of climate change as well as the desire to reduce emissions, cut costs, and mitigate the effects of pollution – in turn improving human health.
What are some of the current trends?
Current green building trends include:
- Improved energy and water efficiency – through passive solar design, active solar (such as rooftop solar panels), green infrastructure, and rainwater systems.
- Sustainable material use – natural or recycled materials that are sourced locally.
- Better waste management – recycling of materials and use of composting systems.
- Improved indoor environments – through indoor greening, natural materials and reduction of indoor pollutants.
Green infrastructure growing in popularity
Green infrastructure (green roofs, green walls and green facades) is another popular trend. One of the reasons for this is that it provides a means of creating a garden where there is limited ground space.
Green infrastructure is being adopted in apartment buildings and workplaces all over the world. Not only does it improve aesthetics, it can increase energy efficiency and air quality, and reduce cooling costs.
The positive effects of plants on people are also well-noted. These include reduced blood pressure, improved well-being and better productivity at work. Some studies indicate that greening in a workplace improves cognitive performance and reduces self-reported health problems for workers.
Owners are able to measure the performance of their buildings with green certification programs such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System).
Using these, owners can assess energy use, carbon emissions, water and indoor environments against standards and benchmarks. The NABERS system for example awards star ratings according to building performance – ranging from one star (poor performance) to 6 stars (market-leading performance).
If you have a building that you think could benefit from the addition of green infrastructure such as a green facade, get in touch with our team for a discussion.