Thursday, April 11, 2013

What are the benefits of green building?

In the last post, we discussed the economics of green buildings. Here, we will highlight some of the social and environmental benefits of green buildings. But let us also outline some of the Economic Benefits once more:

- Increased Property Values
- Higher Occupancy Rates
- Increased Rental Values
- Energy and Water Savings
- Decreased Infrastructure Strain
- Improved employee attendance and productivity

Social Benefits
Healthier lifestyles and recreation
- Improved Health
- Improved Schools

Environmental Benefits
- Rain water Management
- Emissions Reduction
- Water Conservation
- Waste Reduction

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Economics of Green Buildings

Who pays for Green? This may be one of the questions among all concerned before deciding to go for 'green'! The economics of green buildings favors green upgrades since they can add value to a building. 

According to RREEF Research, green building is fundamentally altering real estate market dynamics – the nature of the product demanded by tenants, constructed by developers, required by governments and favored by capital providers. Many tenants are now willing to pay a premium for space in green buildings because of the lower operating costs, higher worker productivity and other benefits that comes with the superior environmental performance of green buildings.

One of the significant benefit of 'Green Buildings' is the energy saving. But, it may be assumed that this benefit is ultimately enjoyed by the owner of the building and not by the original designer and construction contractor. The experts believe that this is a perceived disconnect between cost and benefit and recent findings say differently:

- Green buildings sell at a higher price. McGraw Hill measured the price premium for the sale of Energy Star ®-labeled buildings to be 12%.3 Another study estimated the premium on LEED-certified buildings at 31%.

- Green buildings command higher rent premiums. By comparing rental agreements involving Energy Star buildings with non-Energy Star leases, researchers at Maastricht University found that efficient buildings command 3.5% higher rents.

- Green buildings are more attractive to tenants. The same study found a 6% higher occupancy rate for Energy Star certified buildings.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together ...

Every now and then you need something to distract you from many of your mundane affairs or for that matter daily routines. Quotes are something which can provide a little break and help you de-stress, motivate and even force you to laugh a loud! Also, these concise sentences of wisdom can spark an 'idea' which can change your life forever! Here are few quotes design related quotes that just might 'awaken' the missing 'spark' in you. Hope you'll enjoy reading them:

“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.”  - Frank Gehry

“Architecture begins where engineering ends.” – Walter Gropius

“To create architecture is to put in order. Put what in order? Function and objects.”  - Le Corbusier

“There will never be great architects or great architecture without great patrons.”  - Edwin Lutyens

“I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?”  - Philip Johnson

“The events of human life, whether public or private, are so intimately linked to architecture that most observers can reconstruct nations or individuals in all the truth of their habits from the remains of their monuments or from their domestic relics.”  - Honore de Balzac 

“Architecture is inhabited sculpture”  - Constantin Brancusi 

“We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls.”  - Bill Bryson 

“It is in dialogue with pain that many beautiful things acquire their value. Acquaintance with grief turns out to be one of the more unusual prerequisites of architectural appreciation. We might, quite aside from all other requirements, need to be a little sad before buildings can properly touch us.”  ― Alain de Botton

“We need houses as we need clothes, architecture stimulates fashion. It’s like hunger and thirst — you need them both.”  ― Karl Lagerfeld

Architect's Increased Responsibilities in the Realm of Green Buildings

When specific measures are incorporated in a building to provide healthier environments for its users and mitigate its negative impact on the environment, then the building is called as “green”. The popularity or for that matter the practice of green building has caused significant changes in the real estate and construction industry, presenting architects to new responsibilities and opportunities! 

A sustainable architecture is more practical 'design' of the building and therefore it is the thoughtful integration of architecture with electrical, mechanical, and structural engineering. Similarly, a building cannot be sustainable unless its interior design is not in tandem with it. Use of solar and wind energy, positioning of windows and day lighting are very important factors in creating climate sensitive design. The role of architects to implement the modern concepts in Sustainable Design has, thus, become very important in the realm of Green Buildings!