Application of Green Concepts in Infrastructure and Buildings Constructions

All construction activity creates negative impacts on the environment. The main aim of planning constructionsactivity sustainable and eco-friendly is to enable perfect living in harmony with nature – to bridge the disconnect between development and the environment.

Green concepts in infrastructure is a wide ranging term which encompasses integrated area development, infrastructure system, inter-connectivity between land conservation, watershed protection, rainwater and attenuate runoff management, control of pollutants in water systems and other allied environmental aspects.

There are various rating systems that recognize green buildings. A green building incorporates several environmental friendly features which results in reduction of building operating costs.

Green buildings are characterized by use of environmental friendly building materials which are non-toxic and recyclable, efficient use of water and its recycling, energy efficient and eco-friendly equipment and assurance of a quality indoor air.

Green principles in buildings can be adopted through
 
Green design features
 
  • Building design to integrate existing site features
  •   Solar Path analysis, Soil analysis, design in accordance with site contours, design to integrate existing water bodies and trees
     
  • Design to reduce water demand
  •   Rainwater reuse, treated grey water reuse, low flow fixtures, design of landscape to reduce water demand
     
  • Design to reduce energy demand
  •   Efficient air-conditioning equipment, efficient building envelope, proper lighting design
     
  • Appropriate use of materials
  •   Reuse materials, use materials with recycled content, rapidly renewable materials, locally available materials
     
  • Waste management
  •   Maximise waste reuse, proper segregation of wastes, organic waste treatment
     
  • Improved indoor environment
  •   Use of low VOC materials, adequate day-lighting, fresh air ventilation & views, thermal comfort
       
    Green measures during construction
     
  • Erosion & sedimentation control measures
  • Reduced water use during construction
  • Construction waste management
  •    
    While buildings can be certified under various rating systems, no such rating system exists for other infrastructure systems such as roadways etc.
     
    Green concepts in infrastructure could be addressed through the following parameters
    Planning Land Use:
    Land use includes zoning of land, interconnectivity of spaces, clean and healthy soils with accent on anthropocentric functions such as recreation, providing shade and shelter in and around towns and cities. Integration and interaction of different functions or activities on the same piece of land.
     
    Water:
    Water quality protection is of prime concern. Controlling affluent discharge and toxic wastes intomunicipal drains and natural water bodies prevents water pollution as a result of construction activity. On a smaller scale green infrastructure practices would include rain gardens, green roofs, infiltration planters, rainwater harvesting and releasing use of potable water for non-potable use.
       
    Green Cover:  
    Dense concentration of impervious surfaces like, roads, paved areas, buildings etc. absorb and retain heat. Displacement of trees and vegetation minimizes natural cooling. The need therefore is to minimize extremes by best landscape practices along with construction activity.
       
    Optimise Material usage:  
    Effective construction waste management to ensure that all waste is either reused in construction activity or sent for recycling. 100% of construction waste can be reused or recycled if managed properly at site. Use of materials with recycled content is another parameter.