When considering the impact of commercial buildings and homes and their role in the current energy crisis, it’s frightening to think of just how much electricity it takes to keep end users comfortable in such an environment. Millions of rands are spent annually to maintain thermal and other comfort levels to an acceptable norm, so that workers can be optimally productive and home owners can feel comfortable.
This gives pause for thought about the building itself, its design and construction, materials used and processes followed to create, and maintain it. To date, insufficient focus has been placed on these very important factors that influence the well-being of the end users of such commercial buildings, and also the impact thereof on the greater surroundings, and future generations to come.
One need only turn on the TV, read a news headline or scroll through Twitter to fully understand the gravity of the situation facing future generations on earth: food security, sustainability, global warming, rising inequality, energy and water supplies are issues that cannot be ignored.
It’s reported that building-related greenhouse gas emissions
are currently set to double by 2030 under a high-growth scenario, and most of this will take place within emerging market
countries. Never has there been such a pressing need for a green building certification system available to all. It is time to rethink the sustainability of the construction industry and ensure that green buildings deliver a demonstrably different carbon footprint from conventional buildings.
When it comes to the need for changing attitudes towards construction methods and approaches, it is therefore reassuring for consumers in all sectors of the building spectrum, that the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) has designed a tool that addresses the needs of the residential, commercial and hospitality construction sectors.
This tool is EDGE, which stands for Excellence in Design For Greater Efficiencies. By using EDGE, the financial viability of a green building project can be determined at the early design stage. EDGE offers options that lead to an ideal set of technical solutions, which in turn reduce energy and water consumption, calculating
upfront costs and potential operational savings. Underlying the user-friendly interface is a sophisticated set of country-specific calculations that create a single picture of building performance over time—making EDGE an effective intervention tool in combating climate change.
Until now, going green in the building business was considered a luxury for wealthy individuals or select multinational companies looking to make a branding statement. Today however, middle- and low-income buildings can also adopt environmentally sound designs.
The EDGE offers an inexpensive, and reliable way to generate real and dramatic savings on utility bills no matter what the income of the client or the kind of building they live or work in— whether a house, hospital, apartment building, hotel, or office.
For more information on this tool, go to http://goo.gl/D56Aff.