Optimising occupant comfort
It’s equally important to ensure that the occupants of a building are comfortable. Wellbeing and productivity go hand in hand. Air quality is a critical factor in green building design. Buildings rely on a properly designed heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
Construction materials with zero or low emissions will improve interior air quality. Similarly, eliminating products and materials that emit toxic gases will increase a building’s indoor environmental quality. Integrating natural and artificial light sources will help to improve the quality of a building’s lighting.
Natural ventilation can also enhance occupants’ thermal comfort. From the position and size of window openings to non-mechanical ventilation systems, when carefully designed, natural ventilation can reduce building construction and operation costs and reduce energy consumption.
It doesn’t matter how sustainable a building is during its design and construction, if it isn’t operated and maintained responsibly, it won’t remain so. It is in the operation and management phase that green practices should continue to be applied.
There are often typical concerns surrounding the cost of constructing environmentally friendly buildings. While modern technologies do tend to cost more money, any premium on green buildings often yields greater cost efficiencies over the life of the building. With the more efficient use of utilities comes lower energy bills. Higher productivity can also be factored into the savings and cost reductions that come from going green.
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