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The green technology involves methods, materials, and techniques that are used for producing energy in an environmentally friendly way.  The field has also intertwined with business establishments that are, lately,  incorporating sustainable factor more and more.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report in 2011, approximately 3/4 of business organizations in the United States claimed they used at least one green technology. Most of those were energy efficient measures that guarantee energy savings (57 percent) and those minimizing waste production (55 percent). Intensive climate changes have brought outstanding attention to green technology with an emphasis on sustainable building.

Smart building

How sustainable building includes intelligent structures

Sustainable building is a building concept that inevitably includes efficiency of resources and eco-friendly design and building process. Smart building philosophy fits that idea; it is a structure that is fully automated and monitors/controls operations in building such as heating, air conditioning, lighting, ventilation and other systems that use power.  Intelligent buildings utilize sensors to gather data about the activities taking place inside the structure and manage them according to property’s function and needs. This smart infrastructure helps reduce excessive energy consumption, maximizes space usage and minimizes the harmful environmental impact of the building.

Roughly speaking, smart buildings increase the productivity of residents with lower energy costs, higher life quality and reduced environmental footprint.

There is a significant difference between conventional construction methods and smart ones. The main thing which distinguishes them is dynamism; conventional buildings are static and primarily serve as shelters while smart buildings perform as dynamic systems that focus on continually improving life quality.

Composition of smart buildings; materials contributing to sustainability

Advancement of green technology brought us closer to sci-fi architecture. Smart buildings use sustainable, intelligent materials that do not only last long but are also durable and reliable solutions that have a positive influence on the environment. For example, in the future, nano materials will become a lightweight and extra durable option for building transparent properties that will redefine our conception of architecture and space division.

Currently, there are already exceptionally strong nano steel and nano glass on the market that prove how nanotechnology can make construction inexpensive and faster. Concrete, primary building material of our century, has also experienced significant improvement. Its biggest problems – instability, and cracks are being solved with smart concrete and are soon entering the market. Smart concrete was developed by Dr. Deborah Chung, one of the most prominent female American scientists, who added carbon fibers to regular concrete. According to Chung fibers „do not only make concrete more conductive but make it able to have its electrical resistance change in response to damage“. It is able to heal itself due to calcium lactate and dormant bacteria, and therefore, can last two times longer than traditional concrete. Intelligent buildings can also use self-healing coatings or adhesives that are made of polymers.

Smart building materials also provide significant energy savings so according to the US Green Building Council buildings with LEED certification consume approximately 25 percent less power and about 11 percent less water. Weather resistance, durability, safety, aesthetics, and toxicity all have to outdo the aspects of traditional building materials so there would be no more arguments for using unsustainable options.

Global benefits of smart buildings

Smart building requires people from various fields to come together to create a sustainable installation. Architects, contractors, scientists, and engineers have to collaborate in order to create buildings that cooperate with the environment and focus on renewable energy, eco-friendly materials, life simplicity and quality. Therefore, a smart building has strong roots in the sustainable way of construction and living. There is a misconception that people don’t favorize the idea of sustainable building. However, Metropolitan Infrastructure Sustainability study done by GlobalScan in 2009 showed that out of 140 U.S. cities involved in research 62% of them agreed „that climate-friendly technologies represent “an enormous economic opportunity” for their city”.There are countless benefits of sustainable building that can be categorized into three major sections; economic benefits, environmental benefits and social benefits.

Environmental benefits include protection of the ecosystem and biodiversity, improving air and water quality, conserving renewable sources of energy and reducing waste. All of these benefits will inevitably have an economic effect, for example, the average value of properties will rise, and new employment opportunities will open due to the further green technology field development. Crucial influence of sustainable (and smart) buildings will show in social benefits that will go through positive changes. Over a longer period sustainable building could contribute to health, infrastructure as well as pupils productivity and overall morale.  It has the power to completely redefine the world as we know it and produce a more aware and productive society.

sources:

http://www.globescan.com/component/edocman/?view=document&id=54&Itemid=591

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/gtp.nr0.htm

https://www.usgbc.org/articles/green-building-facts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpMh0crBZtY – Dr. Deborah Chung

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