Although the global financial disorder has had the effect of slightly lowering the number of projects for architects, it has at the same time advanced the promotion of green buildings.
Many design models for homes and buildings that include various principles of green architecture, such as energy efficiency, using green materials and putting up green building systems, have been introduced. The main objective of green architecture is to decrease the operating costs of buildings while minimising their negative effects on the environment. Incidentally, green buildings also support a healthier lifestyle for their occupants.
Many new green buildings already make use of light-emitting diodes or compact fluorescent lights that produce more light per watt than the old, incandescent lights. There is encouragement to include solar-heated water in new houses, and much can be learned from some of the country’s more remote farms, which have been making use of rainwater for a number of years.
Experience in Australia has shown that green buildings may cost up to 5% more to erect, but they allow for a reduction in electricity and water consumption of 30% to 50%, as well as a reduction in equipment load on air conditioning and lighting.
Our national energy provider could follow California’s example and encourage the use of photovoltaic panels to convert solar power to electricity by introducing incentives such as full rebates for photovoltaic installations in private homes. Times are changing – but all too slowly.