With the increasing importance given to Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) activities of businesses, providing decent housing or healthcare and reducing impact on environment by providing sustainable constructions are some important practices. The issue of responsibilities of businesses has been interesting to the media, politics and people in general. Homebuyers are taking increasing interest in purchase of green and sustainable buildings (Crane et al, n.d.). They can enhance the process of saving uses of energy, water and other things. This can help maintain human health and the ambience. A sustainable building which uses green technology wastes less energy, water and other sources of nature. It has less adverse impact on its surrounding. Such buildings generate less waste and keep the occupants healthy. High levels of energy efficiency are a key feature (Nguyen, 2014). Water, a vital resource for living can be conserved through water-conserving irrigation systems, low-water-use landscaping and indoor fixtures which are water efficient. The non-toxic substance used for such buildings help reduce the environmental impact of the home. Construction wastes might be disposed of inland fills or by burning which create pollution. With careful design and planning, prefabricated parts can help bring down construction waste (Green Riverside, 2017). So the three key areas which need to be addressed in building a sustainable home are managing wastes, water and energy efficiency. These help in sustainable living. Sunselect Property Group (SPG) is focused on building low rise homes for its Greenfields Development project.
As per Climate Change data, Australian households contribute to one-fifth greenhouse gas emissions. To address the challenge of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from use of fossil fuels the new objectives in building houses comprise proper decrease of carbon emissions to restrict rise in sea level and global warming through proper design and energy conservation. This reduces carbon emissions from the energy systems of home. For instance, such buildings could be certified through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program (GreenRiverside, 2017). A single home built under ENERGY STAR program can keep away 4500 lbs of greenhouse gases from the air on annual basis. When there is a loss in transmission system from power station to office. The project of SPG will use natural gas which can reduce one-third of the gas emissions of grid electricity. If the design is such that mechanical heating and cooling are not required by a household, that saves a lot of energy. Centralized options will include air and hydronic systems. We plan to install heating mechanism with solar mechanism or heat pump (Castleton, 2010). The gas heaters and reverse cycle air conditioners would reduce the emissions. Fans are lowest energy cooling options. Also use of evaporative coolers can function best in climates with low humidity. Reduction in hot water use can reduce 22% greenhouse gas emissions from energy usage at home. These homes will be designed to optimize the daylight such that heating with electricity would not be essential in the day time. The buildings therefore would have lesser number of storeys and spaciously built. Lighting design needs to comprise features of lamp technologies such as compact fluorescent and LED, lighting switches and controls. The design should have safety requirements and lifecycle costs. So for our houses, energy efficient architecture, designs of appliances and ways of lighting would be essential. In Australia, wind resource is largely available; it maybe used to generate electricity. Such renewable energy systems would incur less running cost. The buildings would have provisions for photovoltaic systems which provide no greenhouse gas emission and have price-competitive rates. The installations of these systems will be done by accredited specialist. These new homes will have charging points in garages or carports such that electric cars can be used for transport (McGee, 2013). These will reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency.
Australia was known for generating 32.4 million tones of solid waste in 2002-03. Out of these 43% was building waste. If these can be recycled, then social, economic and environmental benefits can be generated. Some states with zero-waste strategy documents have set targets for such reduction. Emissions from landfills for waste disposal can be toxic due to the high concentration of heavy metals and chemicals. The toxins might also dissolve in the water and pollute the waterways and rivers. Certain materials with high levels of embodied energy can have high environmental cost in extraction and their lifecycle impact might be reduced by endues recycling. Buildings will be designed to reduce waste. There will be fewer uses of plasterboard and wall lining off cuts. Materials with minimum wastage rates like plywood, finger-jointed timber and those with recycled content like paper and polyester insulation would be used. The materials and finishes would be durable and the subcontractors involved in the project are also waste aware (Reardon and Fewster, 2013).
The showers in bathrooms use 34% of indoor water on average. Toilets consume 26% and laundry 23% of the water use. Effective strategies of water efficiency in households include installations of water efficient shower heads, toilets, appliances and taps. The national Water Efficiency Labeling and Standards (WELS) label will be used as a guide for choosing the appliances. Rainwater helps in reducing water bills and provides an alternate supply of water. If the rain water is collected through a well designed and operated mechanism for domestic uses, this will largely save main water system (Lockwood, 2006). Our buildings will ensure that. One useful way would be to arrange the rain water to be used for gardening (Australian Government, 2017). This rain water will be collected from the roof and gutters through rain-heads, downpipes and first flush diverters, tanks and supply system including pumps, controllers and filters. Potable water is often used for toilet. But on-site waste water can be reused for the plumbing fixtures and for flushing the toilet waters.
Overall green star-rated constructions involve greater scopes for earnings on investments compared to other buildings. Green buildings are built for maintaining efficiency in water and energy. These buildings would consumer26% less energy compared to others and generate one third less greenhouse emissions. Greener buildings would appeal to tenants. Their asset values would increase more than other non-green buildings. In terms of ease of living and efficiency they surpass the non green constructions. Natural light, fresh air and access to outdoor views keeps the inhabitants healthy and fresh. The ‘Greenfields Development’ project would ensure innovative strategies for keeping people healthy and fit.
Australian Government, 2017. Water, YourHome, Available at< https://www.yourhome.gov.au/water> (accessed on April 8, 2017)
Castleton, H.F., Stovin, V.Beck, S.B.M. and J.B. Davison, 2010. Green roofs; building energy savings and the potential for retrofit, Energy and Buildings, Vol. 42, pp.1582-1591
Crane et al, n.d.. Corporate Social Responsibility in global context, Available at< https://pure.royalholloway.ac.uk/portal/files/17680296/Chapter_1_CSR.pdf> (accessed on April 8, 2017)
Green Riverside, 2017. Energy Efficiency and Green Building, Available at: < https://www.energydepot.com/RPUres/library/EnergyEfficiencyGreenBuilding.asp> (accessed on April 8, 2017)
Lockwood, C.2006. Building the Green Way, Harvard Business Review, Available at: <https://ecologicdesignlab.com/files/Eco-Urban/VIII.1_HBR_building_green_way.pdf> (accessed on April 8, 2017)
McGee, C., 2013. Energy. Your Home.
Nguyen, MK. 2014. Green Buildings, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Stock Market Performance, Portland State University, Available at: <https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1028&context=honorstheses> (accessed on April 8, 2017)
Reardon, G. and E. Fewster, 2013. Waste minimisation, Materials Waste minimization, Your Home.
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