Climate change and more severe weather events should be encouraging communities to look more closely at going green. By this we mean making buildings more environmentally sustainable. Sustainability, or resilience planning, takes many forms and varies for each building.
It’s safe to say that boards of high-rise condo buildings don’t value green the way developers do when constructing a new residential property. In a new building “green” is a selling point. During renovations of an older building the focus is on fiscal responsibility and minimizing cost.
Green initiatives are about creating a space better able to prepare for, respond to and recover from more severe weather which may include flooding or extreme heat. In other words, we are looking at building resilience. This includes helping our home deal with increasingly hotter summer temperatures, higher humidity and greater rainfall levels. Green initiatives are expensive but necessary if we are to remain comfortable at home despite the weather.
Green initiatives that make a difference include:
- LED lighting
- Accessible roofs especially when at least partially covered by greenery or solar systems for generating electricity
- Improved roof insulation
- Landscaping plans that promote drainage, healthy vegetation and reduced soil erosion
- Rainwater management
- Improved energy and water conservation systems, reducing CO2 emissions and better indoor air quality which incorporates a range of initiatives including HVAC systems, energy metering, boilers and building automation systems
The initial cost of green initiatives is high but justified. Sustainability initiatives reduce problems, make life more comfortable and reduce operational costs.