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BUILDING GREEN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Eng.

WJB Shiromal Fernando (Vice Chairman, Green Building Council of Sri Lanka) Introduction Climate change and sustainable development is greatest challenge of the man today. The increasing population growth which is predicted to be 9.5 billion by year 2050 uses earths limited resources at a rapid space. In the process we emit greenhouse gases (GHG) to the atmosphere which will cause climate change which will threaten the very existence of the human race. The scientists firmly believe that to the frequent floods, droughts, cyclones, landslides and coastal erosions are due to the results of climate change. One of major concern among people, scientist and environmental policy makers is global warming, particularly due to increasing emission of CO 2. This is resulting in global climate change. It is reported that CO 2 concentration has increased from 280ppm (pre-industrial revolution 1750) to 368ppm in 2000. It is projected to reach 540-970ppm by 2100. The fig. 1: shown below shows how the CO 2 emission has increased in Sri Lanka. It is alarming sign, since a small island like Sri Lanka is able to release such a massive amount of CO 2 into the atmosphere, just imagine how much the whole world must be releasing into the atmosphere. The tropical rain forests (see fig.2) are the key absorbers that balance the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Deforestation due to human activity had caused the imbalance of GHG levels in our atmosphere. You may be surprise to note that Sri Lanka is 4th in the list of primary forest loss (see fig. 3). Construction industry contributes to forty percent (40%) of the GHG emissions, which all of us whom are responsible. Common argument on this matter is that the developing nations are the main culprits and small counties like us cannot do much about the GHG matter. There is a Yes and No to the argument. Yes when you look at the statistics (see Table 1), per capita CO2 emissions of countries like US, Australia, Japan and UK is very much higher than Sri Lanka. No, we should not take our resources for granted. We have experience a rapid disintegration of our natural construction material during the past few years, such as granite and sand which are the main constituents of our main building material concrete. Now we are to looking for alternative construction materials. Had we used our material efficiently we could had sustain the materials for our future use. We use construction waste for landfills, which causes environmental damage as well. If we had recycled at least 50% of it, we could have saved 50% of materials for the future. Today we use drinking water for construction without considering the cost of production of drinking water. Commercial rate of drinking water is Rs.30/= - 40/= per litre, which is quite comparable with

fossil fuels. Most of us do not realise flushing our toilet, irrigating our flower beds and washing our cars utilizes two third of our water usage.

Fig.1: CO2 emission in Sri Lanka (From Carbon dioxide information center)

Using drinkable water for these purposes is a crime. It is heartening to note that the local authorities have made rainwater harvesting mandatory for commercial buildings in colombo, but this regulations must extend for house units too. Rain water shall be mandatory to manage within the ones compound, which could avoid flash floods in the city, which is a common site during a stormy weather. We are living in a tropical country with blessed weather condition. Why we design building to condition the air? .This causes our biggest energy bills. We are blessed with Sun light 12hours a day and 7 day per week, why do not utilise Sun light our during the day to produce our energy to light our buildings in the night. Thus it is time to change our building design and construction practices. The design and construction practices shall be efficient. When we say efficient, our building design shall be futuristic and flexible enough to change by our grandchildren. They should be strong and durable. We shall not save a penny today so our grandchildren had to spend a pound to make it their habitat. We shall plan our habitats efficiently so that the transportation is efficient. The

buildings shall not be located in green field; they shall be confined to building zones. Mainly our buildings shall suit our culture and our social behaviours.

Fig. 2: Tropical rainforests of the world Our construction shall be very efficient with minimum waste and minimum impact on the environment. We shall reuse the fertile top soil and stop erosion of the excavated material which will block our waterways. The main philosophy is to reduce waste, use recyclable material for construction and shall recycle waste.

Fig. 3: Worst deforestation rate of primary forest, 2000-2005 percentage forest loss

Table 1: CO2 emission (metric ton per capita)

Green Building Of all things humans build, buildings last the longest, so we have to get buildings right Prof.
Richard Reed, Deakin University

Green building and sustainable construction is one of the most discussed topics of the day, among the construction professionals. There are many forums organized to educate constructional professionals on important aspect of green building techniques. Green Building Council of Sri Lanka, which was established in November 2009, with the participation of all the key professional organizations, Government organizations and business leaders related to construction industry, is focus to popularise the concept of green building in Sri Lanka. Sustainable construction is not a new concept to Sri Lankans. Our forefathers had been building on these concepts 2000 years ago. Renowned Architects like Geoffrey Bawa had designed sustainable buildings even before the term sustainable construction was coined, famous Kandalama Hotel (see fig.4) is one of his noteworthy contributions. When we look at ancient structures like Sigiriya ( see fig.5) built by King Kashyapa (AD 477-495), it is amazing to note the sustainable techniques that has been used without destroying the beautiful environment. Thus we have a heritage of sustainable built environment. We need to put that knowledge in to practice without just following the design and construction practices of the developed nations. In fact our cites are still green, Colombo city (see fig. 6) is one of the greenest cities in the world. The effort is to protect it with the rapid development. Green Building practice address the following issues; efficient construction management and documentation, building on sustainable sites, efficient use of water, efficient designs on energy,

efficient design of indoor environment, efficient use of material and resources, design to suite the social and cultural setting and recognise innovation.

Fig. 4: Kandalama Hotel

Fig. 5: Segiriya- ancient rock fortress and palace build by King Kashyapa (AD 477-495)

Fig.6: Colombo City


Site selection and landscaping In a sustainable building technique the site selection and landscaping plays a vital role. Construction on any sensitive habitats like wetlands, groundwater recharge zones or old growth forests should be avoided. In Sri Lanka we do have many brown fields, which can be effectively utilized for construction. Brownfield are land area, which have been used for construction previously, this helps in refraining of deforestation. The new development shall be located in a urban setting where all amenities of the occupants shall be in close proximity to reduce long distance travelling. The site also shall not get inundated due to the frequent flooding etc. Maintenance of natural terrain and drainage will help in maintaining a good site condition with good drainage and erosive free ground. Proper planning is required in avoiding unnecessary wastage of land area and to utilize natural green vegetation cover, which can help in avoiding soil erosion. Proper storm water discharge is essential during the construction process. Since it is one of the main causes of soil erosion. Avoiding the removal of vegetation cover at the site can alleviate erosion, silt traps and storm water ponds also help this course. Storm water pond helps in collecting the rain water. They should be placed at lower elevation, such that the water will get collected by gravity flow. Silt traps can be attached with these ponds to remove the debris and soil particles. This water can be used for construction. But should make sure it does not get contaminated by soluble minerals such Sulphates available in the soil. Excavated soil from the site should be maintained properly such that it does not get into atmosphere and produce air pollution. This can be done by covering the excavated soil by means of polythene sheets; if part of the vegetation cover is removed they can be used for covering the excavated soil.

If the excavated soil is sandy, it can be reused after grading it for concreting or masonry work. If its clay it can be utilized for brick production. Peat soil can be transferred to a less fertile land and can be used for agricultural purposes. Debris of the excavation can also used for paving sub base. Not only makes the sub base stronger at the same time reduces the waste that goes to landfills. Indoor Environment Quality Sun shines brightly down on Sri Lanka almost throughout the year. This results in air conditioning the building unit. Air conditioners consume a lot of energy to keep the building interior comfortable. Even though it may make the interior cooler, the concentration level of CO2 maybe higher due to limited circulation of air, which can cause detrimental health effects on the building occupants. Alternative for this problem can be achieved in two steps. One is passive cooling. It includes the orientation and massing of building volumes, controlled fenestration (Doors & Windows) and ventilation, shading of the building and its surroundings, and thermal mass and solar reflectivity of the facades and roofs. Orientation of the building plays a major role in heat gain of the building. It is preferable to orient the building such that the longest sides are facing south and north. High thermal mass in the structure helps in absorbing the heat and reducing the heat transfer into the interior. Roof insulation helps to reduce the heat gain to the buildings. This can be done with the help of polymeric material such as expanded polystyrene, which have lower heat transfer factor. Active system of cooling is provision of mechanical or natural ventilation system. In a sustainable building it is recommended to avoid conventional air-conditioning system, which consumes a lot of energy. In the case of Sri Lanka we should encourage naturally ventilated buildings. Placing of windows should be such that it does not all the direct solar radiation into the interior, which can increase the heat. Using the cross ventilation technique we can ventilate the whole building. Cross ventilation employs window openings which are not directly opposite to each other, so that the wind will travel in diagonal path and the stack effect takes the hot air into a higher elevation, they can be removed by openings at higher elevation. This concepts have been effectively used in Idea House in Malaysia (Fig. 7)

Fig.7: Utilization of natural ventilation Other method of ventilating recommended in a sustainable building is evaporative cooling system. These units draw in fresh air, filter it, and add moisture to lower the dry-bulb temperature. The air is distributed through a balanced system of ducts and fed into the spaces, which remain under positive static pressure. Indoor air is not re-circulated, but extracted by suitably sized exhaust fans to ensure effective moisture and heat removal.

Fig.8: MAS Intimates Thurulie Factory MAS intimate Factory in Thurelie is leading by example in industrial sector by being one the greenest factory in the world

Table.2: Comparison between various factories in their energy consumption

The table gives a good idea on how a sustainable building can reduce the energy consumption Materials When we decide on materials that we are to be used to construct buildings, we should be mindful of several aspects, first and foremost is the impact of using that material to our environment. For example use of one tone to cement will produce one ton of CO 2. Thus we shall use concrete in a very efficiently. Steel is a material, which can be recycled effectively. Their usage in green building is highly recommended. The scrap metal collected from various sites can be effectively used in the building. However if we dont provide a proper painting system to protect it from corrosion in our aggressive costal environment, the above said benefits will not be there. Our exterior walls can be made from compressed stabilized earth blocks, which can be made from local soil, sand and cement. The embodied energy (It is the energy, which are uses on processing and transporting) is comparably low with the conventional blocks and when consider the total wall, the carbon foot print will comparably low with the conventional wall construction. The figure 9 shows the use of compressed stabilized earth blocks, which were made locally and used without plaster finish.

Fig.9: Compressed stabilized Earth blocks (Thurulie Factory) . For interior partition walls can be made from gypsum board and table top MDF (Medium density Fiber) which are not only lighter in weight they last longer. Another option is Ferro cement walls made of thin layer of concrete reinforced with wire mesh will have a longer lifetime.

Roof Roof is considered to be the largest contributor to heat gain and indoor discomfort in the tropical regions. This can be reduced my use of green roofs. As shown in the fig above, they can be installed in Concrete decks. High thermal mass absorbs the heat and does not transfer into the building. As a result produces a comfortable indoor condition and at the same time reduces heat island effect which primarily takes place in urban areas. Heat island effect is nothing but the effect which arises due to absorption of heat by the massive concrete structures results in increment in temperature around the building. Other option is cool roofs. Which can be achieved using light weight metal roofs made of white colour. Such that it will have the capability to reflect around 70-80% of the solar radiation. Another option is photovoltaic roofs, which not only able to produce renewable energy but also prevents heat gain.

Fig.10: Green roof at Thurulie factory

Lighting

Lighting accounts for 15% of total energy consumption in India. Lighting is an area that offers many energy efficiency opportunities in almost any building facility, existing or new. Using efficient lighting equipment and controls is the best way to ensure lighting energy efficiency while maintaining or even improving lighting conditions. For instance, modern fluorescent lighting, such as electronically ballasted T-8 systems, can provide the same quantity of light as older fluorescent lighting while consuming as little as two-thirds of the energy. Similarly, compact fluorescent sources are three to four times more efficient than the traditional incandescent lamps they are designed to replace. LED (Light emitting diode) lamps are also very effective.

Fig.11: utilization of daylight

Windows and skylights allow daylight to reach the interiors of buildings, reducing the need for artificial light. However, windows are the weakest point in the building envelope in terms of energy loss, and much research has gone into developing more efficient window systems. Improved glazing techniques offer low-emissivity glass and inert gas-filled air spaces between panes. The window sash and frame have also been improved with added insulation and seals. Heat gain through direct solar radiation is the easiest to prevent, by providing shading devices and using low-emissivity (low-E) glass. Low-E glass acts as a radiation mirror, reflecting infrared (heat) rays back to the source. This prevents solar heat gain in the summer and retains heat within the building during the rainy season. The wood provides a better insulating value than vinyl or aluminum alone and adds strength to the frame. These windows are particularly desirable in residential construction, as the wood can be left exposed on the interior of the window. The fiberglass sash is more receptive to the airtight sealing required when using argon gas-filled airspaces between panes. Because fiberglass, being composed chiefly of strands of glass, has a thermal expansion coefficient similar to glass itself, the materials expand and contract at approximately the same rate, this means that there is less stress to the sealants and the material of the windows as a whole. Although there is currently no recycling process for fiberglass, there is the potential for reuse, due to the products long lifespan.

Use of blinds in the window openings can help in reducing the effect of excess light. Bamboo blinds are effective as blinds. Since bamboo has the capability of growing a short period of time. Lighting controls are another effective way in utilizing the artificial lights. When the illumination level is not sufficient inside the building the controls will switch on the artificial light. Water Management

Fig.12 Simple Rainwater collection system in Villages Water management is essential in present situation, we can witness greater increase in cost of water, in future it may escalate to unprecedented levels. Proper water management can help in reducing wastage of water. Rainwater harvesting is one-way, where the rainwater can be collected from the roofs and can be stored in tanks and can be used for flushing and irrigation of landscape. 1m 2 roof area receives 1litre of rainwater for each mm of rainfall. This water can accumulate to large quantity, which can serve for many purposes. Most of these schemes implemented in the dry zones have failed due to the very low rain fall, thus rain water harvesting shall be in the wet zone since there are frequent showers. This is why our forefathers build large water tanks to store water in the dry zone. Ground water recharge is also better way to store storm water for future use. Most of us do not know, most of the potable water delivered to our house by make a very incurring huge expense by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) flushes down our toilets. One toilet flush will use eleven liters of water. The use of proper water fixtures in the buildings can help in reducing the high consumption of water, such as dual flush system toilets and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Dual flush toilets have the capability of discharging less water for flushing.

Energy Energy efficiency is a key component of green buildings. Renewable energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal increasingly important. Tropical country like Sri Lanka, solar radiation is in abundance. It gives a great opportunity to produce electricity using the photovoltaic system. Photovoltaic system works on the principle of converting solar energy into electrical energy. Heat energy can also use for heating the water, using solar collectors mounted in the rooftops. Sri Lanka being an Island, the coastal regions experience higher wind speeds, which can be effectively utilized for generating electricity. In Puttalam wind turbines have been already installed and there are projects planned to implement wind turbine farms in chilaw, Hambanthota and Mannar.electricity. Micro wind turbines can be used in medium to high-rise buildings to generate electricity, which have been effectively used in foreign countries. They should be made from lightweight meterial so that they can be mounted in the rooftops. They can supply the energy required for the building.

Fig. 13: Wind Turbines in Puttalam

Fig.14: Micro wind turbines in US

. Fig. 15: PhotoVoltaic system on roofs

Why green building rating is important for Sri Lanka? Since the export markets are very sensitive to sustainable productions, Sri Lankan entrepreneurs are moving towards building green in their new ventures. Since Sri Lanka hadnt had a clear framework and governing body for green rating of buildings in the past they used to seek other ratings as LEEDs. The processing fee for to obtain a rating relatively very high and this factor discouraged developers to build green. Thus there was an extreme necessity for such an institution for Sri Lanka. Green building council of Sri Lanka was formed under the leadership of Prof. Priyan Mendis ( University of Melbourne), with the patronage of all the stake holders of the building industry. The main purpose of green building rating set higher standards than the present building codes and to encourage the design and construct buildings in an environmentally acceptable manner. This will be a major step towards adopting a sustainable practice in development and to utilize the natural resources efficiently for the betterment of the mankind. The most of the resources that are being using today are accounting for environmental pollution. Thus it is the time to search for new materials and reduce the impact to the environment. Hence this concept will encourage development of environmental friendly building solutions. Future with Green rating system The GBCSL is the governing body of Sri Lanka responsible for developing and implementing the green rating and maintaining such system. The governing body comprises with the experts in the different disciplines who effectively contribute to the operation of such system. Further through GBCSL the green accreditation certificate will be issued for building designs and constructed according to GreenSL Rating System, then the council will monitor implementation and the operation phases of the building to check its efficiency. Further in other countries like Australia and Singapore government has made compulsory to obtain green rating for all the government buildings. GBSCL will appoint the accredited professionals whom will be the facilitators to rate the buildings. These professional qualifications will be awarded by GBCSL after completion of necessary training and examinations.

GREENSL Rating System for Built Environment The GREENSL Rating System for Built Environment is a set of performance standards used to certify Built Environments in the form of commercial or institutional buildings and residential buildings of all sizes, both public and private. The intent is to promote high performance, healthy, durable and affordable environmentally sound practices for new buildings. Prerequisites and credits in the GREENSL Rating System for Built Environment address eight aspects;

Management (04) Sustainable Sites (25) Water Efficiency (14) Energy and Atmosphere (22) Materials and Resources (14) Indoor Environmental Quality (13) Innovation and Design Process (04) Social and Cultural Awareness (04)

The total of 100 points will be awarded based on the efficiency of the building . The Certifications from the GREENSL Rating System for Built Environment will be awarded according to the following scales;
GBCSL

Certified 4049 points Silver 5059 points Gold 6069 points Platinum 70 points and above

will recognize buildings that achieve one of these rating levels with a formal letter of certification. Conclusion The concept of green buildings is an emerging trend in the design and construction of sustainable building solutions for different industries. Most of the countries are already working on rating the efficiency of buildings to assess the environmental acceptability of their buildings which is governed by the governing body for green rating. In the development process of Sri Lanka, having such system is critical for the assessment of buildings. Having such intention to incorporate greener concept for building solutions, the GBCSL was organized and established. The proposed GREENSL rating system for built environment is very popular among the

professionals and the developers of the building industry. Currently there are more than 100 building under review. Public and private sector professional should jointly work for the green movement of Sri Lanka, so that our grandchildren will enjoy a sustainable future.