This literature review will explore the effects of investing in green practices in construction on not just the environment but on society as a whole. In the field of engineering, sustainability is one of the most paramount focuses since the job of civil engineers is to protect society and enhance the quality of civilian life. It is therefore very important for us to understand the effect of climate change and the consequences of losing the will to control or to minimize our greenhouse expenditure and to properly comprehend the return in investing in green practices in construction.
In his article, Gopal Mishra describes the four main elements for which a green building is designed. These elements relate to the materials, the energy systems, the water management, and the health components of the green building. (Mishra, 2017). With regards to materials, in green buildings, the materials that will be sought after are the materials derived from renewable sources and are preferably harvested locally to avoid the economic and environmental cost of transportation.
(Mishra, 2017) also narrates that there are specifications under the routine of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) that assess the life cycle of the materials used for the green buildings, focusing on elements such as recyclability, reusability, embodied energy, durability and recycled content.
(J. Hoffman and Henn, 2019) Argue that the adoption of green buildings in construction remains low despite the momentum of green building challenging and overcoming many of the problems facing the adoption of its practice in construction. In their report, they hypothesize that If the significant social and psychological barriers behind the implementation of green practices in construction are not addressed then the environmental progress in the building design and construction will continue to stall.
(J. Hoffman and Henn, 2019)
The use of green roofs in construction can reduce the risk of flooding by reducing rainwater runoff. According to (Forest Research, 2010), the cooling effect on individual trees and the slowing of infiltration of the water to the ground from the practice of green infrastructure can help prevent ambient heat and flooding in urban areas.
(CABE, 2009). Narrates that a new stormwater management system has been installed in Malmo, Sweden replacing the old one which couldn’t combat flooding caused by stormwater leading to vehicle and property damage. The new system extends the journey that stormwater goes through, channeling it through ditches, holding ponds, and wetlands before reaching the subsurface stormwater system. This slows down the volume of water that passes through the stormwater system and thereby prevents flooding.
It is mentioned by (Spence and Mulligan, 1995) that the construction industry globally contributes to pollution whether by releasing Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or the emission of other greenhouse gases that systemically contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer in the atmosphere.
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