Benefits of Biodiversity in Green and Sustainable House Floor Plans
There is a moral duty to protect life, nature and take good care of our environment. There is no value to life and value to nature . Once we lose the biodiversity, we lose nature and life itself. Therefore the stewardship of nature and vegetation is necessary and it accrues these benefits. The benefits listed here ranges from:
-improved carbon footprint,
-improved water footprint,
-less stressed mind,
-cleaner air and cleaner water,
-better control of pest such as mosquitoes,rodents & lowers maintenance.
These are the 20 Benefits of Biodiversity that an Architect can incorporate in home designs elaborated here below:
1.Energy Saving Benefits
According to recent research,the Living Roof’s diurnal temperature is about 3 deg C. It was found the conventional roof diurnal temperature is 50 deg C for Green roof ( Living Roof). Furthermore if the facades is shaded with landscape the temperature fluctuation can be reduced by 50%.
2. Reduce Carbon Emission Benefits
In a Green Development rich with Biodiversity, the portable water consumption is reduced .Less consumption of portable water directly reduces the carbon footprint. In the UK,the carbon footprint for production of portable water is 2 million tons .Interestingly, 60% of water consumption is from the commercial development. The Green house Gasses are sequestered by the natural vegetation. The Pine forest and the tropical forest and every plants and trees sequesters the CO2. Green vegetation helps to reduce Carbon footprint. The world carbon budget is 500-1000 billion tons of CO2. Every year we are consuming and we are in a deficit .We are emitting too much of CO2. If we exceed the budget limit, the average temperature will be 2 deg more that the pre-industrial period.Until our ecological footprint is decreased, the budget will be busted. It is time to increase and manage the ecological forestation. It is time to increase of biodiversity of flora and fauna and habitats. This will help to save the planet earth.
3.Resilience to Drought
The environment in Biodiversity is more adaptive and more tolerance to drought conditions. In an adverse drought the diverse field are less affected as they support one another in adversity.They reserve water for resilience to harsh weather conditions.
4. Resilience to Diseases
The environment in Biodiversity increases the Resilience to Diseases. The vegetation,fauna and habitats are more tolerant, resistant to pest and virus attacks.Stronger protection against Pest Attacks then as in a Mono-cultures such as in plantations. vegetable gardens, animal farms. The forest and nature does not need pesticides nor insecticides to fend itself against the persistent attacks by insects and pest. The Pest maintenance cost is reduced.
Fertilizers consumption in bio-diverse environment is less. Infact it may not be used at all. There is an increase in its Sustainability in compared to mono culture. In nature they are not watered, they are not treated with pesticides or insecticides. They are self-sustaining and are more towards self-reliance.
In a Bio diverse urban space, the overall temperature of the space is lesser. This phenomenon is obvious as one visit Singapore which is planned as green city and then visiting Malaysia. Although Singapore is closer to the equator than Malaysia. It will have a direct impact on the Energy consumption when the temperatures are lower. This is attributed to the heat island effect.
7.Psychological well being
One of the definition of well being in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is by increase of connectivity to nature. Connectivity with nature such as cats, dogs, animals and nature calms the minds, reduces stress and helps the psychological well being. A Fishes in the aquarium help the calm the stressed mind .Likewise birds, dogs and butterflies does something to the human psychological well being.
8.Physical well being
Physical well being is improved as the air is cleaner with lesser dust and dirty gases such as SO2,CO,NO2 etc. Biodiversity reduce the air particles and bring about cleaner air, which according to UN report- the air Pollution is a no 1 killer. Air pollution kills 1 in 8 of the deaths globally . Our lungs are choked with dust and pollutants which is a major cost to human lives.
In a bio-diverse environment the blue infrastructure is introduced and the water footprint is reduces. Grey water is converted to Green water by bio diverse SUDs.
Faster Recovery from illness – Hospital Patients in rooms which had views to nature. Green infrastructure and Blue infrastructure helps in Patient’s recovery by 30% faster .Patients uses 30% lesser of medication. Therefore bio phallic designs in homes, offices and workplaces will have a like recuperative effect. The stresses, pressures of works and good health is associated with biodiversity.
11.Reduce incidence of illness
Plants, natural forms, fishes in the home of a heart patients has a faster recovery when in a bio diverse environment. The natural movement of Fishes in bowl or a dog in the house brings a certain calmness and in connection with nature. It helps the nerves to calm down tremendously. And so does it does the same for butterflies, birds, sound of the bees in our gardens to enhance our stress reduction.Organic forms in nature is less stressful than squares , rectangles and cubes.
13 Suicidal Tendencies
The healthy air will have a direct effect of our health. Vegetation removes CO2 and introduces Oxygen. The lack of oxygen in the air has a higher tendency to commit suicide, This is the same for those living in high mountains. Vegetation will help to decrease this tendencies.Vegetation increases the oxygen in the air. Oxygen helps our body function well with regard to improved memory and speedier recovery.
14.Tolerance to pain
Greater tolerance to pain. those living in environment with diversity of environment has a greater tolerance to pain.
15. Reduced medicine
Reduced medicine intake is reduced.
People sitting next to window views of vegetation has a greater enthusiasm to work, productivity. In an bio-philic approach to design of a new office, the exercise proof that the occupants increase in productivity by 20%.
Potted plant placed in office spaces, view of beautiful scenes and siting by the windows helps are likely to improves their Cognitive Tranquility.-20% increased Reaction time to a task and reduction of blood pressures.Those sitting with views to plants or landscape scene , response faster to a situation.
In the Singaporean experience, Mr. Lee Kuan Yee stated that Singapore had an edge over it neighbors and competitors as the Green city Model. It was a more attractive proposition.The property has an Increase edge over it competitors.
Furthermore it may be noteworthy that corporate image is at stake if Green and sustainability issues are not addressed in their developments as they may be under the scrutiny of the public eye, which may surmount to boycotts and anti-campaigns, fines by Governments and may cause their license to be revoked, which disrupts the chain supply and damage to brand image. The Benefits of Biodiversity cannot be numerated economically in numbers but the well being of humanity is our responsibility.
20. Increase in Value of Property
It was noted that property which was Green Bio-diverse had more greater value than those that were not green bio-diverse.
Richness in Eco-Biodiversity, the benefits are simply abundant
Green and Sustainable House Plans can reap these benefits of Biodiversity if design of Green are contrived well into the design.
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Abridged and enhanced by Ar Perumal Nagapushnam from the Notes Designing for biodiversity: Productivity and Profit by the British Council