sdaarchi SDA Architect Benefits of Biodiversity in Green House Plans

Benefits of Biodiversity in Green and Sustainable House Floor Plans

Green ecohouse floor plans

Benefits of Biodiversity

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:

-energy savings,
-improved carbon footprint,
-improved water footprint,
-better health,
-speedy recovery,
-less stressed mind,
-improved productivity,
-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.

5.Increase Sustainability

 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.

6.Reduce Urban Heat

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.

9.Reduce the water footprint

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.

 10.Recovery from illness

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

12.Reduction of Stress

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.

16.Productivity

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%.

17.Cognitive Tranquility

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.

18.Reduce Urban Heat

 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.

19.Corporate Image

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.

Benefits of BiodiversityRichness 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.

Check out our Green and Sustainable House Floor Plans , Click here which has been designed for benefits of Biodiversity

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Abridged and enhanced by Ar Perumal Nagapushnam from the  Notes Designing for biodiversity: Productivity and Profit  by the British Council

Net Zero Energy Resort

Bentong Cultural Village, Malaysia designed as Net Zero Carbon Emission in a Cultural Village with a 680 bed room Hotels, chalets &Indian Villages

Terminologies for Net Zero Carbon Emission in Net zero Energy buildings design

A Seminar on Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Carbon Emission , is being held and in the Seminar, we will elucidate the terms clearly, please visit our website page for booking a seat for the seminar.

The common words and terms and terminologies often used in Carbon Emission are :

Biofuelbiofuel is a fuel that is produced through contemporary biological processes, such as agriculture and anaerobic digestion, rather than a fuel produced by geological processes such as those involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as coal and petroleum, from prehistoric biological matter.

Primary energy – Primary energy consumption is strictly speaking not an environmental impact category, but part of the inventory analysis. The primary energy is usually expressed as MJ per functional unit and includes feed stock energy, process energy, and production and delivery energy.

Global warming – Increasing amounts of greenhouse gases- GHG, which is CO2 or methane, increases the natural greenhouse effect and lead to an increase in global temperature. In the 20th century, global temperature increased by 0.6°C as a result of GHG

AcidificationAcidification refers to acid being deposited in the atmosphere, land or the sea , by the excessive emissions of SO2 and NO2.This can result in strong and damaging acid rains in the air and land which destroys the agricultural yields. The acidification of the sea, affect the weld being of sea life.

Eutrophication Eutrophication happens when an increase of nutrients in water bodies or ground as a result of human activity. Either in the synthetic fertilizers from agricultural land, or discharges from sewage or animal waste. It causes a reduction in species bio- diversity. It is often accompanied by massive growth of dominant species and an the increase production of dead biomass. This lead to depletion of oxygen in the water or soil since its degradation consumes oxygen. This contributes to changes in species composition and death of organisms.

Carbon foot printIt is the amount of CO2 produced in tones for human activity. The time frame of foot print may have to be defined, either the time frame of the construction, annually or the lifetime carbon emission of the building. The accounting principles should be established, such as emissions activates and the sequestering activity for offsetting. The boundary of the site may be used but in reality it extends beyond the site boundaries .for instance the carbon emission of material brought into the site during the construction.

Ecological footprintthe amount of land needed to produce what human, the world’s population what they consume. This concept was developed by Rees and Wackernagel (1994). The human activity is agricultural land for food and pasture, forestation for wood and for travel and comfort.

The land needed to transform the carbon dioxide into organic matter. It has been said that the total ecological footprint of inhabitants goes beyond the availability of space, which is considered ‘unsustainable’. Humanity has moved from using, in net terms, about half the planet’s bio capacity in 1961 to 1.25 times the bio capacity of the Earth in 2003 (Hails et al., 2006). The global ecological deficit of 0.25 Earths is equal to the globe’s ecological overshoot.

Accounting Principles are in 3 stages (as per the Greenhouse Gas Protocol):
stage 1- Required as a result of direct emission of gas.
Stage 2-Required as a result of indirect emission of gas.
Stage 3-Optional, the boundary of the base line for emission of gas can be self defined.

Carbon credit is also referred to as Carbon offset in Carbon Emission

A carbon credit is a tradable certificate or permit to emit one ton of carbon dioxide or the mass of greenhouse gas of equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide.

Transportation Carbon is the amount of CO2 used by the occupants to get to work .It is measured as lbs .Co2/per occupant/ year. If the Transportation Carbon is included in the Net Zero Emission, the site location is important and to offset the Carbon, a fleet of cars could be used to transport them to work.

Operational Carbon
-is the amount of carbon emitted by the building’s operation and including the transportation Carbon of the occupants .

Embodied Carbon emissions
can be achieved in many ways such as:
a) purchasing REC (Renewable Energy Certificates) from reliable sources. The reliable sources are characterized by Additionality, which is funding another energy reduction project.
b) Generation of surplus of renewable energy

Carbon neutrality
carbon consideration includes the carbon emission from the production, embodied Carbon neutrality is easily achieved by considering stage 1 and 2 and this is as per the definition of Net Zero Carbon Emission. Total Carbon neutrality is far more difficult to achieve when considering embodied, transport emissions and operational emission.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an objective method to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with a product, process or activity by identifying and quantifying energy and material uses and releases to the environment, and to evaluate and implement opportunities to influence environmental improvements. The method assesses the entire life cycle of the product, process or activities, encompassing extracting and processing material; manufacturing, transporting and distribution; use, reuse and maintenance; recycling and final disposal (The Society of Environmental, Toxicology and Chemistry, 1993). It is a method for analyzing and assessing the environmental impact of a material, product or service throughout its entire life cycle, usually from the acquisition of raw materials to final disposal.

Life Cycle Cost (LCC)
Like any other investments, attempts to minimize environmental impact of building developments should take into account the associated costs. Life cycle cost (LCC) yields the present value of the current and future expenditures for the procurement of the building and the operation and maintenance throughout its useful life. This allows the financial implications of future savings due to additional investments made at present for enhancing performance (e.g. energy efficiency or durability of materials) which should be assessed for decision making

Water foot print
The water footprint is an indicator of water use that looks at both direct and indirect water use. The water footprint of a product (good or service) is the volume of fresh water used to produce the product, summed over the various steps of the production chain. The water footprint of a consumer is the sum of its direct water use, i.e. the water used at home or in the garden, and its indirect water use, i.e. the water used in the production and supply chains of the goods and services consumed. The water footprint of a business consists of its direct water use, for producing, manufacturing and supporting activities, plus its indirect water use, i.e. the water used in the business’s supply chain. ‘Water use’ is measured in terms of water volumes consumed (evaporated) and/or polluted. The ‘water footprint’ includes three components: consumptive use of rainwater (green water), consumptive use of water withdrawn from groundwater or surface water (blue water) and pollution of water (grey water). A water footprint can be calculated for any product or activity as well as for any well-defined group of consumers (e.g. an individual or family, or the inhabitants of a village, city, province, state or nation) or producers (e.g. a public organization, private enterprise or a whole economic sector). A water footprint is more than a figure for the total water volume used; it refers specifically to the type of water use and where and when the water was used.

Water neutrality
Water neutral’ means that one reduces the water footprint of an activity as much as reasonably possible and offsets the negative externalities of the remaining water footprint. In some particular cases, when interference with the water cycle can be completely avoided – e.g. by full water recycling and zero waste – ‘water neutral’ means that the water footprint is nullified; in many other cases, like in the case of crop growth, water use cannot be nullified. Therefore ‘water neutral’ generally does not mean that water use is brought down to zero, but that the negative economic, social and environmental externalities are reduced as much as possible and that the remaining impacts are fully compensated. Compensation can be done by contributing to (investing in) a more sustainable and equitable use of water in the hydrological units in which the impacts of the remaining water footprint are located.

Blue water water withdrawn from groundwater or surface water
Green water-rain water

Grey water– pollution of water

Energy audit-It assesses the efficiency of the building, an audit of the energy consumption in a building. It will break down the consumption as per the lighting fittings. Air-conditioning, the plug load, equipment load etc. The energy audit will help to evaluate the ways to reduce the electric bill.

Fossil fuel-Fuel that are derived from petroleum or diesel. Coal or natural gas. It is derived from organic matter buried in the ground which has been converted to fuel by anaerobic process naturally.

Green energy– energy that are derived from renewable sources.

 

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Prepared by Architect Perumal Nagapushnam