The Sustainability aspect of design and construction directly relates to the energy conservation and carbon cuts, a wide range of services and analysis is required to understand the sustainable environment in a building
“Whatever we do to our Earth, we do to ourselves.” We have to decide what are the options available? Industrial revolution, urbanization and continuous advancement of technologies enabled human race to dig deep inside the earth and satisfy ever growing demand of continuously increasing population flourishing every corner of the earth. The process that we started hundred years back is irreversible, we cannot change or correct what we have done so far. We can either be pessimist or the optimist, we human race has to decide on that. We have very limited options left to be an optimist, sustainability is one of them. We cannot change what we have done in the past, but we can slow down the process in present. Question is when we’ll decide? And what is it that Sustainability is offering? Economic safety, environmental awareness or a marketing tool? The Sustainability aspect of design and construction directly relates to the energy conservation and carbon cuts, a wide range of services and analysis is required to understand the sustainable environment in a building. There are several tools and calculations available to have an idea of energy consumption and energy dissipation. The process is lengthy and complex to understand, over years with the concept of sustainability, technology for sustainability has also developed providing critical information on the building with the emergence of CAD and then BIM. But the issue with them is whether they are affordable? And whether they are dependable?
In modern day the definition of Architect and Architecture has been changed considerably, usually the designs are complex and buildings constructed are huge, under such circumstances how much sustainability can be achieved? And even if it has been achieved to the regulation is it going to affect? Or it’s just another marketing objective achieved for selling a building? How energy consumption and dissipation can be measured on day to day basis? Does providing certain types of materials and adjusting solar position can reduce the energy consumption? How human behavior be controlled? Providing automated system having intelligent microchip can change the human tendency? Is there any system which regularly monitors the energy consumption or dissipation? Usually value that is been calculated under such system is cumulative and might varies with actual energy. Are the regulations implied by different agencies to control the energy dissipation and consumption is based on such cumulative method? Question here is, is it sufficient for the required goal? And does anybody have any goal to achieve? Has anybody set a standard to monitor and calculate the cumulative method of energy consumption or dissipation?
BIM nowadays becoming a major lead force in directing the designing and construction industry with its tremendous database of information. BIM is also utilized in sustainability, it provides exclusive information and analysis about energy consumption and dissipation through different means. But what are the standards for those means? How a BIM model is comparable at two different geographic location of different climatic conditions having similar tools to analyze? In this changing climatic condition what is the basis of depending so much on BIM model? Analysis could be done on the day light use to reduce heat load and electric load, but what if due to unpredictable change in whether the energy increases drastically and incur some damage in the system of building which may cause tremendous loss of energy?
Being sustainable means be optimistic, for our and our children’s future. But what kind of effort is required? Are we doing enough to really slow down the process through development? What if we are not? Who has the answer? How and to what extent a facility manager can make difference in human behavior? Is it required? What different role a facility manager should play to be held responsible? The issue is responsibility cannot be transferred to one person, everybody is responsible for the climate change and melting of polar ice. The question is when humans understand the responsibility collectively and work together? “To save Earth, to save Ourselves.”
Amor Kool is a Panel Member of National Building Code of India and Technical Committee Member to Bureau of Indian Standards and BEE ECBC. He's currently working as Environmental and Social Governance Lead at IIFL Home Finance Ltd.