Energy efficient: Modern building versus green building

Energy efficient: Modern building versus green building
Essay question: to what extent green building can significantly reduce energy consumption?

Making buildings more energy efficient is a main concern of people today. Energy consumption has increased significantly especially since the industrial revolution. Electricity played an important role in changing the face of the world to become more developed. Industrial sector activities depend on electricity. Manufacturing processes, services, mining activities, and other economical activities also depend on energy, such as electricity and fossil fuels energy. The industrial revolution has also caused a significant shift in terms of building structure and construction. Architects, such as Antonio Gaudi, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright began to use prefabricated materials. This also signalled a new era in the architectural world, the beginning of modern architecture. Designers and engineers have since implemented a greater variety of building technologies to make modern buildings, whether these building technologies might be systems, methods, and materials like prefabricated materials that reduce building structures and constructions costs, also improving the building’s aesthetic values and saving the building’s construction time. Moreover, modern building design can minimize energy consumption. However, not all modern buildings are low energy consumption. According to Pader (2009), in general, buildings consume over 71% of energy in America today and this figure is estimated to reach 75% by 2025. American Society of Mechanical Engineers-ASME (2009: p. 20) states that buildings consume about one-third of the total world’s energy consumption. Surprisingly, ASME (2009: p. 20) also claims that nearly 37% of the total CO2 emission is emitted by buildings, including emission from combustion processes and using electricity in buildings. On the other hand, Suzuki et. al (1994) conclude that using wood in construction process in Japan consumes less energy consumptive and reduces CO2 emission rather than other types of constructions. Therefore, an eco-friendly building design, which can significantly reduce excessive energy consumption, is absolutely necessary in dealing with green house effects. Hence, green building design is more energy efficient than modern building design. This essay will explain the benefits and drawbacks of modern building design and then the extent to where green building design can significantly reduce energy consumption by some examples.

To gain a better understanding about energy consumption, it is important to understand what green buildings are and explain why master builders prefer to implement green building design rather than modern building design. Green building has been defined as, according to United States Environmental Protection Agency, the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from setting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction. In fact, green building design is not a new thing. Since ancient times, the effort to make buildings more environmentally friendly and consume less energy has been applied, for example by using natural materials like wood. The development of science and technology has made significant change to the design of the building. Utilization of technology and the use of prefabricated materials has become a new trend in the world of architecture in the last century. In fact, this can be seen in the greatness of modern architecture reached at the beginning of 20th century, especially in the construction of many tall buildings around the world. Efficiency in time and cost is the main consideration in a process of building structures and construction. However, environmental issues interfere with the development of modern architecture. This is because materials that used in modern building are the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Then the designers and architects strive to create a modern building design more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Thus the term “green building” or “green architecture” emerged in the architectural world. It is believed that green building design give many benefits for society in order to reduce energy consumption and prevent environmental degradation.

Today, modern building designs are usually made by implementing advanced technology, such as computer modeling. Rivard and Bedard (2004) claim that in order to improve these processes, computers play an important role in building structure and construction processes. They also state that the computer can combine the various aspects of modern building design such as layout, structure, enclosure, energy consumption and construction cost estimation by utilizing its tools to make building design accurately and efficient. In fact, the possibilities of wind direction movements around the building or the reflecting sound can be seen through by using computer technology. In addition, various types of building surfaces and filler panels can be analyzed mathematically using computer graphics programs. However, as Hui (2001) states, there is not just one way of creating low energy buildings. According to Stromberg (2005), combining holistic components plus a systems-based approach is needed in order to create a green building. She also states that using the right system in the implementation of building structure and construction processes is a necessity in creating a durable building. For example, as Stromberg points out, installing a small HVAC system even in a tall building can prevent its capacity to release excess water vapor into the atmosphere. Moreover, Stromberg (2005) also claims that according to Hatten, implementing advance load-reducing technology and building energy-supply systems are two main factors that create a low energy building. Following from Stromberg’s point, advanced technologies have been able to make a building cheaper, more environmentally friendly and more energy efficient without reducing the appearance of the buildings. For instance, as Stromberg (2005) points out, adding insulation and replacing windows and doors with efficiency models can significantly reduce energy cost and consumption.

In addition, according to Five Wind International (n,d.), a global environmental-management consultant, green building design can be applied to all types of buildings, both new construction and renovated buildings. They also claim that green building design has been implemented by master builders from the beginning of the planning process to the construction process. Proof for this, architects and engineers use several tools during the design and construction process to obtain a perfect green building design, especially in important zones (Five Winds International: n.d.). Hence, strong teamwork is necessary to combine between certain areas of the building so that negative environmental impacts that may arise will be eliminated. However, they also argue that initially green building designs conceived only as eco-friendly building designs. But, according to them, currently there are many elements, standards, methods, indicators and data that can be used to create a perfect green building design and even has been applied in the industrial sectors. In the 1980s and 1990s, as they state, architects and engineers trying to incorporate some of the key factors to improve the quality of the buildings and making buildings more environmentally friendly and economically more efficient, such as by designing more efficient water consumption and reducing height of the building. In short, it takes more than advanced technologies to make buildings more energy efficient.

Although many experts say that modern building design can be just as energy efficient as green building design, however, including climate consideration in urban design principles is essential to create an urban environment-friendly in order to minimize energy use and maintain environmental sustainability (Hui: 2001). Following this, implementing “the green governance” around the site and using on-site resources responsibly will determine the achievement of energy-efficient buildings. In addition, as Hui (2001) states, building designers should pay more attention to the influence of climate and solar position in order to get a good design. This is because grouping buildings in an integrated design in cities will create a significant change in terms of thermal comfort. Therefore, setting layout of the buildings should consider aspects of climate influence to make buildings more energy efficient.

In terms of building materials, modern buildings usually use prefabricated materials in building construction that can be energy efficient. Reddy and Jagadish (2003) claim that reducing the building embodied energy can be done with implementing alternative materials in building structure and construction processes such as stabilized mud blocks (SMB), prefabricated roofing systems, masonry vaults, LP cement etc. They also argue that alternative materials are a wise choice in order to implement energy-saving efforts in buildings. Moreover, Huemer and Kapleller (n.d.) claim that materials, which are usually used in the construction of modern buildings, could also produce energy. For example, Soil-cement block is the most energy efficient among the material for walling, consuming only one-fourth of the energy of burnt-clay bricks (Reddy and Jagadish: 2003). However, some modern building materials consume more energy than others. A study from Reddy and Jagadish (2003) indicate that aluminum and steel are two types of metal with a large energy storage is often used in the process of building structures and construction. Based on this study, they claim that per unit weight, aluminum consumes energy sixfold than steel. They also state that the use of aluminum as a material for building apertures causes buildings consume more energy.

Moreover, wood plays an important role in term of environmental sustainability issues (Stauth: 2004). The reason for this, as Stauth states, using wood in house structure and construction can significantly reduce energy consumption, diminishing environmental impacts and absorbing carbons from the atmosphere. Stauth (2004) also claims that in Minneapolis, for instance, steel framing, compared to wood, consumes 17 percent more energy, caused 26 percent more global warming potential, causes a 14 percent higher level of air emission of concern, and more than 300 percent water emission of concern. This shows that timber is most “green” building materials.

Finally, artificial thermal comfort systems such as HVAC systems are one important part of modern building design. This is because, according to Mikkler (2008), using energy more efficiency and maintaining indoor air quality and indoor thermal comfort can be done by implementing HVAC systems in modern building design. This argument is supported by Nassif, Kajl and Sabourin (2005) who state that daily indoor thermal comfort can be managed by implementing HVAC systems. However, As Hui (2001) states, to support building’s occupants activities continually, Modern buildings cannot depend on its own energy, but need more energy supply from outside. He also argues that limitation of land area is the main obstacle for modern building in developing its own energy resources. Modern buildings, for example, need a huge amount of electricity to operate their elevators for vertical transportation. Another example, according to Hui (2001), is that high-rise buildings have limited roof and exposed areas for collection of solar energy.

In addition, Braun (n.d.) argues that utilizing the structure and building materials to distribute and store the heat load is not necessarily able to reduce the total heat load on the building zones. The reason for this is that reduce the energy content cannot be done merely by relying on the mass of the building, because the mass of the building can only improve the operational costs of the building itself. He also says that non-massive buildings do not require much time for precooling or preheating activities and have less cooling or heating loads than massive buildings. Therefore, a combination of a comprehensive building design with the use of an efficient thermal system will make buildings more energy efficient.

Even though modern building design as has been shown in this essay is beneficial, there are many problems in term of energy efficiency. The first problem is that implementing advanced technology does not guarantee making modern building more energy efficient. In reality, a combination between advanced technology and a holistic system-based approach is the best way to make buildings more energy efficient without neglecting the buildings appearance. The second problem relating to make buildings more energy efficient is climatic consideration. This is important because by understanding climate behavior, buildings can be made more energy efficient. Implementing a little innovation such as setting lay-out and orientation of the building will determine building-use-energy capacity, and, eventually, can make buildings more energy efficient. Another problem relating to energy efficiency is building materials. With advanced technology, there are many prefabricated materials that can be used in modern building structures and constructions. But, not all of these materials are energy efficient. Therefore, careful selection of materials for use in building structure and construction is essential to make buildings more energy efficient. The last problem is providing thermal comfort through implementing Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Although providing HVAC system is a good solution to make the occupants feel comfortable, it must be supported by building design and material selection that can encourage energy conservation efforts. Thus, implementing green building design can significantly reduce energy consumption of buildings compared with modern building designs. Furthermore, the demand of eco-friendly building design will increase along with increasing public awareness about the importance of saving the environment.

For these reasons, it can be concluded that in terms of minimizing energy consumption in buildings, the role of technology may not be enough to significantly reduce energy consumption. Building design processes, complete with all related analysis, and the selection of appropriate materials are even more significant impact in reducing energy consumption in buildings, which eventually makes the building more environmentally friendly. Although the building is a modern building, which has a sophisticated system utility, but if not planned and designed carefully, the building will only be a burden to the occupants because of the inefficient use of energy in the building. Consequently, in a short time, this will cause environmental damage, ozone depletion, and increasing the biosphere’s temperature significantly. It is time for us to be more respectful for the environment, particularly on the issue of global warming and climate change. The use of inappropriate materials also plays a major role in making buildings into energy-intensive. Materials in the building envelopes, especially for curtain walls – such as glass and aluminum, steel structures, are the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere and also a big energy consuming. So that it burdensome the building itself. If public awareness has been established, then this is expected to be able to gradually restore the environmental conditions become greener.

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Deforestation will accelerate extinction of animals, mankind and environment ?_edited

A much debated issue is whether rainforest destruction will accelerate extinction of animals, mankind and environment or not. Some people argue that deforestation causes extinction. But, some others reject this opinion. In this essay, I will argue that deforestation is destructive for animals, humans and environment for several reasons. Therefore, logging in the world’s remaining forests should be phase out.
Firstly, deforestation causes global warming. This is because it may increase the amount of carbon on the atmosphere. Evidence shows that plants absorb more carbon dioxide for photosynthetic process and produce oxygen. In fact, the earth’s temperature has increased significantly as a result of massive deforestation. Indeed, the rate of deforestation has been much faster than before.
Secondly, forests benefit the economy for a country. The reason for this is that forests can be used as a ecotourism which can contribute to national income as well as to livelihood of local people living near the forests. For example, tropical rainforests provide many suitable facilities for camping, hiking, climbing and other activities which related to the natural habitat.
Thirdly, deforestation causes species extinction. Evidence proves that tropical rainforests are a home for many animal and plant. In fact, many of these species are useful for human being. For instance, rosy periwinkle, a kind of plants, contains a substance which can be used to against leukemia diseases.
In conclusion, protecting forests for the future is extremely important because this is not only benefits humans but also all species, the environment and the countries. Therefore, maintaining the remained forests from deforestation must be done.

Deforestation will accelerate extinction of animals, mankind and environment?

A much debated issue is whether the forest destruction will accelerate extinction of animals, mankind and environment or not. Some people argue that deforestation causes extinction. Some others reject this opinion. In this essay, I will argue that deforestation causes extinction for animals, humans and environment for several reasons.
Firstly, deforestation can cause global warming. This is because it may increase the amount of carbon on the atmosphere. As we know that plants, especially in tropical forest, absorb more carbon dioxide for photosynthetic process and produce oxygen. In fact, the earth’s temperature increases significantly over the last three decades. This is because the process of deforestation for over the last three decades is faster than before.
Secondly, forests benefit the economy of a country. The reason for this is that forests can be used as a ecotourism which can contribute to national income as well as local people living near the forests. For example, tropical rainforests provide many suitable facilities for camping, hiking, climbing and other activities which related to natural habit.
Thirdly, deforestation may cause species extinction. As we know that tropical rainforests are a home for animal and plant species living on land. Furthermore, some species are useful for human being. For instance, rosy periwinkle, a kind of plants, contains a substance which can be used to against leukemia diseases.
In conclusion, protecting forests for the future is extremely important because this is not only benefits human but also all species, environment and country. Therefore, maintaining the remained forests from deforestation must be done to save our life.

Overpopulation and Sustainable Life

Since the end of nineteenth century, the world’s population has reached six billion people. Population in the world has increased significantly for over 180 years. Some experts argue that overpopulation has been occurring in the world and caused many fundamental problems. But others reject this opinion. In this essay, I will argue that overpopulation causes fundamental and basic problem facing humanity today. There are two main reasons supporting this contention, and the main objection to it can be rebutted.

The first reason is that Overpopulation contributes to environmental destruction. This reason is based on the claim that Ninety-seven percent of rainforests have been destroyed in the last 50 years. In fact, the area of tropical rainforests fell substantially. This is because people cutting down the trees and conversing the forests for farming and residential purposes.

The second reason to think that Overpopulation causes fundamental and basic problem facing humanity today is that Overpopulation leads to poverty, starvation, overcrowding. This is because the number of people in the world who do not have adequate food, clothing, shelter, and basic medical care and education is increasing. For example, Bangladesh, one of the countries that have higher population-and-spacious ratio, has more than half of the people living in poverty. This is because Bangladesh does not have sufficient area for people to live on. So the population of Bangladesh tends to be very crowded together.

On the other hand, a consideration against the idea that Overpopulation causes fundamental and basic problem facing humanity today is that some countries which have overpopulation provide sufficient foods and clean water. Research found that the production of foods in the world fulfill to cover for 7,5 billion people. This objection is not convincing, however, because distributing of foods and clean water is inappropriate. For example, Indonesia is the fourth largest population in the world and produces some kind of foods. But in some areas, such as Nusa Tenggara Timur, Maluku Islands and Papua, most of the people still live in poverty and starvation.

Based on this reasoning it is clear that Overpopulation causes fundamental and basic problem facing humanity today. Furthermore, it is important for us to control the number of population and provide sufficient foods, water and many infrastructure facilities to support our life without destroy our planet.

Keeping Animals in Captivity

A much debated issue is whether keeping animals in captivity is cruel or not. Some people argue that keeping animals in zoo makes suffer. But some other reject. In this essay, I would like to explain that keeping animals in captivity has many advantages and also disadvantages.
The first advantage is keeping animals in zoos make them enjoy. This is because zoos provide many treatments and high-quality facilities for animals. For example, they can get food, medical treatment and high-quality cages. Secondly, researchers can conduct animal-based experimentation in zoos. For instance, they may observe animal behavior without going to the forest. Third, keeping animals in zoos make them safe from extinction. In fact, many species of bird populations increase significantly in zoos even though they throated by extinction in their natural habitat.
On the other hand, the most important reason that people are against keeping animals in captivity is that captivity make animals suffer. This is because animals have insufficient space to live or survive. For example, Orcas, a kind of killer whale, needs large and deep pools to survive. If they do not have sufficient space, they will get stressed. The other reason is that people keep animals in captivity only for entertainment purposes. For instance, people go to zoo for watching animals show and they do not care about what animals can get from captive keeper.
In conclusion, it is important to prevent animals from extinction. However, it is not really right to keep animals in captivity for entertainment purposes. Therefore, zoos must be a better place for animals to prevent from extinction.

Wealth and happiness_edited

Getting the better life is the main desire of all people in this planet. Most people pursue happiness by working hard. They assume that if they are wealthy, they will be happy. The issue of whether wealth causes happiness has been widely debated in our society today. It is an interesting issue because it related to people’s concept and definition of happiness. Some people believe that wealth guarantee happiness. But others reject this assumption. In this essay, I contend that wealth does not guarantee happiness for these following reasons.
First of all, measuring wealth is very subjective. It relates to whether we feel enough with what we have or not. This is because we cannot exactly measure the level of wealth for everybody. In fact, many people feel happy with having little money and an affordable-simply house, adequate food provided, and also having a good social interaction, meanwhile in reality having plenty of money, luxury mansions, and yachts often make people feel unhappy.
Secondly, having a lot of money makes people feel insecure. The reason for this is that they often contend about their money. In fact, many rich and famous people usually employed bodyguards to protect them and their wealth. For example, Hollywood actress usually has two or more bodyguards which protect them.
Finally, achievement at work and having a good income does not guarantee people to be happy. Having a good career usually makes people have not much time to socialize with their society. In fact, many career people usually start their work in the early morning and back to home in the middle of the night.
In conclusion, it is not really true that prosperity can make someone happy. It depends on the people. Even though people have a lot of money, it cannot guarantee people to reach prosperous. Therefore, having a lot of money is necessary, but it cannot buy happiness.

URBANISATION IN CHINA’S CITIES

Rapid urbanization is occurring all over Asia often with devastating environmental and social impacts. The issue of whether rapid urbanization has led to many negative impacts for city dwellers in China has been widely debated in our society today. It is an important issue because it related to our understanding of how best deal with the problems of rapid urbanization. A variety of argument has been put forward. However, China claims that their urbanization process has been highly successful (Yusuf and Saich, 2008). But, some experts reject this argument. This essay will consider arguments for claiming that China’s urbanization process has been successful and point to some of the problems with this perspective. It will then put forward the contentions that rapid urbanization has led to many social problems for China’s urban inhabitants, which still need to be solved.
It has been argued that China’s urban areas have very few slums even though they have crowded living conditions (Yusuf and Saich, 2008). The reason for this is that China has successfully implemented the Hukou System that controls urban population into two groups, urban (non-agricultural) hukou and rural (agricultural) hukou (World Bank, 2008). However, as Afridi, Li and Ren state, the hukou System has created social integration problems among city dwellers in China. In fact, The Hukou system creates many differences between local (urban) hukou and non-local (rural) Hukou. For example, access to public services depends on whether residents are local or non-local hukou. In addition, non-local hukou holders cannot enroll their children in local schools unless the schools have quotas for ‘guest’ students who pay higher tuition fees than the local children. In short, the Hukou system does not benefits urban poor.
It also asserted that cities in China have low unemployment (World Bank, 2008). Urban unemployment in China, so this argument goes, is around 4 %. It is claimed that rural-to-urban migrants rarely lose their jobs in cities and if they are become unemployed, they will return to the countryside. Another reason to support this is that there are numerous jobs opportunities for the unemployed in the suburbs (Guo and Iredale, 2003). They claim that numerous spontaneous labor markets are scattered all around suburban districts in Chinese cities and filled with unemployed people from cities. However, unemployment in Chinese cities exists but is made invisible by the government by lies statistics. In fact, many unemployed migrants were obvious on Beijing’s streets. Moreover, unregistered rural migrants are not part of part of urban planning related to employment and community management. For example, many migrant villages in Beijing have been ‘cleaned up’ or ‘demolished’ since the late 1990s and whole rural migrant communities have been repatriated to the rural hinterlands. This shows that unemployment in China’s urban areas is high and the government cannot tackle this problem.
Jamie Cook (1999) contended that China is successfully managing the demand for natural resources in rapidly expanding cities. The Government claimed that in 2002, more than 90% of urban population had better access to improved sanitation than earlier 1990’s (Laquian, 2006). However, as Laquian states, the demand for services in rapidly expanding cities has reached terrible proportions. In fact, consuming 85% of water from Beijing’s ground sources causing large sinkholes in certain areas. Another example for this is that demanding fresh water in Senyang City was increased significantly from 0,5 million m3/day of water in1995 to 3.2 million cubic meters per day in 2002. Therefore, well-managing supply of natural resources among China’s cities can help city dwellers to survive at least for the next 25 years.
On the other hand, urban migration has created social gap between urban indigenous and rural migrants. The reason for this is that rural migrants are discriminated against in the workplace. In fact, at the same enterprises, local residents and rural migrants get different salary rates even though they perform the same kind of work. Another point to consider is that non-local dwellers are usually do jobs that urban residents do not want. For example, Shanghai indigenous do not want to do the unpopular jobs often so-called “Three-D” jobs – jobs which are dirty, dangerous and demeaning. Moreover, rural migrants are often denied access to basic city services enjoyed by permanent urban residences such as affordable housing, subsidized health care and schooling for children. In fact, as a result of implementing the Hukou system, many rural migrants are unemployed and homelessness in Shanghai and Beijing.
In conclusion, massive urban migration process in China is not usually success. As a result of the rapid urbanization process, cities in China are not only facing economic problems, but also facing social inequity among its inhabitants. If these problems are not dealt with by the government, the China’s urban will be faced a terrible problems for the next 25 years.