With the continued increase in spending on green buildings, it’s safe to say that we are on our way to eventually establishing “green cities”. What would a green city look like? It would minimize use of natural resources, create as much energy as it used, and promote the health and wellness of the people who lived there. Here are the top factors that we think would go in to building a green city:
The Buildings Achieve Net-Zero
Net-Zero is achieved when a green building creates as much energy as it uses. This can be achieved in a variety of ways. Possibilities include: improved wall insulation and windows, solar panels, building orientation, and various other clean energy solutions. Net-Zero buildings vastly decrease the carbon footprint of an urban area.
Green roofs trap rainwater, cool down a building, and provides greenery in a usually concrete scenery. They reflect the sun’s heat, increasing the energy efficiency of a building. They also reduce the amount of roof maintenance needed.
Minimize Water Usage
Natural resources such as water will be stretched to the last drop. Techniques such as rainwater harvesting and water recycling can be used to make sure this green city will always have the water it needs without waste.
Local and Recycled Building Materials
Again, the idea is to save resources. What better way to do that than to use recycled building materials. Other building materials should come from local sources to reduce the need for transportation. Materials should be designed to provide minimal damage to the environment.
A Solid Recycling Program
A green city will want to stay that way by providing ways for waste to be recycled instead of dumped. This eliminates garbage and reduces harm to the environment caused by manufacturing.
What other features would you like to see in a “green city” of the future? Do you think this is achievable in our lifetimes?