The main priority of green construction is the construction of buildings and their operation, which does not have a harmful impact on the natural environment. This is achieved through energy efficiency and constant improvement in the quality of construction work. The “green” status of buildings is confirmed by the international European standard BREEAM. It was created in the 90s of the last century in England. The prerequisites for its appearance were the general course of development of Great Britain towards a “green” economy, the basis of which is energy-saving technologies. Green building according to the BREEAM standard has become popular in many countries around the world. Interest in “green” construction is also observed in the regions of Ukraine.
A striking example of green construction was the architectural structure – Bright Building University of Bradford, built in the English city of Bradford. During the construction of the building, organic concrete was used, the basis of which was lime and plant materials. The advantage of this concrete is that it absorbs carbon dioxide and produces oxygen.
The effectiveness of Bright Building technology
With the help of “green” technologies, Bright Building achieves high energy efficiency. Structures built using this technology do not require a central gas pipeline or electricity. In addition, during the operation of the structure, natural ventilation is provided, as well as a system for collecting rainwater and heating it with solar thermal energy using LED lamps and T5 fluorescent lamps. The interior decoration of buildings is carried out using recycled or natural materials. The use of organic concrete in the construction of buildings is another component of the energy efficiency of the Bright Building technology.
Prospects for green construction in Ukraine
Green construction is based on a pragmatic approach. First of all, it is necessary to find real benefits from using green building ideas. The popularity of green building technologies is increasing every year. In Ukraine, they are increasingly talking about the need to introduce “green” technologies. The first example of green construction in Ukraine is the real estate property of the ASTARTA Business Center. It is a holder of the BREEAM International 2013 (Interim) green building certificate. During the construction of the building, environmentally friendly materials, modern energy-saving technologies and an intelligent control system were used. The ASTARTA business center building is the embodiment of optimal environmental solutions. This applies to layouts, engineering systems and the organization of space around the structure.
Many world experts note that in Ukraine the existing fire safety norms and standards are more stringent, in contrast to European standards. Therefore, Ukrainian real estate properties can receive the highest scores. In this regard, the prospects for “green” construction in Ukraine look very optimistic.
To develop green construction in Ukraine, investors need a motivation factor. This is the main problem. The development of “green” construction should be supported at the state level. Green building projects should have some benefits over traditional ones. “Green” real estate will bring considerable benefits to Ukraine. They have two specific advantages: energy independence and comfortable conditions for people to work and live.
The reality of modern life in Ukrainian cities is polluted air and a huge amount of household waste. To solve this pressing problem, it is necessary to popularize “green” construction in the country, the main principle of which is to achieve energy efficiency in the construction of residential real estate. The use of “green” standards makes it possible to assess the degree to which buildings comply with the principle of energy efficiency. In addition, green construction provides an incentive for the development of the economy and business in the country. The main achievement of innovative technologies is to improve the quality of life of people and the state of the environment.
Currently, Ukrainian designers and builders are faced with a difficult problem – to change the attitude of society towards “green” construction. They must prove to people that it is possible to build houses according to “green” standards with high quality, quickly and at an affordable cost. Ukrainian scientists have already begun to solve an urgent problem. An example of this is the development of technology for the production of wall panels from cheap organic raw materials – straw.
Problems of implementing “green” construction standards in Ukraine
According to world experts, Ukraine noticeably lags behind developed European countries in the introduction of innovative technologies in construction. Currently, only 3 energy efficient building projects can be found in the LEED database. Experts believe that one of the reasons for this lag is the passive work of construction companies, for which the profitability of the project is higher than its environmental friendliness. The second reason for the lag is the weak support of green building ideas by government agencies. It should be said that Ukraine has adopted the Law “On Energy Saving”, according to which “green” construction projects are entitled to preferential lending. The law has been adopted, but so far there has been no active participation of the state in the development and popularization of “green” construction in the country
According to Ukrainian developers, the profitability of conventional construction projects is higher than that of projects for the construction of energy-efficient buildings. Builders are concerned about the payback period of “green” projects. Here it is necessary to take into account the fact that the costs of “green” construction pay off slowly, but the benefits from using energy-efficient technology increase over the life of the property.
The slow development of the green construction market in Ukraine is facilitated by the lack of consensus on the use of energy efficient technologies in construction. Many experts believe that developers should invest in energy efficiency in housing. The introduction of innovative technologies will make it possible to halve tariffs for housing and communal services for the population. The cost of housing in a house with an environmental component is still higher than in an ordinary house. This is the reason for the lack of increased demand. According to other experts, office real estate is the most promising for the implementation of energy-saving technologies, since it is saturated with engineering systems. It should be noted that many international financial institutions are located in buildings that are certified according to the generally recognized “green” standard – BREEAM.
Currently, the demand for green construction projects in Ukraine is not too great. Ukrainian developers are studying the experience of constructing foreign “green” facilities. They are interested in questions about payback periods, profitability levels and operational features. The fifteen-year history of the emergence of environmental standards in construction does not provide complete comprehensive information material about the practical results of their application. In this regard, Ukrainian scientists are working to create the necessary regulatory framework. Today, the Green Construction Council (UaGBC) has been created in Ukraine, the purpose of which is to unite professionals in the field of green construction. The priority of the Council is the introduction of international standards for the construction of “green” houses in Ukraine, making the necessary changes to the country’s legislation in order to actively develop “green” construction.