What Makes a Building Green?
A ‘green’ building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts on our climate and natural environment. Green buildings preserve precious natural resources and improve our quality of life. GBC CAM therefore is a call to duty – duty of spreading the gospel of the World Green Building Council.
There are a number of features which can make a building ‘green’. These include:
- Efficient use of energy, water and other resources
- Use of renewable energy, such as solar energy, wind energy, etc
- Pollution and waste reduction measures, and the enabling of re-use and recycling of materials
- Good indoor environmental air quality
- Use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical, degradable and sustainable
- Consideration of the environment in design, construction and operation of buildings
- Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in design, construction and operation
- A design that enables adaptation to a changing environment
Any building can be a green building, whether it’s a home, an office, a school, a hospital, a community center, or any other type of structure, provided it includes the features listed above.
However, it is worth noting that not all green buildings are – and need to be – the same. In the context of Cameroon, where the climate is tropical (rainy seasons and dry seasons only), with a rich and diverse culture, a mix of about 250 indigenous populations (ethnic groups) and just as many cultures, the building typologies are also diverse. These populations are divided into 360 municipalities and 14 urban communities. The Cameroon Green Building Council (GBC CAM), will stand on the four pillars of sustainable development (Ecological responsibility, Social solidarity, Intercultural harmony and Economic efficiency) to ‘GREEN’ these municipalities and urban communities.