Green Building, Build Environment
during COVID 19 Pandemic Time

Green Building, Build Environment
during COVID 19 Pandemic Time

Ar. Sreelakshmi Haridas
Research Fellow, IISD
Head, IISD Green Building and Architecture Division

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge change on the World’s economy and every other sector including the building construction and major other operations. The pandemic will alter sustainability strategies for buildings. After COVID-19, climate change will remain a threat. But adaptations to the new normal with the 3 P’s – “People, Planet and Profit” in mind is the key. Imagine the changes this lockdown brought upon the normal living and lifestyle of the people. Whether it is a lockdown or any other normal day, human beings spend 90% of their lives indoors. Now the need of the hour is to treat indoor spaces in an effective way.

Prevention and control are key elements when facing major public health emergencies. Community and building waste prevention and control measures have become one of the most important methods of fighting against the epidemic. The necessity of self-isolation, community management, elevator disinfection, environmental cleaning, open windows for natural ventilation and sunlight, healthy buildings are more important than ever. Combined indoor and outdoor spaces can promote occupant happiness and productivity. Though it could be challenging to get people back to workplace after the convenience of working from home, where they casual, the new concerns will be safety and sanitizing, inspection of HVAC systems and a healthy return to workplace. Now, it becomes even more important to take a thoughtful approach to well-being concerns.

Most efficient green buildings will have 3 pillars that are beneficial to the society. Reducing carbon emissions, improving air and water quality, and reducing solid waste. They are clearly beneficial to the planet, people and other species inhabiting the planet earth. The predicted global shock would be even more financially catastrophic than corona virus. The balance is crucial, and technology is getting better. Efficiency measures improve profit by reducing cost. Just months ago, it would have been impossible to close polluting factories and slam emissions. The fact is that COVID-19 fast forwarded us into an unlikely future – one with bold impossible climate action taken, no matter the cost. The result we see is clear skies, silent streets, regenerating forests that come about in a shocking speed. Now the thought of natural regeneration and wildlife abundance that changes the mother earth is evident.

DELHI AQI - 70% Reduction from previous years value

AHMEDABAD AQI - 37% Reduction from previous years value

KANPUR AQI - 60% Reduction from previous years value

TALCHER AQI - 52% Reduction from previous years value

VISAKHAPATNAM AQI - 42% Reduction from previous years value

We should include passive strategies in our design approach to make best use of sunlight and cross ventilation in buildings. A naturally lit and ventilated space keeps its occupants healthy and productive.

Considering the Present Day COVID 19 Challenges, in Our Residential and Commercial or Office Building, Various Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Analysers, which are basically aesthetically well designed, compact, lightweight and they are plug and play devices, having IOT based real time monitoring system; available now in the market by different reputed national / international Brands, Which ensures the followings

- Best Thermal Comfort, Designed for all IAQ Parameters
- Monitoring of Temperature and Relative Humidity along with Indoor Air Pollutants such as Carbon Dioxide, Volatile Organic Compounds, formaldehyde, Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) / PM of Size 2.5 and PM 10
- Facilitation for Sample Collection and Reporting of Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3) and Total Microbial Count (TMC) as per Healthy Building Standards, Prescribed by IGBC and Others
- Facilitating Demand based Ventilation and hence, resulting in Energy Savings
- Facilitation for complete Analysis and Recommendation to maintain World class Indoor Air Quality
- Facilitation for Report Generation with Daily, Weekly and Yearly Trend Analysis.

The Author is a Research Fellow and Head, Green Building and Architecture Division at Indian Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD), New Delhi.

Encourage the use of stairs over lifts. This will not just help us keep healthy but also help us to avoid crowded closed environment in lifts.

Instead of a fingerprint biometric system, we should start using smart touchless systems like face recognition systems.

Motion sensors will help in controlling lighting requirements. This not only helps in task lighting, but also saves energy.

Instead of using a normal handwash bottle, its always advised to use automated hand sanitizer/ liquid soap dispenser or foot operated hand sanitizer/ liquid soap dispenser.