ANALYSING BUILDING LIFE CYCLE COST – Why this will inspire you to go green
Governments today are taking many initiatives to promote the awareness on energy savings, the concept of “Green Building” still has to go a long way. Architects, Building contractors, engineers, and builders are still hesitant to touch upon this subject. Why is this so?
While constructing or buying our living space, we are not giving importance to:
Cost of the life cycle of the building
Availability and cost of locally available construction material
Benefits of using recycled material
Building performance analysis, after occupation
Government regulation and benefits
“When I insisted that my electrical contractor explore the possibilities of energy efficient LED lighting system, for my new house at Kancheepuram, he is not ready to accept that LED will save the energy. Further he argues saying that such materials are not easily available, and it is going to cost 2 to 3 times higher than conventional lighting”, says Mr. K B Goplakrishnan of Vadapalani. There is no information on the life cycle cost of the LED light readily available which helps to compare against a conventional bulb.
To run a business establishment, there is capital investment and reoccurring running expenditure like, rent, electricity, staff salary, maintenance, security etc. This running cost keeps on increasing every year, due to escalation on various fronts. There is constant effort to reduce the expense, to maintain our profit. Our Living spaces also have a similar recurring expenditure whose costs also escalate year on year due to various reasons.
The initial investment on designing a energy efficient Green Building, the cost of material and labor is more or less equivalent to (many cases less than), what we pay for constructing a conventional design. An energy efficient design, will significantly save the reoccurring cost on energy consumption, without compromising quality of life of living standard of the occupants.
Still many of us will not be ready to accept this, saving of costs on life cycle. Most common arguments are that, the saving is negligible, when compared to the project size. Recently we have all seen and appreciated the veteran photo-journalist Mr. T.S. Nagarajan’s well documented images on ‘Vanishing Homes of India’ (Published by HECAR foundation) ( Refer an article on this book by The Hindu dated 19th Jan 2014. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/a-story-of-indian-homes-in-bw/article5615143.ece). His pictures speak volumes on energy efficient design, living comfort, style and its beauty. When our ancestors mastered the comfortable living design, without using power, can’t we design on saving the energy, with so much technology support? There are already many building designed and operational in India, which rely a lot less on commercial power. (Such building references are available web sites like LEED(www.usgbc.org; www.igbc.in;), GRIHA (www.grihaindia.org), BEE(www.beeindia.in) etc.
A simple Green building design, will save the electricity consumption by 30%. If you are paying Rs.5000 EB charges in a month, 30% saving for 10 years life cycle will work out, with the calculation of 5% cost escalation every year, we will save Rs.2, 26,400!!
Not only are we are benefitted by cost savings, our living style in natural air and light will benefit our health. Indirectly, we further save on air conditioner and lighting system maintenance charges. On top of this, we will have the self-satisfaction of participating in the national priorities of energy conservation, ecology, and environmental pollution.
Here we discussed only saving on energy consumed, Similarly we can is save on water, material used for construction, waste reduction, cost saving on building maintenance like painting, cleaning, and get many more benefits if you have desire to go Green Building.
Veteran photo-journalist Mr. T.S. Nagarajan’s well documented images on ‘Vanishing Homes of India’