Green Affordable Housing – Essay Example

The paper "Green Affordable Housing" is a good example of an essay on environmental studies. Green affordable housing is a concept that enhances environmental performance and durability of housing projects that are being currently undertaken by the city development authorities. The objective is going beyond affordable housing stock. The focus lies on healthier construction designs which are responsive to the environment and providing the residents with a decent and healthy housing option. The concept has evolved when the statistics revealed numerous negative environmental impacts of building constructions. 35% of the total energy output of the US is directed towards the construction and operation of buildings. As 60% of electricity gets consumed by these buildings, it ends up emitting 35% of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and eliminates 25% of the woods harvested around the world. Around 210 million tons of solid waste that are annually generated and eventually disposed of, comprises of predominantly construction wastes. These render an enormous impact on the eco-system.  The benefits of green affordable housing are attributed towards the means that seek to prevent continual depletion of natural resources, degradation water quality, reducing air pollution and global warming. Investment is directed towards those practices and technologies that bring about improvement in health and durability of the building. Apart from being cost-effective, they require minimum effort in maintenance with an efficient use of available natural resources and spec materials and products that are characterized by minimum environmental impact. In this regard, the due focus is laid on the conservation of water usage. The stormwater runoff is reduced. Steps are taken to enhance energy conservation and efficiency. An important characteristic feature of green affordable housing is a conscious reduction of building footprints, simplifying architectural shapes and maximizing space efficiency. As the building orientation is optimized, natural daylight and ventilation get integrated into the system. All toxic materials and finishes are eliminated. Attention is paid to the support of transport options too. There is ample use of reduced, recycled materials in all possible stages of construction and deconstruction process. Most importantly, operational practices and maintenance procedures are focused on effective reduction and elimination of the usual hazards that affect people during the building process. Maintaining the balance of natural environment is a deep concern in this concept. It is also noted that there is adequate scope for future expansions and building deconstructions as the design is kept highly flexible. All these aspects are taken care of by a professional development team comprising of the architect, contractor, developer, engineer, landscape architect, and project manager. They need to be committed in the application of building principles that are essentially sensitive towards the protection of our environment.