Sustainable green building projects set to transform Bahrain construction sector | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Sustainable green building projects set to transform Bahrain construction sector

TDT | Manama                          

The Daily Tribune –

Staff Reporter

The green building and sustainability programme aims to enforce sustainable solutions in the construction sector, according to the Works Ministry. “The implementation of integrated green building principles and sustainability will transform conventional practice in the building industry into an approach that reduces the environmental impact of construction-related activities while introducing meaningful savings to the government,” a study by the Works Ministry, says. 

The programme is being implemented in line with Bahrain Vision 2030 and the Works Ministry’s strategic plan. The major objectives of the programme are integrating “Sustainability and Green Building” principles in the Construction Projects towards Optimal Energy usage throughout the life-cycle of the project, reducing operation and maintenance costs, minimising negative environmental impacts, creating a healthy environment, enhancing occupants productivity and improving overall quality of life.

The study revealed that compared to the average commercial building, green buildings consume 25 per cent less energy and 11pc less water. “The green buildings have 19pc lower maintenance costs and 27pc higher occupant satisfaction. They also have 34pc lower greenhouse gas emissions and consume fewer resources,” the study highlighted. 

Speaking to The Daily Tribune, architect Jithesh K, said the main features of the green building are low maintenance and operation costs, energy efficiency, indoor environment quality, water efficiency and better health.  “Green building initiatives ensure the efficient use of resources such as water and energy. If you see, green buildings largely reduce the levels of power used in lighting systems by exploring the possibilities of daylight.

This helps users in saving power bills, which is a welcome thing.  “Given that operating and maintenance costs can account for as much as 80pc of the lifetime costs of a building, reducing such costs significantly increases the earnings of building owners who collect rent from their buildings. Even though constructing a green building may be slightly more expensive than their non-green counterparts, the reduced operation and maintenance costs of green buildings make them much cheaper in the long term.” He added that energy efficiency is essential not only for the user but also for the entire world because non-renewable energy sources are expensive and pollute the environment.

The architect said green buildings definitely have a positive impact on indoor air quality. “Indoor environment quality depends on conditions inside a building and how they affect the occupants of the building. These conditions include lighting, ergonom - ics, thermal condition s and air quality. Good indoor environment quality protects the health of the building ’s occupants, reduces stress and improves their quality of life.

Green buildings achieve this through the installation of operable windows that allow in as much sunlight as possible and reduce the use of materials that may emit elements that are dangerous to the health.” Many studies have revealed that people who live in green buildings enjoy many health benefits because of the safety of materials used in the construction of such buildings. For instance, eco-friendly construction companies avoid using plastic by-products that have been found to release toxic materials. Toxic substances like carcinogens not only cause significant breathing difficulties but also increase the chances of getting cancer.

The green retrofit initiative implemented by the Works Ministry aims to carry out energy audits in collaboration with the Electricity and Water Affairs Authority for selected existing buildings, old schools, and Ministry of Works buildings apart from commissioning energy performance monitoring mechanisms.