As focus these days has shifted on reducing pollution and wastes to make the environment more livable, many builders and individuals are opting to construct green buildings. These buildings are energy-efficient, utilize water and building materials efficiently and help in keeping the environment clean. Although, there are many advantages of green buildings, yet, they are not without their drawbacks. Scroll down to know the disadvantages of green buildings...
High Initial Costs and Unavailability of Materials
One of the biggest drawbacks of green buildings is that you would need to shell out a lot more money initially, than you would for a regular building. Although, your overall costs may come down, once you start saving money due to lesser energy consumption, yet, early on, you would need to pay more. The main reason behind this is that the eco-friendly materials which are used in such buildings are not available in many parts of America. So when these materials are imported from other places, they cost much higher, thus adding on to the initial cost of the green building. This brings us to another disadvantage of green buildings i.e. unavailability of eco-friendly materials. Although, this is not an issue in big cities, yet, people in smaller towns and faraway places will find it extremely difficult to get these materials.
Indoor Air Pollution
Everyone knows that green buildings do not pollute the environment and are much more energy-efficient than the traditional buildings. However, there is one area which most green buildings ignore and that is the poor indoor air quality that is often seen in such buildings. Green buildings are so covered and sealed, that they lead to indoor pollution. This can prove to be detrimental to the health of the inhabitants of such buildings. The indoor air quality may further suffer if the builder uses a recycled product which contains some harmful chemicals that emit toxins in the indoor air. In case the builder replaces the bulbs in the green building with fluorescent lights, the same are capable of emitting radiation, which can cause many health problems in people.
Architectural, Technical and Legal Issues
Certain green buildings have to be constructed in such a way that to optimally utilize sunlight, they need to be structurally positioned in the opposite direction to the other neighborhood buildings. This can lead to two problems. Firstly, such a house would require more blinds and shades than a traditional house, to stop the sun's rays from entering the house. Secondly, such a house might cause problems between the home owner and his neighbors. Another technical drawback of a green building is that the inhabitants cannot increase or decrease the inside temperature, as air cooling components like natural ventilation cannot be controlled. As for the legal issues, certain places in America have specific laws, which all builders have to follow when constructing a building. Sometimes, eco-friendly buildings use some materials or technology, which are against these laws, thus making green buildings a strict no at such places.
Problems in Getting Loan
One of the major cons of green buildings is that if you are taking a loan to buy them, the lender might not be so forthcoming, as eco-friendly buildings are still a rarity, so not many lenders would be interested in giving a loan for a non-traditional building. Since getting a loan can be dicey, as far as green buildings are concerned, for buyers it is a major issue and thus, they might consider opting for a regular building instead! For people who are planning to get a green home constructed, since they are still not so common, finding a qualified construction company who would do a fool-proof job, might pose a big problem.
Delay in Construction
In some cases, green buildings might take a lot more time in getting ready, thus, putting the builders or home owners in a spot, who want the building to be ready in a specific time frame. For instance, if the materials used in its construction are ordered on the Internet and are being shipped from some faraway place, it can take days for them to reach the site. Or, in case recycled materials are being used in its construction, the builder might have to stop work on the project, if the same are not available immediately.
As you can see, there are many limitations as far as green buildings are concerned. However, many of these, particularly high initial costs and unavailability of materials, will be countered in the near future, as such buildings become more and more popular. In the end, it is advised that professionals who have a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification are consulted, when constructing green buildings, so that all the legal issues concerning them can be taken care of.