How can green buildings contribute in the fight against COVID-19?

We are presently living in a time when the future looks doubtful. With coronavirus growing across the world and no cure in sight as of now, we no longer know what the future has in store for humanity. Public gatherings have been halted, schools and universities are closed, businesses are closed, the global economy is in shambles, countries are tapping emergency public funds, and we, humans, are shut in our homes.

These are certainly unusual times. This pandemic has affected the way we live and work. It has got people talking about the way we have designed our homes and office buildings and how in some places, this is helping the spread of the virus further.

These include self-isolation, community management, elevator disinfection, environmental cleaning, open windows for natural ventilation, etc.

In simple terms, a ‘green’ building is a building that minimizes or eliminates adverse aspects and can create positive results on our natural environment through its design, construction, and operation. Almost all green buildings are sustainable, preserve precious natural resources, and improve our quality of life.

How can green buildings help in the fight against COVID-19? The following points demonstrate how green buildings can help people in the prevention and control of COVID-19:

Increased Ventilation

In most of our buildings, air is recirculated which increases the chances of the virus getting trapped in the air vents of air conditioning systems. Therefore, ventilating a building with outdoor air is vital to dilute airborne contaminants and decrease disease transmission rates. All green buildings are well ventilated, which helps a lot in preventing the spread of the virus.

Boost the health and immunity of its inhabitants

In this time of crisis, people are stressed and fearful. We need nature now more than ever. Green buildings often rely on the benefits of plants to create a healthy environment. According to research, offices experience a 15% increase in productivity when plants are included in office space. Employees with plant views have fewer headaches and complete concentration tests 19% faster than those without plants.

Provide convenience and facilities for epidemic prevention and control

Providing convenience and facilities for epidemic prevention and control is the basic guarantee for the orderly progress in epidemic prevention and control.

In most of our buildings, air is recirculated which increases the chances of the virus getting trapped in the air vents of air conditioning systems. Therefore, ventilating a building with outdoor air is vital to dilute airborne contaminants and decrease disease transmission rates. All green buildings are well ventilated, which helps a lot in preventing the spread of the virus.

Reduce the risk of infection

In addition to providing the basic functions and convenient conditions for epidemic prevention and control, a green building itself should also “isolate” the virus as much as possible to reduce the risk of infection. 

Green buildings can do this by controlling the collusion of air and pollutants; controlling the exhaust backflow of kitchens and bathrooms; setting up effective water seals to reduce the risk of virus transmission through drainage pipes and stools; controlling the concentration of indoor particulate matter; optimizing the building space and plane layout to enhance the effectiveness of natural ventilation; controlling air conditioning system by zones, and well-designed site wind environment for dissipation of viruses and harmful gases.

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