It is safe to say that the we have now entered the era of the Indoor Generation. Technology has abetted this transition- in this world of convenience and tech-connectedness made available via online shopping, food delivery apps, 24-7 online entertainment and social media-our entire days can be spent enclosed indoors.
We spend almost 90% of our life indoor either at home or at the office- a marked difference from generations before. We move from house to the car or train to the office and back home again-a daily routine for most of us. We forget, like plants, we too need the core essentials of life- sunlight, fresh air and the connection with nature.
At home, we replace natural lighting with the artificial lighting. We close every window and door, to keep our indoors ‘clean’ and to keep air-conditioned air in. Did you know that poorly ventilated indoor spaces can be 5 times more polluted than outdoor air?
What are the sources of pollution in indoor spaces? You may be surprised by the long list. It comes from excessive CO2 build-up, particulate matter and fumes from indoor cooking, pet hairs, moisture from bath, showers and washing machines. Nowadays, a lot of Malaysians who live in the high-rise apartments or due to long work hours dry their clothes indoors. This raises the humidity levels in the enclosed indoors spaces, up to 30%, from the damp clothing. High humidity levels in enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces are an ideal condition for the development of mould spores.
In an insightful study carried out by VELUX backed by date from YouGov, sees startling facts and figures relating time spent indoors and human health and happiness. Some of the findings are as follows:
Sick building syndrome is also very much related to poor ventilation- where air does not circulate efficiently resulting in indoor pollutants lingering in the air and causing acute symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, eye, nose or throat irritation, dry cough, dry or itching skin, difficulty in concentration, fatigue, sensitivity to odours, hoarseness of voice, allergies, cold, flu-like symptoms, increased incidence of asthma attacks and personality changes.
It is inevitable that a large portion of our days will be spent indoors-the question is, how do we avoid or mitigate these impacts?
Geotechnical Engineering For Greener, Safer And Cost Effective Ground Solutions In Land Development-GREET 01
GreenRE organised their first GreenRE Evening Talks (GREET) on 15 May 2018 at Wisma Rehda. The talk, 'Geotechnical Engineering for Greener, Safer & Cost Effective Ground Solutions in Land Development', was presented by Mr Narendranathan Nagamuttu, the Managing Director of Infra Tech Group. Crowd turn out was fair, given the interesting topic being discussed that evening. Over 20 attendees including GreenRE and ESD Greentech staff filled the lecture hall.
Ground. Something simple. Something that we all stand on and build on, keeps us stable. However, little do we know the amount of work and solutions that goes into making that possible. Despite common beliefs, ground isn’t just sand, dirt and rocks. To a geologist or civil engineer in construction, ground is complex base and it can be unpredictable.
The first question that arise from deciding to build a building at a location is; how is the ground? An unexpectedly simple question, however, the answer is anything but. There are apparently many types of ground conditions which are unsuitable for construction or in some cases requires extensive work.
The conventional way? Avoid bad soil and bore as many holes to find the so called “good” ground. This method is as expensive as it is old and outdated. There is unnecessary wastage of resources by using the conventional method. Fortunately, there is a better and more sustainable way of going about it.
It is possible to scan the ground much like an ultrasound or an MRI to identify what’s beneath the surface. According to the presenter, an experienced team would be able to determine the various composition of soils, material, hollow spaces and water under the surface by just performing scans. The requirement to needlessly bore vast amounts of holes can be negated. A point made very clearly by the presenter emphasizing the massive cost savings from the reduction in boring.
Another interesting thing to be mentioned was that R&D in the “ground and earth” sector is nearly non-existent. Which is why the breakthrough and improvements made in compressing the ground is said to be the “moon landing” of this industry. With these improvements, soil compression and strengthening which is normally done 1 foot at a time can now be done several feet at a go. This not only saves time but also the diesel used in those machineries. Hence, making it much more environmentally sustainable.
If we are building a Green Building, why not start from the “Ground” up.
GreenRE has been rated as one of the best green building rating tools in Malaysia based on comprehensiveness and effectiveness.
CIDB has conducted an evaluation of green building rating tools available in Malaysia on the 26th of May 2017. The study evaluated the rating tools based on the following sustainability themes:
The report is attached as below: