It is expected that within the next few of decades, Earth will have absolutely nothing left to offer whoever/whatever is capable of surviving on it. Although the human race is solely responsible for the damages done to the planet, a thin silver lining can still be seen if radical changes were to be done to the way we live on Earth and how we sustain it.
Since architects and designers carry a responsibility of building a substantial future, we have put together an A-Z list of every sustainability term that you might come across. Every week, a new set of letters will be published, helping you stay well-rounded on everything related to sustainable architecture and design. Here are the terms that start with letters G, H, and I.
Greenhouse: a ‘semi’-transparent covered structure which regulates the climate for the plants grown inside it.
Geothermal Energy: Geothermal energy is energy generated and stored in Earth, which originates from the initial formation of the planet and decay of its materials.
Geothermal System / Geothermal Heat Pump: Geothermal heat pumps are a highly efficient renewable energy technology, used for space and water heating / cooling. The system relies on transferring heat to or from Earth’s ground, without any intermittency.
Geothermal Wells: A huge amount of renewable and stable energy source, free of CO2 emissions, lies beneath the Earth's crust, which is why researchers are now working on drilling deep into the planet to extract this energy, forming geothermal wells.
Geosphere: The portion of the Earth that shape its surface, such as its interior, rocks and minerals, and land-forms.
Global Warming: One of the most critical universal crises the planet is currently undergoing, global warming is the rise in air temperature in the lower atmosphere due to heat trapped by greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, CFC’s…) due to harmful human activities.
Green Building: A green building is an environmentally responsible and resource-efficient structure throughout its entire life-cycle (design, development, construction, use, renovation, and eventually, demolition).
Green Revolution: The Green Revolution, also referred to as Third Agricultural Revolution, is a set of technology initiatives between 1950 and the late 1960s, that increased agricultural production worldwide, especially in the developing world.
Greenhouse Gas: Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and CFC’s.
Greenlash: Environmental backlash; dramatic changes in the natural and dynamic behavior of ecosystems.
Greenwashing: Greenwashing is the practice of making misleading claims about the environmental benefits of a product or service.
Groundwater: Groundwater is water found beneath the Earth's surface, in soil and in rock formations.
Givoni diagram: The Givoni–Milne Bioclimatic Chart is applied for residential construction projects, and provides sustainable building design systems that enable thermal comfort, such as natural ventilation, evaporative cooling, thermal mass, passive heating…
Greenhouse Effect: The process by which radiation from the planet's atmosphere increases the normal surface temperature.
Hard Waste: Waste items that are too large to dispose through regular household waste systems.
Heat Island Effect: An urban area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas as a response to human activities.
Heat Exchanger: A device used in cooling and heating processes to transfer heat between fluids.
Heat Pump: A device that transfers heat energy from a heat source to a heat sink.
Heat Recovery System: Heat recovery ventilation (HRV), also known as mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR), is an energy recovery ventilation system which functions between two sources with different temperatures. A typical HRV consists of a core unit, channels, and fans.
Heat Recuperation: A recuperator is a counter-flow heat exchanger system used to extract heat from the exhaust and use it to preheat air entering the combustion system.
Heat Sink: A heat sink is a passive heat exchanger that transfers heat generated by an electronic / mechanical device to a fluid medium.
High Efficiency Lighting: One of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills and contribute to saving the environment is using high efficiency lighting systems, which include: LED’s, halogen lamps, and CFL’s.
Household Metabolism: Much like the human metabolism, household metabolism is the analysis of stocks and flows of energy and matter within a household.
Hydraulic Systems: A hydraulic system is a transmission system that uses pressurized hydraulic fluid to power hydraulic machinery.
Hydrocarbons: a compound of hydrogen and carbon, which are the basic components of natural gas and petroleum.
Hydrological Cycle: The water cycle that describes the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth.
Hydronic Floor Heating: Underfloor heating system which uses water or a mix of water and anti-freeze substances to transfer fluid between the floor and the boiler.
Hydrosphere: Simply, the total amount of water found on the planet, including surface water, underground, and in the air.
Human-biometeorology: As a scientific term, biometeorology is the field of science that studies the interactions between the biosphere and the Earth's atmosphere throughout the seasons. Similarly, human-biometeorology is applied to study the interactions between human bodies and the atmosphere.
Humidity: Humidity is the amount of water vapor present in air, often visible through precipitation, dew, or fog.
Incineration: Incineration is a waste treatment system that involves the combustion of organic substances contained in waste materials and converts them into ash, flue gas and heat.
Indoor Air Quality: Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures.
Infiltration: The process of which water found on the ground’s surface enters the soil.
Integrated Product Life-Cycle Management: The management of goods and services throughout their entire life cycle to ensure their sustainability.
Internal Gains: Internal heat gain is the heat emitted within an internal space from any source and results in an increase in the temperature and humidity.
Internal Water Footprint: The amount of water used from domestic water resources.
IPCC (Intergovernmental panel on climate change): The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a body of the United Nations that aims to provide the world with an objective, scientific view of climate change, its impacts and risks, and possible solutions.
Irrigation Index: An efficiency indicator that shows the degree of match between applied and used water.
Irrigation systems: Watering systems that control and regulate the amount of water needed for crops.
ISO 14001: An international standard for companies and factories seeking to certify their environmental management system