Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) ensures access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. It recognizes the pivotal role of power in eradicating poverty, advancing economic growth, and promoting sustainable development. SDG 7 targets are focused on enhancing energy efficiency, increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, and providing access to clean and reliable energy sources, especially in developing countries. Access to electricity and clean cooking solutions is crucial for improving living conditions, healthcare, education, and economic opportunities in communities worldwide. By achieving SDG 7, the world can make significant progress in combating climate change, reducing air pollution, and promoting inclusive and sustainable development, ensuring that no one is left behind in the transition to a cleaner and greener energy future.
How Can We Achieve SDG 7 In 2023?
Sustainable architecture, i.e., designing “Green Buildings” that do not harm nature and communities, should be actively considered. Focus on three critical features:
- Materials. Use eco-friendly materials and construction methods to minimize the environmental impact.
- Operation. Make sure the building is used sustainably throughout its life and consider how it will be disposed of when no longer in use.
- Energy efficiency. Construct the building to use energy and resources wisely and effectively for a long time.
Sustainable architecture, also known as green architecture or green design, focuses on creating buildings that positively impact people and the environment. These buildings are designed, constructed, and operated in ways that protect nature and use resources wisely.
Green buildings have special features, such as:
- Efficient use of energy, water, and resources like energy-efficient lighting, water-saving plumbing fixtures, and ventilation systems designed for efficient heating and cooling.
- Use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
- Reduced waste and pollution, and promote reusing and recycling.
- Improved indoor environmental air quality.
- Use of non-toxic, non-synthetic, responsibly harvested, recycled, ethical, and sustainable building materials.
- Consideration of the environment in design, construction, and operation, e.g., efficient use of space, causing minimal or no harm to the natural environment.
- Consideration of occupants’ quality of life in design, construction, and operation.
- Design that allows adapting to changing environments.
While not all green buildings have every desired feature, incorporating features such as solar power and rainwater harvesting can bring many benefits. They help fight climate change, encourage sustainability, and contribute to the growth of vibrant and thriving communities.
How Do Green Buildings Contribute Towards Fulfilling The SDG 7
Sustainable architecture helps fulfill SDG 7 by positively impacting the environment, economy, and society. Here’s how:
- Conserving and restoring natural resources.
- Reduced energy consumption and waste.
- Reduced dependence on traditional energy sources.
- Improved performance and productivity.
- Reduced demands on local utility infrastructure.
Architects worldwide are now more focused on creating sustainable buildings that have less impact on nature. These buildings use energy and resources more efficiently, consume fewer nonrenewable resources, and even improve the natural environment. By designing and constructing buildings this way, we help protect our planet and create a better future for everyone.
S M Sehgal Foundation
The top sustainable rural development NGO in India, S M Sehgal Foundation’s eco-friendly building in Gurugram, Haryana, is a step toward a more sustainable future and shows how simple yet intelligent choices can make a big difference. The structure follows the Platinum Standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council and the Indian Green Building Council.
The founders, Dr. Suri Sehgal and Mrs. Edda Sehgal, wanted the building to align with their mission of promoting sustainable rural development and caring for the environment and people’s health. They incorporated many “green” features in the building like solar panels on the roof to generate electricity, solar water heaters, and a large tank to collect rainwater. The water is recycled and used to recharge groundwater to avoid wasting it.
The building design uses natural light and ventilation, reducing the need for artificial lighting and air conditioning. The building was constructed using eco-friendly materials, such as recycled wood and bamboo.
Contrary to the belief that green buildings are expensive, S M Sehgal Foundation’s building demonstrates that electricity costs can be significantly reduced with smart designs.