Environmental issues in Bangladesh:  

Bangladesh is the most vulnerable country in respect of environmental pollution, biodiversity, and ecosystem losses. As per EPI ranking (2020), Bangladesh’s score is 29 and positions 162 out of 180 countries. Population growth, industrialization, rapid urbanization is making threats to the environment in all respects. Due to lack of planned solid waste management, unplanned industrial discharge, emission from the vehicle exhaust increasing environmental pollution day by day. Air Quality of the megacity Dhaka is the most polluted by vehicle exhaust, construction waste, Dust, Fume, many industries discharge and brickfields nearby the city. Industries enclosed to Dhaka (Gazipur, Narayangonj, Savar, Dhamrai, Kaliakoir, etc.) discharging both solid and liquid waste to the landfill as well to the adjacent water body. Those pollute Air, Water, and Soil. Many diseases, especially respiratory diseases are caused due to poor air quality. Municipal solid waste is not well managed (collection and disposal), some portion of solid waste is disposing to hemayetpur landfill (beside Dhaka-Aricha highway). Also, municipal wastes are sending to river Buriganga and Shitalokkha. Most of the water organisms (Fish, Turtle, etc.) already have extinct from those water bodies. Due to mass urbanization and industrialization, our natural resources are depleting very quickly. There is a lack of land, some industries are setting up on the prime farmland and reserved forest (For example Gazipur, Vawal Forest). These are a threat to the ecosystem and biodiversity.

The way building is constructed and material used both are responsible for the depletion of natural resources and environmental pollution. Buildings are constructing ignoring the guidance of local rule (BNBC) both structure and material used those are harmful to the natural environment. The building used the most natural energy (fossil fuel) and HVAC system is not efficient. If the building is not built with proper guidelines it may cause illness of the occupants. Considering all Green Building is a holistic approach keeping in mind social, economical, health, and environmental issues. From registration to final certification it uses every step is monitored so that the triple bottom line is ensured. The building is sustainable, uses less water, less energy, and produces less wastage. Green building reduced the negative impact done by the built environment. 

Air pollution in South Asian countries is the highest in the world with fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrograms both outdoor and indoor. This is by far the most leading environmental risk in Bangladesh, causing about 21 percent of all deaths in the country are at risk of lead contamination, which can lead to IQ loss and neurological damage, especially for children, and can increase the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth among pregnant women, the report cited.

Green Building – Perspective Bangladesh 

Bangladesh is a developing country with limited natural resources but a huge population. There is various development work especially urbanization and industrialization is underway. Out of industry, apparels sector is quickly expanding and contribute to GDP is the highest compare to other sectors. Industrialization may cause more environmental damage if necessary measured are not taken before construction and during operations. Before setting up industry, during construction and during operation there need various measures to protect the environment as well need to use sustainable material in the building to reduce environmental risk.  

Due to the pressure of huge population density of unplanned urbanization is rapidly increasing especially in the modern city. Cities are vastly increased both in size and density. Huge numbers of commercial, residential, hospitals, hotels, educational institutes, and other frames are being constructed. Most of the case negative contribution to the earth has been neglected. Like raw materials, waste management, water use, energy use, solid waste management, land use, etc. 

With my study experience of a theoretical study of Environmental Science could understand the environmental risk to the industry especially construction and operation. Till today 150 buildings have been certified under LEED (Leader in energy and environmental design) a standard by USGBC (Unites States Green Building Council). Since we do not have our own standard, hence our government accepts this world standard and 601 buildings are registered to get LEED Certification. Globally there are many standards in different countries like India (GRIHA), UK (BREAM), Australia, Japan (CASBE), and Canada. But LEED is more flexible and easier to implement. This standard is continuously updated by many volunteers worldwide. In recent years (July 2020) greenest factory in Bangladesh has awarded LEED Certificate. Karupannya Rangpur Limited awarded LEED Platinum under the existing building operation and maintenance category. They have earned 84 points out of 100 points benchmark. LEAD Consulting limited was the firm that did this certification consultancy. 

Due to industrialization, urbanization, deforestation world facing a serious challenge to protect the environment as carbon emission, an increase of greenhouse gases and consequence is natural calamities, spreading of diseases, etc. Bangladesh’s economy is booming at pace with the world economy with the big industries like Cement, Flour Mill, Sugar Mill, Petroleum refinery, Gas Field, etc. Likewise, Bangladesh is going to worst affected by the pollution done by those heavy, medium, and small industries. Tannery, Textile dying finishing, Spinning Mills, Wash Unit, Pharmaceuticals, etc are threatening us polluted us day by day. 

Hence when the building owner or government much aware of by implementing a green feature like sustainable development, more precisely green building concept then their mindset would be changed. They would respect the national building code (BNBC), set back rules, EIA, waste management during construction, use sustainable raw materials, maximum daylight, less water, and ensure fresh air for every occupant.