WHAT IS GREEN BUILDING?
THE TERM GREEN BUILDING – Is an umbrella to communicate energy efficiency as well as conformance with minimal general protocols. In the 1800’s a number of solar power plants were built to utilize the sun’s energy for steam power . Crystal Palace in London and Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, for example, built in 1851 and 1877 respectively, used roof ventilators and underground air-cooling chambers to regulate the indoor temperature. In the 1950’s early solar power began , and in the 1970’s energy crisis, photovoltaic solar power (PV) began when Green Building moved from research and development to reality.
The term “Green Architecture” only came into use in the 1990s, but the movement’s roots can be traced back a long way. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_building_in_the_United_States
CERTIFICATION- people are accredited, buildings & projects are certified, products are
GREEN BUILDING MATRIX POINT SYSTEMS & PROTOCOLS– measure & verify features
- LEED http://www.usgbc.org/leed ,
- Green Globes http://www.greenglobes.com/home.asp ,
- 2030 Living Building Challenge http://architecture2030.org/2030_challenges/2030-challenge/ , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Building_Challenge ,
- BREEAM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BREEAM ,
- Passive Haus http://www.phius.org/home-page ,
- Energy Star https://www.energystar.gov/buildings ,
- Best Practices https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2009/12/07/10-best-practices-building-green-teams ,
- Green Seal https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Seal ,
- Low Impact Development : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-impact_development_(U.S._and_Canada)
- World Green Building Council
- Canada Green Building Council
- Sustainable Building Alliance
- Second Nature
- DGNB The German Sustainable BUIlding Council http://www.dgnb-system.de/en/system/certification_system/
- Many USA jurisdictions have their own Proprietary Green Building Point System https://bouldercolorado.gov/plan-develop/green-building-and-green-points-program
- Other global green rating systems http://www.green-rating.com/files/5814/2175/6008/Sustainable_Rating_Tools-JOSRE_v1-11.pdf , https://www.wbdg.org/resources/energycodes.php
GREEN BUILDING CODES-
- Cal Green Code: http://www.bsc.ca.gov/Home/CALGreen.aspx
- International Green Construction Code: http://www.iccsafe.org/international-green-construction-code/
- US Army is dropping LEED & is launching its own building code modeled off of ASHRAE 189.1 in lieu of pursuing LEED certification.
- I attended a workshop called International Green Building Rating Systems at Greenbuild 2017 in Chicago. It was stated that there will never be a one size fits all green code. Local cultures will always need to customize for their use.
THE MOST COMMON USA POINT SYSTEM – LEED green building rating system (Leadership In Energy & Environmental Design) was initially unveiled in 1990, and founded in 1993, to promote sustainability in buildings design, construction, and operation, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Green_Building_Council .
COLLECTIVE GREEN BUILDING RATING SYSTEMS ARE ORGANIZED INTO GENERAL CATEGORIES-
- ENERGY EFFICIENCY TACTICS can include active (High Tech) and passive (Low Tech) , include renewable energy, conservation, efficient appliances/ fixtures/equipment, embodied energy of manufacture of materials, embodied energy in transportation of materials to site, efficient operation & maintenance, passive systems such as solar orientation of glazing/ thermal mass that stores heat/ ventilation/ shading devices/ natural day lighting which reduces electricity & need for cooling // air conditioning via either evaporative cooling/ pre-chilling with night air/ cold water hydronic slab cooling. Efficient insulated building envelopes avoid temperature swings that require heating & cooling for comfort.
- WATER EFFICIENCY efficient appliances/equipment/ fixtures, collection, re-use for irrigation. Watershed & aquifer stewardship are sometimes put in the Site category.
- BUILDING MATERIALS EFFICIENCY – generally covers embodied energy & natural resources in manufacturing and transportation to site. Materials are subcategorized into structural products that don’t use trees, made from renewable materials, made from salvage & recycled/reclaimed materials, or re-purposed objects & waste. Includes all kinds of materials from pre-fab, modular, site harvested, stick -built, hybrid, repurposed structural skeletons, natural building, & industrial materials.
- NON-TOXIC/LOW TOXIC, MINIMAL OUTGASSING OF CHEMICALS for indoor air quality, worker safety, safety in manufacturing. The hidden side of this is externalized costs & consequences. That means if the manufacture of a product creates a toxic bi product or waste that the company doesn’t want to spend money to dispose of with integrity, then they just dump it into the environment somewhere on planet earth where it then trickles into the air, water & land, eventually harming habitat , health of all beings, and polluting A.K.A. INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY– concerns non-toxic materials and Low Volatile Organic compounds (VOC’s) so that the air we breath is healthy. All indoor interior built-in finish materials, furniture, upholstery, and window coverings can outgas into the interior conditioned air. Non -toxic cleaning materials should be used as well as storage of any toxic materials on the site ,not in interior closets but rather storage areas that only have doors direct to the exterior. One can voluntarily take one step further (LEED doesn’t offer points on this), and avoid toxic materials on all of the structural shell & site construction so that the construction workers don’t get ill from handling toxic materials-
- SUSTAINABLE SITES DESIGN– Is for Siting and structure design efficiency, involves the place inhabited. A Company identifies an ecological niche, or role in it’s SITES http://www.vsbn.org/docs/20090227_06_GreenBusiness_BestPractices.pdf
- Primary sites – LEED only concerns Primary sites (the place that a company inhabits through its facilities)
- Secondary sites – involve the site where materials were extracted from mother earth .
- Tertiary sites – places affected by a building or business’s activities
- INNOVATION– Points are given for new inventions/systems/strategies . This stimulates research & development. Blue Architecture falls in the innovation camp. Because LEED only offers minimal points for water efficiency. See my blog articles on Blue Architecture .
- OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE OPTIMIZATION: The commercial & industrial building industries call this facilities maintenance which previously wasn’t accounted for in the residential market. Now it’s standard for all kinds of buildings. This new label instigated “commissioning” of buildings to insure that they perform as design, contractors can’t make less efficient substitutions during construction, and the occupant turn-over gets trained on how a building was designed to operate most efficiently. (It’s kind of like a vehicle operating manual only specific to a unique building).
- LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT AND COST ACCOUNTING: Inspires the design team of architects, engineers, consultants, & the contractor to design & build a building that will use the water, power, & resources for the most comfort & efficiency to the occupants. When green building conserves resources that translates into bottom line of water, power, & operation costs. That means profit. That saves money. It makes business sense.
- WASTE REDUCTION: This inspires the builders to order products with the least packaging , and to recycle packaging & waste during the construction process
- SMART BUILDING: The dot com tech industries have invented a myriad of smart sensors & on off switches & protocols,such as occupancy & photo sensors to turn power use off, all interconnected with a computer that can be custom programmed to conserve water, power, heat, cooling, irrigation, security, media, lighting, ventilation. (Watch for my article/blog on smart building)
- NET ZERO when the 2030 Living Building Challenge began They promoted both Net Zero Energy & Net Zero Water protocols. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Building_Challenge , http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/secure/documents/pdf/aiap031971.pdf . They are now focusing on Net Zero Energy (NZE) http://architecture2030.org/2030_challenges/2030-challenge/ .,http://living-future.org/netzero ,
- RESTORATIVE: is more efficient than Net Zero in that it enhances a site. You’ve heard that quote about leave a situation better than you found it? This is that concept. Brownfield Sites are basically toxic dump sites that were defiled by prior human enterprise. For Brownfield restoration see: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields
- GLOBAL GREEN BUILDING RATING SYSTEMS EXCEED USA’S LEED– They Have Mandatory Point Systems For: Holistic, Transparent, Sociocultural, Community Enhancing & Community Participation, Global & Local Environmental Impact, Local Food Production, Resistance To Emergencies And Disaster, Public Art, etc
REASONS TO GO THRU THE POINT SYSTEM TO OFFICIALLY VERIFY A BUILDING IS GREEN-
- California adopted a mandatory green building code http://www.bsc.ca.gov/Home/CALGreen.aspx .
- Around the USA in some cities a minimum level of green is required for buildings over a given size.
- GSA http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/25999 has minimum requirements for green buildings.
- Schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, and prison institutions are adopting green mandates.
- Property owners elect green building because they want to leave a legacy for planet stewardship.
- Buildings are responsible for roughly 1/3 of global warming : http://www.thegbi.org/about-gbi/press-room/article/un-climate-change-report-strengthens-case-for-green-building , http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/green-buildings-may-be-cheapest-way-to-slow-global-warming/ .
- Green buildings are well built, and last longer, so institutional building owners who keep their building investments long term are going green.
- Rebates and Incentives are offered to green buildings.
- Commerce entities give a message to their constituency, consumers, and stakeholders via green facilities that their products and services are green.