Green building

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US EPA Kansas City Science & Technology Center. This facility features the following green attributes:
*LEED 2.0 Gold certified
*Green Power
*Native Landscaping

A sustainable building, or green building is an outcome of a design which focuses on increasing the efficiency of resource use — energy, water, and materials — while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment during the building's lifecycle, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal.[1]

Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:

  • Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources
  • Protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity
  • Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation[2]

A similar concept is natural building, which is usually on a smaller scale and tends to focus on the use of natural materials that are available locally.[3] Other commonly used terms include sustainable design and green architecture.

The related concepts of sustainable development and sustainability are integral to green building. Effective green building can lead to 1) reduced operating costs by increasing productivity and using less energy and water, 2) improved public and occupant health due to improved indoor air quality, and 3) reduced environmental impacts by, for example, lessening storm water runoff and the heat island effect. Practitioners of green building often seek to achieve not only ecological but aesthetic harmony between a structure and its surrounding natural and built environment, although the appearance and style of sustainable buildings is not necessarily distinguishable from their less sustainable counterparts.


[edit] Reducing environmental impact

Green building practices aim to reduce the environmental impact of buildings. Buildings account for a large amount of land use, energy and water consumption, and air and atmosphere alteration. In the United States, more than 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) of open space, wildlife SUPS habitat, and wetlands are developed each year.[1]

As of 2006, buildings used 40 percent of the total energy consumed in both the US and European Union.[4][5] In the US, 54 percent of that percentage was consumed by residential buildings and 46 percent by commercial buildings.[6] In 2002, buildings used approximately 68 percent of the total electricity consumed in the United States with 51 percent for residential use and 49 percent for commercial use. 38 percent of the total amount of carbon dioxide in the United States can be attributed to buildings, 21 percent from homes and 17.5 percent from commercial uses. Buildings account for 12.2 percent of the total amount of water consumed per day in the United States.[citation needed]

Considering these statistics, reducing the amount of natural resources buildings consume and the amount of pollution given off is seen as crucial for future sustainability, according to EPA.[7]

The environmental impact of buildings is often underestimated, while the perceived costs of green buildings are overestimated. A recent survey by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development finds that green costs are overestimated by 300 percent, as key players in real estate and construction estimate the additional cost at 17 percent above conventional construction, more than triple the true average cost difference of about 5 percent.[8]

[edit] Practices

Green building brings together a vast array of practices and techniques to reduce and ultimately eliminate the impacts of buildings on the environment and human health. It often emphasizes taking advantage of renewable resources, e.g., using sunlight through passive solar, active solar, and photovoltaic techniques and using plants and trees through green roofs, rain gardens, and for reduction of rainwater run-off. Many other techniques, such as using packed gravel for parking lots instead of concrete or asphalt to enhance replenishment of ground water, are used as well. Effective green buildings are more than just a random collection of environmental friendly technologies, however.[9] They require careful, systemic attention to the full life cycle impacts of the resources embodied in the building and to the resource consumption and pollution emissions over the building's complete life cycle.

On the aesthetic side of green architecture or sustainable design is the philosophy of designing a building that is in harmony with the natural features and resources surrounding the site. There are several key steps in designing sustainable buildings: specify 'green' building materials from local sources, reduce loads, optimize systems, and generate on-site renewable energy.

[edit] Materials

Building materials typically considered to be 'green' include rapidly renewable plant materials like bamboo (because bamboo grows quickly) and straw, lumber from forests certified to be sustainably managed, ecology blocks, dimension stone, recycled stone, recycled metal, and other products that are non-toxic, reusable, renewable, and/or recyclable (e.g. Trass, Linoleum, sheep wool, panels made from paper flakes, compressed earth block, adobe, baked earth, rammed earth, clay, vermiculite, flax linen, sisal, seagrass, cork, expanded clay grains, coconut, wood fibre plates, calcium sand stone, high and ultra high performance concrete, etc.[10][11]) The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) also suggests using recycled industrial goods, such as coal combustion products, foundry sand, and demolition debris in construction projects [12] Polyurethane heavily reduces carbon emmissions as well. Polyurthane blocks are being used instead of CMTs by companies like American Insulock. Polyurethane blocks provide more speed, less cost, and they are environmentally friendly. [13] Building materials should be extracted and manufactured locally to the building site to minimize the energy embedded in their transportation.

[edit] Reduced energy use

Green buildings often include measures to reduce energy use. To increase the efficiency of the building envelope, (the barrier between conditioned and unconditioned space), they may use high-efficiency windows and insulation in walls, ceilings, and floors. Another strategy, passive solar building design, is often implemented in low-energy homes. Designers orient windows and walls and place awnings, porches, and trees[14] to shade windows and roofs during the summer while maximizing solar gain in the winter. In addition, effective window placement (daylighting) can provide more natural light and lessen the need for electric lighting during the day. Solar water heating further reduces energy loads.

Finally, onsite generation of renewable energy through solar power, wind power, hydro power, or biomass can significantly reduce the environmental impact of the building. Power generation is generally the most expensive feature to add to a building.

[edit] Reduced waste

Green architecture also seeks to reduce waste of energy, water and materials used during construction. For example, in California nearly 60% of the state's waste comes from commercial buildings[15] During the construction phase, one goal should be to reduce the amount of material going to landfills. Well-designed buildings also help reduce the amount of waste generated by the occupants as well, by providing on-site solutions such as compost bins to reduce matter going to landfills.

To reduce the impact on wells or water treatment plants, several options exist. "Greywater", wastewater from sources such as dishwashing or washing machines, can be used for subsurface irrigation, or if treated, for non-potable purposes, e.g., to flush toilets and wash cars. Rainwater collectors are used for similar purposes.

Centralized wastewater treatment systems can be costly and use a lot of energy. An alternative to this process is converting waste and wastewater into fertilizer, which avoids these costs and shows other benefits. By collecting human waste at the source and running it to a semi-centralized biogas plant with other biological waste, liquid fertilizer can be produced. This concept was demonstrated by a settlement in Lubeck Germany in the late 1990s. Practices like these provide soil with organic nutrients and create carbon sinks that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, offsetting greenhouse gas emission. Producing artificial fertilizer is also more costly in energy than this process.[16]

[edit] Regulation and operation

[edit] Rating system worldwide

Many countries have developed their own standards of energy efficiency for buildings. Above some examples of building environmental assessment tools currently in use:

  • Flag of Australia Australia: Nabers[6] / Green Star[7]
  • Flag of Brazil Brazil: AQUA [8] / LEED Brasil [9]
  • Flag of Canada Canada: LEED Canada [10]/ Green Globes[11]
  • Flag of the People's Republic of China China: GBAS
  • Flag of Finland Finland: PromisE[12]
  • Flag of Hong Kong Hong Kong: HKBEEM[15]
  • Flag of India India: GRIHANational Rating System developed by TERI /LEED India
  • Flag of Italy Italy: Protocollo Itaca[16]
  • Flag of Mexico Mexico: LEED Mexico[17]
  • Flag of the Netherlands Netherlands: BREEAM Netherlands[18]
  • Flag of New Zealand New Zealand: Green Star NZ[19]
  • Flag of Portugal Portugal: Lider A [20]
  • Flag of Singapore Singapore: Green Mark[21]
  • Flag of South Africa South Africa: Green Star SA[22]
  • Flag of Spain Spain: VERDE
  • Flag of the United States United States: LEED /Living Building Challenge[23] / Green Globes[24]Build it Green
  • Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom: BREEAM[25]

[edit] International frameworks and assessment tools

IPCC Fourth Assessment Report[26]

Climate Change 2007, the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is the fourth in a series of such reports. The IPCC was established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to assess scientific, technical and socio-economic information concerning climate change, its potential effects and options for adaptation and mitigation.

UNEP and Climate change [27]

UNEP works to facilitate the transition to low-carbon societies, support climate proofing efforts, improve understanding of climate change science, and raise public awareness about this global challenge.

GHG Indicator[28]

The GHG Indicator: UNEP Guidelines for Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Businesses and Non-Commercial Organizations

Agenda 21[29]

Agenda 21 is a programme run by the United Nations (UN) related to sustainable development. It is a comprehensive blueprint of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the UN, governments, and major groups in every area in which humans impact on the environment. The number 21 refers to the 21st century.


FIDIC’s Project Sustainability Management Guidelines were created in order to assist project engineers and other stakeholders in setting sustainable development goals for their projects that are recognized and accepted by as being in the interests of society as a whole. The process is also intended to allow the alignment of project goals with local conditions and priorities and to assist those involved in managing projects to measure and verify their progress.

The PSM Guidelines are structured with Themes and Sub-Themes under the three main sustainability headings of Social, Environmental and Economic. For each individual Sub-Theme a core project indicator is defined along with guidance as to the relevance of that issue in the context of an individual project.

The Sustainability Reporting Framework provides guidance for organizations to use as the basis for disclosure about their sustainability performance, and also provides stakeholders a universally- applicable, comparable framework in which to understand disclosed information.

The Reporting Framework contains the core product of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, as well as Protocols and Sector Supplements. The Guidelines are used as the basis for all reporting. They are the foundation upon which all other reporting guidance is based, and outline core content for reporting that is broadly relevant to all organizations regardless of size, sector, or location. The Guidelines contain principles and guidance as well as standard disclosures – including indicators – to outline a disclosure framework that organizations can voluntarily, flexibly, and incrementally, adopt.

Protocols underpin each indicator in the Guidelines and include definitions for key terms in the indicator, compilation methodologies, intended scope of the indicator, and other technical references.

Sector Supplements respond to the limits of a one-size-fits-all approach. Sector Supplements complement the use of the core Guidelines by capturing the unique set of sustainability issues faced by different sectors such as mining, automotive, banking, public agencies and others.

IPD Environment Code

The IPD Environment Code was launched in February 2008. The Code is intended as a good practice global standard for measuring the environmental performance of corporate buildings. Its aim is to accurately measure and manage the environmental impacts of corporate buildings and enable property executives to generate high quality, comparable performance information about their buildings anywhere in the world. The Code covers a wide range of building types (from offices to airports) and aims to inform and support the following;

  • Creating an environmental strategy
  • Inputting to real estate strategy
  • Communicating a commitment to environmental improvement
  • Creating performance targets
  • Environmental improvement plans
  • Performance assessment and measurement
  • Life cycle assessments
  • Acquisition and disposal of buildings
  • Supplier management
  • Information systems and data population
  • Compliance with regulations
  • Team and personal objectives

IPD estimate that it will take approximately three years to gather significant data to develop a robust set of baseline data that could be used across a typical corporate estate.

ISO 21931

ISO/TS 21931:2006, Sustainability in building construction -- Framework for methods of assessment for environmental performance of construction works -- Part 1: Buildings, is intended to provide a general framework for improving the quality and comparability of methods for assessing the environmental performance of buildings. It identifies and describes issues to be taken into account when using methods for the assessment of environmental performance for new or existing building properties in the design, construction, operation, refurbishment and deconstruction stages. It is not an assessment system in itself but is intended be used in conjunction with, and following the principles set out in, the ISO 14000 series of standards.

[edit] Examples in some countries

It is impossible to list in an exhaustive manner the existing plethora of public, private (or both) initiatives at national and international level. An existing instrument design by the OECD/IEA and UNEP gives to the public an accurate vision of the policies implemented in various countries.

A general conclusion when browsing the literature is that there is a tangible increase in the number of policies and instruments either in the process of design or currently in force.

[edit] Australia

The Green Building Council of Australia(GBCA) has developed a green building standard known as Green Star, with the first Green Star rating in Australia awarded to 8 Brindabella Circuit at Canberra Airport in 2004.[17][18]

The Green Star environmental rating tools for buildings benchmark the potential of buildings based on nine environmental impact categories: Management; Indoor Environment Quality; Energy; Transport; Water; Materials; Land Use & Ecology; Emissions and Innovation.

NABERS or the National Australian Built Environment Rating System, is a government initiative to measure and compare the environmental performance of Australian buildings. The NABERS ratings for office buildings include: Energy; Water; Waste and Indoor environment.

A rating for transport is also in development. Together, these ratings can provide a comprehensive picture of the sustainability performance of office buildings and tenancies. Ratings are also available for homes and hotels. Retail and hospital ratings will be launched later this year.

In Adelaide, South Australia, there are at least three different projects that incorporate the principles of green building. The Eco-City development is located in Adelaide's city centre, the Aldinga Arts Eco Village is located in Aldinga and Lochiel Park is located at Campbelltown. Guidelines for building developments in each project are outlined in the bylaws. The bylaws include various permutations of grey water reuse, reuse of stormwater, capture of rainwater, use of solar panels for electricity and hotwater, solar passive building design and community gardens and landscaping. Other developments such as Mawson Lakes and the 'Lightsview' development near Northgate, both to the north of the Adelaide CBD, also have green building requirements.

Melbourne has a rapidly growing environmental consciousness, many government subsidies and rebates are available for water tanks, water efficient products (such as shower heads) and solar hot water systems. The city is home to many examples of green buildings and sustainable development such as the CERES Community Environment Park. [19] Other(more recent) examples include EcoLinc[citation needed] in Bacchus Marsh and the $38 million redevelopment of the Box Hill Hospital.[20] Two of the most prominent examples of green commercial buildings in Australia are located in Melbourne — 60L[21] and Council House 2 (also known as CH2), which received Australia’s first 6 Star Green Star – Office Design rating.[22]

In Perth, Western Australia, there are at least three different projects that incorporate the principles of green building. The Office development located in Murray Street, West Perth being designed by Eco Design Consultant in collaboration with Troppo Architects is one of them. The other two are mixed development along Wellington Street, in the city centre. Guidelines for building developments in each project are outlined in the bylaws and the Green Building Council of Australia.

The Green Building Council of Australia has certified more than 130 buildings around Australia, among them the 6 Green Star certification of Trevor Pearcey House in Canberra, the refurbished facility of Australian Ethical Investment Ltd [23]. The total cost of the renovation was $1.7 million, and produced an estimated 75% reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, 75% reduction in water usage, and used over 80% recycled materials. The architects were Collard Clarke Jackson Canberra, architectural work done by Kevin Miller, interior design by Katy Mutton.[24]

In NSW, an on-line assessment system called BASIX (Building Sustainability Index) ( requires that all new residential developments to reduce water consumption by 40%, and CO2 emissions by 40% for detached dwellings and between 20 and 30% for multi unit dwellings compared to an average baseline. The online system provides designers with a mathematical model of the development that considered the interactions between the energy and water systems of the whole, drawing on climatic and normalised rainfall data for individual locations.

[edit] Canada

Canada has implemented the "R-2000" in 1982 to promote better than building code construction to increase energy efficiency and promote sustainability. An optional feature of the R-2000 home program is the EnerGuide rating service. This service is available across Canada, allows home builders and home buyers to measure and rate the performance of their homes, and confirm that those specifications have been met. Some Canadian provinces are considering mandatory use of the service for all new homes.

Regional initiatives based on R-2000 include Energy Star for New Homes, Built Green, Novoclimat, GreenHome, Power Smart for New Homes, and GreenHouse.

The Building Owners and Managers Association manages the BOMA BESt (Building Environment Standards) certification, replacing their Go Green and Go Green Plus programs.

Established in December 2002, the Canada Green Building Council obtained an exclusive licence in July 2003 from the US Green Building Council to adapt the LEED rating system to Canadian circumstances. The path for LEED's entry to Canada had already been prepared by BREEAM-Canada, an environmental performance assessment standard released by the Canadian Standards Association in June 1996. The American authors of LEED-NC 1.0 had borrowed heavily from BREEAM-Canada in the outline of their rating system; and in the assignment of credits for performance criteria. The Canadian LEED for Homes rating system was released on March 3, 2009.

In March 2006, Canada's first green building point of service, Light House Sustainable Building Centre, opened on Granville Island in the heart of Vancouver, BC. A destination for the public and professionals alike, the Light House resource centre is funded by Canadian government departments and businesses to help implement green building practices and to recognize the economic value of green building as a new regional economy.

  • Beamish-Munro Hall at Queen's University features sustainable construction methods such as high fly-ash concrete, triple-glazed windows, dimmable fluorescent lights and a grid-tied photovoltaic array.
  • Gene H. Kruger Pavilion at Laval University uses largely non polluting, non toxic, recycled and renewable materials as well as advanced bioclimatic concepts that reduce energy consumption by 25% compared with a concrete building of the same dimensions. The structure of the building is made entirely out of wood products, thus further reducing the environmental impact of the building.
  • The City of Calgary Water Centreofficially opened June 4, 2008 at the Manchester Centre with a minimum Green Building Council of Canada’s Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) level certification. The 183,000-square-foot (17,000 m2) office building is 95 per cent day lit, conserves energy and water and fosters a productive, healthy environment for visitors and employees alike.
  • Rodeo Fine Homes development in Newmarket, Ontario is first in Canada to be built entirely to LEED platinum eco-standard. The 34 homes in the EcoLogic development by Rodeo Fine Homes will use at least 50 per cent less water, have 35 per cent fewer discharge flows and generate 60 per cent less solid waste, greenhouse gas production and energy consumption than conventional homes. Local suppliers are featured, such as Forest Stewardship Council certified lumber from Kott Lumber in Stouffville and Mississauga cabinet manufacturer Aya (kitchens) produced the urea formaldehyde-free EVO cabinetry.

[edit] France

In July 2007, the French government established six working groups to address ways to redefine France's environment policy. The proposed recommendations were then put to public consultation, leading to a set of recommendations released at the end of October 2007. These recommendations will be put to the French parliament in early 2008.

The name of the process, "Le Grenelle de l'Environnement", refers to a 1968 conference when government negotiated with unions to end weeks of social unrest.

The six working groups addressed climate change, biodiversity and natural resources, health and the environment, production and consumption, democracy and governance, and competitiveness and employment.

Recommendations include:

- invest Eur 1 billion in clean energy over the next four years as part of wide-reaching environmental plan to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, including proposals for ecological taxes; 20% reduction in France's energy consumption by 2020 and a boosting of the use of renewable energy, such as wind power and biofuels, by 20% by 2020; - freight be transported on new high-speed rail lines and waterways rather than highways; and - a series of green taxes including a tax on the most polluting vehicles, as well as a tax on transport trucks crossing France's borders.

Building labels

The french regulation (RT) for new construction was following an incremental logic with a regular (every five years) increase in the exigence level requested to achieve by 2020 (RT 2020) a 40% reduction of energy consumption with respect to the RT 2000. Current label are: THPE 2005=20% better than the RT2005. THPE EnR 2005= 30% better than RT2005+ Renewable energy production for the majority of heating.

Within the framework of the “Grenelle de l’envronnement”, a performance acceleration is expected to meet with the following objectives for tertiary buildings:

I. Low consumption buildings (BBC) by 2010 with minimum requirements concerning the levels of renewable energy and CO2 absorption materials by 2012.

II. Passive new buildings (BEPAS) or Positive buildings (BEPOS) by 2020.

Labels for refurbishment of existing BBC buildings.

All these developments match with the European and international regulations and frameworks.

[edit] Germany

German developments that employ green building techniques include:

  • The Solarsiedlung (Solar Village) in Freiburg, Germany, which features energy-plus houses.
  • The Vauban development, also in Freiburg.
  • Houses designed by Baufritz, incorporating passive solar design, heavily insulated walls, triple-glaze doors and windows, non-toxic paints and finishes, summer shading, heat recovery ventilation, and greywater treatment systems.[25]
  • The new Reichstag building in Berlin, which produces its own energy.

In January 2009 the first german certificates for sustainable buildings were handed over. The standard for the new certificates is developed by the DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für nachhaltiges Bauen e.V. - German Society for Sustainable Construction) and the BMVBS (Bundesministeriums für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung - Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs)

[edit] India

Main article: List of energy efficient buildings in India

The Energy and Resource Institute plays a very important role is developing green building capacities in the country. TERI came up with a rating system called GRIHA which was adopted by the Govt. of India as the National Green Building Rating System for the country. GRIHA aims at ensuring that all kinds of buildings become green buildings. the strengths of GRIHA lie in the fact that it rates even non-air conditioned buildings as green and puts great emphasis on local and traditional construction knowledge. THE CESE building in IIT Kanpur became the first GRIHA rated building in the country and it scored 5 stars, highest in GRIHA under the system. It has become a model for green buildings in the country. It has proved that with little extra investment, tremendous energy and water savings are possible. There are various projects which are the first of their kinds to attempt for green building ratings like apartment residential buildings and non-air conditioned buildings. Measures are being taken to spread awareness about the GRIHA-National Green Building Rating System of India.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) plays an active role in promoting sustainability in the Indian construction sector. The CII is the central pillar of the Indian Green Building Council or IGBC. The IGBC has licesensed the LEED Green Building Standard from the U.S. Green Building Council and currently is responsible for certifying LEED-New Construction and LEED-Core and Shell buildings in India. All other projects are certified through the U.S. Green Building Council. There are many energy efficient buildings in India, situated in a variety of climatic zones. One of these is RMZ Millenia Park, Chennai, India's largest LEED gold-rated Core & Shell green building.[26]

CII-IGBC recently announced that Shree Ram Urban Infrastructure - a developer - is attempting the first ever LEED Platinum rating (Core & Shell) in India and will be the first ever residential building in the world to do so. Entitled ' Palais Royale', the building will be located in Worli, Mumbai with an estimated height of over 1,000 ft (300 m).Also, Hyderabad based Aliens -Space Station 1 and Space station 2 -Residential project also in the process of achieving gold rated Green building certificate.

[edit] Israel

Israel has recently implemented a voluntary standard for "Buildings with Reduced Environmental Impact" 5281, this standard is based on a point rating system (55= certified 75=excellence) and together with complementary standards 5282-1 5282-2 for energy analysis and 1738 for sustainable products provides a system for evaluating environmental sustainability of buildings. United States Green Building Council LEED rating system has been implemented on several building in Israel including the recent Intel Development Center in Haifa and there is strong industry drive to introduce an Israeli version of LEED in the very near future.

[edit] Malaysia

The Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) promotes green building techniques. Malaysian architect Ken Yeang is a prominent voice in the area of ecological design. [27]

[edit] Mexico

The Mexican town of San Felipe, Baja California, is home to the largest solar-powered community in North America (3000+ home sites), with completely off-the-grid neighborhoods within El Dorado Ranch, a 30,000-acre (120 km2) development in San Felipe.

Because of the arid climate in this Sea of Cortez town, a number of green building initiatives have been implemented including:

  • Golf Course construction utilizing SeaDwarf Grass, one of the most salt tolerant grasses with the ability to withstand ongoing irrigation having salinity levels in excess of 20,000 ppm TDS

[edit] New Zealand

The New Zealand Green Building Council has been in formation since July 2005. An establishment board was formed later in 2005 and with formal organisational status granted on 1 February 2006. That month Jane Henley was appointed as the CEO and activity to gain membership of the World GBC began. In July 2006 the first full board was appointed with 12 members reflecting wide industry involvement. The several major milestones were achieved in 2006/2007; becoming a member of the World GBC, the launch of the Green Star NZ — Office Design Tool, and welcoming of member companies.

[edit] South Africa

The Green Building Council of South Africa (launched 2007) has developed a Green Star SA rating tools, based on the Green Building Council Of Australia tools, to provide the property industry with an objective measurement for green buildings and to recognize and reward environmental leadership in the property industry. Each Green Star SA rating tool reflects a different market sector (eg. office, retail, multi-unit residential, etc.).

The first tool developed was Green Star SA - Office which was published in pilot form for public comment in July 2008, with final version 1 release at the Green Building Council of South Africa Convention & Exhibition ’08 on 2-4 November 2008.

South Africa is in the process of incorporating an energy standard SANS 204 which aims to provide energy-saving practices as a basic standard in the South African context.

Green Building Media (launched 2007) has also played an instrumental role in green building in South Africa, through their informational portal,, as well as their monthly Green Building e-Journal of South Africa, which is sent to professionals within the built environment. They currently hold two annual events which focusing on sustainability; the Green Building Conference and a Retrofitting Seminar.

[edit] United Kingdom

The Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB) has promoted sustainable building in the UK since 1989.

The UK Building Regulations set requirements for insulation levels and other aspects of sustainability in building construction.

In Wales, advice on and access to sustainable building is available from a not-for-profit organisation called Rounded Developments Enterprises [31]. They run a Sustainable Building Centre in Cardiff.

One of the best known green buildings in the UK is the Media Centres' Friendly Street Building[32]

[edit] United States

The United States has established several sustainable design organizations and programs.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit trade organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built and operated. The USGBC is best known for the development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system and Greenbuild, a green building conference that promotes the green building industry. As of September 2008, USGBC has more than 17,000 member organizations from every sector of the building industry and works to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. To achieve this it has developed a variety of programs and services, and works closely with key industry and research organizations and federal, state and local government agencies. USGBC also offers a host of educational opportunities, including workshops and Web-based seminars to educate the public and industry professionals on different elements of the green building industry, from the basics to more technical information. Through its Green Building Certification Institute, USGBC offers industry professionals the chance to develop expertise in the field of green building and to receive accreditation as green building professionals.

The National Association of Home Builders, a trade association representing home builders, remodelers and suppliers to the industry, has created a voluntary residential green building program known as NAHBGreen ( The program includes an online scoring tool, national certification, industry education, and training for local verifiers. The online scoring tool is free to builders and to homeowners.

The Green Building Initiative is a non-profit network of building industry leaders working to mainstream building approaches that are environmentally progressive, but also practical and affordable for builders to implement. The GBI has developed a web-based rating tool called Green Globes, which is being upgraded in accordance with ANSI procedures.[28]

The United States Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program rates commercial buildings for energy efficiency and provides Energy Star qualifications for new homes that meet its standards for energy efficient building design.

In 2005, Washington State became the first state in the United States to enact green building legislation.[29] According to the law, all major public agency facilities with a floor area exceeding 5,000 square feet (465 m²), including state funded school buildings, are required to meet or exceed LEED standards in construction or renovation. The projected benefits from this law are 20% annual savings in energy and water costs, 38% reduction in waste water production and 22% reduction in construction waste.

Charlottesville, Virginia became one of the first small towns in the United States to enact green building legislation.[30] This presents a significant shift in construction and architecture as LEED regulations have formerly been focused on commercial construction. If US homeowner interest grows in "green" residential construction, the companies involved in the production and manufacturing of LEED building materials will become likely candidates for tomorrow's round of private equity and IPO investing.[31][32]

[edit] See also

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[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Frej, Anne B., editor. Green Office Buildings: A Practical Guide to Development. Washington, D.C.: ULI--The Urban Land Institute, 2005. Pp 4–8
  2. ^ Basic Information | Green Building |US EPA
  3. ^ Hopkins, R. 2002. A Natural Way of Building. Transition Culture. Retrieved: 2007-03-30.
  4. ^ Baden, S., et al., "Hurdling Financial Barriers to Lower Energy Buildings: Experiences from the USA and Europe on Financial Incentives and Monetizing Building Energy Savings in Private Investment Decisions." Proceedings of 2006 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Washington DC, August 2006.
  5. ^ US Department of Energy. Annual Energy Review 2006 27 June 2007. Accessed 27 April 2008.
  6. ^ Energy Information Administration. US Department of Energy. "Energy Consumption by Sector." 2007. Accessed on: 16 July 2008.
  7. ^ Environmental Protection Agency Green Building Workgroup, Building and the Environment: A Statistical Summary, December 2004, [1] Retrieved: 2008-04-29.
  8. ^ World Business Council for Sustainable Development, August 2007, Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Business Realities and Opportunities Retrieved: 2007-09-05.
  10. ^ Duurzaam en Gezond Bouwen en Wonen by Hugo Vanderstadt
  11. ^ Time:Cementing the future
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Simpson, J.R. Energy and Buildings, Improved Estimates of tree-shade effects on residential energy use, February 2002.[2]Retrieved:2008-04-30.
  15. ^ Kats, Greg; Alevantis Leon; Berman Adam; Mills Evan; Perlman, Jeff. The Cost and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings, October 2003 [3] Retrieved:November 3rd, 2008.
  16. ^ Lange, Jorg; Grottker, Mathias; Otterpohl, Ralf. Water Science and Technology, Sustainable Water and Waste Management In Urban Areas, June 1998. [4] Retrieved:April 30, 2008.
  17. ^ Green Building Council Of Australia
  18. ^ The Hub, Canberra Airport, November 2004
  19. ^ CERES EcoHouse,
  20. ^ Wright, Will (2009-01-27). "Building the Future". Melbourne Weekly Eastern (Box Hill, Victoria: Fairfax Community Network) 3 (4): pp. 14-15. 
  21. ^ 60L green building,
  22. ^ [5]
  23. ^ Australian Ethical Investment Ltd
  24. ^ Collard Clarke Jackson Canberra
  25. ^ John Imes, Grün auf Deutsch, at HOME in the Capital Region, pp 35–36.
  26. ^ IGBC Newsletter (September, 2007). Green Habitat.
  27. ^ "A Manual for Ecological Design By Ken Yeang (Book Review)". Retrieved on 2008-08-08. 
  28. ^ "Green Building Initiative". Retrieved on 2007-05-24. 
  29. ^ Washington State Law Mandates Green Building, RenewableEnergyAccess, 2005-04-21. Retrieved 2007-02-10
  30. ^ Albemarle examines cost, benefits of green buildings, Charlottesville Tomorrow, 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2007-05-03
  31. ^ Energy Roundup, Wall Street Journal Energy Roundup, 2007-05-03. Retrieved 2007-05-03
  32. ^ The Power of Small Communities to LEED Change: Charlottesville, VA, Energy Spin, 2007-05-03. Retrieved 2007-05-03

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