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Building Design and Construction

By Sam Kubba. Packed with conceptual sketches and photos, real world case studies and green construction details, Handbook of Green Building Design and Construction provides a wealth of practical guidelines and essential insights that will facilitate the design of green buildings. Written in an easy to understand style, the Handbook draws on over 35 years of personal experience across the world, offering vital information and penetrating insights into two major building rating systems such as LEED and BREEAM both used extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Since the oil crisis, the green building movement has continued to gain momentum across all sectors of industry and green construction has become the norm on many new construction projects. Architects, designers, builders, and building owners are increasingly jumping on the green building bandwagon. National and local programs advancing green building principles are flourishing throughout the nation as well as globally.

Indeed, the green movement has penetrated most areas of our society, including the construction and home-building industries. Still, according to Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP , If targets for greenhouse gas GHG emissions reduction are to be met, decision-makers must unlock the potential of the building sector with much greater seriousness and vigor than they have to date and make mitigation of building-related emissions a cornerstone of every national climate change strategy.

Steiner goes on to say:. Public policy is vital in triggering investment in energy efficient building stock, achieving energy and cost savings, reducing emissions, and creating millions of quality jobs. In developing countries where more than 50 percent of households up to 80 percent in rural Africa have no access to electricity, affordable, energy efficient, low-carbon housing helps address energy poverty. Green construction remains in its relative infancy and is continuously developing.

Moreover, although the practices and technologies used in green building construction continue to evolve and develop, and vary from region to region and from one country to the next, there remain certain fundamental principles that apply to all green projects: siting, structure design efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality IEQ operations and maintenance, and waste and toxics reduction.

At local and state levels, government is increasingly mandating that projects be built to green standards of construction, and this is driving our industry toward making sustainable projects for our clients and communities a priority.

With respect to building green and sustainability, architects and project teams should concentrate on designing and erecting buildings that are energy efficient, that use natural or reclaimed materials in their construction, and that are in tune with the environments in which they exist. Building green means being more efficient in the use of valuable resources such as energy, water, materials, and land than conventional building that simply adheres to code, which is why green buildings are more sympathetic to the environment and provide indoor spaces that occupants typically find to be healthier, more comfortable, and more productive.

This is supported by a recent CoStar Group study finding that sustainable green buildings outperform their peer non-green assets in the key areas of occupancy, sale price, and rental rates, sometimes by wide margins. Studies clearly show that buildings are primary contributors to environmental impacts—both during the Construction Phase and through their operation—which is why they have become a focus of green investment dollars.

Additionally, we now see various incentive programs around the country and internationally to encourage and sometimes stipulate that developers and federal agencies go green. It should be noted, however, that while sustainable or green building is basically a strategy for creating healthier and more energy-efficient buildings—that is, environmentally optimal buildings—it has been found that buildings designed and operated with their life-cycle impacts taken into consideration provide significantly greater environmental, economic, and social benefits.

Sustainable buildings amass a vast array of practices and techniques to reduce and ultimately eliminate their negative impacts on the environment and on human health. And many of those efficiency practices, such as upgrading light bulbs or office equipment, pay for themselves in energy cost savings. Most green building programs typically focus on a number of environmentally related categories that emphasize taking advantage of renewable resources, such as natural daylight and sunlight, through active and passive solar as well as photovoltaic techniques and the innovative use of plants to produce green roofs and reduce rainwater runoff.

But, as mentioned earlier, sustainability is best achieved when an integrated team approach is used in the building design and construction process. Architects and property developers have come to realize that focusing on only one aspect of a building can have a severe negative impact on the project as a whole.

For example, the design and construction of an inefficient building envelope can adversely affect indoor environmental quality in addition to increasing energy costs, whereas a proper sustainable envelope can help lower operating costs over the life of a building by increasing productivity and utilizing less energy and water.

As mentioned earlier, sustainable developments can also provide tenants and occupants with a healthier and more productive working environment as a result of improved indoor air quality. This means that exposure to materials such as asbestos, lead, and formaldehydes, which may contain high volatile organic compound VOC emissions, are less likely in a green building and so potential health problems such as sick building syndrome SBS are avoided.

The main objective of most designers who engage in green building is to achieve both ecological and aesthetic harmony between a structure and its surrounding environment. Helen Brown, former board director of the U. Viewed through a green building lens, conventionally built buildings are rather poor performers. They generate enormous material and water waste as well as indoor and outdoor air pollution.

As large containers and collection points of human activity, buildings are especially prodigious consumers of energy. They depend on both electricity and on-site fossil fuel use to support myriad transactions: transporting and exchanging water, air, heat, material, people, and information. Brown also believes that the green building movement, which is now in its second decade, reduces and eventually eliminates the negative impacts buildings have on local and global ecosystems.

The construction and operation of buildings require more energy than any other human activity. Commercial buildings comprise one-third of this total. Urbanization trends in developing countries are accelerating the growth of the commercial building sector relative to residential buildings, according to the World Business Council on Sustainable Development WBCSD.

Figure 1. Almost all residential greenhouse emissions are CO 2 , and are strongly related to energy consumption. The impact of building on the U. As for water usage, it is estimated that building occupants consume about 50 billion gallons per day i. This amount of water consumption is mainly to support municipal, agricultural, and industrial activities, which have more than tripled since Construction also impacts the indoor levels of air pollutants and VOCs in buildings, which can be two to five times higher than outdoor levels.

By applying an integrated design approach from the beginning, this can be achieved especially by having the stakeholders—architects, engineers, land planners, and building owners and operators, as well as members of the construction industry—work together as a team to design a project.

Indeed, architects and urban engineers around the world are building cities designed to cope with a future of growing populations, increasingly scarce resources, and the need to reduce carbon emissions. At the forefront of the U. This portfolio consists of post offices, courthouses, border stations, and other buildings.

In keeping with the spirit of sustainability, the GSA recently increased its minimum standard requirement for new construction and substantial renovation of federally owned facilities by adopting the LEED Gold standard, which is the second highest level of certification just below Platinum. A first ever White House Summit on Federal Sustainable Buildings held in January attracted over federal facility managers and decision makers in addition to 21 government agencies, coming together to formulate and witness the signing of the Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Memorandum of Understanding MOU.

Signatories to this MOU committed to federal leadership in the design, construction, and operation of high-performance and sustainable buildings. The MOU highlights the sense of urgency felt by green building proponents and represents a significant accomplishment by the federal government through its collective effort to define common strategies and guiding principles. The signatory agencies now need to work with others in the private and public sectors to consolidate these goals.

The initiatives just described are clear indications that the gap between green and conventional construction is narrowing, and they signal that green construction has come of age, especially when we learn that there are more than 80 green building programs operating in the United States alone, and even more in numerous other countries such as Canada, Japan, China, India, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

A measure of the growth of green building programs and their success is reflected by the number of cities that have established or adopted them. In the United States, LEED is the most widely recognized, but all of these programs were developed and operate outside of government.

This is in addition to 6 billion square feet of projects around the world that are registered and working toward certification. It should be noted that, while not all projects that register with LEED achieve certification, this milestone remains significant. The impact of these one billion square feet resonates around the world, according to Peter Templeton, president of the Green Building Certification Institute, which certifies LEED projects. Following the Chicago event, Rick Fedrizzi said,.

Can we build it faster? Can we build it cheaper? Can we build in ways that are more sustainable, more energy efficient and that provide clean air and good lighting? In ways that can create jobs, restore our economy, and build healthier, more livable communities? The term green building, or sustainable building, is relatively new to our language, and a precise definition is not easy. A structure that is designed, built, renovated, operated, or reused in an ecological and resource-efficient manner.

Green buildings are designed to meet certain objectives such as protecting occupant health; improving employee productivity; using energy, water, and other resources more efficiently; and reducing the overall impact to the environment.

This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Still another definition of sustainable development was offered at the Gothenburg European Council meeting of June a means of meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising those of the future.

However one wishes to define the term, green building or sustainable development has had a profound impact on the U. Since there is no uniform definition of green, it is essential that every green term be specifically defined and that agreed-to objective standards of performance be established in a contract. For example, explicit energy efficiency requirements must be set forth in a carefully drafted and technically correct and verifiable standard.

While the United States remains the undisputed global leader in the construction of green buildings, we are witnessing a sharp increase around the world in investment in sustainability and green building practices. In this respect, the European Union EU agreed on a new sustainable development strategy in June that has the potential to determine how the EU economy evolves in the coming decades. Examples are the U. There are numerous strategies and approaches that can be used in green construction of a new building designed for long-term operation and maintenance savings.

Moreover, the United States has a vast reservoir of existing buildings that can be made greener and more efficient; studies indicate that many property owners have shown considerable interest in exploring that possibility. First of all, however, it is important to dispel the myths and misinformation that surround sustainability and green design.

Only then will a number of pertinent strategies become apparent that will help achieve the goals and desires of building green. As discussed in the Introduction and echoed by Leah B. Garris, senior associate editor at Buildings magazine: Myth and misinformation surround the topic of sustainability, clouding its definition and purpose, and blurring the lines between green fact and fiction.

A beautiful building will be preserved by a culture for a greater length of time than an ugly building. Sustainability is really about understanding nature and working in harmony with it, not against it. This is not to suggest that purchasing green products or recycling assets at the end of their useful lives is not sustainable—it is.

However, before making a final determination, a developer or building owner should first take the time to research the various options that are most appropriate for the project and that offer the best possible return on investment. Failing to take the time to research the various sustainability options may lead to making incorrect decisions.

Many green professionals believe that sustainability starts with a thorough understanding of climate and that the primary reason green strategies are considered green is that they work in harmony with, not against, surrounding climatic and geographic conditions. Most architects and designers who specialize in green building are fully aware of the need for familiarity with year-round weather conditions, such as temperature, rainfall, humidity, site topography, prevailing winds, indigenous plants, and so forth, to succeed in sustainable design.

A thorough understanding of the microclimate where the project is located is imperative because it reflects an understanding of what is and is not readily available, such as sun for heating and lighting, wind for ventilation, and rainwater for irrigation and other water requirements.

CalRecycle, for example, cites the main elements of green buildings and sustainability as the following. This includes selecting a suitable site that takes advantage of mass transit availability, and protecting and retaining existing landscape and natural features.

Plants should be selected that have low water and pesticide needs and that generate minimum plant trimmings. Water efficiency. This can be achieved by applying certain water efficiency strategies that, according to CalRecycle, include designing for dual plumbing to use recycled water for toilet flushing or a gray water system that recovers rainwater or other nonpotable water for site irrigation and Minimize wastewater by using ultra low-flush toilets, low-flow shower- heads, and other water conserving fixtures.

In addition, CalRecycle suggests recirculating systems for centralized hot water distribution and the installation of point-of-use water-heating systems for more distant locations. The landscape should be metered separately from the buildings, and micro-irrigation should be used to supply water in nonturf areas.

Whenever possible, state-of-the-art irrigation controllers and self-closing hose nozzles should be used. Energy efficiency. Alternative sources of energy should be considered such as photovoltaics and fuel cells, which are now widely used and readily available.

Handbook of Green Building Design and Construction

New projects must register under LEED v4. It also applies to retail, mid- and high-rise multi-unit residential buildings MURBs , public assembly buildings, manufacturing plants, and other types of buildings. Applicants with space that is not fitted out at the time of certification e. Strategies and additional resources are included to help in meeting the requirements of each credit and prerequisite. The following documents and tools are critical to any project pursuing LEED certification. These materials are copyright protected and may only be used on projects that are registered for LEED certification. In order to view the materials, you must be a Specialist Member and you must be logged in.

Packed with conceptual sketches and photos, real world case studies and green construction details, Handbook of Green Building Design and Construction provides a wealth of practical guidelines and essential insights that will facilitate the design of green buildings. Written in an easy to understand style, the Handbook draws on over 35 years of personal experience across the world, offering vital information and penetrating insights into two major building rating systems such as LEED and BREEAM both used extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Sam Kubba is the principal partner of The Consultants' Collaborative, a firm noted for its work in sustainable architecture, interior design and project management. Kubba has extensive experience in all types and all aspects of architecture, interior design and construction. These include hospitality, corporate facilities, retail, renovations, restaurants and high-rise commercial structures. We are always looking for ways to improve customer experience on Elsevier. We would like to ask you for a moment of your time to fill in a short questionnaire, at the end of your visit.

Green Building Standards and Certification Systems

Written in an easy to understand style, the book is updated to reflect new standards to LEED. In addition, readers will find sections that cover the new standards to BREEAM that involve new construction Infrastructure, data centers, warehouses, and existing buildings. Sam Kubba is the principal partner of The Consultants' Collaborative, a firm noted for its work in sustainable architecture, interior design and project management. Kubba has extensive experience in all types and all aspects of architecture, interior design and construction.

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Handbook of Green Building Design and Construction: LEED, BREEAM, and Green Globes

Buildings have extensive direct and indirect impacts on the environment. During their construction, occupancy, renovation, repurposing, and demolition, buildings use energy, water, and raw materials, generate waste, and emit potentially harmful atmospheric emissions. These facts have prompted the creation of green building standards, certifications, and rating systems aimed at mitigating the impact of buildings on the natural environment through sustainable design. In , the U. Since that first release, LEED has continued to grow in prominence and to include rating systems for existing buildings and entire neighborhoods.

Green Building Council USGBC , provides a suite of standards for the environmentally sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings and neighborhoods. Since its inception in , LEED has grown to encompass more than 14, projects in the United States and 30 countries covering 1. Watson who, as Founding Chairman of the LEED Steering Committee until , led a broad-based consensus process which included non-profit organizations, government agencies, architects, engineers, developers, builders, product manufacturers and other industry leaders. From to , LEED grew from one standard for new construction to a comprehensive system of six standards covering all aspects of the development and construction process. LEED also has grown from six volunteers on one committee to more than volunteers on nearly 20 committees and over professional staff in Washington, DC.


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Green building

By Sam Kubba. Packed with conceptual sketches and photos, real world case studies and green construction details, Handbook of Green Building Design and Construction provides a wealth of practical guidelines and essential insights that will facilitate the design of green buildings. Written in an easy to understand style, the Handbook draws on over 35 years of personal experience across the world, offering vital information and penetrating insights into two major building rating systems such as LEED and BREEAM both used extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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