Using a framework for creating sustainable site designs is one of the most realistic and effective ways for architects and other design professionals to create sustainable designs. Six fundamental concepts needed to be applied are explained in the post.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… In this post Bob goes into some detail what this means in practice for building green; listing various practices that builders can use in order to achieve their these sustainability goals. The post covers such subjects as runoff, site disturbance, materials etc. as well as the importance of sustainable design practices that reduce the impact of the built space on the surrounding environment both during construction and during the buildings life.
Site erosion control, while often overlooked is an important part of sustainable building practices. Erosion from building sites silts up waterways amongst other things so minimizing it is critical for achieving the goal of low impact development. In this post, Bob goes on to suggest five techniques that architects and builders can use to help to prevent erosion and sediment loss and ensure that the building of the green building is itself green.
In this post guest author Bob Faulhaber does a little bit of self examination, using his own personal life to illustrate the many ways and the many habits we may have that might make us considerably less green than we would like to think we are. He takes stock of how he lives; in what kind of house; his work; his car; his kids and his personal habits.
Many architects feel that the civil engineer is the hardest one to get onboard with green buildings or that they contribute the least among the design team toward a LEED project. It shouldn’t be that way, civil engineers should be an enthusiastic and integrated contributor to the LEED process and the project is likely missing a lot of opportunities for true collaboration and integrated design. The credits that can benefit from the civil engineer’s input are: construction activity pollution prevention, site selection, development density and community connectivity,brownfield redevelopment,alternative transportation,site development,stormwater design,heat island fffect,light pollution reduction,water efficient landscaping,innovative wastewater technologies,optimize energy performance ,construction waste management, recycled content, regional materials,innovation in design,and regional priority.
It is a common myth that green building costs are often much most expensive than they really are. Often you can save money when going green. When considering the costs to green building, the key is to consider the whole cost of the systems involved, as sustainability is about the big picture and the long view, not just the individual components.
A pending lawsuit alleges that the USGBC and its LEED standards are false advertising. Bob Faulhaber, who is himself a LEED, AP defends this green building certification system pointing out how it has succeeded in raising awareness and increasing involvement in developing and promoting green building techniques and that it has helped to promote an integrated approach to design and construction that has in fact lead to more sustainable buildings.
Many engineers are afraid to implement green strategies because of lack of familiarity and fear of the risks involved with doing so.