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16 Green Building Material Qualities to Think About

Examines 16 important qualities that green building materials should strive to achieve and that builders need to weigh during the materials selection process of a project. A well planned green building material selection process can help to ensure the best solution for a given project with given goals and constraints peculates up through the decision process.

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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.

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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.

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This post is the second in a five part series on green building regulation looks at how green building regulators can avoid problems down the line if they establish regulations that have a clear intent, evaluate extreme outcomes, carefully analyze utilizing third party green building criteria and certification systems, create measurement and verification mechanisms, develop valid enforcement mechanisms, check for state and federal preemption, and anticipate litigation.

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This post, a part of five part series on green building regulation looks at the anatomy of green building regulations identifying three main types of regulations, which are command and control, in other words building codes and such; financial incentives, like tax breaks; and non-financial incentives such as increases in floor to area ratio, building height or density for building green.

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This post looks at a real world case, the Gai Building in Orlando Florida that was built to LEED Silver standards and uses this to talk about some of the reasons the developer chose to go with the LEED Silver standard. It uses this example to address some of the advantages of building green and a few of the shortcomings of the LEED certification standards. It makes the case that only when a developer can determine that a proposed sustainable project is economically viable and will give the developer a definable market advantage will these projects get built in practice.

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This post reports on a recent survey that indicates that the green roof sector in the US and Canada is enjoying excellent growth in spite of the very difficult economic environment that is prevailing in the building sector in general. The survey reports a growth of 28.5% and provides some background on what types of buildings and what cities are leading the adoption of green roofs.

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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.

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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.

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