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.
This post highlights how facilities management is an important, if often unsung part of so many businesses… any businesses with facilities, in fact. Sustainable facilities management is an area that can have a profound and near term impact on overall business sustainability. Very large potential energy savings and hence carbon footprint reduction could be realized in facilities management areas such as HVAC or lighting for example; the embodied energy of facilities — their materials and recurring requirements; how runoff is handled and so forth all are areas in which sustainable facilities management can really impact the triple bottom line in a positive way.
Green leasing plays an important role in the sustainability of the building stock; building operations themselves must be “greened” as well. Green leasing introduces sustainable goals and commitments into building operations and into the lease itself.
Much like the term “fast track” that was popular several years ago, the terms “sustainable” and “energy efficiency” should be part of every building design. You don’t hear the term “fast track” anymore. It was a new concept of speeding up design and construction to deliver a facility faster, but now it is standard operating procedure. Everyone wants their project fast-tracked. I want the same thing to happen for sustainable design.
Are most homebuyers interested in purchasing a home that saves 90% over a traditional home on heating and cooling costs and requires only a small active heating system the size of a hairdryer? The Passivhaus movement is an exciting building design concept that offers tremendous energy savings due to reliance on passive heating systems. Europe is embracing the concept with between ten and fifteen thousand houses already built and governmental support of mandating the standard. The Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt was formed in 1996 to promote and control passive house design and the group only recently formed the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) to reach out directly to the US building market. It is slow to gain momentum, but holds promise for the US market in the future.
This, the fifth and final article in our series on green (sustainable) buildings examines the importance of using green and sustainable materials; to focus on re-cycling and prefer re-use where possible. It continues by looking at ways to promote occupant health and safety, which is an important consideration for green buildings. This final installment concludes by addressing the importance building operations and maintenance to ensure that they function as intended over time.