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.
Company management should evaluate and prioritize green options while remaining aligned with their organization’s overall business mission. In this post, Susan Buchanan advises organizations that are just beginning the approach to sustainability to start with the low hanging fruit, i.e. the relatively achievable and lower cost green initiatives that can deliver short-term paybacks by reducing energy and natural resource consumption. Starting with an objective evaluation of their current state of sustainability and the options for change both in terms of financial metrics of course, but also looking at other metrics such as footprint and life cycle costing. Once these baseline metrics are established then the many green opportunities become more clear.
The Green (or Sustainable) Building: Part III – The Importance of Location, Orientation and Landscaping
For new projects where the building site is not already decided, an important green consideration is the selection of a location for the building that fits into the existing urban fabric, especially the existing mass transit network of the city. Prospective sites should also be selected based on how easily they can integrate into the existing electric, gas, water, and sewage utilities. Fitting into a city’s existing infrastructure so that a project has the smallest impact on the existing energy, water, sewage and road systems is the first point at which the green decision making process comes into play. In addition to siting a green building should be oriented and landscaped to make the most of its site ant to integrate into the urban fabric so that it organically fits into it and enhances its surroundings. Orientation and landscaping can have major impacts on a buildings water and energy efficiency as well as on its environmental impact.
Many green buildings also seek to promote a green aesthetic and ambiance in their design and in how they are sited within the urban fabric they will exist within. Often these other additional design considerations flow from and are achieved in a synergistic manner by the structure’s other central design goals of reducing energy impact, water impact and providing a healthy inner space for its occupants. Sustainable buildings often promote a more livable environment and ambiance within and around them; enriching both the inner and the outer spaces.
In a milestone for green computing, Citi‘s newly completed 230,000 sq ft data center in Frankfurt am Mein, Germany became the world’s first such facility to earn the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating. The environmentally-conscious building, designed by British architectural practice Arup Associates for Citi, has already been honored for its ground breaking eco-friendly design and now it has been awarded the most prestigious rating, the LEED Platinum rating.