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.
Two days ago, the Federal Acquisition Regulations Council released an interim rule on green procurement, requiring that the head of each agency ensure that 95 percent of new contract actions are for products and services that are energy efficient, water efficient, bio-based, environmentally preferable or non-ozone depleting, adhering to criteria set out by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Agriculture Department. The agencies also must aim to procure items that contain recycled content and are nontoxic.
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.
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 federal government is making sustainability a priority. Under the Energy Independence and Security Act, all federal managers are required to cut their fossil fuel use and are directed to acquire recycled content, energy efficient, renewable, bio-based and environmentally preferable products and services towards achieving certain goals. The are a number of “Buy Bio”, “Buy Green First,” programs, as well as Go Green Initiatives giving preference to products and services that meet green purchasing criteria.
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.
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.