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.
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.
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.
The Extraordinary Growth of Green Building – A Rebuttal to The Green Building Adoption Rate is Slow, Find Out The Practical Reasons Why
In this a rebuttal post to The Green Building Adoption Rate is Slow, Find Out The Practical Reasons Why, Richard argues that in fact the growth rate has been very high, citing for example that in late 2010, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) celebrated its first billion square feet of LEED certified green buildings. He makes the argument that the growth rate in the green building space is actually quite high especially considering the background of economic recession and tight capital in which it has occurred.
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.
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.
This, the fourth article in our series on green (sustainable) buildings focuses on the twin subjects of energy efficiency and water efficiency two fundamental areas of importance for green buildings. These are important not only because they reduce usage of and promote reuse of these precious resources, but because in so doing to minimize the building environmental impact. A well designed green building, can not only reduce its own environmental impact, but can improve a surrounding environment.
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.