What is Green Design?
Design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and occupants in five broad areas:
- Sustainable site planning
- Safeguarding water and water efficiency
- Energy efficiency and renewable energy
- Conservation of materials and resources
- Indoor environmental quality
Green Design operates under the assumption of sustainability. Sustainability is defined as “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the quality of life of future generations.” It considers economic, social and ecological needs. Green Design maintains economic growth while producing an absolute minimum of pollution, repairing environmental damages of the past, producing less waste, and extending opportunities to life in a pleasant and healthy environment. Human needs are maintained by a balance between development, social equality, ecology, and economics. Green Design demands systematic considerations of environmental impact, energy use, natural resources, economy, and quality of life.
To learn more, see reference to Sustainable Design. We recommend www.Wikipedia.com and www.USGBC.org
Why is Green Design the future?
*The built environment has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health and productivity.
In the United States, buildings account for:
- 36% of total energy use/65% of electricity consumption
- 30% of greenhouse gas emissions
- 30% of raw materials use
- 30% of waste output/136 million tons annually
- 12% of potable water consumption
Breakthroughs in building science, technology and operations are available to designers, builders and owners who want to build green and maximize both economic and environmental performance.
- Reduce operating costs
- Enhance asset value and profits
- Optimize life-cycle economic performance
- Enhance and protect ecosystems and biodiversity
- Improve air and water quality
- Reduce solid waste
- Conserve natural resources
Health and community benefits:
- Enhance occupant comfort and health
- Improve air, thermal and acoustic environments
- Minimize strain on local infrastructure
- Contribute to overall quality of life
* Information from the USGBC
"Design should be innovative, creative and respect its environment. Design principles are to minimize impact on the environment (natural, built and social) and minimize the use of energy before, during and after the construction process. Climate appropriate design is also an important factor. I further believe that materials and methods of the building should express a certain honesty and truth of use and construction."