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Green Building

What is a Green Building?
Why Green Design?
Green Design Process
Green Design Strategies
Performance Ordinances
Using these Guidelines
Required Practices
Suggested Practices
Siting and Form
Envelope and Space Planning
Water Systems
Electrical Systems
HVAC Systems
Control Systems
Construction Management

Case Studies
Additional Resources
Site Map

What Makes a Building Green

A "green" building places a high priority on health, environmental and resource conservation performance over its life-cycle. These new priorities expand and complement the classical building design concerns: economy, utility, durability, and delight. Green design emphasizes a number of new environ-mental, resource and occupant health concerns:

  • Reduce human exposure to noxious materials.
  • Conserve non-renewable energy and scarce materials.
  • Minimize life-cycle ecological impact of energy and materials used.
  • Use renewable energy and materials that are sustainably harvested.
  • Protect and restore local air, water, soils, flora and fauna.
  • Support pedestrians, bicycles, mass transit and other alternatives to fossil-fueled vehicles.

Most green buildings are high-quality buildings; they last longer, cost less to operate and maintain, and provide greater occupant satisfaction than standard developments. Sophisticated buyers and lessors prefer them, and are often willing to pay a premium for their advantages.

What surprises many people unfamiliar with this design movement is that good green buildings often cost little or no more to build than conventional designs. Commitment to better performance, close teamwork throughout the design process, openness to new approaches, and information on how these are best applied are more important than a large construction budget.

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