|Environmental Design - Green Buildings|
Environmental building design is design that engages environmental considerations.
It is design that includes environmental criteria in the decision making or filtering steps that lead to the completion of a design.
Adjectivally, the term environmental is often thought of as an incidental issue. A public concern and an addition to marketing that adds cost but distinguishes one product over another. However, the term environmental modifies design so radically that it is almost a discipline on to its own.
But if environmental design includes consideration of the environment than what is design exclusive of environmental criteria? Perhaps labeled as conventional, western, or modern design, non-environmental design surrounds many of us. It is our local archetype that has manifested out of an optimization of the current western societal framework. Costs and therefore deterrents are applicable only in a narrow sense. Only in relatively undeveloped regions of the world or in select cases where alternative designs have survived the cost cutting accounting to be built do we see really different examples of building design. In many instances, these local architectural forms lend great insight into the environmentally optimal design patterns for a region.
To achieve environmental design it is imperative that the entire design method, approach, and discipline be overhauled. Every component, every guideline, every mark of the pen must consider the implications of the adjective environmental. As such, environmental design must be thought of as an overall approach or philosophy. It's limits go well beyond the practice of design to every aspect of society and to the personal life of every designer. It becomes a way of life, a way of thinking, a means to interact with the world.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF BUILDINGS
In 1995, a succinct summary delineating the impacts of buildings on the environment in no more than a paragraph was published by Roodman and Lenssen. This simple yet provocative piece has become a keystone for green building documentation. It is cited in no fewer than 177 online documents (Google).
The Worldwatch Institute authors note simply that buildings consume two fifths of world energy production (Roodman 1995). This does not include the energy that is required to harvest, manufacture, and transport all the materials used to construct and maintain buildings. One sixth of all water pumped out of natural flows are consumed in buildings. One quarter of all virgin wood harvested ends up in buildings. And this does not account for all the interior wood furniture.
FIGURE 1: Summary of building environmental impacts.
Considering the flooding urban sprawl, strain on energy supply, decline in water resources, declining availability of large dimensional lumber, and the increasing incidence of sick building syndrome, changes to the largest consumer of natural resources are necessarily imminent. Combined buildings are the accumulation of what is wrong with society today. They also represent the answer to radically reducing our impact on the planet.
ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN SOLUTIONS
Fear not, technical solutions exist for the majority of environmental impacts caused by buildings. And they have been applied in a small proportion of buildings around the world. The biggest problem is that the decision-makers are not privy to the solutions or are lack significant detail to be able to employ the environmentally efficient strategies.
Commercial buildings comprise a smaller proportion of the building infrastructure. However, improvements in their environmental performance provide awareness for occupants, which can have a multiplier effect. Fortunately as of late, economic forces have encouraged many companies to add environmental awareness to their marketing agenda. Some pioneering companies are addressing issues throughout their organizations while others are altering their corporate headquarters in an attempt to improve their image.
In Bangkok, a new office building uses 80% less energy than a comparable building, while the ING bank headquarters in Amsterdam uses ten percent the energy of its predecessor. The Canadian outdoor company Mountain Equipment Coop recently built a new retail outlet that used 50% recycled material by weight. And the Vancouver Island Technology Park diverted 90% of construction from the landfill. The impacts of these projects illustrate the solutions exist in all regions of the planet.
Under economic pressure by European travel agencies, the Kandalama Hotel in Sri Lanka was designed in 1994 to exceed existing environmental standards. Aitken Spence (owners) realized the changing values that were forming market forces and recruited Geofrey Bawa (architect) to design one of the most environmentally sensitive hotels in Asia. Others followed including the Orchid Hotel in Mumbai, India and the Aurum Lodge in Alberta.
See green hotel case studies...
|ENVIROMENTAL DESIGN ELEMENT|
|Making Your Hotel Green|
|The global hospitality industry is in a unique environmental position. Tourism operators often rely extensively on locating near unique environments to attract tourists and generate income. Unfortunately, hotel developments that accommodate these tourists have become the nodes for environmental degradation due to inefficient building design and wasteful operating practices. Thus, hotel operators find themselves in the role of damaging the resource that sustains their business.|
environmental, eco, green
What is a Green Building?
CITY OF SAN JOSE
A "green" building can be defined as any building that is sited, designed, constructed, operated, and maintained for the health and well-being of the occupants, while minimizing impact on the environment.
"Green building" refers to those practices that promote occupant health and comfort while minimizing negative impacts on the environment. There are different degrees of "greenness." Often, it is necessary to strike a balance between many different, sometimes conflicting, green options based on the particular conditions of a given project. For example, proper strategy for a sustainable retrofit project may differ from that of new construction design.
Green building practices offer an opportunity to create environmentally sound and resource-efficient buildings by using an integrated approach to design. Green buildings promote resource conservation by including design features which encourage energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, and encourage water conservation. By promoting resource conservation, green building design creates healthy and comfortable environments, reduces operation and maintenance costs, considers environmental impacts of building construction and retrofit, and concentrates on waste minimization. In the interim, green building design addresses such issues as historical preservation and access to public transportation and other community infrastructure systems. The entire life cycle of the building and its components is considered, as well as the building's economic and environmental impact and performance.
UNIVERSITY OF BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA
A Berkeley “green” building can be defined as a building that is sited, designed, constructed, and operated to maximize present and future beneficial impacts on the environment.
Green Buildings are really resource efficient buildings and are very energy efficient, utilize construction materials wisely -- including recycled, renewable, and reused resources to the maximum extent practical -- are designed, constructed and commissioned to ensure they are healthy for their occupants, are typically more comfortable and easier to live with due to lower operating and owning costs, and are good for the planet. The overall environmental impact of new building and community development and the choices made when we either reuse or demolish existing structures is very important.
ENVIRONMENTAL BUILDING NEWS
Buildings have a tremendous impact on the environment--both during construction and through their operation. 'Green building' is a loosely defined collection of land-use, building design, and construction strategies that reduces these environmental impacts. Benefits of building green include:
reduced energy consumption,
protection of ecosystems, and
|Utilize the information on this web site to convert your hotel operation from a waste producer into an efficient environmental conserver.
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Updated: January 26th, 2003