The Green Building Movement

The late eighties and early nineties were a crucial developmental period for the green design movement. Leaders of green design included William McDonough, Paul Hawken, John Picard, Bill Browning, and David Gottfried, who later went on to be one of the co-founders of the USGBC. The movement acknowledged that buildings represent a very significant usage of resources, land, and energy, and that improvements to the ways in which we design, construct, operate, and decommission buildings could make significant contributions to improvement of the environment and overall sustainability.

Today, owners, occupants, and communities are beginning to hold buildings to higher standards. Industry leaders are responding by creating physical assets that save energy and resources, and are more satisfying and productive, economical as well as environmentally accountable. Building owners who want the greatest return on investment can take a path that is green both economically and environmentally. How are they doing it? They are doing it through integrated solutions for the design, construction, maintenance, and operations, as well as the ultimate disposal of a building.

An integrated, or whole building approach, may mean that up-front costs may be no more than conventional construction, but life cycle costs over the life of the asset will be lower. By designing, building, and operating in an integrated way, owners can expect high performance buildings that offer:

Design Ecology Project

Sustainability is a state or process that can be maintained indefinitely. The principles of sustainability integrate three closely intertwined elements—the environment, the economy, and the social system—into a system that can be maintained in a healthy state indefinitely.

Brundtland Commission of the UN Development is sustainable "if it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

ASHRAE defines sustainability as

"providing for the needs of the present without detracting from the ability to fulfill the needs of the future."

Note the commonality of theme. The concept is rooted in maintaining our current standards of living without jeopardizing future generation's standards of living.

• Increased efficiencies of systems and use of resources and energy.

• Quality indoor environments that are healthy, secure, pleasing and productive for occupants and operators.

• Optimal economic and environmental performance.

• Wise use of building sites, assets and materials.

• Landscaping, material use and recycling efforts inspired by the natural environment.

• Lessened human impact upon the natural environment.

29.2.1 Formation of the Unites States

Green Building Council, USGBC In 1993, David Gottfried, a developer, Mike Italiano, an environmental attorney, and Rick Fedrizzi of Carrier Corporation got together to form the United States Green Building Council, USGBC. They had become concerned about the fragmentation of the building industry as it relates to sustainable design. At the time, there was no clear consensus among industry professionals as to what constituted a "green design." The USGBC was initially formed to create an educational organization that would bring building professionals together to promote sustainable design. In 1997, the USGBC was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Federal Department of Energy, and the USGBC was off and running. The USGBC has made a large impact on the design and building industry. There are more than 5,500 members consisting of individuals, large and leading corporations, governmental entities, universities, educational entities, consultants, product manufacturers, trade associations, and more.

29.2.2 Making It All Come Together: The USGBC

The U.S. Green Building Council, (USGBC.org), a balanced consensus coalition representing every sector of the building industry, spent five years developing, testing, and refining the LEED Green Building Rating System. LEED stands for "Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design," and when adopted from the start of a project helps facilitate integration throughout the design, construction, and operation of buildings.

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