The Five Elements of Green Design
Successful sustainable construction begins with a design that addresses each of the following five central elements of green building design.
Sustainable Site Design Water Conservation and Quality Energy and ecosystem Indoor Environmental Quality Conservation of Materials and Resources To assure the integrity of the design and the eventual sustainable outcome, integration of green technology within each of those chief design elements is basic. For example, the interrelationship between the site arrangement, the water conservancy program, the use of natural energy supplies, the quality of natural sunlight inside the building all affect the building’s need for materials and energy supplies. In fact, the ideal design brings all the elements together over and over again.
Integrating the design elements requires recognition of several principles of sustainability and the application of these principles to the site examination:
Reduce urban sprawl and destruction of land Promote higher density urban development Pursue brownfield development to save exiting green space Minimize site disturbance and restore natural habitat Below are hints for consideration with each component.
Sustainable Site Design
Only select a new site when necessary When a new site is necessary, do not chose a site that is basic to the local eco-system Orient the building to on the site to utilize natural resources like solar energy Select a site that allows access to mass transit Minimize the building’s footprint by using existing surfaces, lightening roof color and using natural shading Water Conservation and Quality
Realize that arrangement of the hypothesizedv building that allows for natural drainage is often the least expensive way to enhance the location Be certain that the site assessment captures the natural hydrological attributes Allow for the use of low-impact storm water retention Set a water budget and implement features that help unprotected to the budget enhance water conservation and quality by employing native trees, plants and turf that do not require irrigation, fertilizers or pesticides Energy and ecosystem
Maximize passive solar arrangement Reduce the need for artificial lighting by planning to use natural sunlight whenever possible Use exterior insulation to maximize the performance of the exterior envelope Use natural ventilation Use Energy Star energy efficient appliances Use new-age lighting products and settings Research all the new energy technologies Indoor Environmental Quality
Protect the building’s interior during the construction course of action Make the building smoke-free Maximize the used of daylight sunlight Make sure that all interior finishes are environmentally friendly and safe Design a healthy heating, cooling and ventilating system Materials and Resources
Use engineer designed high stress materials whose strength reduces the quantity of used materials Use recycled materials whenever possible Use materials that can be recycled when their functional life has elapsed sustain the local economy and reduce the transportation of materials by using local providers of local products The five major elements, from sustainable sites to materials and resources are also considered in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED building certification. Whether considering that certification or just interested in green building, the above points to consider can make a huge difference in returns, cost and the ecosystem.