Monday, 8 December 2008

Green Building Practices

Green building brings together a vast array of practices and techniques to reduce and ultimately eliminate the impacts of buildings on the environment and human health. Green building puts an emphasis on taking advantage of renewable resources, for example by using sunlight through passive solar, active solar, and photovoltaic techniques and using plants and trees in green roofs, rain gardens, and for reduction of rainwater run-off. Green building also utilizes many other techniques, such as using packed gravel for parking lots instead of concrete or asphalt to enhance the replenishment of ground water. Effective green buildings are more than just a random collection of environmentally friendly technologies. Careful systemic attention is paid to the full life cycle impacts of the resource consumption and pollution emissions over the building's complete life cycle.

On the aesthetic side of green architecture or sustainable design lies the philosophy of designing a building that exists in harmony with the natural features and resources surrounding the site. There are several key steps in designing sustainable buildings, including for example the need to specify 'green' building materials from local sources, reduce loads, optimize systems, and generate on-site renewable energy.

By: Ashley Steyaert

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