The five elements of green design


Successful sustainable construction begins with a design that deals with each of the following five central elements of ecological building design.

  • Sustainable site design
  • Conservation and quality of water
  • Energy and environment
  • Quality of indoor environment
  • Conservation of materials and resources

To ensure the integrity of the design and the eventual sustainable result, the integration of green technology into each of these basic design elements is critical. For example, the relationship between site orientation, water conservation program, the use of natural energy sources, the quality of natural light, The building's interior affect all materials and building energy sources. In fact, the ideal design gathers all the elements together again and again.

The integration of design elements requires the recognition of several principles of durability and application of these principles to site analysis:

  • Reducing urban sprawl and land destruction
  • Promoting urban development with higher density
  • Pursue the development of brownfields to save the green space outbound
  • Minimize site disturbances and restore natural habitat

Below are some guidelines to consider with each item.

Sustainable site design

  • Select only a new site if necessary
  • When a new site is needed, do not choose a site that is critical for the local ecosystem
  • Orient the building to on-site to use natural resources such as solar energy
  • Select a site that allows access to public transportation
  • Reduce the footprint of the building using existing surfaces, brightening the color of the roof and using natural shade

Conservation and quality of water

  • Realize that the proposed building orientation that allows natural drainage is often the cheapest way to improve the location
  • Make sure site assessment captures natural hydrological attributes
  • Allow the use of rain water retention low impact
  • Define a water budget and implement features that help to achieve budget
  • Improve the conservation and quality of water using native trees, plants and grass that do not require irrigation, fertilizers or pesticides

Energy and environment

  • Maximize the passive solar orientation
  • Reduce the need for artificial lighting by planning to use natural sunlight whenever possible
  • Use external insulation to maximize the performance of the outer envelope
  • Using natural ventilation
  • Using energy efficient appliances Energy Star
  • Use products and lighting settings of new generation
  • Searching all new energy technologies

  • Protecting the interior of the building during the construction process
  • Making the building smoke-free
  • Maximize the use of daylight
  • Make sure all interior finishes are environmentally friendly and safe
  • Designing a Healthy Heating, Cooling and Ventilation System
  • Materials and resources

    • Use high stress materials designed by the engineer whose strength decreases the amount of materials used
    • Use recycled materials whenever possible
    • Use materials that can be recycled when their useful life has elapsed
    • Support the local economy and reduce the transport of materials using local suppliers of local products

    The five major components, from sustainable sites to materials and resources, are also taken into account in the LEED certification of the US Green Building Council. Whether considering this certification or just interested in green building, the above points to consider can make a huge difference in returns, cost and environment.


    Source by Rick L. Walker

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