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Green Buildings: Design and Construction Module 1 Introduction

Dr. Melissa Bilec

Module 1
Roster About you About me Review syllabus About the course

Formative assessment Big picture environmental issues Green buildings


Big picture
Natural capital and resources are being rapidly destroyed and depleted The earth is essentially a closed system Exponentially increasing mass of humanity can cause planetary-scale disruptions The human race cannot sustain its growth and behavior Result: Changed patternsdesign
From Kibert


acquired October 22, 1984

acquired May 29, 1989

acquired May 29, 1989

acquired May 9, 1999

acquired June 7, 2004

acquired January 12, 2009


Main Points
Our current resource consumption and destruction of natural systems is unsustainable. Humankind can live sustainably if and only if it controls its population, lives within natures resources, and extensively protects natural systems. There is no inherent conflict between protecting the environment and a strong human economy because the environment is the support system for all human activity. Anthony Cortese, Earth Day 1995
From Kibert

MALTHUSIAN DILEMMA: How to feed a human population expected to reach nine billion by 2050 while also grappling with poverty as well as climate change, dead zones, biodiversity loss and other environmental ills?

Ixtapaluca, Mexico


Services Provided by Natural Systems

Air quality enhancement Soils for food, wood, paper production Ambient temperature enhancement Dampening flood peaks Filtering/recharging groundwater Erosion control Renewable energy Pollination Evaportranspiration
From Kibert

Food and water for wildlife Pest control Recreation and tourism Grazing for domesticated animals Noise barriers and separation Natural fires Carbon, energy, water storage Hazard reduction


http://www.marcgunther.com/wp-content/uploads/450px Forest_in_summer.jpg


Worth of Ecosystem
Costanza et al 1997, The value of the worlds ecosytem goods and services, Nature, 387:253-260.
Pollination, Raw Materials Production, Water Supply, Waste Recycling & Pollution Control, Recreation & Education, Climate and Atmosphere Regulation, Soil Formation and Erosion Control, Control of Pests & Diseases

Value of services: US$16 to $US54 trillion World GNP: US$18 trillion Ecosystem-to-GNP ratio 1.8
From Kibert

Exhaustion of Natural Resources

Rainforest loss: 1 acre per second Annual temperate forest loss: 4 million hectares (Siberia), 1 million hectares (Canada) Forests: 40% (1,000 years ago) 30% (1900) 20% (today) Loss of 20% of all species by 2030 Grain production: 465 MT (1987) 229 MT (1996) Fisheries: 22 MT (1950) 100 MT (1987) 90 MT (1995) Movement of more material than natural forces Loss of 24 billion tons of topsoil annually
From Kibert




Major Environmental and Resources Concerns

Climate change
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Published 2001 Globally averaged surface temperatures increased by
1.2 +/- 0.4 d F over the 20th century

Changes in climate variability Frequency and intensity of extreme climate phenomenon Systems theory shows that behavior of global systems as non-linear
Climate can suddenly flip



/ A house in Shishmaref, Alaska, undermined by erosion, finally falls over. As permafrost melts and warmer temperatures keep sea ice from forming until late in the year, erosion has increased, forcing Shishmaref residents to consider relocating the entire village.

Major Environmental and Resources Concerns

Ozone depletion
Thinning of the ozone layer Protects us against harmful UV rays Vast hole over Antarctica
Discovered in 1985 Doubled by 1999

United Nations Montreal Protocol of 1987

International agreement halting CFCs Success!! If followed, projected to be fully restored by the year 2050



Major Environmental and Resources Concerns

World-wide deforestation is occurring at a rapid rate
2 acres of rainforest/second

Linked to negative environmental consequences

Biodiversity loss Global warming
Deforestation defeats the capability of forests to sequester CO2

Soil erosion
Key factor in land degradation

Albedo (reflectivity)
Alters surface temp and energy, water evaporation rate, etc.

Major Environmental and Resources Concerns

Over-enrichment of water bodies with nutrients from agriculture and landscape fertilizer, urban runoff, sewage discharge, and eroded soil banks. Fosters algae growth (blooms)
Blocks sunlight and cause underwater grasses to die

Ends up oxygen-less anoxic

Fish, etc. die.

Major Environmental and Resources Concerns

Air pollution (ammonia, SOx, NOx,)
Burning fossil fuels Converted into acids

Acid rain
Damages forests, lakes, built environment Leached soils
Releases heavy metal

Water acidity
Fish, etc.

Desulfurization Discourage fossil fuel use


Major Environmental and Resources Concerns

Toxic substances
Chemical that can cause death, disease, cancer, etc,

1 million tons 1940 125 million tons 1987

Each year 6,000 new chemicals compounds are created

Industry is only required to report environmental release on 320 specific substances

Industry produces 12 pounds of toxic waste/capita

Major Environmental and Resources Concerns

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs)
Interfere with the hormones produced by the endocrine systems Dioxins, PCbs, DDT, etc. 1971 DES, synthetic estrogen, prescribed to prevent miscarriages
Many problems now


Sustainable Development
Sustainability is difficult to achieve but ultimately a necessity. Present trends make sustainability an impossibility Huge increases in resource efficiency are required. Construction industry must participate for sustainability to succeed. The movement to Sustainable Construction is underway.

From Kibert

What is Sustainable Development?


development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs [World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987; Our Common Future (Brundtland Report) SD calls for the careful balancing of three systems: natural, social, and economic. The primary focus is on protecting natural systems, the source of life and From Kibert its sustenance.

The Systems

Natural (N)

Social (S)

Economic (E)
From Kibert

Points of Clarification
Sustainability is about the three systems and their relationship Greening is about minimizing or eliminating the environmental impacts of activities Greening:
Green Building, Green Architecture Design for the Environment (DFE) Green Manufacturing Green Agriculture

From Kibert

General Sustainability Principles


resource consumption, use of nonrenewables, pollution, toxics, waste Maximize: efficiency, reuse, recycling, renewable resource use, Foster: conservation, understanding of natural systems functions, economic justice, stewardship

From Kibert






Green Design

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Sustainable Sites Energy and Atmosphere Water Efficiency Indoor Environmental Quality Materials and Resources

Sustainable Sites
Based on the principle that land is a precious finite resource Effective planning
Minimize urban sprawl
Overdependence on automobiles Excessive fossil fuel consumption Higher pollution level

Land is recyclable
Pittsburgh is known for its brownfields

Washingtons Landing

Summerset at Frick Park

SouthSide Works

Energy and Atmosphere

Energy conservation is best addressed through effective building design
Designing a building envelope that is highly resistant to conductive, convective, and radiative heat transfer Employing renewable energy resources Fully implement passive design

Energy and Atmosphere

Buildings geometry Orientation Mass to condition the structure using natural and climatological features such as

Sites solar insulation Thermal chimney effect Prevailing winds Local topography Microclimate Landscaping.
From Kibert

Water Issues
Availability of potable water is the limiting factor for development and construction in many areas of the world
In the US western regions

Climate changes are exacerbating the problems Extremely difficulty to reverse contaminated water

Water Issues
Water conservation techniques
Low-flow plumbing fixtures Water recycling Rainwater harvesting Xeriscaping

Convention center: water reclamation system that reduces potable water use by nearly 60 percent

Defining Green Building

Green building refers to the quality and characteristics of the actual structure created using the principles and methodology Healthy facilities designed and built in resource efficient manner, using ecologically based principles Ecological design, ecologically sustainable design, intelligent design High-performance buildings Whole building design, integrated design

Green Building Progress and Obstacles

Still considered a fringe movement Won industry acceptance continues to impact building design The biggest influence

Green building rating system

Learn more about it, but for now Number of LEED registered building grew from a few in 1999 to more than 6,000 in 2006 In terms of area,
A few thousand square feet to 365 million square feet




Greening Movement in Construction

ASTM is producing Green Building Standards The U.S. Green Building Council is the major US force in greening the built environment New Urbanism and Sustainable Architecture are rapidly increasing in influence Green Materials more prevalent Energy efficiency increasing Healthy interior environments are critical LEED: U.S. Green Building Rating System


Green Building Obstacles

Conventional building design and procurement processes are very difficult to change on a large scale. Jurisdictions do not yet permit the elimination of stormwater infrastructure in favor of using natural systems for water control. Daylighting systems do not eliminate the need for full lighting systems Complex controls Cost???
From Kibert

Emerging Directions
Performance based fees The Charrette Building Commissioning

Concluding Thoughts
Sustainability is difficult to achieve but ultimately a necessity. Present trends make sustainability an impossibility Huge increases in resource efficiency are required. Construction industry must participate for sustainability to succeed. The movement to Sustainable Construction is underway.

From Kibert

Summary and Conclusion

Green building movement is here to stay
Evolving and exponentially growing

USGBCs LEED = huge impact

But, will learn later problems!

Codes Perception Complexity

Need innovation, vision, you!