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Sustainable
by the WBDG Sustainable Committee
Last updated: 08­25­2014

OVERVIEW
Building construction and operations can have extensive direct and indirect impacts on the environment, society, and economy, which are commonly referred to as the 3 P's ('People',
'Planet', 'Pocketbook'). The field of sustainable design seeks to balance the needs of these areas by using an integrated approach to create win­win­win design solutions.

The main objectives of sustainable design are to reduce, or completely avoid, depletion of critical resources like energy, water, and raw materials; prevent environmental degradation
caused by facilities and infrastructure throughout their life cycle; and create built environments that are livable, comfortable(provide_comfort.php), safe(secure_safe.php), and
productive(productive.php).

Buildings use resources (energy, water, raw materials, and etc.), generate waste (occupant, construction and demolition), and emit potentially harmful atmospheric emissions. Building
owners, designers, and builders face a unique challenge to meet demands for new and renovated facilities that are accessible(accessible.php), secure(provide_security.php),
healthy(ensure_health.php), and productive while minimizing their impact on society, the environment, and the economy. Ideally, building designs should result in net positive benefits to
all three areas.

In addition to including sustainable design concepts in new construction, sustainable design advocates commonly encourage retrofitting existing buildings rather than building anew.
Retrofitting an existing building can often be more cost­effective(cost_effective.php) than building a new facility. Designing major renovations and retrofits for existing buildings to include
sustainable design attributes reduces operation costs and environmental impacts, and can increase building resiliency. The embodied energy of the existing building, a term expressing
the cost of resources in both human labor and materials consumed during the building's construction and use, are squandered when the building is allowed to decay or be demolished.

Source: EPA, 2004

While the definition of sustainable building design is constantly changing, six fundamental principles persist.

Optimize Site Potential(site_potential.php)
Creating sustainable buildings starts with proper site selection, including consideration of the reuse or rehabilitation of existing buildings. The location, orientation, and landscaping of
a building affect local ecosystems, transportation methods, and energy use. It is important to incorporate smart growth principles into the project development process, whether the
project is a single building, campus, or military base. Siting for physical security is a critical issue in optimizing site design, including locations of access roads, parking, vehicle
barriers, and perimeter lighting. Whether designing a new building or retrofitting an existing building, site design must integrate with sustainable design to achieve a successful
project. The site of a sustainable building should reduce, control, and/or treat storm water runoff. If possible, strive to support native flora and fauna of the region in the landscape
design.

Optimize Energy Use(minimize_consumption.php)
With continually increasing demand on the world's fossil fuel resources, concerns for energy independence and security are increasing, and the impacts of global climate change are
becoming more evident, it is essential to find ways to reduce energy load, increase efficiency, and maximize the use of renewable energy sources in federal facilities. Improving the
energy performance of existing buildings is important to increasing our energy independence. Government and private sector organizations are increasingly committing to building
and operating net zero energy buildings(/resources/netzeroenergybuildings.php?r=sustainable) as a way to significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuel­derived energy.

Protect and Conserve Water(conserve_water.php)
In many parts of the country, fresh water is an increasingly scarce resource. A sustainable building should use water efficiently, and reuse or recycle water for on­site use, when
feasible. The effort to bring drinkable water to our household faucets consumes enormous energy resources in pumping, transport, and treatment. Often potentially toxic chemicals
are used to make water potable. The environmental and financial costs of sewage treatment are significant.

Optimize Building Space and Material Use(env_preferable_products.php)
The world population continues to grow (to over 9 billion by 2050), natural resource use continues to increase, and the demand for
additional goods and services stresses available resources. It is critical to achieve an integrated and intelligent use of materials that
maximizes their value, prevents upstream pollution, and conserves resources. A sustainable building is designed and operated to use
and reuse materials in the most productive and sustainable way across its entire life cycle. The materials used in a sustainable
building minimize life­cycle environmental impacts such as global warming, resource depletion, and human toxicity. Environmentally
preferable materials have a reduced effect on human health and the environment and contribute to improved worker safety and health,
reduced liabilities, reduced disposal costs, and achievement of environmental goals.

Enhance Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)(ieq.php)
The indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of a building has a significant impact on occupant health, comfort, and productivity. Among
EPA's New England Regional Laboratory
other attributes, a sustainable building maximizes daylighting, has appropriate ventilation and moisture control, optimizes acoustic (NERL)(/references/cs_nerlab.php) achieved
performance, and avoids the use of materials with high­VOC emissions. Principles of IEQ also emphasize occupant control over a LEED Version 1.0 Gold rating. From
systems such as lighting and temperature. conception the project was charged to "make
use of the best commercially­available
Optimize Operational and Maintenance Practices(optimize_om.php) materials and technologies to minimize
Considering a building's operating and maintenance issues during the preliminary design phase of a facility will contribute to improved consumption of energy and resources and
working environments, higher productivity, reduced energy and resource costs, and prevented system failures. Encourage building maximize use of natural, recycled and non­
operators and maintenance personnel to participate in the design and development phases to ensure optimal operations and toxic materials." Chelmsford, MA
maintenance of the building. Designers can specify materials and systems that simplify and reduce maintenance requirements; require
less water, energy, and toxic chemicals and cleaners to maintain; and are cost­effective and reduce life­cycle costs. Additionally, design facilities to include meters in order to track
the progress of sustainability initiatives, including reductions in energy and water use and waste generation, in the facility and on site.

RELATED ISSUES
Building resiliency is the capacity of a building to continue to function and operate under extreme conditions, such as (but not limited to) extreme temperatures, sea level rise, natural
disasters, etc. As the built environment faces the impending effects of global climate change, building owners, designers, and builders can design facilities to optimize building resiliency.
Building adaptability is the capacity of a building to be used for multiple uses and in multiple ways over the life of the building. For example, designing a building with movable
walls/partitions allow for different users to change the space. Additionally, using sustainable design allows for a building to adapt to different environments and conditions.

RELEVANT CODES, LAWS, AND STANDARDS

Codes and Laws
Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA 2007)(http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi­bin/query/z?c110:H.R.6.enr:)
Energy Policy Act of 2005(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=1361)
Executive Order 13423, "Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management"(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=7707)
Executive Order 13514, "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance"(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8151)
IGCC­2012(http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/igcc/pages/default.aspx) International Green Construction Code, International Code Council

Standards
ASTM E2432(/references/ihs_l.php?d=astm%20e%202432) Standard Guide for the General Principles of Sustainability Relative to Building
ASHRAE 189.1­2011(/references/ihs_l.php?d=ashrae%20189.1) Standard for the Design of Green Buildings, except Low­Rise Residential Buildings

MAJOR RESOURCES

WBDG
Building Types / Space Types
Applicable to most building types(buildingtypes.php) and space types(spacetypes.php).

Design Objectives
Information in these Sustainable pages must be considered together with other design objectives(designobjectives.php) and within a total project context in order to achieve quality, high
—performance buildings.

Products and Systems
Building Envelope Design Guide—Sustainability of the Building Envelope(/resources/env_sustainability.php?r=sustainable)
Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers(greenspec.php):

01 10 00 (01100) Summary(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8002)
01 30 00 (01300) Administrative Requirements(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8003)
01 40 00 (01400) Quality Requirements(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8004)
01 41 00 (01411) Regulatory Requirements(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8005)
01 42 00 (01421) References(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8017)
01 50 00 (01500) Temporary Facilities and Controls(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8019)
01 74 19 (01351) Construction Waste Management(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8025)
01 78 23 (01830) Operation and Maintenance Data(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8026)
01 78 53 (01780) Sustainable Design Close­Out Documentation(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8027)
01 79 11 (01821) Environmental Demonstration and Training(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8028)
01 91 00 (01810) Commissioning(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8031)

Project Management
Building Commissioning(/project/buildingcomm.php)

Tools
Building Life­Cycle Cost (BLCC)(/tools/blcc.php), Construction Waste Management Database(/tools/cwm.php), Decision Support Tools for Green Building(/tools/gbt.php)

Federal Agencies
Federal High Performance and Sustainable Buildings(/references/fhpsb.php)
Executive Order 13423(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=7707) Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management
Executive Order 13514(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8151) Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance
High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Guidance(/pdfs/hpsb_guidance.pdf) (PDF 193 KB)
Department of Defense
UFC­1­200­02(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=9409), High Performance and Sustainable Building Requirements
U.S. Army—U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sustainability(http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Sustainability.aspx) website
U.S. Navy—The U.S. Navy Sustainable Development(/references/pa_dod_sust.php) section of WBDG
Department of Energy
Building Technologies Program(http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/building­technologies­office), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Commercial Building Initiative(http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/commercial/index.html), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
High Performance Buildings Database(http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/buildings­performance­database), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)(http://energy.gov/eere/femp/federal­energy­management­program), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
FEMP Sustainable Buildings and Campuses(http://energy.gov/eere/femp/sustainable­buildings­and­campuses)
FEMP Interagency Sustainability Working Group(http://energy.gov/eere/femp/interagency­sustainability­working­group)
Smart Communities Network—Green Buildings(http://www.smartcommunities.ncat.org/buildings/gbintro.shtml)
Department of Health and Human Services
NIH Health in Buildings Roundtable(http://www.nems.nih.gov/teams/Pages/Health­in­Buildings­Roundtable.aspx)
Department of State
Green Initiatives(http://www.state.gov/obo/green/)
Guide to Green Embassies(/ccb/browse_cat.php?c=272)
Department of Veterans Affairs
Sustainable Design Manual May 2014 and website(http://www.cfm.va.gov/til/sustain.asp), Office of Construction and Facilities Management (CFM)
Environmental Protection Agency
Green Building(http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/) website
Greening EPA(http://www.epa.gov/oaintrnt/) website
General Services Administration
Greening Federal Buildings(http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/123747) website
Office of Federal High­Performance Green Buildings(http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/229633)
Sustainable Design(http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104462) website
Sustainable Development Program(http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/105125) website, Office of Real Property—This website has links to tools, publications, presentations and
videos developed by GSA to assist agencies in transforming the way they do business.
NASA
Sustainability(http://www.nasa.gov/centers/wstf/hse/environment/sustainability.html) website

Publications
Federal
Achieving High­Performance Federal Facilities: Strategies and Approaches for Transformational Change(http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13140) by the National
Academies Press. 2011.
Field Guide for Sustainable Construction(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=4161) by the Pentagon Renovation and Construction Program Office, Department of Defense. 2004.
Green Building Certification System Review and Appendices(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=9688) by the U.S. General Services Administration. 2012.
The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse(http://www.preservationnation.org/information­center/sustainable­communities/green­
lab/lca/The_Greenest_Building_lowres.pdf) (PDF 10.5 MB), National Trust for Historic Preservation
Greening Federal Facilities Guide(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=4230) by U.S. Department of Energy. 2001.
High Performance Federal Building Database(http://buildingdata.energy.gov/)
Implementing Instructions—Sustainable Locations for Federal Facilities(http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ceq/implementing_instructions_­
_sustainable_locations_for_federal_facilities_9152011.pdf) (PDF 490 KB) Council on Environmental Quality
Innovative Workplace Strategies by U.S. General Services Administration, Office of Government­wide Policy, Office of Real Property. Dec 2003.
Managing Your Environmental Responsibilities: A Planning Guide for Construction and
Development(http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/publications/assistance/sectors/constructmyer/index.html) by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2005.
NASA Agency Sustainable Policy Handbook for Facilities(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=9281). 2010.
Natural Hazards and Sustainability for Residential Buildings FEMA P­798(http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=4347)
The New Sustainable Frontier: Principles of Sustainable Development(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8157) by U.S. General Services Administration. 2009.
Office of the Federal Environmental Executive(http://www.ofee.gov/)
Real Property Sustainable Development Guide(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=8238) by U.S. General Services Administration, Office of Government­wide Policy, Office of Real
Property.
Sustainability Matters(http://www.gsa.gov/graphics/pbs/Sustainability_Matters_508.pdf) (PDF 11.06 MB) by GSA
Sustainable Critical Infrastructure Systems: A Framework for Meeting 21st Century Imperatives(http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12638) by the National Academies
Press. 2009.
Sustainable Building Rating Systems Summary(/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=6987)
Sustainable Development and Society(http://www.gsa.gov/graphics/ogp/SustainableDevelopmentandSociety.pdf) (PDF 20.8 MB) by U.S. General Services Administration, Office
of Government­wide Policy, Office of Real Property. Oct 2004.
Organizations, States, and Universities
Bridging the Gap: Fire Safety and Green Buildings ­ A Fire and Safety Guide to Green Construction(http://www.firemarshals.org/greenbuilding/bridgingthegap.html) by the
National Association of State Fire Marshalls.
Governor's Green Government Council(http://www.gggc.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/governor%27s_green_government_council/13828), Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania
Harvard Green Labs(http://www.green.harvard.edu/labs) program
High Performance Building Guidelines(http://www.nyc.gov/html/ddc/downloads/pdf/guidelines.pdf) (PDF 2.2 MB) by New York City Department of Design and Construction. April
1999.
Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide(http://www.sustainabledesignguide.umn.edu/) by Regents of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, College of Architecture
and Landscape Architecture.
UB High Performance Building Guidelines(http://www.buffalo.edu/content/www/sustainability/engagement/sharing­our­best­prac­
ces/_jcr_content/par/download/file.res/ubhpguidelines.pdf) (PDF 35.9 MB) by the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. 2004.
Cost
Green Building Costs and Financial Benefits(http://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/NERR/present/highperf/Green%20Building%20Costs_Kats.pdf) (PDF 531 KB) by Gregory H. Kats.
2003.
Sustainable Federal Facilities: A Guide to Integrating Value Engineering, Life­Cycle Costing, and Sustainable Development(http://books.nap.edu/catalog/10093.html) by Federal
Facilities Council. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001.
Magazines and E­Newsletters
Building Green.com(http://www.buildinggreen.com/) from Environmental Building News
eco­structure Magazine(http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/toc/eco­structure­magazine.aspx)—A bi­monthly magazine dedicated to improving the environmental performance of
buildings and their surroundings.
EDC Magazine(http://www.edcmag.com/)
McGraw­Hill SmartMarket Reports(http://analyticsstore.construction.com/market­trends/smartmarket­reports.html)
GreenBIM(/pdfs/mhc_smartmarket_rep2010.pdf) (PDF 1.88 MB) 2010.

Organizations
The Green Building Initiative (GBI)(http://www.thegbi.org/home.asp)
Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure(http://www.sustainableinfrastructure.org/)
Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC)(http://www.nibs.org/?page=sbic)
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)(http://www.usgbc.org/)
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System(http://www.usgbc.org/leed)

Others
ASTM International(http://www.astm.org/)—A globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM
standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.
Austin Energy Green Building
Program(https://my.austinenergy.com/wps/portal/aegb/aegb/home/!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gLAwMDZydDRwP3EG8XA09nywBD55AwYyM3M6B8pFm8AQ7gaIBPt5_
Building Green from Principle to Practice(http://www.nrdc.org/buildinggreen/default.asp?ms=gblaunch)—Online resource created by the Natural Resources Defense Council guides
building professionals through green building process, from putting together a business case to design, construction and marketing.
Building Research Information Knowledgebase(http://www.brikbase.org/research­type/sustainable­design) (BRIK)—an interactive portal offering online access to peer­reviewed
research projects and case studies in all facets of building, from predesign, design, and construction through occupancy and reuse.
FedCenter.gov(http://www.fedcenter.gov/)—FedCenter, the Federal Facilities Environmental Stewardship and Compliance Assistance Center, is a collaborative effort between the
Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, and the U.S. EPA Federal Facilities
Enforcement Office. FedCenter replaces the previous FedSite as a one­stop source of environmental stewardship and compliance assistance information focused solely on the
needs of federal government facilities.
Green Building Advisor(http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/)
Tools
GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool (SFTool)(http://sftool.gov/)—SFTool's immersive virtual environment addresses all your sustainability planning, designing and procurement needs.
The Waste Reduction Model (WARM)(http://epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/tools/warm/index.html)—WARM calculates and totals life cycle GHG emissions avoided through
alternative waste management practices (reduced, recycled, combusted, or composted) in comparison to a baseline scenario (landfilled) for various materials

Training Courses(/education/cont_education.php)
WBDG05 Daylighting Principles and Strategies for Sustainable Design(/education/daylight.php)
WBDG06 Sustainable Roofing Design Considerations and Applications(/education/roofing.php)
WBDG07 Defining, Evaluating, and Selecting Green Products(/education/green_products.php)
WBDG09 High­Performance EIFS for Sustainable Construction(/education/highperformance_eifs.php)
WBDG12 Window and Glazing Design Strategies for Sustainable Design(/education/window_design.php)
WBDG13 Strategies for Sustainable Historic Preservation(/education/sshp.php)
WBDG17 Achieving Sustainable Site Design Through Low Impact Development Practices(/education/sdlowimpactdevelopment.php)
FEMP02 Planning an Energy Assessment for Federal Facilities(/education/femp02.php)
FEMP03 Launching a Utility Energy Services Contract (UESC): Getting to Yes!(/education/femp03.php)
FEMP04 Federal On­Site Renewable Power Purchase Agreements(/education/femp04.php)
FEMP05 Advanced Electric Metering in Federal Facilities(/education/femp05.php)
FEMP06 Managing Water Assessment in Federal Facilities(/education/femp06.php)
FEMP07 Selecting, Implementing, and Funding Photovoltaic Systems in Federal Facilities(/education/femp07.php)
FEMP08 Sustainable Institutional Change for Federal Facility Managers(/education/femp08.php)
FEMP09 Sustainable Strategies for Existing Federal Facilities(/education/femp09.php)
FEMPFTS19 Implementing Deep Retrofits: A Whole Building Approach(/education/fempfts072012.php)

Case Study(/references/casestudies.php)
Bertschi School Living Science Building(/references/cs_bslsb.php)

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