Let’s talk about Green. We hear a lot about green building, global warming, sustainable design, but just what are these terms and how does it affect us? I recently watched a program on HGTV about a green home they were featuring. In looking at the program I somehow had the feeling that green to them meant that everything in the house should have the color “green”. I know the architect for this particular house and know this is not the fact. The house truly is a “green home”; it’s just that HGTV likes to focus on the interior design and decoration as opposed to the actual features that make the building “green”.

Green building is the implementation of design, construction and operational strategies that reduce a building’s environmental impact during both construction and operational and that improve its occupants’ health, comfort, and productivity throughout the building’s life cycle. Though the designers of a green building may seek ecological and aesthetic harmony with the surrounding natural and built environment, a green building is generally not distinguishable in appearance and style from other, less sustainable buildings. It does not even need to have the color green.

Green building is part of a larger trend toward sustainable design. The principals of sustainable design have a wide range of applications; everything from the design of small objects for everyday use to the planning and design of cities. The objective of sustainable design is to create places, products, and services in a way that reduces use of nonrenewable resources, minimizes environmental impact, and relates people with the natural environment.

The construction and operation of buildings has a significant impact on the environment. In the US, the construction industry is a primary contributor of solid waste to landfills, nearly 2.5 pounds of waste per square foot of new commercial floor space. After construction is complete, typical building operations account for:

Green building strategies not only benefit the environment and society, they can also have a positive economic impact. Green building design and construction may cost more than conventional methods at first, but reduced operating expenses (such as lower energy and water costs) and higher levels of productivity can lead to greater profitability. This benefit to people, planet, and profit is called the “triple bottom line,” and is part of life-cycle cost analysis and full-cost accounting.

Effective green projects require a collaborative, integrated approach between the design and construction professionals and the owners and end users of the building throughout the design and construction process. Only by using a “whole building” approach – viewing the site, structure, systems and use interdependently – can a project team effectively implement sustainable design strategies.

Here at DAVID H. WULFF, ARCHITECT, we have LEED-AP (accredited professionals) waiting to assist with your Green Building projects.

If you would like to know more about green building, please give us a call at 863-648-9877.

Main Office
David H. Wulff, Architect
115 Hillcrest St.
Lakeland, FL 33815
Phone: 863-648-9877
Fax: 863-648-0136

Branch Office
David H. Wulff, Architect
167 Trails End
Lake Lure, NC 28746

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