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Preface xiii

Foreword xvii

Part I Green Buildings Today

1 Green Buildings in a Global Context 3

Resource Depletion and Carbon Dioxide Emissions 7

2 Green Building History 9

Current Situation 10

Understanding Green Buildings 10

Who Is Using LEED? 12

3 What is a Green Building? 15

4 Becoming a Green Building Advocate 19

In Your Office or Workplace 19

In Your Home or Apartment 21

YourTown, City or State:The Power of Local Initiatives 22

Your College or University 24

Part II Green Building: A toZ

5 Green Building Terms 28

Architecture 2030 29

Access to Transit 30

Bicycle Commuting 32

Big Picture 33

Biodiesel 34

Biophilia 35

Brownfields 36

Building Codes 38

Carbon Dioxide Monitoring 40

Carbon Neutral 41

Carpet 42

Certification 43

Certified Wood Products 44

Charrettes and Eco-charrettes 46

Comfort 47

Commissioning 49

Controllability of Systems 50

Construction Practices 51

Cool Roofs 53

Costs of Green Buildings 54

Cradle-to-cradle Design 57

Daylighting 59

Density 60

Design 61

DisplacementVentilation 63

Eco-efficiency and Eco-effectiveness 65

Ecological Footprint 66

Education 67

Energy Conservation 69

Engineering (a Sustainable World) 70

Feng Shui 72

Furniture and Finishes 73

Global Warming 75

Green Globes 76

Green Guide for Healthcare 77

Green Home Building Guidelines 78

Green Power 80

Green Products 81

Green Roofs 82

High-performance Buildings 85

Historic Preservation 86

Homes, Green 87

Hybrid Vehicles 90

Incentives 92

Integrated Design 93

Interior Design 95

Investing in Green Buildings 97

Justice, Social 99

Knowledge 101

LEDs (Light-emitting Diodes) 103

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) 104

Life-cycle Assessment (LCA) 108

Life-cycle Cost 109

Light Pollution Reduction 111

Lighting Design 112

Living Buildings 113

Locally Sourced Materials 115

Low-flush Toilets 116

Microturbines 118

Measurement and Verification Systems 119

Native American and Native Canadian Ways of Living 121

Nature, Design with 122

NewUrbanism 123

Onsite Sewage Treatment 126

Operations and Maintenance Practices 127

Ozone-layer Protection 128

Paints, Low-VOC 130

Paradigm Shift 131

Passive Solar Design 132

Permeable Pavement 133

Photovoltaics 135

Platinum Buildings 138

Post-occupancy Evaluation 140

Productivity 142

Question Authority 144

Radiant Heating and Cooling 146

Rainwater Reclamation/Reuse 147

Rapidly Renewable Materials 148

Recycled-content Materials 150

Renewable Energy 151

Renovation, Building 152

Restoration of Sites 154

Return on Investment 155

Right-sizing Systems 156

Salvage Materials 158

Schools, Green 159

SolarThermal Systems 162

Stormwater Management 163

Sustainable Design 164

Sustainable Sites 166

Technology, Green 168

Thermal Energy Storage 169

Triple Bottom Line 170

US Green Building Council 172

Unbridled Enthusiasm! 173

Urban Heat-island Effect 174

VastuShastra 176

Ventilation 177

Views of the Outdoors 178

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) 180

Water Conservation 182

Water-free Urinals 183

Wetlands, Constructed 184

Wind Power 186

Xeriscaping 188

Zen 190

Zero-net-energy Buildings 191

Part III

Resources 197

Endnotes 203

Index 213

About the Author 219

For green builders and their supporters, everywhere.


This book presents the basic concepts and terminology used in designing and constructing green buildings, based on state-of-the-art design and construction practices in 2007. It is designed for you, the intelligent reader, who may not be actively engaged in architecture or building engineering, but who needs a quick introduction to the rationale for green buildings and the language of the field. It will also be useful for public officials; for those dealing with green building or sustainability requirements from within or outside your company, organization or agency; for those whose livelihood depends on financing, building and marketing commercial development projects, and new residential subdivisions or multifamily projects; for real estate brokers and agents; for people in the finance, insurance and real estate industries; for senior executives in universities, government agencies and large corporations who want to understand what all the fuss is about; and for anyone who has an interest in turning the design, construction and operation of buildings into a more environmentally responsible activity.

Green building enthusiasts have made this phenomenon a major part of the design and construction industry over the past ten years. Since 2000 the number of green buildings has grown from a handful to more than 5,000 projects in the US and over 400 in Canada actively seeking certification of one kind or another at the end of 2006.1 This is the fastest-growing phenomenon to hit the building industry since the Internet and perhaps since air conditioning. I saw a need for a quick and accessible guide to green buildings that could be used by a wide variety of people, one that is technically accurate and up-to-date, without requiring a professional or technical background.

The following chapters address several key questions: What is a green building? Why are green buildings and green developments important for the environmental and economic challenges we face early in the 21st century? What are the important new sustainable technologies that are influencing the building industry? How do green products and green buildings actually get designed and built? What can I do in my company, my home and my city to further the "green building revolution"?

Throughout the text, I rely on published data, current through early 2007. Most of this information is available from sources such as the US and Canada Green Building Councils, from papers at green building conferences, from the Internet or from business or trade media. I have examined several public and proprietary surveys, and I have benefited from personal conversations with green building leaders to round out the roster of topics important to understanding green buildings, green products and green developments in the United States.

I have spent most of my career engaged in energy and environmental affairs, working to make our current economy and way of life more appropriate to long-term sustainability. As a student in California in 1970, I helped organize the first Earth Day, and I helped create the first state-level agency to promote solar energy, also in California. For the past ten years, I have been involved in building design and construction on a daily basis, and I've been active in the green building movement since 1999. I see my role as a communicator between green building professionals and the larger business and governmental public. I conceived of this book as a way to accelerate the understanding of the importance of green buildings in addressing the climate-change challenges of the early 21st century.

Each of us has an important role to play in transforming the building and development industry into one that produces what most people say they want from it: energy- and resource-efficient, environmentally sound, healthy, comfortable and productive places to live, work, learn, experiment and play. I hope this book will help you to play a role in this great undertaking. Thanks for your interest, and may you read this book profitably! I welcome any other feedback, directed to me at: [email protected], or via my business website,

I want to thank all the people who contributed to the case studies in this book and to all those toiling in the green building vineyard. Especially I want to thank my research associate, Gretel Hakanson, who came to this project late and provided invaluable assistance in pulling together the case studies, photos and examples in this book. Thanks to Lynn Parker of Parker Designs, Beaverton, Oregon, for the graphic images created especially for this book. And a very special thanks to Kevin Hydes, former chair of the US Green Building Council and chair-elect of the World Green Building Council, for generously agreeing to write the foreword. I also want to thank all the green building professionals who furnished photos and project descriptions, and especially to those experienced architects, engineers, builders and consultants who reviewed the manuscript, including Sonja Persram, Mark Heizer, Mary Ann Lazarus, Josh Arnold, Jessica Yudelson, Clark Brockman and Yves Khawam.

Jerry Yudelson, pe, ms, mba, leed® ap Tucson, Arizona March 2007


By Kevin Hydes

At the beginning of the millennium, which now seems like a lifetime ago in terms of green building chronology, I happened to meet another engineer as we were beginning to embark on a new wave of buildings and next-generation green design. At the time I had just become president of my former firm, the Canadian-based Keen Engineering, and I was articulating the vision we had set, to change our focus from "blue" to "green," from traditional building service or mechanical engineering to a more enlightened direction.

We talked about the imperative of the design and construction community making the shift to a new paradigm and how could we do this quickly, effectively and economically. My biggest challenge was not only to train a new generation of thinkers but to find many more, as the market demand for green building know-how was beginning to explode, along with the rapid growth of our own business.

As I described my frustration at not being able to "find" enough good folks but noted that I had no difficulty in finding clients, the engineer across the table looked at me calmly and said, "Kevin, your solution is simple — recruiting and marketing are the same thing, two sides of the same coin." In an instant I realized that not only was he right, but all I needed to do was apply the same ideas and conviction in dealing with potential recruits that I was using with my clients. It worked: our firm tripled in size in five years and became much more profitable.

That engineer's name was Jerry Yudelson. Jerry has a unique gift, one that few of us possess, to take a series of complex and often conflicting data, make sense of it, then boil the message down to its essence. In my opinion, he is one of the great communicators of our time.

In recent months, thanks to a confluence of events, we have seen the momentum build globally around a shared concern for the future of our planet. Climate change has shifted from being a purely scientific discus sion to a mainstream concern in a short period of time. Even in recent weeks, we have seen new information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirming the part that humanity has had in creating this problem. Business and government leaders returned from the 2007 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, united in their resolve to lead the fight against climate change. This is an historic moment.

We now know that residential and commercial buildings are the biggest single contributor to producing carbon dioxide emissions, intimately linked with global warming. At the heart of the building industry are designers, builders, developers and product manufacturers who are now committed to working together to change the way we do business. As former chair of the US Green Building Council and now incoming chair of the World Green Building Council, I have had an opportunity to observe how industry and government are coming together to dramatically reduce the impact of buildings on the environment, using new technologies and systems that help in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, improving the quality of stormwater and reducing the habitat destruction caused by urban growth.

This book is a valuable resource for those who want to know more about the full range of issues tackled by the green building movement. It weaves the global issues, the historic perspectives and precedents for green buildings, current and emerging technology and trend data that lead the reader, not only in understanding the principles and business case for shifting to green practice, but also in shifting the mindset from service provider or supply-chain player, to concerned and knowledgeable advocate.

I often ask people, "Who was the greatest engineer — Thomas Edison or Henry Ford?" For me, the answer is "both": Edison, the greatest inventor of his time, and Ford, the great replicator, the industrialist. In the late 19th century, Edison developed many inventions that led us into a new era of technological advancement. He created the first industrial research laboratory that systematically looked for solutions to pressing problems. Ford took some of Edison's inventions, as well as those of Harvey Firestone (tires) and others, and focused on replication, refinement and simplification, so that we could all afford the inventions through mass production. Nearly 100 years ago, Ford developed the modern system of mass production that benefits all of us to this day.

Today we need to take the innovations created by many architects and engineers on a building-by-building basis in every region of the country and around the world, then replicate these best practices rapidly throughout the built environment. Written in simple language, easily accessible to the non-specialist, and backed up by data and common sense, this book is a platform for aiding that replication, allowing us to shift to greening our cities and communities from just designing one building at a time, making first one organization at a time respond to the need for sustainable design and development, and finally leading to one "green city" at a time, until we have completely accomplished this green building revolution.

This book is all about ideas, proven and undeniable. From my own experience, I know that to effect massive change we need to take ideas and act upon them to be successful. The call for action is now. Thank you for this gift, Jerry.

Montreal, Quebec February2007

Kevin Hydes is Vice President, Stantec Consulting, Ltd., Canada; Founder, Canada Green Building Council; and Chairman, World Green Building Council.

Green Buildings Today

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