Green Building Tool Helps Architects, Builders, Specifiers
Building with Chemistry has provided a useful online tool aimed at sustainable or green building. The resource targets creating more energy-efficient and sustainable homes, offices, schools and other buildings, stating:
“The increased popularity of green building design and construction has given rise to a variety of approaches that aim to guide architects, designers, materials specifiers, and builders in how to build ‘green.'”
The following brief descriptions and links provide an extremely detailed and useful resource for anyone who happens to be involved with the green building industry or is planning something they wish to classify as sustainable or green.
Here are some of the examples which have been provided by BWC:
“Often developed by professionals, engineers and building scientists, comprehensive whole green building standards generally segment requirements into separate chapters such as energy efficiency, indoor air quality, sustainable site selection, materials and resource use. They often set minimum benchmarks for performance and focus heavily on detailed specifications. The comprehensive whole green building standard is achieved if all required specifications are met.”
“Green building codes are established by law as mandatory building requirements adopted by a state or local jurisdiction. Adopted codes are often based on established standards, and “model” code language is developed by building compliance professionals with input from stakeholders. Currently, model codes are revised and updated on a continual basis in an open, public forum where amendments are proposed, debated, and voted upon.”
“Green building certification systems have become increasingly popular in the last 10 years. They often include requirements that are separated into chapters, which contain a list of potential “credits” for accomplishing performance levels in the respective performance categories. Users of these systems accrue “credits” to achieve certification to green building, which can result in differentiated “ratings,” such as silver, gold and platinum.”
“Green building tools enable analyses of specific aspects of sustainable or “green” building, such as energy efficiency modeling, indoor air quality analysis or materials screening and evaluation. These tools can be standards themselves, and are sometimes referenced in whole green building systems, codes and certification systems. Several tools referred to by some of the leading green building approaches are:
- Indoor air quality: The California Department of Public Health’s “Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Indoor Sources”
- Whole building life cycle assessment: The Athena Impact Estimator
- Energy efficiency: For residential buildings, the RESNET Standard for HERS (Home Energy Rating System)“
Ultimately, this resource provides the tools needed to make informed and smart decisions about materials and products that improve safety, energy efficiency, durability, sustainability, and other performance benefits.
Environmental Leader reports the website also includes an interactive graphic of a mixed-use residential building which highlights how chemical ingredients are used in materials, from polycarbonate panels in skylights, to plastics in piping, to nylon and polyester fibers in carpeting.
For the majority of individuals who are under-informed about chemicals, the tool offers pages featuring specific chemicals used in a range of building and construction applications, with information on where the chemicals are used and the functionality they provide.
Please visit this website. The journey is well worth the time.
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