Over the last few years, I have observed a fundamental change in the building industry.
As global attention focuses more on climate change, more information is available to
evaluate our environmental performance as designers and builders. It is clear that the
building industry currently is part of the problem, not the solution. Recently, methods were developed
for evaluating the environmental performance of buildings and action was taken to improve
it, notably the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System Certification Program. As the industry
continues to evaluate these high-performance buildings, it is becoming clear that the environmental
performance can be improved.
Builders have demonstrated that it is possible to
improve without significant cost implications and that we can actually save money by being
more efficient while providing a healthy environment for building occupants and the surrounding
community. These realizations and the exponential growth in the green building industry
are causing a fundamental change in the way projects are approached. I wrote this book as a
guide to help every construction professional understand the fundamental concepts associated
with improving environmental performance that should be implemented on every project.
This book is intended to familiarize the reader with the fundamental sustainable design
and green building practices and their implementation.
The goal is to improve the
environmental performance of buildings. In order for this goal to be achieved, every
building professional must consider fundamental practices that can and should be applied
to every project. This book is intended not to compete with other publications but
to compile information from multiple sources into one place and to supplement currently
available publications. It can be used as a supplemental guide to the USGBC’s LEED for
New Construction and Major Renovations Reference Guide. The book summarizes the
fundamental concepts of sustainable design and green building practices, explains the
big picture and why sustainability is important, and expands the discussion of building
strategies and technologies by describing methods that are being used worldwide to improve
the environmental performance of buildings. The book also includes a section on
how to become a LEED Accredited Professional, which in turn includes a Focused Study
Plan and a Study Assessment Guide with sample questions and tips to help focus your
study. This is a practical guide for everyone involved in the building process: designers,
superintendents, inspectors, planners, owners, engineers, facilities managers, managers,