Green Building and LEED Certification

Green Building means application of environmentally responsible process throughout the life cycle of a building. LEED is the most widely used rating system for such processes. 

What is Green Building? 

Green building is a concept that brings together various best practices, processes, skills and talents to reduce and eliminate the impacts of structures on environment and human being. Green Building is occasionally referred as sustainable building or green construction. A building’s life cycle starts with planning and ends with demolition. In between, it passes through various stages like design, construction, commissioning, maintenance and renovation.  Green Building concept can be implemented only if various stake holders like promoters, architects, contractors and engineers come together. 

The concept revolves around making use of renewable resources to minimize impact on nature. Thus, it involves strategies for utilization of sun light for lighting and power, rain harvesting and water recycling for water, plants and trees for green roofs, low impact building materials for construction and easily disposable items to have less impact on demolition of building. It complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort to provide a better experience. 

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Green building concept began in the U.S. about 25 years ago. U.S, Canada, China and India are the four leading countries in the field. Green Building concept is not restricted to office buildings alone. It can be applied in every industry segment like factories, hotels, educational institutions, religious institutions, metro stations, airports, ship yards etc.  

What is the objective of green building?

The objective of green building is simple; reduce the overall impact of a structure on natural environment and human health by using cost effective but efficient and better alternatives.

What is LEED Certification by USGBC?

LEED Certification is the most known green building rating system in the world. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  The LEED certification is a globally accepted standard for environment friendly construction.  The frame work evaluates the environmental impact of a building and encourages migrating towards green building. 

The rating system was devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).  The certification covers different segments of construction like new construction, interior design, maintenance, operations etc.  The framework can be adopted by architects, engineers and contractors to create healthy, efficient and environment friendly projects in a highly cost effective manner. 

Why is LEED rating important?

There are five pillars to LEED rating: energy, water, human experience, waste and carbon footprint. All these five are applicable for any building, infrastructure or city. 

Green buildings encourage savings of water and energy. Both have direct impact on environment.  Waste management is being considered as a most important activity that affects both the health and environment. Any human being spends more than 80% of their life inside built up spaces, in offices or homes.  Quality of air inside the structure has direct bearing on health.  Availability of public transport, pooling of cars etc directly affect carbon emission

What are the other major certifications for green building?

BEEAM and EDGE are other two accepted certifications. British BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) standard is for buildings and large scale developments. EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies Market Transformation) Program and certification is being promoted jointly by World Green Building Council and World Bank. 

What are the future trends in green building?

Green buildings try to achieve three major parameters:
1.    Efficient usage of energy, water and other resources
2.    Protection of  health of occupant and enhancement of productivity and efficiency  and 
3.    Efficient waste management and reduction of  pollution and environmental degradation

Employers are worried about retention, engagement and maximization of productivity of employees. Natural environment improves health and ensures maximum productivity. If new methods can control carbon dioxide and oxygen levels inside a building and can bring in daylight inside,  that would have positive impacts on the lifestyle of employees or occupants.  Therefore, future trends and developments in construction will be towards creating better harmony with nature, thus promoting green building concept. 

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Green Building and LEED Certification
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Green Building and LEED Certification
Green Building means application of environmentally responsible process throughout the life cycle of a building and LEED is a certification for such processes.

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