Buildings are a major consumer of our natural resources
54% of the energy consumed in North America is used by buildings, not only in their operation, but also in the extraction, manufacturing, and transportation of their components. Each time a resource is extracted, processed, and manufactured the environment is altered. Therefore, designing for the environment has to include proper choice of products. This choice is based on a complete evaluation. Amongst other considerations like cost, performance, and esthetics, the evaluation should include environmental considerations.
Each project has its own design & environmental factors
Each project has a different environmental profile and requires that product selections meet specific environmental needs. For example: Is recyclability of waste from the building a key concern? Are there sufficient waste disposal sites, recycling depots nearby? Will the building’s occupants be potentially environmental sensitive to the construction materials? Does the client want to be able to recycle or remanufacture the interior furnishings? Are any of the building materials degradable or refurbishable? If water supply is a problem, should you be using low flow fixtures?
Green is now
Identifying buildings, products and services that promote healthier indoor environments are now part of the professional vocabulary and training that architects and design professionals are incorporating. Selecting greener, healthier materials is an effort to reduce air and water pollution, cut the waste of energy and natural resources, slow ozone depletion and the risk of global warming, prevent toxic contamination, and protect fish and wildlife habitat.
Using products that have been tested to verify their energy efficiency or contribution to energy savings are also necessary recommendations design professionals today research and suggest. If we all work together, we will all live healthier more productive lives.