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Green… From An Architect Point of View …

Ghozlan, Ayah
Section : 03
PRMG 030
Project Budgeting & Financial Control Dr. Tarek Saker








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Project Budgeting & Financial Control Dr. Tarek Saker






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In a time faced with an energy crisis, water shortages, soaring housing
costs, economic instability, dwindling natural resources, critical levels of air
pollution and an inordinate amount of waste produced each day it is essential
to begin taking steps to prevent this pattern from continuing down the road of
environmental destruction.

The Engineers, Architects and Developers of today, more than ever,

share an obligation to create new and innovative structures that turn this cycle

Buildings and development have an enormous impact on our quality of

life and the quality of our environment, both in construction and in operations.
Buildings expend 40% of the world’s energy, 25% of its wood harvest and
account for 16% of its water consumption, all resources we cannot afford to

Buildings of the future need to take the step beyond shelter and work
places and perform as efficient, economic, environmentally sound spaces in
which we can thrive and endure.

Green Architecture began with the first Earth Day in 1970, and has
grown in popularity as awareness of the earth’s many ecological problems
became more wide spread.

Economic factors have also helped the green movement by causing

changes in building materials, and technology. This is most notable in changes
to heating and cooling systems, and improvements in insulation and window

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The "Green" refers to a method of design and construction that
minimizes burdens on our natural resources and the environment.
Sustainable or ‘Green Building’ design and construction is the opportunity to
use our resources more efficiently, while creating healthier and more energy‐
efficient homes. Although there is no magic formula, success comes in the
form leaving a lighter footprint on the environment through conservation of
resources, while at the same time balancing energy‐efficient, cost‐effective,
low‐maintenance products for our construction needs. In other words, green
building design involves finding the delicate balance between homebuilding
and the sustainable environment.

There are many certification organizations and rating systems for new
constructions. Such rating systems as the Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED), will review a building, its assembly,
materials, and how it exchanges with its environment. The selection of
materials is reviewed by its ability to be recycled or reused, its durability, and
its local availability. None of the systems available however, seem to devote
much importance on what is known as embodied energy.

Embodied Energy refers to the total energy required to procure a
material from its raw state, manufacture it, transport it and process it for its
intended use. Unfortunately at this time, there does not seem to be
standardized method for calculating a materials embodied energy; however,
its calculation would ideally include the total energy consumed during a
products life time. The calculation must be complete enough to include the
extraction of raw materials including the associated energy or fuels used for its
extraction to the end of the products lifetime; including removal and energies
required for its reuse. Other energies to be included in the calculation are
transportation, manufacturing, energy from manipulation and processing
equipment, and other processing requirements right down to the heating,
cooling and lighting of the processing facility.

If we consider this accounting methodology when building, we then have a

quantifiable means of our consumption. With energy reliance in the 21st

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century being primarily based on carbon based fuels, if we reduce the total
embodied energy in the building, we are also reducing the effects of the use
these associated energy types.

There is a clear advantage to building with a low total embodied energy.

Products with lower embodied energies are typically more economical, easier
to work with, and are less damaging to the environment.

If a sustainability rating system could be created which included a materials

embodied energy, it would be ideal to see materials durability and
recoverability factor included as well. This could be assembled in a handbook
for architects and builders to establish buildings total energy requirements.

Through the use of embodied energy calculations, we can accurately measure

a building’s energy requirement. Since construction is one of the most energy
intensive and wasteful processes, it provides us with a means to quantify our
use and our waste. By using the least amount of energy to build a structure
and by being conscious of our dependence for this energy, we are ultimately
building sustainably and then able building within our means. Imagine a
building equipped with renewable energy sources which will eventually
completely offset the total energy required to construct the building. That’s
would be a truly green building.


Responding to the increased global interest and awareness of
environmental issues and the principle of sustainable development,
environmental assessment systems have been created specifically for the
construction industry. One example is the LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System developed by the U.S.
Green Building Council (USGBC).

The LEED program is a voluntary national standard for developing high‐

performance sustainable buildings. The rating system awards points for a
range of state‐of‐the‐art strategies including sustainable site planning,
safeguarding water quality and water efficiency, energy efficiency and
renewable energy use, conservation of materials and resources, and indoor
environmental quality.

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As part of a nationwide effort toward conservation and sustainability, the

Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is working with the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop an environmental
management system (EMS) "template" that is specifically designed for the
construction industry.

An EMS is a tool that helps companies from all industries manages their
environmental impacts. In the construction industry, an EMS would provide
the necessary framework for contractors to effectively manage environmental
obligations, build "green," and achieve certifications such as LEEDs or
participate in programs such as EPA's National Performance Track. Building on
the EMS template, a construction company will be able to identify company
actions that impact the environment, set improvement goals, and plan how to
achieve them. Some environmental impacts to address in an EMS include
controlling soil erosion and sedimentation, minimizing dust and noise, storing
and handling fuels, managing waste, preserving natural resources, protecting
wetlands and endangered species, and handling hazardous materials.

There are numerous advantages to designing for sustainability that far
outweigh the up‐front construction costs. Reduced environmental impacts,
lower operating costs, higher productivity due to increased occupant comfort
and health (which also may lead to reduced insurance costs), reduced strain on
local infrastructure, and community stewardship are just some of the benefits.

More and more, owners from the public and private sector are attracted
to the concept of green construction and are starting to demand high‐
performance buildings. Some state and local governments have established
"green" guidelines and incentive programs, as well as requirements for their
own public‐sector buildings. As interest expands, the construction industry is
increasingly challenged to demonstrate its commitment to the environment.

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Sustainable architecture is a general term that describes
environmentally‐conscious design techniques in the field of architecture.
Sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of sustainability and
the pressing economic and political issues of our world. In the broad context,
sustainable architecture seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact
of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of materials,
energy, and development space.

Energy efficiency over the entire life cycle of a building is the most
important single goal of sustainable architecture. Architects use many different
techniques to reduce the energy needs of buildings and increase their ability to
capture or generate their own energy.


The most important and cost effective element of an efficient heating,
ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is a well insulated building. A
more efficient building requires less heat generating or dissipating power, but
may require more ventilation capacity to expel polluted indoor air.
Significant amounts of energy are flushed out of buildings in the water, air and
compost streams. Off the shelf, on‐site energy recycling technologies can
effectively recapture energy from waste hot water and stale air and transfer
that energy into incoming fresh cold water or fresh air. Recapture of energy for
uses other than gardening from compost leaving buildings requires centralized
anaerobic digesters. Also site and building orientation have a major effect on a
building's HVAC efficiency.

Passive Solar Building Design allows buildings to harness the energy of

the sun efficiently without the use of any active solar mechanisms such as
photovoltaic cells or solar hot water panels. Typically passive solar building
designs incorporate materials with high thermal mass that retain heat
effectively and strong insulation that works to prevent heat escape. Low
energy designs also requires the use of (mobile) solar shading, by means of
awnings, blinds or shutters, to relieve the solar heat gain in summer and to

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reduce the need for artificial cooling. In addition, low energy buildings typically
have a very low surface area to volume ratio to minimize heat loss. This means
that sprawling multi‐winged building designs (often thought to look more
"organic") are often avoided in favor of more centralized structures.

Windows are placed to maximize the input of heat‐creating light while

minimizing the loss of heat through glass, a poor insulator. In the northern
hemisphere this usually involves installing a large number of south‐facing
windows to collect direct sun and severely restricting the number of north‐
facing windows. Certain window types, such as double or triple glazed
insulated windows with gas filled spaces and low emissivity (low‐E) coatings;
provide much better insulation than single‐pane glass windows. Preventing
excess solar gain by means of solar shading devices in the summer months is
important to reduce cooling needs.

Deciduous Trees are often planted in front of windows to block

excessive sun in summer with their leaves but allow light through in winter
when their leaves fall off. Louvers or light shelves are installed to allow the
sunlight in during the winter (when the sun is lower in the sky) and keep it out
in the summer (when the sun is high in the sky). Coniferous or Evergreen
Plants are often planted to the north of buildings to shield against cold north

In Colder Climates, heating systems are a primary focus for sustainable

architecture because they are typically one of the largest single energy drains
in buildings. In Warmer Climates where cooling is a primary concern, passive
solar designs can also be very effective. Masonry building materials with high
thermal mass are very valuable for retaining the cool temperatures of night
throughout the day. In addition builders often opt for sprawling single story
structures in order to maximize surface area and heat loss. Buildings are often
designed to capture and channel existing winds, particularly the especially cool
winds coming from nearby bodies of water.
In climates with four seasons, an integrated energy system will increase in
efficiency: when the building is well insulated, when it is sited to work with the
forces of nature, when heat is recaptured (to be used immediately or stored),
when the heat plant relying on fossil fuels or electricity is greater than 100%
efficient, and when renewable energy is utilized.

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Active solar devices such as photovoltaic solar panels help to provide
sustainable electricity for any use. Roofs are often angled toward the sun to
allow photovoltaic panels to collect at maximum efficiency, and some buildings
even move throughout the day to follow the sun.

The use of undersized wind turbines in energy production in sustainable

structures requires the consideration of many factors. In considering costs,
small wind systems are generally more expensive than larger wind turbines
relative to the amount of energy they produce. For small wind turbines,
maintenance costs can be a deciding factor at sites with marginal wind‐
harnessing capabilities. At low‐wind sites, maintenance can consume much of
a small wind turbines revenue.

One central and often ignored aspect of sustainable architecture is
building placement. Although many may envision the ideal environmental
home or office structure as an isolated place in the middle of the woods, this
kind of placement is often detrimental to the environment. First, such
structures often serve as the unknowing frontlines of suburban sprawl. Second,
they usually increase the energy consumption required for transportation and
lead to unnecessary auto emissions. Ideally, most building should avoid
suburban sprawl in favor of the kind of light urban development articulated by
the New Urbanist movement. Careful mixed use zoning can make commercial,
residential, and light industrial areas more accessible for those traveling by
foot, bicycle, or public transit, as proposed in the Principles of Intelligent


Some examples of sustainable building materials include recycled denim
or blown‐in fiber glass insulation, sustainably harvested wood, Trass, Linoleum,
sheep wool, high and ultra high performance concrete, panels made from
paper flakes, baked earth, rammed earth, clay, vermiculite, flax linen, sisal, see
grass, cork, expanded clay grains, coconut, wood fiber plates, calcium sand
stone, locally‐obtained stone and rock, and bamboo, which is one of the
strongest and fastest growing woody plants, and non‐toxic low‐VOC glues and

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Sustainable Materials will be fatherly discussed with more details later on.

Sustainable Architecture focuses on the on‐site use of waste,
incorporating things such as grey water systems for use on garden beds, and
composting toilets to reduce sewage. These methods, when combined with
on‐site food waste composting and off‐site recycling, can reduce a house's
waste to a small amount of packaging waste.


Some sustainable architecture incorporates recycled or second hand
materials. The reduction in use of new materials creates a corresponding
reduction in Embodied Energy. Often sustainable architects attempt to retro‐fit
old structures to serve new needs in order to avoid unnecessary development.


The building structure must also be considered. Cost/effectiveness is an
important issue in sustainable architecture projects, and one of the most
efficient designs here in is the Public Housing Approach. This approach lets
everyone have their own sleeping/recreation space, yet incorporate communal
spaces eg. Mess halls, Latrines & public showers.

Architectural design can play a large part in influencing the ways that
social groups interact. Communist Russia's Constructivist Social condensers are
a good example of this, buildings which were designed with the specific
intention of controlling or directing the flow of everyday life to "create socially
equitable spaces".

Sustainable Architectural Design can help to create a sustainable way of

living within a community. While the existing social constructs can be seen to
influence architecture, the opposite can also be true. An overtly socially
sustainable building, if successful, can help people to see the benefit of living
sustainably; this can be seen in many of Rural Studio's buildings in and around
Hale County, Alabama, and in the design of ALA Himmelwright's "model
fireproof farmhouse," located at Rock Lodge Club in Stockholm, New Jersey.
The same can be said for environmentally sustainable design, is that
“Architecture Can Lead The Way For A Greater Community.”

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The concept of sustainable building incorporates and integrates a variety
of strategies during the design, construction and operation of building projects.
The use of green building materials and products represents one important
strategy in the design of a building.

Green Building Materials offer specific Benefits to the building owner
and building occupants:
• Reduced maintenance/replacement costs over the life of the building.
• Energy conservation.
• Improved occupant health and productivity.
• Lower costs associated with changing space configurations.
• Greater design flexibility.

Building and construction activities worldwide consume 3 billion tons of raw

materials each year or 40 percent of total global. Using green building
materials and products promotes conservation of dwindling nonrenewable
resources internationally. In addition, integrating green building materials into
building projects can help reduce the environmental impacts associated with
the extraction, transport, processing, fabrication, installation, reuse, recycling,
and disposal of these building industry source materials.

Green Building Materials are composed of renewable, rather than

nonrenewable resources. Green materials are environmentally responsible
because impacts are considered over the life of the product. Depending upon
project‐specific goals, an assessment of green materials may involve an
evaluation of one or more of the criteria listed below.


• Resource efficiency
• Indoor air quality
• Energy efficiency
• Water conservation
• Affordability

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Resource Efficiency can be accomplished by utilizing materials that meet
the following criteria:
• RECYCLED CONTENT: Products with identifiable recycled content, including
postindustrial content with a preference for postconsumer content.

• NATURAL, PLENTIFUL OR RENEWABLE: Materials harvested from sustainably

managed sources and preferably have an independent certification (e.g.,
certified wood) and are certified by an independent third party.


resource‐efficient processes including reducing energy consumption,
minimizing waste (recycled, recyclable and or source reduced product
packaging), and reducing greenhouse gases.

• LOCALLY AVAILABLE: Building materials, components, and systems found

locally or regionally saving energy and resources in transportation to the
project site.


from disposal and renovating, repairing, restoring, or generally
improving the appearance, performance, quality, functionality, or value
of a product.

• REUSABLE OR RECYCLABLE: Select materials that can be easily dismantled and

reused or recycled at the end of their useful life.


content or recyclable packaging.

• DURABLE: Materials that are longer lasting or are comparable to

conventional products with long life expectancies.


Indoor air quality is enhanced by utilizing materials that meet the following
• LOW OR NON‐TOXIC: Materials that emit few or no carcinogens,
reproductive toxicants, or irritants as demonstrated by the manufacturer
through appropriate testing.

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• MINIMAL CHEMICAL EMISSIONS: Products that have minimal emissions of

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Products that also maximize
resource and energy efficiency while reducing chemical emissions.

• LOW‐VOC ASSEMBLY: Materials installed with minimal VOC‐producing

compounds, or no‐VOC mechanical attachment methods and minimal

• MOISTURE RESISTANT: Products and systems that resist moisture or inhibit

the growth of biological contaminants in buildings.

• HEALTHFULLY MAINTAINED: Materials, components, and systems that

require only simple, non‐toxic, or low‐VOC methods of cleaning.

• SYSTEMS OR EQUIPMENT: Products that promote healthy IAQ by identifying

indoor air pollutants or enhancing the air quality.

Energy Efficiency can be maximized by utilizing materials, components, and
systems that help reduce energy consumption in buildings and facilities.

Water Conservation can be obtained by utilizing products and systems that
help reduce water consumption in buildings and conserve water in landscaped

Affordability can be considered when building product life‐cycle costs are
comparable to conventional materials or as a whole, are within a project‐
defined percentage of the overall budget.


Product selection can begin after the establishment of project‐specific
environmental goals. The environmental assessment process for building
products involves three basic steps.
• Research
• Evaluation
• Selection

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This step involves gathering all technical information to be evaluated,
including manufacturers' information such as Material Safety Data Sheets
(MSDS), Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) test data, product warranties, source material
characteristics, recycled content data, environmental statements, and
durability information. In addition, this step may involve researching other
environmental issues, building codes, government regulations, building
industry articles, model green building product specifications, and other
sources of product data. Research helps identify the full range of the project’s
building material options.

This step involves confirmation of the technical information, as well as
filling in information gaps. For example, the evaluator may request product
certifications from manufacturers to help sort out possible exaggerated
environmental product claims. Evaluation and assessment is relatively simple
when comparing similar types of building materials using the environmental
criteria. For example, a recycled content assessment between various
manufacturers of medium density fiberboard is a relatively straightforward
"apples to apples" comparison. However, the evaluation process is more
complex when comparing different products with the same function. Then it
may become necessary to process both descriptive and quantitative forms of

A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an evaluation of the relative

"greenness" of building materials and products. LCA addresses the impacts of a
product through all of its life stages. Although rather simple in principle, this
approach has been difficult and expensive in actual practice (although that
appears to be changing).

One tool that uses the LCA methodology is BEES (Building for
Environmental and Economic Sustainability) software. It allows users to
balance the environmental and economic performance of building products.
The software was developed by the National Institute of Standards and
Technology's Building and Fire Research Laboratory.

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This step often involves the use of an evaluation matrix for scoring the
project‐specific environmental criteria. The total score of each product
evaluation will indicate the product with the highest environmental attributes.
Individual criteria included in the rating system can be weighted to
accommodate project‐specific goals and objectives.

Architectural salvage and reclaimed materials are used when
appropriate as well. When older buildings are demolished, frequently any good
wood is reclaimed, renewed, and sold as flooring. Any good dimension stone is
similarly reclaimed. Many other parts are reused as well, such as doors,
windows, mantels, and hardware, thus reducing the consumption of new
goods. When new materials are employed, green designers look for materials
that are rapidly replenished, such as bamboo, which can be harvested for
commercial use after only 6 years of growth, or cork oak, in which only the
outer bark is removed for use, thus preserving the tree. When possible,
building materials may be gleaned from the site itself; for example, if a new
structure is being constructed in a wooded area, wood from the trees which
were cut to make room for the building would be re‐used as part of the
building itself.


Low‐impact building materials are used wherever feasible: for example,
insulation may be made from low VOC (volatile organic compound)‐emitting
materials such as recycled denim or cellulose insulation, rather than the
building insulation materials that may contain carcinogenic or toxic materials
such as formaldehyde. To discourage insect damage, these alternate insulation
materials may be treated with boric acid. Organic or milk‐based paints may be
used. However, a common fallacy is that "green" materials are always better
for the health of occupants or the environment. Many harmful substances
(including formaldehyde, arsenic, and asbestos) are naturally occurring and are
not without their histories of use with the best of intentions. A study of
emissions from materials by the State of California has shown that there are
some green materials that have substantial emissions whereas some more
"traditional" materials actually were lower emitters. Thus, the subject of

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emissions must be carefully investigated before concluding that natural

materials are always the healthiest alternatives for occupants and for the
Volatile organic compounds (VOC) can be found in any indoor
environment coming from a variety of different sources. VOCs have a high
vapor pressure and low water solubility and are suspected of causing sick
building syndrome type symptoms. This is because many VOCs have been
known to cause sensory irritation and central nervous system symptoms
characteristic to sick building syndrome, indoor concentrations of VOCs are
higher than in the outdoor atmosphere, and when there are many VOCs
present, they can cause additive and multiplicative effects.

Green products are usually considered to contain less VOCs and be better for
human and environmental health. A case study conducted by the Department
of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at the University of
Miami that compared three green products and their non‐green counterparts
found that even though both the green products and the non‐green
counterparts both emitted levels of VOCs, the amount and intensity of the
VOCs emitted from the green products were much safer and comfortable for
human exposure.

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Green buildings were once the domain of visionary architects and their
rich clients, lets discuss why green construction and renovation may become
standard building practice, and why paying more now saves money down the

Now more people and businesses opt for green buildings, I think it’s
because there's an awareness of the importance of efficiency, conserving
energy, and improving occupants' health. There's a push politically, and a lot of
the building codes are now going toward green. It has also kind of become the
cause to support in the entertainment industry.

Many people are interested in doing their part for the environment, as
well as improving their health. When they understand the benefits of low
volatile organic compounds (VOC) carpets and paint, and how much that
improves their home environment, there's a great deal of interest, especially
when the cost of doing so is not much more than purchasing products that
have those harmful chemicals in them.

There's a lot of technology available to homeowners that can greatly

improve their environment and health. It is also becoming much more
available and the costs have come down. Every indication is that it is becoming
the way of the future. I think we'll continue to move forward on energy
conservation and environmental consciousness.
On the commercial side, green buildings offer really profound economic value.
Now in 2009, I think that people are almost getting panicky about energy
prices, and that's driving them to look at ways of creating energy efficient
buildings, operations, and automobiles. There's a much bigger sense of
urgency about energy efficiency today than before.

Is green construction and renovation more expensive? It's hard to get

an accurate estimate of the additional costs of building green. There are
reports suggesting that it costs just as much to build green as a conventional
building. But if a building owner puts in an alternative energy system, it's going
to be more expensive. Alternative water systems are more expensive. So,
much of the increased cost reflects how green you want your building to be.

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My sense is that green building is going to become standard building
practice. We need to be careful not to saturate green because people see it as
potentially increasing costs in these hard economic times. This is actually going
to save money, and it's not inherently more expensive. As long as that message
goes out, I think we'll be seeing more and more green homes.

I think it’s nice when you go into restrooms in businesses and airports,
that instead of noticing, "Oh, it's green," you notice when it's not green. It has
become so common that once you put your hands under the sink, the water
comes out and turns itself off, that when you have a manual sink, you start
thinking they are really behind the times. I don't know if I'm typical, but it is
interesting that I'm starting to notice companies that are not green.

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1. http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/
2. http://knowledge.allianz.com/en/globalissues/energy_co2/energy_effici
3. http://greenconstruction.ca/?p=40
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_architecture
5. http://www.doityourself.com/stry/greenconstruction

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