Buildings are one of the most important elements of human societies, and the question of building sustainability is the key question in the context of development and lifestyle of any civilization. Buildings are recognized as the main energy-consuming systems and as one of the high performing greenhouse gas emitters. Furthermore, because people in Western society spend most of their time indoors, buildings have a strong impact on human health and well-being. Multiple issues and criteria of sustainable building design and operation are introduced in this lesson. Following the assigned readings, you will engage in forum discussion and will be asked to perform an activity focusing on the analysis of some of the metrics used in building evaluation.
By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
- understand the principles under sustainable building design;
- list the rating criteria for determining the environmental quality of buildings;
- apply metrics to building analysis and propose scenarios for improvement.
- Book: Green Building: Project Planning and Cost Estimating, RSMeans, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2011. Selected chapters. See lesson sections for specific pages to read (See E-Reserves in Canvas).
- Web article: "The Future of Green Buildings May Be Closer than You Think", Press release, Wharton University of Pennsylvania, May 06, 2013.
- Journal paper: Hakkinen, T., Helin, T., Antuna, C., Supper, S., Schiopu, N., and Nibel., S., Land Use as an Aspect of Sustainable Building, International Journal of Sustainable Land Use and Urban Planning, 1, 21-41 (2013). Selected pages.
- EPRI Report: Sustainable Water Resource Management: Vol. 2 Green Building Case Studies, Electric Power Research Institute, January 2010. Section 2.2.5 (pp. 2-21 to 2-27).
If you have any questions while working through this Lesson, please post them to our Message Board forum in Canvas. You can use that space any time to chat about course topics or to ask questions. While you are there, please feel free to post your own responses if you are able to help out a classmate.