Green building guidelines: meeting the demand for low-energy, resource-efficient homes pdf.
Green building guidelines: meeting the demand for low-energy, resource-efficient homes.
Foreword of Green building guidelines: meeting the demand for low-energy, resource-efficient homes book:
Since the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) started working on the initial version of the Green Building Guidelines: Meeting the Demand for Low-Energy, Resource-Efficient Homes in 2000, much has changed. Nearly two million housing units have been built every year. The impact of all of this construction has been positive as it rippled through the economy, helping to keep it stronger longer than could have been predicted.
There has also been a downside. Consider these facts: every year constructing and operating America’s buildings generates about 25% of the total municipal solid waste stream and 48% of all greenhouse gas emissions. The industry uses over 25% of the total amount of water, and a whopping 76% of the electricity generated in the US. And our country’s insatiable appetite for energy to power these new homes keeps increasing, which results in more and more air pollution. An unprecedented number of natural disasters, wildfires, tornadoes, and most notably Hurricane Katrina, have damaged or destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, many of which still await final demolition before being taken off to the landfill.
During the same six-year period, the green phenomenon has taken firm hold nationally, touching many aspects of our lives: from everyday purchases such as organic foods and hybrid cars to the more heady concept proposed by economists and environmentalists to quantify the US green Gross Domestic Product. Green magazines and e-newsletters are springing up everywhere. Coverage in top national newspapers such as The New York Times, the LA Times, and The Washington Post is regular and in-depth. Cover stories and entire issues devoted to green are found in Time, Newsweek, CNN Money, Vanity Fair, and Good Housekeeping.
The construction and home building sectors are no exception. The green home building movement, which applies environmentally sensitive design and construction techniques to reduce energy and water consumption and improve residential comfort and safety, has moved rapidly into the mainstream. By 2005, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) had already held its fourth annual green building conference called “Greening the American Dream.” That same year, NAHB published the Model Green Home Building Guidelines and the accompanying Green Home Building Checklist designed as a tool kit for local associations that wanted to create their own customized green home building programs. NAHB’s goal to move environmentally-friendly home building concepts further into the mainstream marketplace continues to be a high priority in 2007. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) also launched a residential program and is now pilot testing LEED® for Homes (LEED-H). This voluntary rating system, targeted to reach the top 25% of homes with best practices and environmental features, is expected to be formally released in late 2007.
It is just one part of the suite of assessment tools offered by the USGBC. At last count, more than 60 local green building programs had been established by homebuilder associations, utilities, local governments, and nonprofit groups across the U.S., and there are many more ready to launch.
Continued growth in the marketplace for green/sustainable homes is being predicted. Results from the McGraw-Hill Key Trends/SmartMarket Report published in 2006, found a 20% increase in 2005 in the members of the home building community who were focusing more attention on the environmentally responsible building. That number was expected to increase by another 30% in 2006. The study showed that after several years of slow but steady growth across the country, by 2010, the residential green building business might grow as high as $38 billion.
With such a dynamic landscape, an update of the Green Building Guidelines was warranted. In addition to educating newcomers to green home building, we are eager to share SBIC’s overarching philosophy that sustainability, while critcial, cannot stand alone. A more inclusive ‘’whole-building approach” is required and is summarized for readers of this new edition.
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