Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to a structure and using a process that is environmentally responsible and resource efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from the building site to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and demolition. Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on the natural environment and human health. Siting and Design Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Materials Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality Enhancement, Operation and Maintenance Optimisation and Toxics and Waste Reduction are the essence of green building based on these principles.
Rating systems are widely used to assess and allocate levels of sustainability to buildings. The ones most used in Europe are: LEED, BREEAM and DGNB.
GBC ME is working with the US, UK and German rating authorities to give our members access to training and guidance on implementing the appropriate system.
A study “confirms that minimal increases in upfront costs of about 2% to support green design would, on average, result in life cycle savings of 20% of total construction costs — more than ten times the initial investment” (Kats, 2003).