Introduction to Green Buildings
Thirty years ago ecological design was a fringe activity, now it is mainstream and feeding into heart of the colossal global construction industry. Energy Efficiency ratings, ecological footprint of construction materials, embedding of micro-renewables and future recyclability are today’s drivers for the building design standards of tomorrow. The auditing of a building’s energy efficiency is now part of larger business-wide carbon management audits being adopted as businesses embrace sustainable practices.
Sustainable Design & Procurement
A number of quality assessment methodologies such as LEED and BREEAM are increasingly being viewed as the operating standard for sustainable building practices for new and refurbished buildings and ecohomes. The adoption of sustainable procurement practices is bringing substantial change to both the way buildings are built and how they are used and the way their materials will be reused and recycled. The selection of new energy efficient lighting systems and low energy appliances all reduce the carbon footprint of the individual and the corporation.
Energy Engineering & Energy Management
The adoption of micro-renewables, and software packages to aid the design and management of energy systems within buildings, has created new job opportunities. There is a demand to fill positions such as Energy Manager, Energy Control Systems Engineer and for individuals adept at computer modelling, or installing and commissioning of solar, wind and other micro-renewables technologies.
Facilitating this change in architectural practices are the layers of local, national and international regulations that must be designed, implemented and controlled. Each of these tiers requires knowledgeable staff to successfully drive sustainability standards upwards. At the strategic level, planners must be aware of the need to intergrate energy generation and supply with sustainable transport, waste and water management systems into the residential and commercial elements of urban and rural areas.