Green Building Elements (03/17/16) Meyers, Glenn
Building with Chemistry (BwC) has developed an online tool aimed at green building. The resource targets creating more energy-efficient and sustainable homes, offices, schools, and other buildings. "The increased popularity of green building design and construction has given rise to a variety of approaches that aim to guide architects, designers, materials specifiers, and builders in how to build 'green,'" according to the BwC initiative. Comprehensive whole green building standards, which are often created by professionals, engineers, and building scientists, generally segment requirements into separate chapters such as energy efficiency, indoor air quality, sustainable site selection, materials, and resource use. In addition, these standards often set minimum benchmarks for performance and focus on detailed specifications. Green building codes are established by law as mandatory building requirements adopted by a state or local jurisdiction. Currently, model codes are revised and updated on a continual basis in an open, public forum. In the last 10 years, green building certification systems have become increasingly popular, as they often include requirements that are separated into chapters, which contain a list of potential "credits" for accomplishing performance levels in the respective performance categories. Builders collect these credits to achieve certification to green building, which can result in differentiated "ratings," such as silver, gold, and platinum. Green building tools enable analyses of specific aspects of sustainable building, and are needed to make informed decisions about materials and products that improve safety, energy efficiency, durability, sustainability, and other performance benefits.