What Is Sustainable Or Green Buildings


02 Nov 2017

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Construction industry plays a significant role in providing social and economical development to the society as its one of the largest business sectors. For instance in U.S nearly 7.3 million people are working in the construction industry that's nearly 5% of the population and same for most of the world's largest countries (Statistics USA, 2011)

The construction industry, however, consumes large amounts of natural resources and generates large amounts of material wastes, e.g. the amount of construction waste produces every year is nearly 545 million tons per year ("Size of the United States Solid Waste Industry," R.W. Beck, Inc. 2001). This amount of waste generated by construction industry and its waste disposal at landfills are becoming growing concerns. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) estimates that up to 95 percent of the waste on a construction site has a potential to reuse or recycling.

What is Sustainable or Green Buildings?

The definition adopted for this project is from U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which defines the green building as " Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high performance building". The green building field began to come together more formally in the 1990s. First local green building program was introduced in Austin, TX(1992) and U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) was founded in 1993. USGBC launched their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in 1998 and LEED Rating system took 4 years to developed by 1998 LEED 1.0developed in the year 2000.

What is LEED?

Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) is a rating system for developing high performance, sustainable buildings. LEED certification provides a third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in areas like human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED is developed by US Green Building Council. LEED has total possible points of 110 with four different rating levels. Out of total possible points if a building has 40+ points then it is certified, 50+ certified Silver, 60+ certified Gold and 80+ Certified Gold. Out of 110 points, 10 points contributes bonus points.

Construction Waste Management:

Construction Waste Management is an area of the waste management field which is focused on waste associated with construction, including waste from new buildings sites, home renovations, and demolition of existing structures. The waste generated during the construction process is generally referred as Construction Waste.

LEED requires a Construction Waste Management Plan to fulfill the LEED Materials and Resources credit. It also has a various techniques to reduces the waste which is generated at the construction project. The techniques commonly used in the Waste Management Plans are appropriate material selection, construction site arrangement, recycling appropriate materials, and proper documentation.( )

Intent of the Project:

Research objective of this project is to aid project stakeholders to optimize the

implementation of LEED through better implementation of waste management and its credits in order to reduce costs, increase benefits, and to improve the sustainability of the construction project. The research question is:

In what way can the management of sustainable building design in Waste Management LEED certification program be improved so that the cost and schedule impacts of implementations are minimized, and that the future techniques are gained?

To Answer this question the intent of the project is described as follows:

The intent of this project is to provide more light on the issues pertaining to implementation of effective waste management practices on the active and already established construction sites.

In this case pick up three case studies in Bay Area which got LEED Platinum or Gold certification and study how they tackled Waste management and publish an analysis of the best practices.

Choosing Three-Six Waste management companies in Bay Area and concentrate on the issues they get and how they solve them?

Study on the best methods in reducing the demolition waste being deposited on landfill sites.

Selection, Evaluation and use of Concrete, Asphalt Shingles, Wood and Gypsum Wallboard.

Further more study can be done by researching on latest waste management techniques which can reduce the cost and increase recycling percentage.

Methodology of the Project:

Identification of the waste material generated in U.S construction sites and its impact on the society.

Study on Construction Waste Issues in Bay Area for the cities of San Francisco,

San Jose and Oakland.

A Survey Questionnaires would be conducted for gathering the information on the waste management techniques which are being practiced.

Three Case studies should be selected which got LEED Platinum or Gold Certification. Each Case study will be picked from three different locations (San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland) as the local jurisdiction laws vary from county to county on the waste management rules.

Implementation of Construction Waste Management Plan for the identification of the amount of materials used and recycled.

Roles of best practices in sustainable building design of Concrete, Wood, Asphalt Shingles and Gypsum Wallboard and how they make the building environmentally friendly.

As the end result an imaginary model is being with the best practices of the Construction and Demolition Waste.


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