Page E1.1 . 05 April 2006                     
ArchitectureWeek - Environment Department
< Prev Page Next Page >
  • Deep and Merely Tinted Greens
  • Health, Care and Comfort

      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters


    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Deep and Merely Tinted Greens

    by Michael Cockram

    As the concept of "green design" enters the mainstream of our building culture, designers are being given a glut of information and misinformation on what constitutes environmentally sound practices. The term "greenwashing" has entered the lexicon to mean giving the appearance of being green without providing substantive environmental benefit.

    In the building business, as with U.S. national policy, it's sometimes difficult to see through the labels to identify substantially improved practices. The waters are easily muddied with contradictory claims from different camps.

    The green building dilemma is mirrored in the similar controversies swirling around in the organic food industry. As mainstream agriculture works to claim a share of the growing organic market share, big producers are pressuring government to modify the definition of "organic" to include more synthetic ingredients.

    Similarly, as the green building movement grows and more mainstream designers, builders, and developers jump on board, there is pressure to simply relabel conventional practices as "green." Design professionals need to ask: what criteria are being used to define "green" building? Who sets and maintains those criteria?

    The hallmark guidelines in commercial building come from the U.S. Green Building Council in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. Since it began, LEED certification has become extremely influential in bringing sustainable practices into the mainstream. It is increasingly adopted as a minimum standard by municipalities and is now required by the federal government for new structures.   >>>

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...


    ArchWeek Image

    According to environmentalists, the "Clear Skies" initiative actually clears the way for more pollution.

    ArchWeek Image

    "McMansions," or unnecessarily large, resource-consuming houses, have become popular in the United States.


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
    ARCHWEEK   |   GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   NEW BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   SEARCH © 2006 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved