Making Buildings Good
by Marian Keeler and Bill Burke
The days of making the business case for sustainable design, or even explaining what LEED means and why it is important, have passed. Today's green building challenges have moved to more complicated areas of policy — permitting and politics — and the motivating sense of competition to be "the greenest."
Green building requirements are rippling through local municipalities across the country and around the globe. Such requirements take many forms, including planning incentives that allow greater density, and bonus incentives for green building practices.
In the United States, a few local governments are amending local codes, adopting comprehensive green building ordinances or LEED requirements for all commercial and residential construction. State-level commitment can be seen in the adoption by the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission of the goals of the 2030 Challenge.
A first round of various state assembly bills were put forth: California's AB 2030 and AB 2112, which propose that all new commercial and residential construction in California be designed as net-zero-energy buildings by the year 2030.
Future architects, designers, and builders, while leading clients and project teams through the new complexities and conflicts that will emerge as we witness such shifts toward building green, need to understand these bills and their progeny as components of design.
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This article is excerpted from Fundamentals of Integrated Design for Sustainable Building by Marian Keeler and Bill Burke, copyright © 2009, with permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons.