Sustainable Building Solutions for Green Buildings
- Adobe Construction:
a natural building material composed of sand, sandy clay and straw or other organic materials, which is shaped into bricks using wooden frames and dried in the sun.
- Autonomous Building:
a building designed to be operated independently from infrastructural support services such as the electric power grid, municipal water systems, sewage treatment systems, storm drains, communication services, and in some cases public roads.
- Cob Construction:
a building material consisting of clay, sand, straw, water, and earth. Cob is fireproof, resistant to seismic activity, and inexpensive.
- Cradle to Cradle Home Design Winner: the C2C Home design and construction competition leads to homes being built with a goal of achieving the new standards of sustainability set up in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.
- Digitally Prefabricated Solar Building:
housing built with computer-aided manufacturing, making it easier and quicker to create, pre-assemble and put together a fully-customized house. Buildings can be digitally customized to be dynamic and climatically-appropriate within their site.
- Earth Sheltering:
the architectural practice of using earth for external thermal mass against building walls. This is a passive solar practice.
- Earthbag Construction:
a very strong, very cheap way of creating structures. Polypropylene or burlap bags are filled with earth, or crushed volcanic rock. They are then stacked on top of each other, inter-tied with barbed wire or rebar, and tamped until hard.
- Energy-Efficient Landscaping:
a type of landscaping designed for the purpose of conserving energy.
Techniques include planting trees for the purpose of providing shade; planting or building windbreaks to slow winds near buildings; wall sheltering, where shrubbery or vines are used to create a windbreak directly against a wall; and earth sheltering and positioning buildings to take advantage of natural landforms as windbreaks.
- Energy Efficiency Tools:
tools that help a building owner assess, calculate and track the building's energy efficiency. Another tool.
- Forest Certification: Forest certification is a seal of approval for wood products, allowing builders to purchase products that minimize harm to forest ecosystems.
- Green Building EPA Site:
the practice of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance, and demolition.
- Green Buildings:
the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use and harvest energy, water, and materials; and reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal.
- Green Hotels:
environmentally-responsible hotels that change their practices in order to conserve resources, reduce the use of toxic products, and reduce waste.
- Green Roofs: a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and soil, or a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. (Great examples: Art School in Singapore, Museum in San Francisco) (Video) (greenroofs.org)
- Green Wall (aka living walls, biowalls, vertical gardens/vegetated complex walls):
a wall, either free-standing or part of a building, that is partially or completely covered with vegetation (typically utilizing hydroponics technology). (Video)
- Integrative Design:
building connections and cross-linked support between the engineered, cultural and natural systems in a building project in order to achieve significant efficiencies and natural system regeneration.
- Living Building Challenge (LBC):
philosophy, advocacy tool and certification program that promotes the most advanced measurement of sustainability in the built environment possible today. It can be applied to development at all scales, from buildings – both new construction and renovation, to infrastructure, landscapes and neighborhoods.
- Natural Building:
involves a range of building systems and materials that place major emphasis on sustainability.
- Passive House:
the rigorous, voluntary, Passivhaus standard for energy use in buildings. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating.
- Passive Solar Design:
a term referring to those technologies that can be employed to convert natural sunlight into usable heat, to cause air-movement for ventilation or cooling, or to store the heat for future use, without the use of electrical or mechanical equipment.
- Rooftop Farming:
commercial farms built on rooftops using contained gardens by companies such as Bright Farms and Brooklyn Grange. (Video)
- Small Home (Tiny House) Movement:
popular description for the architectural and social movement that advocates living in small homes. It is particularly vocal in the USA, where the book The Not So Big House is credited with starting the backlash against supersized homes. Learn details about one couple's tiny home. (Video)
- Smart Growth:
used by those who seek to identify a set of policies governing transportation and land use planning policy for urban areas that benefits communities and preserves the natural environment.
- Solar Chimney:
a way of improving the natural ventilation of buildings by using convection of air heated by passive solar energy.
- Solar Hot Water Heaters:
heated water achieved through the usage of solar energy.
- Solar Panels:
refers to a photovoltaic array, a collection of solar cells used to generate electricity, or to a flat solar thermal collector, such as a solar hot water panel, used to generate solar hot water or otherwise collect solar thermal energy.
- Solar Pool Heating System:
heating system where a pool's filtration pump circulates water through a large heat exchange surface, usually located on a roof, where it absorbs the sun's energy.
- Solar Roof Shingles:
serve as conventional roof shingles for weather protection, while generating solar electricity.
- Solar Space or Radiant Home Heating System: home heating system where a water is circulated through a large heat exchange surface, usually located on a roof, where it absorbs the sun's energy.
- Straw-Bale Construction:
a building method that uses straw bales as structural elements, insulation, or both.
a superinsulated house is intended to be heated predominantly by intrinsic heat sources (waste heat generated by appliances and the body heat of the occupants), without passive solar or large amounts of thermal mass, and with very small amounts of backup heat.
- Sustainable Building Material:
building material that comes from sustainable sources and/or results in sustainable resource consumption.
- Trombe Wall:
a sun-facing wall built from material that can act as a thermal mass (such as stone, concrete, adobe or water tanks), combined with an air space, insulated glazing and vents to form a large solar thermal collector.
- Whole Systems Design:
looks not only at how the materials and systems of a building connect and interrelate, but also how a building and its systems relate to and enrich its site and the surrounding community.
a traditional Persian architectural device used for many centuries to create natural ventilation in buildings.
- Zero Energy Building:
a term applied to a building with a net energy consumption of zero over a typical year.