Typical green building measures

While there's no such thing as a "typical" green building, there are specific design and construction measures which are used in many green buildings. If you are a designer, understanding these measures will help you work with green builders, building owners, developers,facility managers, government officials, business clients, nonprofit executives or just interested stakeholders in a green building program.

Based on an analysis of the first 450 LEED-NC-certified projects, the following technical measures that one might associate with a typical green building project are actually likely to be used in less than a third of all green building projects (see Tables 7.1 and 7.2 for details on all such measures):

• High-efficiency ventilation and underfloor air distribution systems.

• Operable windows and greater control over thermal comfort by occupants.

• Use of certified wood products.

• Rapidly renewable materials such as cork and bamboo flooring.

Most of these systems and approaches aren't common because they have fewer opportunities, experience supply-chain difficulties or require greater initial cost (such as solar PV systems).

However, there are other opportunities to use green products in LEED systems, in particular, by using furniture and furnishings that have salvaged or reclaimed materials (such as partitions), high-recycled-content materials (such as recycled plastics), use agricultural products such as wheatboard and strawboard, cotton or wool, contain 100 percent certified wood from sustainably managed forests and are made from formaldehyde-free composite wood products.

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