Anda di halaman 1dari 171

Sustainable

Design

Fundamentals
for
Buildings

SDCB 101
Architectural Institute of British Columbia
Alberta Association of Architects
Saskatchewan Association of Architects
Manitoba Association of Architects
Ontario Association of Architects
Ordre des architectes du Qubec
Architects Association of New Brunswick
Association des architectes du Nouveau-Brunswick
Nova Scotia Association of Architects
Architects Association of Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland Association of Architects

In partnership with:
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Sustainable
Design for
Canadian
Buildings

Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings


2001 Edition
The National Practice Program (NPP) is an alliance of the ten provincial associations of architects and
the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). This manual has been developed by the NPP on
behalf of the architectural profession in Canada, represented by these member associations:
Architectural Institute of British Columbia
Alberta Association of Architects
Saskatchewan Association of Architects
Manitoba Association of Architects
Ontario Association of Architects
Ordre des architectes du Qubec
Architects Association of New Brunswick
Association des architectes du Nouveau-Brunswick
Nova Scotia Association of Architects
Newfoundland Association of Architects
and
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Editor
Peter Busby, FRAIC
Assistant Editor
Michel Labrie
Editorial Review
Veronica de Pencier, MRAIC
Jon Hobbs, MRAIC
Contributors
Raymond J. Cole, PhD
Martine Desbois
Pierre Gallant, MRAIC
Vivian Manasc, FRAIC
Joanne McCallum MRAIC
Lyse M. Tremblay
Proofreading
Isabelle Boss
Graphic Design
Aerographics Creative Services Inc.
Printing
Beauregard Printers
2001 The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada on behalf of all the members of the National Practice Program.
This manual may not be copied in whole or in part without the prior written permission of the Royal Architectural
Institute of Canada.
Disclaimer
Busby + Associates has compiled the information in the manual Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings.
The National Practice Program (NPP) supports the development and dissemination of Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings;
however, neither the NPP, nor the Contributors, nor the Editors take responsibility for the accuracy or completeness
of any information or its fitness for any particular purpose.

Printed on Rolland Evolution using vegetable inks and made of 100% post-consumer fibre.

Sustainable

Design

Fundamentals
for
Buildings

The members of the National Practice Program gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance from
the following department of the federal government in the development of the Sustainable Design
Fundamentals for Buildings:

Public Works and


Government Services
Canada

Travaux publics et
Services gouvernementaux
Canada

Sustainable

Design

Fundamentals
for
Buildings

Ta b l e of

Contents

Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction
1.0

Building an Environmental Ethic

2.0

Green Building Design Methodology

3.0

Sustainable Site Design

4.0

Water Efficiency

5.0

Energy and Atmosphere

6.0

Materials and Resources

7.0

Indoor Environmental Quality

8.0

LEED in the Canadian Context

9.0

Regional Perspective

10.0

A View to the Future

Glossary
Bibliography

Sustainable

Design

Fundamentals
for
Buildings

Acknowledgements
The members of the National Practice Program
gratefully acknowledge the support of the
following committee in the development of the
Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings:
The Sustainable Building Canada Committee
(SBCC)
and the following architects and firms whose
projects are featured in the manual:
difica
Architectura
Arthur Erickson Architectural Corporation
Bourrassa et Gaudreau Architectes
Busby + Associates Architects
Christopher Simmonds Architect
Colborne Architectural Group
Daniel Pearl and Mark Poddubiuk Architectes
ECO-TEK Wastewater Treatment
Genetron Systems Inc.
Hotson Bakker Architects
Julia Bourke Architecte
Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects
Linda Chapman Architect
Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd.
Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc.
Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership
Patkau Architects Inc.
Phillip Sharp Architect Ltd.
Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
R. Monnier Architecte
Roger Hughes + Partners Architects
Stone Kohn McQuire Vogt Architects
Van Nostrand diCastri Architects

The National Practice Program would also like


to thank the many individuals who provided
information, advice and assistance.
Blair McCarry, P.Eng., Keen Engineering
Christine Strauss, Busby + Associates Architects
Doug Pollard, CMHC National Office
Kevin Hydes, P.Eng., Keen Engineering
Mark Swain, Keen Engineering
Michael McColl, Busby + Associates Architects
Nathan Webster, Busby + Associates Architects
Robin Glover, Busby + Associates Architects
Rosamund Hyde, Keen Engineering
Susan Gushe, Busby + Associates Architects
Vince Catalli, by dEsign Consultants

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Preface
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
and the ten provincial associations of architects,
through the National Practice Program (NPP),
intend to provide a series of Continuing Education
courses on sustainable design to the architectural
profession in Canada. SDCB 101 is the first in
this series.
The NPP plans to offer two other entry level
modules in the year 2002:
SDCB 102 National Assessment Tool
103 Canadian Case Studies
A second level of more specific courses (with
SDCB 101 as a prerequisite) will be offered in the
future. Some of these include:
SDCB 201 Simulation Software and Skills
Development
202 Advanced Daylighting Strategies
203 Concrete, Flyash and Other Additives
204 Selecting Sensible Materials for
Interiors
205 Photovoltaics and Fuel Cells
206 Deconstruction and Demolition
207 Onsite Wastewater Strategies
208 Sustainability Issues in Urban
Planning and Design
209 Greening Your Specifications
210 Sustainable Design of Structures
211 Sustainable Design of Landscapes
More advanced courses which are being considered
in the future (prerequisites will also be required)
include:
SDCB 301 Advanced Simulation, Dynamic
Thermal Modeling
302 Living Machine Design and Use

Sustainable Building Canada


Committee (SBCC) Background and Organization
The concept for SDCB 101 and the entire program
is a creation of SBCC - Sustainable Building
Canada Committee. This committee was formed
by the RAIC in January 2001 with four key
objectives:
Advancing, within a context of
interdisciplinary exchange, the
implementation of sustainable building
practices in the construction industry.
Providing leadership and overseeing the
design and development of various programs
including but not limited to:
- a Website,
- recommendation and promotion of a
Canadian Assessment Tool,
- a national education program, and
- a system for recommending and
promoting green products and standards.
Generating and updating the resources
necessary for the effective communication
of knowledge and research pertaining to
sustainable building.
Establishing and maintaining relationships
with appropriate regulatory bodies as well as
with government and industry on a national
level.
The purpose of the SBCC is to create a national
forum of interdisciplinary groups within the
Construction Industry to coordinate efforts
in developing and promoting environmentally
responsible construction industry practices.
This Committee is absolutely critical for Canada.
As a nation we have committed to the Kyoto
Accord. The buildings we construct and operate
constitute almost 40% of the total greenhouse
gas emissions in Canada; hence, the work of the

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

SBCC may be the single largest contributor to


Canadas solutions for compliance with the Kyoto
Accord.
The Sustainable Building Canada
Committee will develop a coherent
platform for the design, construction,
operation, management, regulation and
evaluation of built green environments
in Canada, and the education of
professionals involved in the industry,
leading to progressively improved levels
of sustainability.
The Executive Committee includes representatives
of the RAIC; the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities (FCM); the British Columbia Buildings
Corporation (BCBC); Public Works and Government
Services Canada (PWGSC); the Association of
Consulting Engineers of Canada (ACEC); Building
Owners and Managers Association (BOMA); and
the Canadian Construction Association (CCA).
In addition to the Executive Committee, there
are six Technical Advisory Committees (TAC):
Assessment Tool; Website Design; Education
and Promotion; Products and Standards; Green
Building Challenge; and Fundraising.
Currently, the SBCC is operated in a manner
similar to all other committees within the RAIC.
Its funding and expenses are controlled by the
RAIC and are subject to the normal policies
of the RAIC. The RAIC presently contracts
with the Ottawa-based consulting firm,
by dEsign Consultants, to provide secretariat
and coordination services for the SBCC.
The current Sustainable Building Canada Committee
organization is as follows:

Chair:
Peter Busby, FRAIC, Busby + Associates
Architects (pbusby@busby.ca)

Vice Chair:
Bruce Lorimer, FRAIC, Director General, PWGSC,
A&ES (lorimerb@pwgsc.gc.ca)

Secretariat:
Jon Hobbs, Executive Director, RAIC
(jonhobbs@raic.org)
Vince Catalli, MRAIC, President, by dEsign
Consultants (catalli@bydesignconsultants.com)

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Technical Advisor to Executive


Committee:
Nils Larsson, NRCan,
(larsson@greenbuildings.ca)

Technical Advisory Committee (TAC):


Products & Standards
Chair:
Craig Applegath, FRAIC, Dunlop Architects
(capplegath@dunloparchitects.com)
Web Site Design
Chair:
Vivian Manasc, FRAIC, Manasc Isaac Architects
(vivian@miarch.com)
Assessment Tool
Chair:
Kevin Hydes, P.Eng., Keen Engineering
(kevin.hydes@keen.ca)
Education & Promotion
Chair:
Sandra Marshall, MRAIC, Sr. Researcher, CMHC
(smarshal@cmhc-schl.gc.ca)
Green Building Challenge 2002
Chair:
Alex Zimmerman, British Columbia Building
Corporation (azimmerman@bcbc.bc.ca)
Funding
Chair:
Glen Wither, MRAIC, McGraw-Hill Construction
Information Group
(glen_wither@mcgraw-hill.ca)
Volunteers are encouraged to join subcommittees
by contacting the chairs directly via e-mail. There
is a lot of work to be done to green this fine
country.

Photo Credits
The following photographs of buildings have been used throughout this manual.

Project:

Mountain Equipment Co-op Store,


Toronto
Architect:
Stone Kohn McQuire Vogt
Architects
Image Credit: Peter Carr-Locke

Project:

CK Choi, Institute for Asian


Research
Architect:
Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc.
Image Credit: Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc.

Project:
Revenue Canada Office Building
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects
Image Credit: Martin Tessler

Project:

City of Vancouver Materials


Testing Facility
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects
Image Credit: Martin Tessler

Project:

Project:

Project:

Project:
Banff Town Hall
Architect:
Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd.
Image Credit: Robert Lemermeyer

York University Computer Science


Facility
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects in
association with Van Nostrand
diCastri Architects
Image Credit: Busby + Associates Architects
City of Vancouver Materials
Testing Facility
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects
Image Credit: Martin Tessler
Project:

CK Choi, Institute for Asian


Research
Architect:
Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc.
Image Credit: Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc.
Mountain Equipment Co-op Store,
Ottawa
Architect:
Linda Chapman Architect and
Christopher Simmonds Architect,
in joint venture
Image Credit: Ewald Richter

Liu Centre for the Study of Global


Issues
Architect:
Architectura, in collaboration
with Arthur Erickson
Image Credit: Richard Klopp, MAIBC

Project:

South East False Creek,


Vancouver, BC
Image Credit: City of Vancouver
Project:
Locoshop Angus
Architect:
difica
Image Credit: Patrick Dionne

Project:

Image:

Busby + Associates' office


foldable bicycle for "too far to
walk" local meetings.
Image Credit: Busby + Associates Architects

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Project:
Architect:

BC Gas Operation Centre


Musson Cattell Mackey
Partnership
Image Credit: Nick Lehoux Photography
Strawberry Vale Elementary
School
Architect:
Patkau Architects Inc.
Image Credit: James Dow

Project:

Liu Centre for the Study of Global


Issues
Architect:
Architectura, in colaboration
with Arthur Erickson
Image Credit: Richard Klopp, MAIBC

Project:

Project:

Liu Centre for the Study of Global


Issues
Architect:
Architectura, in collaboration
with Arthur Erickson
Image Credit: Kori Chan, MAIBC
Project:
Hinton Government Centre
Architect:
Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd.
Image Credit: Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd.
Project:
Rocky Mountain Institute
Image Credit: Rocky Mountain Institute
Project:

Sun Life Insurance Head Office,


Toronto
Image Credit: Genetron Systems Inc.
Project:
Hastings Park Restoration Plan
Landscape
Architect:
Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
Image Credit: Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
Project:

Nicola Valley Institute of


Technology
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects
Image Credit: James Teit
Project:
Citadel of Quebec
Image Credit: Royal 22e Rgiment
Mountain Equipment Co-op Store,
Toronto
Architect:
Stone Kohn McQuire Vogt
Architects
Image Credit: Dan Cowling

Project:
Beausoleil Solar Aquatics
Firm:
ECO-TEK Wastewater Treatment
Image Credit: ECO-TEK Wastewater Treatment
Project:
Architect:

BC Gas Operation Centre


Musson Cattell Mackey
Partnership
Image Credit: Nick Lehoux Photography
Project:
Hastings Park Restoration Plan
Landscape
Architect:
Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
Image Credit: Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
Project:

CK Choi, Institute for Asian


Research
Architect:
Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc.
Image Credit: Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc.
Project:
Hastings Park Restoration Plan
Landscape
Architect:
Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
Image Credit: Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
Project:

CK Choi, Institute for Asian


Research
Architect:
Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc.
Image Credit: Mike Sherman
Project:

Body Shop (Canada)


Headquarters
Architect:
Colborne Architectural Group
Living Machine: John Todd
Image Credit: Strategic Assertive Public
Relations

Project:

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Project:

Advanced house comparable to


R-2000 'La maison des marais'
Architect:
R. Monnier, Architecte
Image Credit: R. Monnier, Architecte

Project:

York University Computer Science


Facility
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects in
association with Van Nostrand
diCastri Architects
Image Credit: Michael McColl of Busby +
Associates Architects
Project:
Revenue Canada Office Building
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects
Image Credit: Busby + Associates Architects
Project:
440 Cambie Street
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects
Code Consultant: Pioneer Consultants Ltd.
Image Credit: Martin Tessler
Project:
Architect:

EcoResidence
Daniel Pearl and Mark Poddubiuk
Architectes
Image Credit: Daniel Pearl and Mark Poddubiuk
Architectes
Project:
APEGBC Head Offices
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects
Image Credit: Martin Tessler
Image:
Pincher Creek wind turbine farm
Image Credit: Busby + Associates Architects
Project:
Telus Office Building
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects
Image Credit: Busby + Associates Architects
Image:
Pincher Creek wind turbine farm
Image Credit: Busby + Associates Architects
Project:
2211 West Fourth
Architect:
Hotson Bakker Architects
Image Credit: Bruce Haden and Rob Melnychuk
respectively
Project:
Architect:

Walnut Grove Aquatic Centre


Roger Hughes + Partners
Architects
Image Credit: Gary Otte

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Project:
Architect:

Richmond City Hall


Hotson Bakker Architects and
Kuwabara Payne McKenna
Blumberg Associated Architects
Image Credit: Peter Aaron/Esto
Project:
La Petite Maison du Weekend
Architect:
Patkau Architects Inc.
Image Credit: Richard K. Loesch
Project:
1220 Homer Street
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects
Image Credit: Sue Ockwell of Busby +
Associates Architects
Project:
Angus Locoshop
Architect:
difica
Image Credit: Michel Tremblay
Project:

Strawberry Vale Elementary


School
Architect:
Patkau Architects Inc.
Image Credit: James Dow
Project:
Architect:

Richmond City Hall


Hotson Bakker Architects and
Kuwabara Payne McKenna
Blumberg Associated Architects
Image Credit: Peter Aaron/Esto
Project:

Mountain Equipment Co-op Store,


Ottawa
Architect:
Linda Chapman Architect and
Christopher Simmonds Architect,
in joint venture
Image Credit: Ewald Richter
Project:
Concord Sales Pavilion
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects
Image Credit: Rod Mass of Busby + Associates
Architects
Project:

The City of Vancouver Materials


Testing Facility
Architect:
Busby + Associates Architects
Image Credit: Martin Tessler and Busby +
Associates Architects respectively

Introduction

Of all the changes that


will come to Canada in the
next generation, we must
prevent any of a sort that
will diminish the essential
beauty of this country.
For if that beauty is lost,
or if that wilderness
escapes, the very nature
and character of this
land will have passed
beyond our grasp.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Introduction
SDCB 101 Course Objectives
and Content
This course is designed to be a primer on
green building design in Canada. The material
focuses on residential, commercial, institutional
and light industrial buildings, pertaining to new
construction and renovations. Agricultural and
industrial buildings are not specifically addressed
in this primer. Part of this course material is also
relevant to programming, interior design, and
landscape design.

The course objectives are:


to propose a green building methodology;
to introduce issues of sustainable design for
Canadian buildings;
to provide environmental strategies
applicable in day to day practice; and
to discuss a National Assessment Tool for
Canada.
The content of this manual is intended for the
Canadian architect who is working towards the
achievement of more sustainable design. Canadawide strategies are presented as an introduction
to the concepts of green buildings. The authors
acknowledge the significant climatic variations
within Canada, ranging from southern desert
and Mediterranean zones to Northern Arctic
conditions. Recognizing this, a supplementary
section providing a regional perspective is
included. Future courses will provide greater
detail including specific design solutions within
each region.
The manual is divided into ten sections, with
opening and closing sections written by Raymond
J. Cole, PhD, professor at the School of Architecture
of the University of British Columbia. Each
section provides an overview on key green design

considerations and design strategies, followed


by a discussion on regulatory issues, linkages
and tradeoffs. Canadian case studies and web
resources are merged within the document for
easy reference. The order of subjects parallels
the organization of LEED to develop familiarity
for readers. A glossary explaining key concepts,
a bibliography of written publications, and a
copy of the LEED Green Building Rating System
Version 2.0 complete the manual. The sections of
the manual are:

1.0 Building an Environmental


Ethic
Introduction by Raymond J. Cole, PhD.

2.0 Green Building Design


Methodology
This introductory section provides information
about design and implementation processes
fundamental to green building design. Green
building design methodology must include the
following:
Implementation Strategies: requiring
the following key processes: life cycle
assessment; Integrated Design Approach
(IDA), which includes clients and governing
bodies; the establishment of sustainable
goals; and sharing knowledge and promoting
green buildings.
Verification and measurement: ensuring
that the environmental strategies of the
building are designed, installed and operated
to their optimum. It includes performance
standards, simulation software and programs,
assessment tools and commissioning.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

3.0 Sustainable Site Design

5.0 Energy and Atmosphere

Proper site selection can significantly reduce


the typical negative impacts of a building on its
surrounding ecosystems and watershed. Two key
considerations are introduced:

The greatest environmental impact of a building


is usually its intensive energy consumption.
Approximately 40% of worldwide energy use
is for cooling, heating and providing power to
buildings. This section introduces four key issues
to consider related to energy and atmosphere:

Sustainable site location, which includes the


consideration of a sustainable site selection
process, urban redevelopment, brownfield
redevelopment and transportation issues.
Reduction of the negative site impacts of
a building which can have far-reaching
effects on the health of ecosystems. Some
factors to consider include: reducing site
disturbance, erosion and sediment control,
landscape and exterior design, water system
management, reducing heat islands and
light pollution.

4.0 Water Efficiency


This section addresses three key issues and
strategies regarding water conservation:
Conservation measures for reducing
landscaping irrigation. Sustainable
landscaping techniques or water efficient
irrigation systems can be use to reduce
water use.
Water use reduction strategies. Water use
reduction is achieved through education and
awareness and the use of water-efficient
plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Innovative wastewater treatment. These
techniques provide significant environmental
advantages in protecting water resources by
reducing the demand for freshwater and the
amount of wastewater.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Understanding the relationship between


pollution and energy use. The processes
of resource extraction, energy production,
transportation and manufacturing generate
significant pollution.
Reducing initial construction and
deconstruction energy through the
design process.
Reducing operational energy consumption.
The energy used to operate a building is the
most significant source of negative impact
of a building on the ecosphere. There
are several strategies to minimize energy
consumption to operate a building, including
passive systems and energy efficient
products.
Selecting energy sources. The selection of
low impact energy sources is fundamental
to reducing the negative impacts from a
building's energy consumption.

6.0 Materials and Resources


Conserving materials and resources is very
important, considering that as much as 40% of
the worlds raw materials are used in buildings.
The section on materials and resources efficiency
covers two key issues:
The concept of material efficiency involves
reducing the demand for materials and
resources. It addresses building reuse and
renovation, material reduction and efficiency,
designing for flexibility, construction
waste management and designing for
demountability.

1.0 Building an
Environmental Ethic

Building an Environmental Ethic

Chapter 1.0

Building an Environmental Ethic


Raymond J. Cole, PhD
School of Architecture, University of British Columbia

Introduction
The recorded scale and rate of global
environmental degradation represents the
defining characteristics of the 20th century.
Notwithstanding the importance of social and
economic needs and constraints, the health of
the biosphere will remain the limiting factor for
sustainability. A prerequisite for sustainability
is the maintenance of the functional integrity
of the ecosphere so that it can remain resilient
to human-induced stresses and continue to be
biologically productive. The ecological footprint
provides probably the most graphic portrayal of
the mismatch between biological productivity
and current human-imposed demands. Canada has
an ecological footprint of over 7 hectares/person
far in excess of an equable world average
allocation of 1.9 hectares/person.

Green Buildings
Buildings represent significant capital investments, both financial and ecological. Almost every
attempt to bring a new approach or emphasis to
building design is subject to the litmus test of
cost and, most typically, this is the capital or
initial cost. Not only do costs seldom account
for the benefits that may accrue over a buildings
life as a result of higher initial investment, but
also the broader societal costs of poor quality
building or poor environmental standards are not
acknowledged within current accounting methods.
Environmental issues and associated costs will
directly and indirectly shape this century and
therefore increasingly underpin almost all aspects
of human settlement and building design.

Green building design is assumed to be incremental


improvements in the environmental performance
of buildings beyond typical practice. There
is an implicit assumption that by continually
improving the environmental performance of
individual buildings, the collective reduction
in resource use and ecological loading by the
building industry will be sufficient to fully address
the environmental agenda.

Climate Change
Climate change will be the most significant
environmental issue this century. Already,
traditional weather patterns are changing, making
some areas warmer and wetter, others cooler
or drier. These altered patterns will lead to an
increase in the frequency and severity of extreme
weather events, such as droughts, floods, and
storms. Other anticipated effects include rising
sea levels, increased air pollution and health care
costs, decreased fish stocks and reduced crop
yields.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) reaffirms the need for concerted international
commitment and action to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. IPCC has provided a series of scenarios
regarding the burning of fossil fuels, how they
will translate into greenhouse gas emissions,
how that will translate into global warming, and
how that will translate subsequently into climate
change. There is widespread agreement that
current rates of greenhouse gas emissions will be
catastrophic if unabated. This is transforming our
understanding of environmental problems based
primarily on the availability of resources to an
understanding based on the ecological impacts
associated with their acquisition and disposal.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 1.0

Building an Environmental Ethic

Canada is currently the highest per capita


consumer of energy and second highest
per capita producer of greenhouse gases
in the world.
Canadas green house gas emissions continue
to increase by 1.5 per cent annually.
It is difficult to imagine that a sustainable
system of production and consumption will
emerge by simply tweaking the current practice.
IPCC is calling for much more significant leaps in
performance than those currently declared within
the Kyoto Accord. Discussion about Factor 4 and
Factor 10 provides some sense of the urgency and
the order of magnitude needed to address climate
change and other environmental issues. It is also
difficult to imagine an easy transition to a lowcarbon economy by requiring industrial countries
to break their dependency on fossil fuels, while
simultaneously encouraging developing countries
aspiring to a similar wealth to leapfrog over
the current polluting and resource-intense
technological base. This is the challenge to which
we must rise - individually and collectively.

Performance Through Time


Lifecycle performance has emerged as the frame
of reference for discussing environmental issues.
This has particular importance for buildings
because of the time-dependency of environmental
impacts and building life:
Irrespective of current efforts to curb
environmental degradation, the time-scale of
ecological loadings, such as greenhouse gas
emissions and subsequent stabilization of
tolerable CO2 levels within the atmosphere,
means that the consequences of past and
current actions will persist for decades to
come.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

The climatic conditions that buildings will


impact will be different in the future than
when the building is initially constructed.
By 2050 it is estimated that global
temperatures may have risen by 2C and
by 2100 perhaps by as much as 4C
with considerable regional variations. Once
triggered, the rate in rise in temperature
will increase and the effects will profoundly
affect the frequency and intensity of storms,
winds and rainfall. Such changes will have
potentially serious implications for buildings
with passive systems.
Buildings last a long time. The buildings
designed today, if they last 50, 75, 100
years, may well exist in a post-petroleum era
or certainly at its tail end. Design decisions
made today clearly influence future social
and environmental agendas.
Buildings take a long time to reveal their
true merits. The measure of successful green
building strategies can therefore only be
assessed in the long term.
Buildings must be capable of being upgraded
over time because environmental issues are
going to become more important, not less.
A combination of sustained user commitment
to environmental technologies is absolutely
critical for successful environmental
performance.
It is important to differentiate between
technologies and strategies that require
active engagement from building users from
those that do not. Any such increments
in those that do need to be weighed very
seriously against some long-held and timehonoured expectations of users.

Building an Environmental Ethic

Chapter 1.0

Leadership
Any transition to sustainability will require
profound shifts in human values and
expectations. Nurturing an environmental ethic
must precede or at least parallel technological
advance. As the realities of resource depletion
and global environmental degradation become
more evident, we can anticipate a maturing
and strengthening of the publics concern and
knowledge on environmental issues. This will
translate into an expectation and demand for
greater environmental responsibility and, as
with other sectors, the building industry will be
increasingly scrutinized for its environmental
actions.
Environmental issues present both a challenge
and an opportunity for building design
professionals. The challenges are to develop
approaches and practices that address immediate
environmental concerns and those that adhere
to the emerging principles and dictates of
sustainability. The opportunities are for both
the reinstatement of meaningful and enduring
design principles that respond to the ecologies
of climate, resources and culture, and for design
professionals to provide the visible and creative
leadership that will be necessary to create
change. Although environmental responsibility
has always been implicit in the ethical codes
that govern design professionals, this must now
become an explicit and demonstrated part of
practice. The key message in this course is for
design professionals to:
Commit to environmentally responsible
building design and to accept and remain
collectively focused on sustaining a
commitment to the environmental agenda.
Commit to educational programs to attain
the necessary skills and remain current as
the field matures.
Become proactive in aspiring to and
delivering buildings with higher performance
levels.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

2.0 Green Building


Design Methodology

Green Building Design Methodology

Chapter 2.0

Green Building Design Methodology


Overall Objectives
to modify conventional design processes to
achieve greener buildings.
to include methods to measure and verify
environmental performance.
This section of the Sustainable Design
Fundamentals for Buildings manual provides
information about the conception, design,
construction, measurement and verification of
green buildings.
In order to achieve greener buildings, existing
design processes require fundamental shifts
in attitude and approach. This shift should be
reviewed with the design team and adopted prior
to project initiation.
Measurement and verification are two important
stages in achieving greener buildings, by ensuring
that the environmental strategies of the building
are designed, installed and operated at optimum
settings.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 2.0 - Green Building Design Methodology

2.1 Implementation
Strategies

Life Cycle Assessment


Integrated Design Approach
Clients and Authorities Having Jurisdiction
Sustainable Goals
Sharing Knowledge and Promoting Green Buildings

Implementation Strategies

Chapter 2.1

2.1 Implementation Strategies


Objective
to modify the conventional design process to
make buildings greener.
New approaches to building design must include
consideration of the life cycle and long term
impacts of buildings which may affect future
generations. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) takes
into account the direct and indirect detrimental
effects of buildings on the environment and on
the community.
Some of the fundamentals to achieve greener
buildings include:
The initial selection of a multidisciplinary
green design team called the Integrated
Design Approach;
The establishment of sustainable goals early
in a projects development;
The involvement of clients, authorities
having jurisdiction, and the community in
the early stages of the project;
Education to promote sustainable design and
the continuous improvement of buildings.

Life Cycle Assessment


Objective:
to consider impacts of the entire life cycle of
a building in all design decisions.
The life cycle assessment (LCA) addresses all
stages of a building (or product), from resource
extraction, assembly and construction, to the
disposal, recycling or reuse of building products
during deconstruction. In general terms, the
concept of life cycle assessment expands the
assessment process from immediate, short term,

narrow criteria, to long term, comprehensive


criteria.
Life cycle costing is usually considered to be
a financial analysis, with capital investment
decisions weighed against operational savings
(i.e. return on investment). More thorough LCA
studies, may examine factors such as Greenhouse
Gas Emissions (GHGs) of materials within
buildings for their complete life cycle.
Analysing materials and resources using this
life cycle concept, can establish more realistic
environmental and social costs associated with a
building or product. However, this comprehensive
assessment is more difficult to quantify; the
analysis of building products can be costly,
and data is not available for all materials. LCA
requires an understanding of how the different
stages of a buildings life cycle affect the overall
objective of sustainability. The principal stages
of a buildings life cycle include:
- initial design,
- prefabrication,
- construction,
- operation and maintenance,
- demolition, and
- disposal.
Thorough LCA studies usually indicate that
the financial benefits of operational savings,
considered over a buildings entire life,
significantly outweigh any additional initial
capital investments to achieve these operational
savings.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 2.1

Implementation Strategies

These comparisons however, are very sensitive to


energy cost projections. Even in their simpler
applications, LCA can support green decisions.
Relamping offices with T8s or T5s fluorescent
lamps can result in a 3-4 year payback. Many
Canadian clients have established payback
thresholds (6-10 years are benchmarks used
by the some clients such as BCBC, Alberta
Infrastructure, and City of Calgary). The current
payback for most photovoltaic installations
exceeds 100 years; however, energy costs and
manufacturing costs are always changing. As
Canadian energy costs move to market value
through more deregulation, the LCA should
become more effective.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Incorporate an analysis of life cycle in all
design decisions.
Use other LCA data when available.
Request life cycle data for building products
in order to develop a more accurate and
complete life cycle assessment.

Case Study
York University Computer Science Building
Busby + Associates Architects, in association with
Van Nostrand diCastri Architects, Toronto, ON

Resources
Life Cycle Assessment Links
www.life-cycle.org
NIST Building Life-Cycle Cost (BLCC) Program
www.eren.doe.gov/femp

US DOE Building Life Cycle Cost


Assessment Programs
www.energydesignresources.com

Integrated Design Approach


Objective
to achieve holistic solutions through an
Integrated Design Approach.

In the York University project, a 75 year life span


LCA study was done to assess capital and operational
costs. As compared to a reference MNECB building, this
buildings operational costs are estimated to be tens
of millions of dollars less than the reference building
and other buildings with the same capital cost.

A long term view is fundamental to the design


of any sustainable project. The financing of a
project is usually done only in consideration
of the short term, whereas the effects of a
building or development on social, economic and
environmental systems, both local and global,
are long term. By taking a life cycle approach,
the full costs and benefits of various design
approaches and technologies can be appraised
and the best, or most sustainable, solution
identified.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Not only does the green building design process


require a vision and a commitment to sustainability; but also the application of an Integrated
Design Approach (IDA). Greener building design
begins with a multidisciplinary team of design
professionals such as environmental design
experts, architects, engineers, planners and
landscape architects. It also includes the client as
a core team member.
The IDA ensures all building systems and
components, such as site design, structure, orientation, envelope, lighting, and ventilation are
viewed as interdependent. Professionals involved
in such a team must overcome a narrow point-ofview related to their discipline and be open-minded
to consider global solutions encompassing all
disciplines. This approach is achieved by respecting each consultant or team member as a colleague
rather than as a competitor for a portion of the
buildings budget.

Implementation Strategies

Chapter 2.1

An example of such teamwork is the tradeoff between high-performance windows and a


buildings mechanical systems. Typically, when
a building in Canada is designed to perform
30-50% better than the Model National Energy
Code (MNEC) by incorporating high-performance
windows, the costs for mechanical equipment,
such as chillers and ducts, decreases dramatically.
In other words, these construction costs shift
from mechanical engineering to architectural
components (in this case, insulating operable
windows). Such a solution takes teamwork, in the
form of the IDA, to achieve.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada

One useful technique is to establish fixed design


fees for mechanical and electrical engineers at
conventional cost projections, which means
that the engineering consultants must work hard
to find design solutions, often resulting in fewer
drawings and less documentation. It is a win-win
solution for both the client and the environment.

York University - Computer Science Building


Busby + Associates Architects, in association with
Van Nostrand diCastri Architects, Toronto, ON

The IDA team of consultants can be structured


with core and peripheral team members. The core
team members (including the client, architect,
mechanical, electrical and structural engineers)
provide continuity in addressing a projects
sustainable goals.
The peripheral members
(such as materials experts, quantity surveyors,
the clients operations team, maintenance
supervisors, etc.) can be consulted for their
specific expertise during the course of the
project. It is important to include all consultants
in the communication loop so that they can
absorb and assimilate information and contribute
to the sustainable vision of the project.
IDAs can start with design charrettes or workshops
which set goals and strategies. They may also
be a vehicle to obtain a clients buy-in to the
process. Team meetings for the Integrated Design
Approach must be held frequently during the
schematic design and design development phase
of a project. Periodic full table reviews
are important for sign-offs.
The clients
maintenance and operations staff should also
be included because they must understand the
finished building during the critical period after
takeover.

Use an Integrated Design Approach for all


building projects.
Document and distribute the sustainable
vision for the project.
Include green design experts on the
design team.
Include experts or peripheral consultants
for advice on a wide range of sustainable
issues.

Case Study

Resources
Green Building BC Guide to Value Analysis
and Integrated Design Process
www.greenbuildingsbc.com/
new_buildings/resources.html

Clients and Authorities Having


Jurisdiction
Objective
to reduce any real or perceived obstacles to
achieving greener buildings.
Green buildings provide many advantages to
clients and the community at large. They can
be built with no cost premium, they are cheaper
to operate, they can result in cost savings
for infrastructure, they have low environmental
impacts, and they have high-quality indoor
environments for users. Consequently, green
buildings are more marketable than conventional
buildings.
However, in order to design and construct green
buildings, some impediments need to be overcome,
including:
the fear of innovation, such as a reluctance
to adopt new tools and processes
the perception of additional costs.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 2.1

Implementation Strategies

By involving clients and authorities having


jurisdiction from the outset, perceived or real
obstacles can often be overcome. The IDA is an
important tool in overcoming such obstacles. It
is very important to involve decision-makers at
all levels, as well as building maintenance and
operations staff.
By including the wider community, the Integrated
Design Approach for sustainable design provides
an opportunity to educate the public, thereby
increasing expectations and the demand for and
acceptance of sustainable technologies.

At the CK Choi Building at University of British


Columbia (UBC) the approving authority agreed
to allow composting toilets in the building. This
would have come to nothing if UBC operations
staff had not agreed to maintain the composters,
including handling the red wriggler worms
which assist in decomposition. Green roofs pose
similar maintenance challenges because they may
need occasional weeding.

Authorities having jurisdiction, through various


regulations, can control the extent of allowable
innovation for incorporated sustainable features
and technologies in buildings. Certain existing
regulations impede sustainable buildings and
developments because they were imposed in
response to practices and values that predate our
awareness of sustainability issues.
Typical regulatory challenges include electrical
and plumbing codes that require all installed
equipment to be new. Buildings designed for large
municipal clients often demonstrate the potential
for change. For example, the Materials Testing
Laboratory for the City of Vancouver Engineering
Department was constructed out of 80% salvaged
material with client agreement all the way.
Often authorities will permit an application if
they have been advised and informed early in the
process and have agreed with the sustainability
goals for the project.

The Materials Testing Laboratory for the City of


Vancouver Engineering Department was constructed
out of 80% salvaged material.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

At the CK Choi Building at UBC, the authorities agreed


to allow composting toilets in the building.

No one jurisdiction can possibly regulate all


sustainable issues. Architects with new innovative
solutions should approach regulators respectfully
to make progress toward greener buildings and
developments.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Include clients and authorities having
jurisdiction early in the design process;
Challenge conflicting regulations and seek
mutually beneficial solutions;
Identify clearly the relative risks and impacts
of conventional systems as well as those
associated with any innovation, in order to
facilitate further discussion;
Enlist the help of credible professionals
to negotiate with regulatory agencies and
authorities having jurisdiction to build a
relationship of trust between the applicant
and the regulator;
Cultivate relationships with champions within
the regulatory agencies for any proposed
innovations.

Implementation Strategies

Chapter 2.1

CK Choi, Institute for Asian Research


Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc., Vancouver, BC

Finally, the design team should consider defining


goals with multiple objectives.
Multiple
objectives lead to potential synergies in green
design.

City of Vancouver Material Testing Facility


Busby + Associates Architects, Vancouver, BC

Some examples of quantifiable goals are:

Case Studies

Resources
Green Building BC Guide to Value Analysis
and Integrated Design Process
www.greenbuildingsbc.com/
new_buildings/resources.html

Sustainable Goals
Objective
to establish quantifiable goals in order to
motivate the design team and to measure
success.
Establishing sustainability goals at the outset
helps define the environmental scope of a given
project. Clients, stakeholder representatives, and
team members should participate in defining the
projects sustainability goals; this strengthens
every team members commitment to those goals.

the number of tons of greenhouse gas


emissions saved in construction
(compared to a benchmark);
savings in operational costs
(such as annual figures showing savings
in energy consumption);
the amount of preservation or restoration
of native vegetation;
the percentage of modal mix in a
developments transportation system.
An example of an organization that establishes
clear goals and objectives is the Mountain
Equipment Co-op, an enlightened company with
a Green Building Mandate that all design teams
must meet. Eighty (80%) of the materials used
in the new Mountain Equipment Co-op store in
Ottawa, travelled no more than 500 km to the
site. Thats a clear and commendable goal.

Goals and priorities should also reflect the local


context, issues and values. For example, a
region or community that regularly experiences a
shortage of water may emphasize water efficiency
features within its environmental goals. There
it would still be important to consider other
variables that contribute to sustainability, such
as operational energy reduction, but the team
would recognize that those variables would have
a lower priority than water conservation. Clearly
established goals and priorities will guide the
team during the design process.
Quantifiable goals can be set to meet energy
performance standards or to increase energy
savings. Typically in Canada, targets are compared
to the Model National Energy Code (MNEC)
and are often expressed as, for example 30%
better than the applicable standard set in the
code. Similar goals use ASHRAE 90.1 (1999)
as a standard. Less specific qualitative goals
make the measurement of success more difficult.
Whenever possible, the design team should avoid
qualitative goals such as increase indoor air
quality or improve resource efficiency.

In the MEC store in Ottawa, 80% of the materials


travelled no more than 500 km.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Define goals with multiple objectives;
Define specific quantifiable targets
for diverse green design strategies;
Expend exceptional effort to meet
the stated goals;
Consider the widest range of goals.
SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 2.1

Implementation Strategies

Case Studies
Mountain Equipment Coop (Ottawa)
Linda Chapman Architect and Christopher
Simmonds Architect in joint venture, Ottawa, ON
Mountain Equipment Coop (Toronto)
Stone Kohn McQuire Vogt Architects, Toronto, ON
CK Choi, Institute for Asian Research
Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc., Vancouver, BC
Liu Centre for the Study of Global Issues
Architectura, in collaboration with
Arthur Erickson, Vancouver, BC
York University - Computer Science Building
Busby + Associates Architects, in association with
Van Nostrand diCastri Architects, Toronto, ON

Resources
Green Building BC Guide to Value Analysis
and Integrated Design Process
www.greenbuildingsbc.com/
new_buildings/resources.html
Centre for Excellence for Sustainable
Development
www.sustainable.doe.gov

Sharing Knowledge and


Promoting Green Buildings
Objective
to share knowledge and to promote green
building successes.
Green buildings provide exciting and challenging
opportunities in the design, construction and
management of the built environment. Showing
leadership and commitment, researching new
solutions, and sharing knowledge of sustainability
are required roles for architects to lead the
movement towards the continuous improvement
of green buildings and the ultimate objective of
achieving a sustainable human society on this
planet.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Architectural practices interested in green


buildings should demonstrate leadership and
commitment to the concept of sustainability by:
adopting sustainable business practices,
leading by example,
researching new solutions,
educating staff and colleagues,
sharing information about green design, and
marketing the firms successful green
buildings.
The dissemination of green design strategies is
critically important to ensure a greater positive
impact on the Canadian environment.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Educate, update, and consolidate knowledge
of current and future trends to achieve
sustainability;
Market successful green design strategies;
Make sustainable design knowledge a criteria
when hiring team members.

Resources
Green Building BC Guide to Value Analysis
and Integrated Design Process
www.greenbuildingsbc.com/
new_buildings/resources.html
Green Building Information Council
www.greenbuilding.ca/

Chapter 2.0 - Green Building Design Methodology

2.2 Measurements
and Verification

Performance Standards
Simulation Software and Programs
Assessment Tools
Commissioning

Measurement and Verification

Chapter 2.2

2.2 Measurement and Verification


Objective
to measure and verify the operation of
building systems over their life cycle to
ensure optimal performance.
Measurement of the projects goals at all phases
of design, construction and operation is crucial;
this provides quantitative results and ensures
optimum performance.
Measurement and verification practices can
often instill the sponsor the confidence needed
to secure project funding. By demonstrating
that investments in energy efficiency have
a feasible payback period may be critical to
funding. Measurement and verification practices
allow project performance risks to be clarified,
managed, and allocated among the parties.
Measurement and verification will also optimize
systems efficiency. Assessing energy savings
strategies at the design stage is sometimes
difficult. It is during a buildings actual operation
that energy consumption, material and systems
performance and water savings can be measured,
documented, and properly assessed.
There are several methods available to Canadian
architects for assessing designs and constructed
buildings. Performance standards, simulation
software and assessment methods are three types
of useful tools to ensure the achievement of
environmental goals.
Measurement and verification occur at two
important stages:
During the design phase, simulation
software and assessment methods facilitate
measuring the design teams proposed
environmental targets;
During construction and operation, a
comprehensive and ongoing commissioning,
measurement and verification program
optimizes and documents performance.

These programs may also provide feedback


concerning issues of adaptability, such as
a change in use or the introduction of new
sustainable technologies.

Performance Standards
Objective
to monitor and increase the environmental
performance of buildings.
Performance standards such as the Model National
Energy Codes, the C-2000 Program, and the
ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1999 Energy Standard offer
benchmark objectives for minimum environmental
performance. Use of these performance standards
may help reduce the number of buildings that
are claimed to significantly reduce detrimental
environmental impacts, but really demonstrate
little environmental merit (sometimes referred to
as green wash).

Model National Energy Codes


The National Research Council of Canada has
produced the Model National Energy Code of
Canada for Buildings (MNECB) and the Model
National Energy Code for Houses (MNECH). Their
purpose is to help practitioners to design energyefficient buildings. By considering local climate,
fuel sources and costs, and construction costs,
these codes establish minimum standards that
can be adopted as regulations by the appropriate
provincial or territorial authorities. Alternatively,
they may be used simply as a guide to low impact
environmental energy conservation practice for
buildings. These model codes apply to new
construction or additions, but not to alterations
or renovations of existing buildings.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 2.2

Measurement and Verification

ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1999
ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1999 is an energy benchmark
for US buildings (except for low- rise residential
buildings). This well-known benchmark targets
commercial buildings and focuses on two areas:
the building envelope, and
the buildings systems and equipment.
This energy benchmark dictates mandatory
provisions required in order to meet the
standard. Two paths are offered to design teams:
a prescriptive path, and a performance path.
Mechanical calculations must be done in order to
prove compliance.

C-2000 Program
The C-2000 Program for Advanced Commercial
Buildings is a demonstration program for highperformance office buildings, developed and
sponsored by CANMET and the Canadian Energy
Technology Centre (CETC), Natural Resources
Canada. This program focuses on the energy
and environmental performance of buildings.
Additional criteria have been developed for a
wide range of other parameters, such as occupant
health and comfort. The program demonstrates
the feasibility of achieving energy efficiency
and minimum negative environmental impacts
through the application of innovative green
building technologies. The program provides
incremental financial support and technical
assistance to development teams for design
which conforms to the programs whole-building
performance requirements. The C-2000 overall
strategy is to assist in the completion of
projects that meet the performance criteria,
to monitor their actual performance, and, to
inform the industry of the results. Program
goals are achieved by the application of explicit
performance targets, careful selection of qualified
teams and the development of close working
relationships with experts in the field. A variety
of simulation software programs such as HOT 2000
are available to aid the design teams.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Use performance standards for setting
sustainable goals.

Resources
C-2000 Program
buildingsgroup.nrcan.gc.ca
Model National Energy Codes
www.nrc.ca/irc
ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1999
www.ashrae.org

Simulation Software and


Programs
Objectives
to identify incentive programs which
encourage the design and construction of
more green buildings.
to list software which assesses the
environmental merit of various strategies
during the design stage.
Simulation software programs are available to
Canadian design teams to increase environmental
performance of buildings during the design
stage. These software programs are sometimes
associated with a performance standard.
Examples of software and programs available to
Canadian design teams are: CBIP Screening Tool,
ATHENATM software, CMHCs Watersave, DOE-2,
Energy-10, and RETScreen Tool.
This is not a comprehensive list, but a survey
of the more commonly used software available.
Simulation software is a rapidly growing and
changing source of sustainable design strategies.

CBIP Screening Tool


Natural Resources Canadas Commercial Building
Incentive Program (CBIP) is a program which
facilitates the incorporation of energy efficient
strategies by offering financial incentives for
applying energy efficiency features in new
commercial and institutional buildings.

Measurement and Verification

In order to qualify, the applicant must use


EE4.CBIP energy performance simulation software
in order to demonstrate that 25 percent more
energy efficiency than the Model National Energy
Codes will be achieved for larger buildings. A
screening tool is available to quickly verify if the
building will qualify. The CBIP Screening Tool
estimates annual energy costs for the building as
designed, and for the same building constructed
to meet the Model National Energy Codes.
To encourage builders of small commercial
buildings to participate in CBIP, and facilitate
the achievement of CBIPs energy target, the
CBIP Technical Guide includes regulatory energy
efficiency strategies for specific building types.

ATHENA Software
The ATHENATM Sustainable Materials Institute is
a Canadian non-profit organization created to
continue the work started in 1991 by Forintek
Canada Corporation, with the support of Natural
Resources Canada. The Institute has successfully
initiated and managed an extensive series
of studies and it has developed one of the
most highly regarded databases of Life Cycle
Inventories (LCI) for building products in the
world. The project was originally known as
Building Materials in the Context of Sustainable
Development Project. The Institute has Life Cycle
Assessment (LCA) software that analyzes:
production processes for different building
products,
the use of those products in building and
construction, and
broader environmental issues associated with
resource extraction, building demolition and
disposal.

Chapter 2.2

RETScreen Tool
Few design professionals consider renewable
energy technology (such as, solar photovoltaic
power and wind generators) to be a feasible
option, and presently discount such applications.
The RETScreen Renewable Energy Project Analysis
Software can assist in breaking down this barrier.
RETScreen International is a tool for renewable
energy awareness, decision support and capacity
building. It has been developed by the CANMET
Energy Diversification Research Laboratory
(CEDRL) with the contribution of numerous
industry experts, government and academia. The
tool consists of standardized and integrated
renewable energy project analysis software that
evaluates the energy production, life cycle costs
and greenhouse gas emission reductions for
various types of renewable energy technologies
(RETs).
The RETScreen tool can be used for a variety of
purposes, including:

preliminary feasibility studies,


project lender due diligence,
market studies,
policy analysis,
information dissemination,
training,
sales of products and/or services,
project development and management,
product development, and
research and development.

The software also facilitates project implementation by providing a common evaluation


platform for the various stakeholders involved in
the project.

WATERSAVE Software
Design teams can use the ATHENATM Software to
carry out assessments of the structural systems of
a building. Additionally, the ATHENATM Institute
can assist design teams by providing consulting
services regarding LCA and LCI in the early design
stage. A more in-depth assessment of detailed
drawings can also be done.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Commission


(CMHC) supplies WATERSAVE, a computer program
intended for the design and analysis of water
flows, water quality, and energy use in housing
projects. The software can be applied to singlefamily detached houses or multi-unit residential
projects. The program was developed as an aid to
design teams for designing innovative household
water systems, including wastewater recycling
or reuse, water conservation, use of rainwater
as a supplementary water source, and on-site
wastewater disposal. The program can simulate

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 2.2

Measurement and Verification

water and wastewater flows for residential water


systems, calculate concentrations of a given
parameter throughout the system, and determine
the distribution of heat and water temperatures
in the system. The software can also assist
in determining the capacity and efficiency of
a rainwater cistern system as an alternative
water source. The program does not design
system components and depends on user-provided
information to define the configuration of the
system, water use, raw and treated water quality
and treatment efficiencies, and energy inputs and
recovery options.

DOE-2 and Energy Plus


The Simulation Research Group of the Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley,
California produces building energy simulation
software such as DOE 2 and Energy Plus. The lab
is managed by the University of California for the
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); although these
software programs are American, they are often
used in Canada.
DOE-2 Software program predicts the hourly energy
usage and the energy cost of a building based
upon hourly weather information, a description
of the building and its HVAC equipment, and the
utility rate structure. Using DOE-2, designers
can assess design decisions regarding building
parameters that improve energy efficiency,
while still maintaining thermal comfort and cost
effectiveness. A simple or detailed description
of building designs, an accurate estimate of the
proposed buildings energy consumption, interior
environmental conditions and energy operation
cost are the base from which DOE-2 analyzes energy
usage in buildings. DOE-2 is to be considered an
aid; it does not provide a holistic assessment of
the buildings overall environmental performance.
Therefore, like most tools used in the design
process, it must be used in conjunction with other
assessment methods.
EnergyPlus is a new generation building energy
simulation program designed for modeling
buildings with associated heating, cooling,
lighting, ventilating, and other energy flows.
EnergyPlus builds on the earlier DOE-2 software
but includes many new simulation capabilities

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

including time steps of less than an hour, and


systems simulation modules that are integrated
with zone simulation based on heat balancebased. Other planned simulation capabilities
include solar thermal, multizone airflow, and
electric power simulation including photovoltaic
systems and fuel cells. EnergyPlus is a simulation
engine, which reads input and writes output
as text files, thus facilitating the involvement
of clients and governing bodies in the design
process.

Energy-10
ENERGY-10 is another software tool developed
by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
with the Sustainable Building Industry Council,
the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and
the Berkeley Solar Group with support from the
U.S. Department of Energy. Energy-10 is design
software that analyzes and illustrates the energy
and cost savings achievable through more than a
dozen sustainable design strategies. Hourly energy
simulations can help quantify, assess, and clearly
depict the benefits of green building strategies
such as daylighting, passive solar heating, natural
ventilation, well-insulated building envelopes,
better windows, lighting systems, and mechanical
equipment. Using climate data that is site specific,
the software shows how different combinations
of materials, systems, and siting yield lesser or
greater results in terms of energy use, comparative
costs, and reduced emissions. The software offers
the possibility of customizing weather files,
converting file formats, and illustrating results
in a variety of ways. This software can be
customized for a Canadian context.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Use simulation software to assess design
decisions.
Include simulation personnel in the design
team.
Work with Mechanical and Electrical
engineers who know and use simulation
software as a matter of good practice.

Measurement and Verification

Resources
CBIP Screening Tool
cbip.nrcan.gc.ca/cbip.htm
ATHENATM Software
www.athenasmi.ca
RETScreen Tool
www.retscreen.gc.ca
WATERSAVE Software
www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/burema/hoin
DOE-2 and EnergyPlus
gundog.lbl.gov/
Energy-10
www.sbicouncil.org/enTen

Assessment Tools
Objective
to identify platforms for the comparison of
environmental strategies for buildings.
Comprehensive assessment methods can be
used to rate buildings for overall environmental
performance, something which goes beyond the
purpose of simulation software.
Examples of
available assessment systems: Green Building
Challenge (GBC) GB Tool, BREEAM Green Leaf
rating system, and US Green Building Council
(USGBC) LEED rating system.

GBTool Software
The Green Building Challenge (GBC) is an
international collaborative effort that has grown
to include over 25 countries. Its purpose is to
create a forum for the international exchange
of green building strategies. As part of the
international GBC process, Green Building Tool
Software (GBTool) was designed to be the
operational software for the GBC assessment
framework. Nils Larsson of NRCAN and Ray Cole
of UBC were the authors of the GBTool. It is a
sophisticated and subtle spreadsheet that allows
participating countries to selectively incorporate
ideas or modify their own building assessment
tools. The GBC and GBTool processes are valuable
research and development initiatives which
influence many nationally recognized systems in
participating countries.

Chapter 2.2

GBTool assesses potential environmental merits


of proposed buildings but it has no mechanism
to evaluate constructed projects. The tool can
be applied to offices, multi-unit residential and
educational buildings. It is possible to simulate
performance in areas such as energy consumption,
estimate embodied energy and emissions, and
predict thermal comfort and air quality. The tool
compares a proposed design to the benchmark
values defined by national teams. The strategies
of the proposed design are weighed and scored to
produce a final score. The weighing and scoring
must be properly coordinated with the national
teams for proper assessment of the proposed
building.
The software has been implemented on an
Excel spreadsheet and may be downloaded for
evaluation and educational purposes. It is time
intensive and therefore costly to create a
complete assessment ($20,000-$30,000). The
software has been developed by Natural Resources
Canada (NRCan) on behalf of the GBC group of
countries. It should be noted that this tool is
not meant for commercial purposes. However,
agreements may be worked out between potential
users, the relevant national team and NRCan.

BREEAM GREEN LEAF Rating System


BREEAM/Green Leaf was created in 1998. Its
simple approach addresses a broad scope of
issues but nevertheless maintains the principles
of credibility, affordability and efficiency. The
program is based on the international BREEAM
environmental criteria as developed by the
Building Research Establishment in the U.K. The
assessment procedure was modeled on the Green
Leaf Eco-Rating Program for the Canadian Hotel
Industry. ECD Energy, Environment Canada and
Terra Choice produce the program.
This Canadian rating system was developed as
assessment tool to be used by building owners and
managers. It is appropriate for office buildings
and multi-residential buildings which require
a comprehensive assessment of environmental
performance. In addition to global, local and
indoor environmental issues, BREEAM/Green
Leaf covers a several important tenant concerns
selected from the BOMA Tenant Satisfaction Survey
1998. These selected issues are often associated
with tenant satisfaction and include thermal
comfort, security and office layout.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 2.2

Measurement and Verification

The system results in a comprehensive report with


recommendations for improvements in operational
savings and occupant health and comfort. It is a
tool produced for the private sector, and a fee is
charged to use it.

LEED Rating System V2.0


The LEED Green Building Rating System is a
major program of the US Green Building Council
(USGBC). The USGBC enjoys wide representation
from the construction industry including product
manufacturers, building owners, environmental
leaders, design professionals, contractors, builders,
utilities, governments agencies, building controls
contractors, research institutions and the financial
industry. The LEED program is a voluntary,
consensus-based, and market-driven building
rating system based on proven technology. It
evaluates environmental performance of a series of
criteria over a buildings life cycle. LEED is based
on accepted energy and environmental principles
and aims at striking a balance between accepted
practices and new sustainable technologies.
LEED is a self-assessing system designed for
rating new and existing commercial, institutional,
and high-rise residential buildings. It is a
feature-oriented system where credits are
earned for satisfying criteria. Different levels of
green building certification are awarded based
on the total credits earned. Section 8 of this
manual describes the LEED tool in more detail, as
it is likely to become the standard tool in North
American for Building Assessment.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Use assessment tools to rate buildings.
Increase marketability of a building by
promoting its environmental rating.

Resources
GBTool Software
www.greenbuilding.ca/gbc2k/gbc-start.htm
BREEAM GREEN LEAF Rating System
www.breeamcanada.ca
LEEDTM Rating System
www.usgbc.org

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Commissioning
Objective
to provide the optimal settings for all
building systems.
Commissioning procedures should be in place to
ensure that a completed building is performing
as designed and that the construction adheres
to the drawings and documented design intent.
Commissioning should occur during construction
as well as during occupancy.
A commissioning agent should be present
during the construction phase to ensure the
calibration of various systems. This is more cost
effective prior to occupancy of the building. The
commissioning of green buildings includes all
systems, such as mechanical, lighting, water,
controls, thermal performance, the building
envelope and natural systems. Natural systems
which may need commissioning include the
proper functioning of operational windows for
natural ventilation, passive solar systems such
as louvers, or daylighting features such as light
shelves.
One of the most important stages of commissioning occurs in post-occupancy. Postoccupancy commissioning is valuable because
sustainable design considers the entire life cycle
of a building, from construction to deconstruction.
As previously mentioned, the operation of a
building consumes the most energy in the useful
life of a building. Changes in staffing, building
use, or systems failure, can result in significant
changes to the performance of a buildings
systems. They may not be functioning as designed.
Ongoing measurements and verification throughout the life of a building optimize performance
and permit adaptation of building systems to
changes. For example, the slightest improvement
in the performance of a building with respect to
water consumption or energy use, when calculated
over a 50 or 75 year period, will account for
enormous savings.

Measurement and Verification

Chapter 2.2

Additionally, commissioning should include the


training of building users for ultimate building
operation. Post-occupancy commissioning adds
additional cost to professional fees; however,
these costs can be justified and recovered
through increased energy efficiency, increased
occupant well-being and improved tenant
satisfaction. Ensuring the proper functioning
of all systems also reduces maintenance and
repair costs.
Post-occupancy measurement
and evaluation is not typically included in
conventional design team services.
The intent of a well developed commissioning
strategy is aligned with long term sustainable
goals and targets. Commissioning subconsultants
or specialist firms can be retained by the client to
carry out this task, however, the IDA team should
ensure that commissioning agents understand and
share the sustainability goals of the project.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Include a commissioning agent in the
design team.
Document and review the design intent
of all systems.
Develop a commissioning plan as early
as possible.
Provide an operation and maintenance
manual.
Prepare a commissioning report.
Provide the means for continual
environmental monitoring.

Resources
International Performance Measurement
and Verification Protocol
www.ipmvp.org
ASHRAE (1996) Guideline 1:
The HVAC Commissioning Process
www.ashrae.org

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 2.0 - Green Building Design Methodology

2.3 Regulations,
Linkages and
Tradeoffs

Regulations, Linkages and Tradeoffs

Chapter 2.3

2.3 Regulations, Linkages


and Tradeoffs
One of the biggest obstacles to achieving more
sustainable buildings is the implementation of
new and different processes for development,
financing, design, construction and operations.
Incorporating green building technologies
requires a fundamental shift in the attitudes of
all participants including a deep respect for the
environment.
Building industry professionals can play a part
in influencing public opinion and, ultimately, all
related regulations by promoting successful green
building technologies to the public, clients and
fellow professionals.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

3.0 Sustainable
Site Design

Sustainable Site Design

Chapter 3.0

Sustainable Site Design


Overall Objectives
to reduce and minimize negative impacts as
a result of site selection.
to reduce and minimize negative site impacts
as a result of the site development and its
buildings.
Over the course of history, human activity has
affected the earth incrementally. Now, this
activity has reached unprecedented levels and has
become very visible. The green design team must
reinforce the notion that buildings are connected
to their surroundings; the construction, operation
and deconstruction of buildings have negative
effects on local and regional ecosystems and
watersheds. Conventional practices must be
modified to reverse current building processes
that degrade the environment. These practices
and processes must be transformed into processes
which enhance the environment. Buildings can
contribute positively to their surroundings! Such
examples include generating energy and collecting
rainwater. A building can be an attribute to
a community by providing certain services and
utilities as well as by establishing intrinsic
aesthetic and urban values.
Sustainable site design involves two primary
issues: site location and site impacts.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 3.0 - Sustainable Site Design

3.1 Site Selection

Site Selection Process


Urban Redevelopment
Brownfield Redevelopment
Transportation Issues

Site Selection

Chapter 3.1

3.1 Site Selection


Objective
to select the most appropriate site for a
given project.
The four main factors to consider for site location
are:
the process for site selection;
opportunities for urban redevelopment;
opportunities for brownfield redevelopment;
and
transportation.
As previously stated, proper site location
can significantly reduce the harmful impacts
of buildings on surrounding ecosystems and
watersheds. However, in many cases, site selection
is not part of the design teams mandate.

Site Selection Process


Objective
to ensure sustainable design principles are
incorporated in the site selection process.
During site selection, it is important to expand
the criteria normally considered, providing a
comprehensive approach to:
the potential to reduce negative
environmental impacts;
the sites contribution to increased economic
prosperity; and
the incorporation of community land use
strategies.

Successful integration of these criteria can


be achieved by including authorities having
jurisdiction, the community at large, and all
other stakeholders early in the design process.
Techniques such as design charrettes, open houses
for the public, and organized public commentary
are successful in addressing and understanding
all the issues.
Sustainable site selection considers impacts of
development on the local environment by an
assessment of geological information, watersheds
and groundwater aquifers, sun and wind patterns,
natural ecosystems and habitats, sensitive areas
such as floodplains and wetlands, and the history
of the site. The impact of the surroundings
on future users of the building is another
consideration. For example, a site located near
high traffic areas or a site polluted from a nearby
industry will have a detrimental influence on
indoor environmental quality.
The fundamental vision of any sustainable land
use is that of the complete community, which
supports a range of lifestyles, incomes and ages.
The design team must aim to provide a diversity
of activities for the community. Sustainable
communities must include the following land use
considerations:
planning for community energy;
transportation; and
ecological factors.
Design teams should consider the flow of energy,
resources and wastes produced within the
community to increase efficiency and synergies.
It is important to avoid incompatible land uses
such as heavy industry adjacent to daycares.
Employment and housing opportunities must be
balanced. Comfortable walking distances should
form the basis for locating retail facilities, schools
and amenities within a community. Density levels

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 3.1

Site Selection

should be as high as possible, in order to reduce


infrastructure costs and preserve land. Transit
and alternative transportation methods should
be the backbone of the community. These
complex, interconnected issues can be addressed
by ensuring community planners are included as
part of the Integrated Design Approach (IDA)
team members.
Issues and considerations for selecting
economically viable building sites include:
short and long term profitability and
economic diversity;
industrial ecology; and
the proximity of the supply of key goods and
services.
The South East False Creek neighbourhood
in Vancouver is an interesting example of a
contaminated site which the City of Vancouver
is investigating the feasibility of transforming
into a model of sustainable development. This
brownfield redevelopment promises to be an
important Canadian precedent for a sustainable
urban community.

Perform a site survey to identify all features,


such as trees, ecologically sensitive areas,
climatic data and slopes, etc.
Engage consultants, such as landscape
architects, geologists, ecologists and
environmental engineers, to perform a
comprehensive site analysis.
Select a site which supports a wide range
of uses, and which can produce a density
capable of supporting a viable transit system
and commercial activity.
Select a site which contributes to a diversity
of activities, both social and economic, and
which offers a range of stable employment
opportunities for the community.
Select a site which contributes to the
health and education and recreation of the
community.

Resources
Smart Growth Network
www.smartgrowth.org
Global Environment Options
www.geonetwork.org

Urban Redevelopment
Objective
to ensure that sites within existing urbanized
areas are favoured.
All sustainable urban redevelopment should ensure
that new projects are located within existing
urban areas. The environmental benefits of such
redevelopment are:
The City of Vancouver is currently reviewing ways to
transform this contaminated site into a model of
sustainable development.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Include all stakeholders in the site selection
process.
Encourage the development of an ecoindustrial network that takes waste products
from one business and supplies them as
resources for another, thereby increasing
resource efficiency and reducing waste.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

an increased efficiency of energy and


infrastructure;
the protection of existing ecosystems and
greenfield sites;
the strengthening of existing commercial,
social and cultural communities; and
the reduction of urban/suburban sprawl.
Significant financial and environmental costs
are attributed to municipal and regional infrastructure. By connecting to existing systems,
the need to expand existing infrastructure (water
supply, sewers and wastewater treatment, power
distribution, and roads) is minimized.

Site Selection

Chapter 3.1

Additionally, urban redevelopment provides


an opportunity to reuse and renovate existing
buildings. Such a strategy helps to conserve
capital, energy and materials which would be
necessary for new construction. Instead of
constructing new buildings, the renovation of
existing buildings can save thousands of tonnes
of landfill and greenhouse gas emissions. By
developing sites in dense urban areas, other
efficiencies can result (such as sharing partywalls,
heat and materials exchange, etc.).
Urban redevelopment can also preserve greenfield
sites. The advantages of preserving greenfield
sites are many: increased regional biodiversity,
protection of agricultural land for future
generations, increased potential urban agriculture,
protection of animal habitat, and the intrinsic
and often intangible values of greenfield sites for
the community at large.
Favouring dense, multi-use urban development
strengthens existing social and cultural facilities
and programs by increasing the number of
potential patrons for these programs and facilities.
Well-established community facilities within easy
walking distance of households can increase the
communitys overall quality of life.
By developing only urban sites, suburban sprawl
is reduced. Sprawl puts pressure on freshwater
resources and food producing ecosystems two valuable services provided by our natural
surroundings. Reducing sprawl helps regions to
conserve and protect natural ecosystems and
watersheds that support and sustain urban areas.
The Angus Loco Shop project in Montral is a
renovation and conversion of an existing historical
industrial complex into a multi-functional center
to house small and medium-sized businesses
specializing in environmental technology. Located
in a previously urbanized area, this redevelopment
demonstrates how new life can be injected into a
site with a history of intense industrial activity.

The Angus Loco Shop project is a renovation and


conversion of an existing industrial building with
historical features into a multifunctional industrial center.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Favour infill development over greenfield
sites.
Provide compact and dense development.
Reuse and renovate existing buildings.

Case Study
Angus Locoshop
difica, Montreal, QC

Resources
Smart Growth Network
www.smartgrowth.org
The Center for Livable Communities
www.lgc.org
BC Green Buildings Directory
www.greenbuildingsbc.com

Brownfield Redevelopment
Objective
to favour, in the site selection process, sites
located in former industrial zones, which may
require environmental restoration.
Brownfield redevelopment is the restoration of
sites previously damaged by human activities.
Redevelopment of contaminated sites can
eliminate sources of pollution and reduce
pressures on undeveloped land. In most cases,
brownfield sites are located within older urban
areas; hence, redevelopment of these sites can
achieve the sustainable design advantages of
urban redevelopment strategies mentioned above.
SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 3.1

Site Selection

Brownfield sites often pollute local ecosystems


with hazardous contaminants; therefore, their
redevelopment and ecological restoration offers
the additional benefits of eliminating or reducing
pollution sources, which pose risks to health.
Unfortunately, remediation of groundwater
contamination and restoration of animal habitats
is costly and, in some cases, uneconomical.
Government incentives for brownfield cleanup can
offset capital costs. Sometimes, site cleaning
costs can be offset by the increase in land value
in comparison with an existing, low-priced,
marginal site.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Favour brownfield sites over greenfield sites.
Favour ecologically benign remediation
strategies such as regenerative landscaping.
Gain community support for cleaning
brownfield sites.
Include remediation experts on the design
team.
Treat contaminated soils on site.
Demonstrate to clients how to increase land
value through environmental cleanups.

Resources
Mainstreaming Green Sustainable Design
for Buildings & Communities
www.e-architect.com
Ontario Centre for Environmental
Technology Advancement
www.oceta.on.ca
Center for Excellence for Sustainable
Development
www.sustainable.doe.gov

Transportation Issues
Objectives
to ensure that sites serviced by public
transportation are favoured.
to provide alternative transportation systems
(such as pedestrian walkways, bicycle paths
and electric cars).
Transportation systems contribute to our high
levels of energy consumption and other negative
impacts associated with the built environment.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Intense automobile and truck traffic is linked


to urban sprawl, high-energy use, air pollution
and a reduced quality of life for commuters. The
infrastructure required for highway transportation
has devastating impacts on ecosystems and
watersheds. In a typical Canadian city, 30% to
40% of land is dedicated exclusively to the use
of vehicles.
Urban sprawl is a result of low-density residential
and commercial uses being linked by roadways.
The convenience of automobile transportation for
daily commuting, one of the key factors behind
urban sprawl, encourages the further proliferation
of low-density development. Low-density suburban areas with single-family detached houses
are one of the least efficient forms of development
in terms of energy and materials.
Vehicular transportation accounts for a large
portion (29%) of the fossil fuel used in Canada.
The increased popularity of large automobiles,
such as sports utility vehicles (SUVs), adds to the
problem. Transportation accounts for approximately 35% of the production of greenhouse gas
emissions (GHGs) in Canada and automobiles
are responsible for approximately half of these
emissions.
The reduction of the negative impacts of
transportation includes:
promoting urban densification;
encouraging low-impact transportation modes
(such as walking, cycling and public transit);
and
reducing the amount of impervious paved
surfaces.
Urban densification increases the feasibility of
mass transit systems and facilitates infrastructure
efficiencies; furthermore, higher, mixed-use
densities support a vibrant street life with a mix
of retail, office and residential activities. The
proximity of diverse uses is necessary to support
a walking or cycling community.
Alternative vehicular transportation is in its
infancy. Hybrid cars available now (Honda Insight,
Toyota Prius) require no special site support. It is
anticipated that electric cars (high efficiency,
lightweight plug-ins) and fuel cell cars will be
available in two to four years. Site support for
plug-in vehicules should be relatively simple

Site Selection

many Canadian communities already provide plugins for winter use. Fuel cell cars will be more difficult
to accommodate, as hydrogen stations may be few
and far between. Laboratories, industrial plants
and universities, where hydrogen tanks are already
maintained, may be the first locations for such
stations. Another opportunity for the research
and development of fuel cell refilling station is
within the Chemical Engineering departments on
Canadian university campuses.
Architects should encourage clients to support
employees using low-impact trans-portation
alternatives. Some alternatives include:
transit subsidies instead of parking passes;
shared company vehicles for employee use
during the day; and
changing / shower facilities for bicycle
commuters.
In Vancouver, Busby + Associates provided the
following employee statistics regarding transportation to the office:

25%
30%
10%
15%
20%

Chapter 3.1

Automobile parking affects site design. By


reducing the amount of parking, it is possible to
reduce certain negative impacts. Paved surfaces
for trucks and automobiles produce contaminated
runoff that threatens natural water resources.
Reducing this runoff can be accomplished by
reducing the size of impervious paved areas or by
specifying porous paving materials.
Various alternative products can provide the
necessary structural support required for vehicular
circulation, parking or fire fighting and allow
water to infiltrate the soil. Parking lots can
also be designed to slope towards biofilter
swales that treat and disperse rainwater runoff.
This solution has an additional bonus as it can
improve the attractiveness of the parking areas.
Landscape architects are usually experienced in
designing solutions incorporating biofiltration.
For example, the British Columbia Gas building in
Surrey, BC incorporates bio-filtration in surface
parking areas.

walk to work
cycle
car pool
commute by personal automobile
use transit regularly

The firm provides lockers; showers; indoor, secure,


bicycle parking; a van for free daytime use by
employees on a book it out basis; a hybrid
company car for longer site visits, and a small,
folding bicycle for local meetings which are too
far to walk. The folding bicycle fits into the
elevator and into the meeting room (it is small,
light and beautiful). There is no parking at the
office.

The BC Gas building in Surrey, BC incorporates biofiltration in surface parking areas.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Choose a site within walking distance from a
transit system.
Plan and design the development or the
building to include mixed-uses and high
densities.
Encourage on-site pedestrian circulation by
incorporating pedestrian paths in all new
developments with access to existing paths.
Provide secure indoor/outdoor bicycle parking
for occupants and guests.
Provide changing facilities for cyclists.
Busby + Associates office foldable bicycle for too far
to walk local meetings.
SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 3.1

Site Selection

Advocate to the client to use low-impact


alternative transportation modes to reduce
private vehicular use.
Reduce the amount of impervious paved
areas.
Provide paving surfaces when paving is
required.
Provide biofilter permeable swales for parking
lot drainage.

Case Study
BC Gas Operation Centre
Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership, Surrey, BC

Resources
North American Greenways Information page
www.ontarioplanners.on.ca/greenway.htm
National Center for Bicycling and Walking
www.bikefed.org
CarFree Cities
www.carfree.com
North American CarSharing Organization (NACSO)
www.carsharing.net

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 3.0 - Sustainable Site Design

3.2 Site Impacts

Site Disturbance
Erosion and Sediment Control
Landscape and Exterior Design
Site Water Systems Management
Heat Islands
Light Pollution

Site Impacts

Chapter 3.2

3.2 Site Impacts


Objective
to minimize the negative site impacts from a
building.
Buildings have profound effects on ecosystems,
watersheds and human populations. Some of
these negative environmental impacts include:

site disturbance;
erosion and sediment deposits;
water pollution;
loss of landscape;
creation of heat islands; and
light pollution.

In the design of the Liu Centre at UBC in


Vancouver, remarkable care and attention was
demonstrated in order to avoid site disturbances.
The following is noteworthy:
an existing building pad was reused;
a microclimate was created by mature
existing vegetation which became an integral
component of the ventilation system;
a careful contractor adjusted the foundations
around found root systems; and
specimen trees were saved and became
important architectural features of the
design.

Site Disturbance
Objective
to reduce the size of the building footprint
and the paved area of new developments.
Construction disturbs sites and this activity
can destroy animal habitats and reduce a sites
biodiversity by eliminating existing native
vegetation. Some of the benefits of protecting
or enhancing the native vegetation include:
promoting the movement of wildlife, allowing for
regional biodiversity of flora, increasing property
values, and contributing to the well-being of the
community at large. Green design teams should
favour compact buildings with small footprints
and incorporate the natural landscape into both
the building and site design.
Dense development with common party walls
and reducing pavement can help in conserving
greenfield sites elsewhere. Density is accomplished by building vertically rather than
horizontally, hence reducing the ratio of building
footprint to floor area. This also increases energy
efficiency by reducing the ratio of building
envelope to floor area.

The design of the Liu Centre at UBC demonstrates


remarkable care and attention to site disturbance issues.

Site disturbance can be minimized by locating


new buildings on previously damaged areas
and by incorporating landscape features in the
building design. One strategy to incorporate the
landscape into the building design is a green
roof. Green roof design is presented in detail later
on in this manual.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 3.2

Site Impacts

Generally, civil engineering site improvements


should be as benign as possible. The following are
design guidelines:

Erosion and Sediment Control

Resist civil engineering dictums requiring


rainwater to be something to put in a pipe.
Rainwater is natural and should be dispersed
and absorbed on the site.
Avoid curbs and culverts.
Avoid asphalt; use gravel or other pervious
materials instead.
Contour parking lots around trees and the
existing natural grade. Parking lots need not
be flat.
Save every tree possible. Eliminate a parking
space if even one additional tree can be
saved.
Plant two new trees for every one tree cut
down to accommodate the construction.

to reduce erosion in order to minimize


detrimental impacts on water and air quality.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Design compact and dense developments to
reduce site disturbance.
Avoid locating buildings within, or close to,
ecologically sensitive areas.
Design and incorporate green roofs.
Locate new buildings on previously disturbed
parts of the sites.
Preserve all the natural features on a site.

Case Study
Liu Centre for the Study of Global Issues
Architectura, in collaboration with Arthur
Erickson, Vancouver, BC, and Cornelia Oberlander,
Landscape Architect

Resources

Objective

Erosion can be reduced and sediment


contamination can be controlled by minimizing
site disturbance during construction and by
various design features. Excavation, grading and
other construction activity, as well as the removal
of vegetation, can cause serious erosion problems,
the degradation of property, and contamination of
ground and surface water. During construction,
precautions should be taken to minimize the
disruption of remaining vegetation and to reduce
the runoff of soil and other contaminants. Most
provinces have legislation controlling erosion
and runoff during construction. It is important
to ensure that such regulations are included in
Division One of the projects specifications.
Structural control and stabilization of soils must
consider erosion and sedimentation for the full
life cycle of a building. Soil stabilization can be
achieved by various planting techniques including
temporary and permanent seeding and mulching.
Structural control can be achieved by providing
earth dikes, silt fences, sediment traps and
basins. Landscaping features and a reduction of
on-site runoff can help to control erosion and
sedimentation.
The Hinton Government Centre by Manasc Isaac
Architects Ltd. in Hinton, AB, demonstrates many
aspects of green design. During construction,
various strategies were used to control erosion.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities


www.greenroofs.ca/grhcc/main.htm
Big Green Building Database
www.biggreen.org
University of Manitoba Sustainable Community Design
www.arch.umanitoba.ca/la/
sustainable/contents.htm

During construction of the Hinton Government Centre,


strategies were in place to control erosion.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Site Impacts

Chapter 3.2

Topsoil and seed materials, removed during site


preparation, were stockpiled and reused to reestablish native groundcover. Surface water
runoff from roads and parking lots is managed
on-site. Erosion and sediment contamination of
all on-site water was kept to a minimum.

In addition, native vegetation provides many


other additional benefits requiring less irrigation
water, and fewer pesticides and fertilizers for
maintenance. Native groundcover increases onsite
water retention, through absorption and dispersal
of storm water and reduces runoff.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada

Architects and their design teams should work


with landscape architects to:

Minimize site disturbance during


construction.
Conserve as much as possible of the existing
vegetation on any site.
Provide long-term structural control and
stabilization of soil.
Reference provincial environmental control
regulations in all specifications.

Identify native plant species and incorporate


them in all designs. (Four generations ago
the prairies were covered with tall grass. The
small amount of tall grass prairie remaining
in Canada is disturbing and it is necessary to
restore this balance).
Incorporate landscape design solutions using
no irrigation or water efficient irrigation.
Commit to low or non-irrigation (refer to the
section on Water Efficiency).
Work with existing ground contours whenever
possible.
Balance cut and fill, and use excavation
spoils onsite (i.e., do not permit trucking
offsite). (Berms make excellent acoustic
shields and windbreaks and are great
landscape backdrops for coloured or textured
plantings).
Use planting schemes that are naturally
complete in their biodiversity.
Plant evergreens around the north, east and
west sides of buildings to protect from the
wind and to provide shade.
Plant deciduous trees at south, southeast
and southwest sides of buildings to provide
shade in the summer and sunlight in the
winter.

Resources
US EPA Office of Water
www.epa.gov/OW
International Erosion Control Association
www.ieca.org

Landscape and Exterior Design


Objective
to protect the natural habitat and to provide
biodiversity within the interior and exterior
landscape.
Landscaping can enhance a project and is essential
for the success of green buildings. Appropriate
landscaping can:
increase the contribution to local
biodiversity;
facilitate on-site water management;
provide seasonal solar control; and
reduce the effects from heat island.

The use of vegetation in interior environments is


of growing interest to green building designers.
Interior plants provide oxygen, absorb CO2 and
also moisturize and scrub interior air.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 3.2

Site Impacts

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada

At the Rocky Mountain Institute in Aspen, Colorado,


bananas are grown, in winter, in the centre of the
office space at 1500 m of elevation.

Bananas are grown, in winter, in the centre of the


office space at the Rocky Mountain Institute in
Aspen, Colorado, elevation 1500 m.
The use of interior plants can be very sophisticated.
An advanced breathing wall was installed in the
main boardroom of the Sun Life Insurance Head
Office in 1993. Plants became an integral part
of the mechanical air purification system for the
room - moisturizing and cleansing the air, and
enriching the space environmentally and visually.

Design all landscapes to accommodate local


precipitation and water conditions and to
minimize maintenance and use of chemical
pesticides and fertilizers.
Coordinate the landscape concept with
energy strategies, stormwater control, water
collection, graywater treatment, lighting
strategies and productive gardening.
Design a habitat for local species in local soil
conditions.
Avoid lawns, as they require more
maintenance and water than other solutions.
Test soils to determine nutrient content,
organic matter, and necessary soil
modifications.
Use drought-tolerant, low-maintenance
native plants and non-native plants that are
well adapted to existing soil conditions. Use
native plants in landscape plans.
Utilize pervious paving and walkways sloped
toward landscaped areas.
Develop a composting program to
continuously add nutrients to landscaping.
Provide interior planting for better indoor air
quality.

Case Studies
Sun Life Insurance Head Office Main Boardroom
Genetron Systems Inc., Toronto, ON
Hinton Government Centre
Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd., Hinton, AB

Resources
Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series
www.sustland.umn.edu
The Evergreen Foundation
www.evergreen.ca
US EPA Green Landscaping with Native Plants
www.epa.gov/greenacres

An advanced breathing wall concept was installed at


the Sun Life Insurance Head Office main boardroom in
1993.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Site Impacts

Site Water Systems Management


Objective
to protect existing freshwater resources.
According to a United Nations report, the quality
and quantity of water is at the top of a list of
pressing problems facing humanity in the 21st
century. This report highlights the need to
prevent scarcity and pollution of freshwater.
Green buildings with low negative impacts on
the quality and quantity of freshwater will be in
demand.

Offsite Water Systems


Typical municipal or regional piped water systems
(water supply and wastewater treatment) often
lead to degradation of natural water resources.
Green buildings can reduce water use with
efficient design and water resource management.
These strategies will reduce the volume of piped
water entering and leaving the site, and thus
diminish any associated energy consumption. By
limiting the distance between water source and
the user reduces expenditures for materials and
costs for infrastructure-related energy. Finally,
sustainable harvesting of onsite water and the
use of innovative onsite wastewater treatment
reduces pressure on offsite water and waste
systems infrastructure. Refer to the section on
Water Efficiency.

Stormwater Management
Stormwater runoff is the most common disruption
to natural water cycle flows.

Chapter 3.2

species depletion and the degradation of marine


ecosystems. In Canada, most water tables are
lowering and aquifers are shrinking. Sufficient
groundwater recharge is essential to the health of
the watershed.
Impervious surfaces are possible without reducing
surface infiltration, if design solutions direct
runoff to onsite permeable surfaces permitting
infiltration and absorption. In order to protect
the watershed, a minimum level of precipitation
must percolate into the ground on-site.
Stormwater runoff also contributes to offsite
water pollution. At the point of discharge of the
storm sewer, negative impacts include increased
flooding, erosion, loss of streamside habitat, and
contamination. Runoff from infrastructures used
for vehicular traffic is especially polluted because
streets and sidewalks contain a wide range of
toxic contaminants.
The Hastings Park Restoration in Vancouver is
an example of sustainable management of storm
water. The historic Renfrew Creek was restored
by removing a concrete culvert and exposing
the creek to daylight. A system of ponds, along
with a portion of restored stream corridor, slows
down the waterflow. The system was designed
to ensure proper fish habitat, using ecological
strategies such as soil separation, a sediment
basin, biofiltration, and deep-water sinks to
maintain cold water. Additionally, the park
reduced impervious hard surfaces by substituting
compacted limestone or pavers.

The conventional design of suburban and urban


communities collects and disposes of runoff
offsite, quickly and inefficiently via storm sewers.
Usually, there are few design options available to
permit infiltration of rainwater into the ground.
Unfortunately, rainwater is usually channeled
and disposed of in surrounding bodies of water
where it can cause ecological problems, such as
contamination and species depletion.
The use of impervious surfaces is not the only
problem. The sheer amount of stormwater collected
and transported offsite beyond the watershed
creates negative impacts on the natural water
cycle. This runoff removes water which would
normally infiltrate the surface or evaporate.
It is this lack of infiltration that leads to

The Hastings Park Restoration in Vancouver provides an


example of sustainable management of storm water.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 3.2

Site Impacts

Onsite Water Collection


Collecting onsite water reduces the demand on
existing water systems, thereby saving capital
expenditures for new water systems. A supply of
onsite water can be harvested from both rainwater
and groundwater. To avoid negative environmental
impacts, the limits of the local watershed or
groundwater aquifer must be respected. This
requires careful monitoring of water flows to
avoid affecting the existing water supply, which
supports the local ecosystems. Onsite water
supply for landscape irrigation or toilet flushing
can supplement municipal systems.
The exploitation of water resources beyond natural
recharge limits reduces groundwater levels and
can reduce the amount of water for fish-bearing
streams and other sensitive ecosystems. Careful
environmental assessment should precede any use
of groundwater.
In the case of rainwater, careful design of
systems for collection, filtration and storage is
required. The design team must use materials
that do not leach contaminants into the collected
water. Green roofs can be used as a filter in the
collection of rainwater. If rainwater is the major
source for the water supply, the storage tank
may need to be large. The costs of a rainwater
harvesting project can be offset by using the
cistern (storage tank) for other purposes such
as a fire suppression header tank or a heat sink.
Some claim that rainwater collection could supply
the majority of graywater needs in most parts of
Canada.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Use green roofs as an initial filter in the
collection of rainwater and to minimize
runoffs.
Use soft or permeable surfaces instead of
hard impervious surfaces.
Use swales and retention ponds to facilitate
natural infiltration.
Control water runoff and promote percolation
of the groundwater for irrigation and to
recharge natural aquifers.
Redirect building stormwater and graywater
to irrigate landscaped areas. Do not use
potable water sources.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Control and reduce offsite discharge of


stormwater, and thereby support the health
of the sites ecosystem.
Collect and store rainwater for use in toilets
and urinals, irrigation, or for washing
vehicles.

Case Study
Hastings Park Restoration Plan
Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, Vancouver, BC

Resources
Environment Canada: Stormwater Assessment
Monitoring and Performance Program (SWAMP)
www.acs.ryerson.ca/civil/swamp
Canadian Water Resources Association
www.cwra.org
Environment Canada Water Page
www.ec.gc.ca/water
Canadian Ground Water Association
www.cgwa.org

Heat Islands
Objective
to reduce the increase in local temperature
created by buildings and site development.
The effect of heat islands is caused by the
retention of solar heat by the built environment.
Paved areas and buildings absorb solar energy and
this energy can affect local microclimates, including
human and wildlife habitats. The result of heat
islands is a significant difference in microclimate
between urbanized and non-urbanized areas that
share similar climatic characteristics. Seventyfive years ago, Vancouver was a mossy, temperate
rainforest. Today, the Vancouver Parks Board plants
and maintains palm trees in the West End and there
are now productive banana palms nearby.
One of the most obvious negative effects that heat
islands have on buildings is the increased heat load
in summer which increases the output required from
air conditioning systems. Designers should consider
minimizing the heat island effect by specifying
highly reflective roofing materials, using green roof
systems, providing vegetation cover to sites, and
minimizing heat absorbing paved surfaces.

Site Impacts

Roofing materials should demonstrate high


reflectivity and high emissivity over the useful
life of the product. Reflectivity is defined
by the solar reflectance ratio of the product
(a reflectance of 100% means that all energy
striking the surface is reflected back into the
atmosphere). These proprieties will reflect the
suns heat instead of storing it or transferring it
to an internal space. Reflected solar radiation
is not the problem; it is the conversion of short
wave energy to long wave heat that creates
increased local temperatures in most urban areas.
One important design consideration to reduce
the effects of heat islands is to specify white
or lightly coloured roofing materials. Most roof
membrane materials can be specified this way for
little or no additional cost.

Chapter 3.2

For the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, part


of the building design is inspired by a traditional
native pithouse. These pithouses demonstrated
many green building technologies, including a
sod roof.

Green roofs are another strategy for heat islands


and offer a number of significant advantages.
The primary benefit of green roofs in Canada is the
capability to retain stormwater on site, without
the need to construct any a stormwater retention
device in the landscape. Because stormwater
retention and sewers are expensive, this is an
ideal solution for newer communities which may
not already have a sewer infrastructure. The
retention capability of green roofs can provide
a delay of one to two hours in a stormwater
surge. Delay periods can be engineered to suit.
Downspouts and stormwater drainage piping can
be downsized and costs reduced.
Green roofs can also provide added levels of
thermal insulation and, more importantly, reduce
summer solar heat gain through roofs. Green roofs
also create oxygen and remove smog and CO2 from
the environment. From the air, any city in Canada
appears to be acres of black tar roofs. Imagine
all of these converted to be soft, green, oxygencreating, lifegiving, healthy green roofs which
save energy too.
Canadian green roof technology is old and should
be understood by most Canadian clients. Native
pit house structures date back thousands of
years. Most Canadian prairie residents have
grandparents who were born under sod roofs (and
walls). The Citadel in Quebec City has a fine 150
year old sod roof.

For the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, part of


the building design is inspired from a traditional native
pit house.

The Citadel in Quebec City has a fine 150 year old sod
roof.

Modern green roofs are lightweight and easy to


maintain. Ecoroofs are 125 to 175mm thick
and comprised of a 25mm thick light egg crate
holding structure (plastic) topped with a filter
fabric to keep the top layer of 100 to 150 mm of
soil mix from going down the drain. Some green
roofs include wild flower or grass vegetation and
shrubs with an irrigation system, and are capable
SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 3.2

Site Impacts

of supporting access from building occupants.


Other low maintenance systems include fleshy
leaved sedums and no irrigation. Both systems are
installed over full membrane roofs.
Ecoroofs are not subject to failure due to our
freeze-thaw cycles. They do require occasional
weeding. They are easily removed for membrane
repair. There are four competitive suppliers in
most of Canada and they will not jeopardize
most roofing guarantees. Ecoroofs add a cost
premium of about $40-$80/m2. This cost can be
offset against the savings in the cost to construct
stormwater retention structures, drainage systems
and insulation, as well as energy savings in
operating costs. Green roofs also look good
visit the Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) store
in downtown Toronto in May or June for a special
wildflower show!

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Provide shade to all surfaces using native
vegetation.
Specify highly-reflective, light-coloured
materials for hard landscaped surfaces.
Specify highly-reflective, light-coloured and
high emissivity materials for the roof.
Provide green roofs wherever possible.

Case Studies
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Stone Kohn McQuire Vogt Architects, Toronto, ON
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
Busby + Associates Architects, Merritt, BC

Resources
Heat Island group
eande.lbl.gov/heatisland
Green Roofs
www.greenroofs.com
US EPA Energy Star Roofing Products
www.energystar.gov/products

Light Pollution
Objectives
Visit the MEC store in downtown Toronto in May/June
for a special wildflower show!

The effect of solar heat retention can be reduced


by providing vegetation to shade heat-absorbing
surfaces and by reducing the amount of impervious
paved surfaces. Shading heat-absorbing surfaces
with native trees and shrubs is preferable because
they require little watering and maintain the local
biodiversity.
Minimizing heat-absorbing paved surfaces can
also be achieved by using paving materials
with a high reflectivity or by replacing surface
parking with underground parking. In addition,
underground parking sometimes creates less site
disturbance; results in less stormwater runoff
caused by impervious surface materials; and
provides more efficient use of materials.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

to reduce the amount of light that negatively


impacts the environment.
to provide energy savings by reducing
unnecessary exterior lighting.
Exterior lighting is necessary for the safe exterior
environment of a building. Sidewalks, parking
lots and green open areas should be adequately
lit. Night lighting is also used for advertising to
feature parts of the city skyline.
However, exterior and interior lighting can disturb
certain nocturnal ecosystems and reduce the
enjoyment of the night sky by the community.
This exterior overlighting is referred to as
light pollution. The elimination or reduction
of light pollution provides additional benefits
such as reduced energy consumption, as well as
reduced materials and resources associated with
the overlighting of exterior spaces. There can be
considerable long-term savings in energy costs
over the life of a building.

Site Impacts

The design team should ensure that exterior


lighting levels reduce light pollution without
compromising the safety of the community. For
example, the design team could provide exterior
lighting levels that are safe for pedestrians while
minimizing lighting for automobile circulation.
Lighting should be focused on critical high use
portions of roadways such as intersections and
pedestrian crossings. Alternatively, other safety
features can be used to avoid extra lighting. In
addition, by providing down lighting, rather
than up lighting, there is a overall in the
amount of light wasted into the night sky.
Substantial savings in energy and materials can
also be realized by specifying exterior light
sensors.

Chapter 3.2

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Favour downward exterior lighting instead of
upward exterior lighting.
Use the services of a lighting professional for
exterior lighting.
Incorporate safety and energy conservation
features when reducing light pollution.

Resources
Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
www.rasc.ca/light/home.html
Outdoor Environmental Lighting Committee,
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America
www.iesna.org

Stairwells and other circulation routes that are


illuminated and have exterior windows for security
reasons should also be fitted with occupancy
sensors and located so they do not remain on
all night, thereby wasting energy and disturbing
neighbours.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 3.0 - Sustainable Site Design

3.3 Regulations,
Linkages and
Tradeoffs

Regulations, Linkages and Tradeoffs

Chapter 3.3

3.3 Regulations, Linkages


and Tradeoffs
As indicated at the outset, sustainable site design
strategies require many professionals in the design
process. An integrated design team including
landscape architects, community planners, urban
ecologists, biologists, ecologists and engineers
will lead to more thorough environmental
solutions. Additionally, an integrated design
team with broad and diverse skills is better
equipped to challenge regulations that might
impede the design and construction of green
buildings. To overcome obstacles to green
solutions, design teams should include authorities
having jurisdiction in the design process from the
outset. Institutional landscapes architects and
ground maintenance crews may also resist the
implementation of certain solutions, unless they
are included early in the green design process.
Green buildings require a holistic approach to
design and solution-finding. When approaching
the design of green buildings, there are many
possible linkages as well as numerous tradeoffs.
For example, landscaping strategies can help
increase biodiversity, reduce water use, and
conserve energy. On the other hand, by conserving
a significant amount of the existing vegetation on
a site may compromise the advantages of highdensity development. A green design team must
find the right balance!

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

4.0 Water Efficiency

Water Efficiency

Chapter 4.0

Water Efficiency
Overall Objectives
to reduce water demand for landscape
irrigation.
to reduce water consumption within
buildings.
to promote the reclamation of wastewater
in order to conserve water and to minimize
detrimental impacts of wastewater disposal.
The need for water conservation may seem
unnecessary in a country with an apparent
abundance of water. Canada has one of the
highest per capita water consumption rates in the
world. And, it is likely that future demands upon
this resource will increase greatly -- this increase
in demand will be from outside our borders
and from within Canada. The demand for fresh
water and wastewater treatment and disposal is
already putting great pressure on global water
resources. The contamination of the water supply
in Walkerton, Ontario confirms the importance
of maintaining high water quality. It is critical
to protect and conserve our natural fresh water
resources. Regionally, the ecology of our local
watersheds is threatened due to the demand
for freshwater and the amount of wastewater
disposal.
The green design team can address these needs
by applying water conservation strategies to
reduce water demand, and by including innovative
low impact wastewater treatment systems and
disposal techniques.

Some of the benefits of water conservation


include:
increased efficiency, deferred capital
expansion costs for infrastructure, and lower
operating costs as a result of reduced water
distribution systems and lower wastewater
flows;
protection of fish and wildlife threatened
by soil erosion, sedimentation, and reduced
levels of water in watersheds, rivers and
streams;
access to reliable and safe water as a result
of reduced water consumption.
Water efficiency in green buildings involves the
following:
minimizing exterior water use;
minimizing interior water use; and
minimizing the negative impacts of
wastewater treatment by seeking alternatives
for disposal.
Addressing water efficiency provides support
for other green building strategies. Native
vegetation will not only decrease exterior water
use - it can also increase biodiversity, wild life
habitat, and reduce the creation of heat islands.
Operational energy can be saved by using
insulation and heat traps to reduce heat loss
on hot water heaters; specifying high efficiency
heaters and boilers; using passive solar systems
for heating hot water; and installing heat
recovery systems on wastewater plumbing.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 4.0 - Water Efficiency

4.1 Reducing the Need


for Irrigation

Water Free Landscaping


Water Efficient Irrigation Systems

Reducing the Need for Irrigation

Chapter 4.1

4.1 Reducing the Need for Irrigation


Objective
to reduce water demand and water use for
landscape irrigation.
In Canada, the irrigation of the landscape around
residential, commercial and institutional buildings
consumes great quantities of water. Using waterfree landscaping or providing water efficient
irrigation systems are important design strategies
to minimize or eliminate exterior water use.

Water Free Landscaping


Objective

Xeriscaping includes creative landscape techniques that conserve water. Some of these
techniques include:
soil analysis;
reduced turf area; and
appropriate plant selection
(often native species).
These techniques not only reduce water demand
and but also reduce the need for pesticides and
fertilizers that may contaminate the water flows
offsite. The reduction in the disturbance of the
natural flows of infiltration, evaporation and
runoff helps maintain healthy water systems.
These flows are an essential part of the
hydrological cycle.

to provide drought-resistant landscaping.


The common lawn has one of the greatest demands
for water, absorbing an enormous amount of water
during an average summer. The domestic lawn is
not native to Canada our country was exquisitely
landscaped with native irrigation free plants
before European settlement. CMHC estimates that
a typical suburban lawn will absorb 100,000 litres
of irrigation water every summer. Automated
irrigation systems often operate without regard
for weather or moisture in the soil because timers
control them. The dramatic increase in water
demand during summer months often results in
water shortages, as it coincides with the low
rainfall season. Water-free, drought-resistant
landscaping is an appropriate green design
solution. There are various design strategies
that provide substantial water savings, such as
xeriscaping and zeroscaping.

In several older inner city neighbourhoods in


Toronto, xeriscaping has become fashionable,
now overshadowing the postage stamp lawns of
more conventional neighbours. These grass free
lawns are beautiful. Another example is Hastings
Park restoration in Vancouver, which transformed
an existing site used by the Pacific National
Exhibition into a community park. This park is a
showcase for sustainable practices in storm water
management and wildlife habitat restoration. The
site was restored using native plants to enhance
the ecology of the previously developed site, and
it has reduced demand for water and
maintenance.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 4.1

Reducing the Need for Irrigation

Case Study
Hastings Park Restoration Plan
Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, Vancouver, BC

Resources
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca
Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series
www.sustland.umn.edu
The Hasting Park site was restored using native plants
to enhance the ecology of the previously developed
site, as well as reduce water and maintenance
requirements.

Zeroscaping is the replacement of vegetation


with mineral materials, such as gravel and rocks
that require no water. However, this strategy
also eliminates the evaporation process from
vegetation that considerably contributes to the
hydrological cycle.
For new construction on undeveloped sites, the
retention of existing native vegetation maintains
the evaporation process and minimizes water
demand. Providing native vegetation respects
indigenous ecosystems and increases biodiversity,
a significant improvement over mono-planting
landscapes such as the typical lawn.
In addition to reducing water consumption, the
selection of native plants is the right strategy
for other reasons. This choice reduces weeds and
maintenance requirements, supports a diverse
animal and insect habitat, and eliminates the
need for pesticides. Across Canada, we enjoy
the richness, delicacy and abundance of the
natural wild landscape. Instruct the landscape
architect to design a clearing in the forest for
all projects.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Include a landscape professional on your
design team who is knowledgeable about
water efficient designs.
Complete a soil analysis for better native
plant selection.
Use native and drought-resistant plants.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

US EPA Green Landscaping with Native Plants


www.epa.gov/greenacres

Water Efficient Irrigation


Systems
Objective
to provide water efficient irrigation systems
for landscapes that require occasional
watering.
In general, the specification of irrigation
systems should be avoided in favour of water
efficient systems. The available technologies
consist of micro-irrigation systems such as drip
irrigation, moisture sensors and weather database
controllers. These technologies are available off
the shelf, but may result in a higher initial capital
cost.
Collecting rainwater for landscape irrigation is an
excellent alternative to irrigation systems that
draw on the public supply of water. By applying
drought resistant landscaping strategies, the
storage requirements can be kept to a minimum.
Also, collecting and storing rainwater onsite helps
control runoff and increases onsite infiltration.
The storage container can be incorporated into
the landscape design as a water feature and as
an amenity for the building users. Rainwater
can also be stored on roofs (by ponding), in
detention ponds (in conjunction with stormwater
retention strategies), in landscaped or eco
roofs, or in cisterns deliberately constructed
within the building or buried in the landscape.
Cisterns can be constructed of concrete or plastic.
Cisterns should be sized for maximum drought
periods; typically they are surprisingly small.
Reclaimed and reused wastewater can also be
used for landscape irrigation, as described in the
innovative wastewater section below. At the

Reducing the Need for Irrigation

Chapter 4.1

University of British Columbia in the CK Choi


Building, graywater from sinks is cleaned and
disbursed through a biofilter located in front of
the main faade. This eliminates the demand
for landscape irrigation, and at the same time
it filters the graywater. Furthermore, it provides
an attractive vegetation feature at the building
entry.

For the UBC CK Choi Building, graywater from sinks is


cleaned and dispersed through a biofilter located in
front of the buildings main faade.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Provide water efficient irrigation systems
appropriate for the local climate and for local
plants.
Collect and store rainwater for landscape
irrigation.
Provide graywater irrigation systems.

Case Study
CK Choi, Institute for Asian Research
Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc., Vancouver, BC

Resources
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca
US EPA Office of Water
www.epa.gov/OW
Waterwiser: the Water Efficiency Clearinghouse
www.waterwiser.org
The Irrigation Association
www.irrigation.org

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 4.0 - Water Efficiency

4.2 Water Use Reduction

Advocacy and Awareness


Water Efficiency Fixtures and Appliances

Water Use Reduction

Chapter 4.2

4.2 Water Use Reduction


Objective

Advocacy and Awareness

to reduce fresh water demand within


buildings.

Objective

Urban development increasingly challenges


our ability to protect our water resources.
Conventional design and building practices do not
include water conservation strategies; instead,
they tend to contribute to excessive water
consumption and wastewater production. The
general adoption of water-efficient strategies
for buildings can achieve at least a 30%
savings in the water consumption of a region or
municipality.
Reducing demand for the use of fresh water
will not only protect water resources but also
considerably reduce energy consumption,
materials and costs related to water supply and
wastewater treatment pumping and infrastructure.
Reducing water consumption can be achieved in
both new construction and renovation projects by:
promoting awareness of the limits and
fragility of our water resources; (Clients and
the general public must understand the need
for water conservation in order to modify
community water consumption patterns.)
specifying water efficient fixtures;
incorporating wastewater reclamation.
The quality of water needed for various uses
is an important part of water conservation.
Not all activities require fresh potable water.
Toilet flushing, landscape irrigation and exterior
washing can be done with lower quality water.
By reducing the demand for all water use,
wastewater reclamation systems, supplemented
with rainwater, become viable alternatives. This
approach will be described in the innovative
wastewater section below.

to reduce fresh water demand in buildings by


modifying consumption patterns, values and
behaviour.
Advocating for water conservation during the
initial stages of a project influences the client
and authorities having jurisdiction and helps the
design team to achieve its sustainability goals.
By including clients and key building users in the
design process, the design team demonstrates
the importance of water conservation with a view
to influence users behaviour during occupancy.
Currently in Canada, water is either provided free
or at very low cost to the consumer. There will
likely be higher water utility prices in the future.
By designing water efficient buildings for clients,
architects will be providing them with savings in
operating costs.
After occupancy, the design team should provide
a building manual that highlights and explains
the water conservation strategies incorporated
into the building. This assists users awareness of
their water consumption and leads to even further
reductions.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Advocate water conservation strategies at
the early stage of the project to clients and
authorities having jurisdiction.
Propose lower municipal development fees
for projects being designed with lower
water consumption, as these developments
will result in cost savings for municipal
infrastructure.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 4.2

Water Use Reduction

Resources
Environment Canada Water Page
www.ec.gc.ca/water
Waterwiser: the Water Efficiency Clearinghouse
www.waterwiser.org
Water Education Foundation
www.water-ed.org

Water Efficiency Fixtures and


Appliances
Objective
to decrease water demand, thereby reducing
demand on existing and future municipal
infrastructure.
The following provides an overview of the major
types of water efficient fixtures and appliances
available to design teams.

Toilets
Some manufacturers of conventional residential
(tank flush) and commercial (flush valve) toilets
provide water-conserving fixtures. There are
three basic types of water conserving toilets:

introduced to Canada from Asia, are an alternative


to conventional fixtures. They are simple and
effective, providing a two level flush that can
contribute to significant water savings.
Composting toilets are an alternative to water
flush fixtures in that they do not use water.
However, they are not compatible with all water
reclamation systems (such as the Solar Aquatics
system). Another constraint of composting toilets
is that the technology requires a considerable
amount of space on two levels, at and below the
toilet. They also require a change in consumer
attitude as their function is significantly different
and they require periodic maintenance. The
advantage of composting toilets is that no water
source is required and biomass is produced. which
is usable as garden fertilizer. Composting toilets
are ideal where municipal sewage systems are not
available because they do not require septic field
systems. When combined with ventilation fans
driven by photovoltaic energy, composting toilets
can be pleasant to use as they are usually warm
in the winter.
The CK Choi building at UBC uses composting
toilets.

Gravity flush (gravity-flush toilets, like


conventional residential toilets, use the
weight of water flowing down from the tank
to clear the toilet bowl);
Pressure-assisted or flush valve (pressureassisted toilets require air compressed and/or
pressure in the water lines to force water
into the bowl and clear waste); and
Vacuum-assisted (vacuum-assisted toilets
have chambers inside the toilet tank to pull
water and waste from the bowl with vacuum
assistance).
Ultra low flush toilets are available for the three
basic types of toilet. They use 6.0 litres per
flush compared to almost 20 litres per flush for
conventional toilets.
In general, pressure-assisted toilets effectively
remove liquid and solid waste but tend to be
noisier than other types, and they are more
expensive. Some of the newer, more innovative
designs may have higher maintenance costs due
to specialized parts. Dual flush toilets, recently

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

The CK Choi building at UBC addresses its water


cycle by providing composting toilets and reusing the
buildings graywater for landscape irrigation.

Water Use Reduction

Chapter 4.2

Urinals

Showerheads

Wall hung and stall urinals are usually for


commercial applications, although residential
models do exist. Urinals are either manual flush
or automatic (electronic or battery powered).
Their water flow can be controlled by automated
systems. Some models offer infrared sensor
controlled flushing. Ultra low flush urinals
use between 1.9 litres and 3.8 litres per flush.
Waterless models do exist; however, most models
use a chemical treatment process that may offset
any environmental merits of water conservation.

Showering accounts for almost 17% of domestic


water use in Canada. Water saving showerheads
restrict flow rates to a maximum of 9.5 litres per
minute. Conventional fixtures operate at 20 litres
per minute.

Washing Machines
The most water efficient washing machines are
front-loading horizontal axis types. These models
can be loaded like a dryer, and the tub rotates
on the horizontal axis. Clothes tumble in a
shallow pool of water at the bottom of the
tub, while baffles scoop up water and spray
it on the clothes. Water levels automatically
adjust based on the water absorption rate of
the clothing. Front loading washers use up to
40% less water and up to 50% less energy than
conventional top-loading (vertical axis) machines.
Also, without the agitator found in top-loading
machines, front-loading machines accommodate
larger capacity loads. The high-speed spin
cycle of a top-loading appliance extracts 30%
more water from clothes, resulting in less drying
time. Although reduction in operating costs and
water consumption are extensive, front-loading
machines are generally more expensive than
conventional models. Front-loading machines are
available in standard (side-by-side with dryers)
and smaller, stackable models.

Faucets
Water-conserving lavatory and gooseneck faucets
are available for commercial and residential use.
The faucets have either manual or automatic
controls (battery or low voltage powered).
Some models operate using infrared sensors for
increased water conservation. A few manufacturers produce metered, pneumatic- control
faucets. Depending on the model, temperature
control may be internal or external. Water
saving faucets have aerators with maximum flows
ranging from 1.9 litres to 8.3 litres per minute.
By comparison, a flow of 13 litres per minute is
standard for conventional faucets.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Advocate water conservation strategies to
clients and authorities having jurisdiction.
Specify water conserving plumbing fixtures
and fittings.
Specify water and energy conserving
appliances.

Case Study
CK Choi, Institute for Asian Research
Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc., Vancouver, BC

Resources
Dishwashers
Water-conserving dishwashers currently available
use between 12.3 litres and 25.1 litres of hot
water, compared to approximately 35 litres used
by conventional dishwashers. These models are
also energy efficient on normal washing cycles.
Some models offer sensors that adjust the water
level according to the amount of dirt on the
dishes; that is, the cleaner the dishes, the less
water needed. Some models include features
for washing on the top rack only. Models with
stainless steel interiors resist discolouration over
time and prolong the life of the dishwasher.

Environment Canada Water Page


www.ec.gc.ca/water
Waterwiser: the Water Efficiency Clearinghouse
www.waterwiser.org
US Department of Energy Energy Star
www.energystar.gov/products

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 4.0 - Water Efficiency

4.3 Innovative
Wastewater
Treatment

Water Demand and Wastewater Production


Wastewater Reclamation

Innovative Wastewater Treatment

Chapter 4.3

4.3 Innovative Wastewater Treatment


Objectives
to reduce negative impacts of wastewater
by incorporating innovative wastewater
treatment strategies.
to use wastewater reclamation to reduce
fresh water demand.
The treatment and disposal of wastewater is
a significant negative impact of buildings.
Municipal sewage treatment invariably pollutes
the receiving ecosystem. At a smaller scale,
septic systems can contaminate local
groundwater.
In order to reduce these negative impacts of
wastewater treatment, strategies with low
impacts on the environment must be selected.
Consideration should be given to developing
multiple purification systems that will allow
building systems to adapt to future changes.
A possible benefit from wastewater treatment is
energy production. During the treatment process,
significant amounts of energy can be harvested
through heat recovery systems.

Water Demand and Wastewater


Production
Objectives
to understand the difference in demand for
water in buildings (potable and non-potable
water).
to recognize the two types of wastewater
produced by building occupants (blackwater
and graywater).

Water Requirements
In most residential, commercial and institutional
buildings, the needs for non-potable water are
significantly greater than the needs for potable

water if potable water is used only for food


preparation and personal hygiene. Toilet flushing
can use water of a lower quality. In a typical
building, flushing of toilets accounts for 50%
of the water demand. In other building types,
such as office buildings, the non-potable water
requirement can be an even higher percentage.
This demand can be met with lower quality, nonpotable water. Lower quality water can also be
used in landscape irrigation. A study of the water
requirements in a project can demonstrate the
possibility of a design solution using a dual water
system. The key concept of potable versus
non-potable water must be considered when
investigating innovative wastewater treatment
solutions.

Types of Wastewater
Wastewater can be classified in two categories:
blackwater and graywater. Typically wastewater
is treated through septic systems for low-density
developments, or through large-scale wastewater
treatment facilities for entire communities.
Blackwater is the wastewater produced by toilets
and urinals. It requires significant treatment
before being reused, recycled or disposed of.
Regulatory requirements may include the need
to provide conventional wastewater treatment
systems. Also, development on sites adjacent to
wastewater treatment facilities may be restricted
due to possible contamination.
Blackwater
treatment systems require significantly more
maintenance than graywater systems.
Graywater is the wastewater produced from sinks,
showers and laundry. Treatment requires less
maintenance and less infrastructure than the
treatment of black water and it may be achieved
by means of a landscape biofilter. Landscape
biofilters can be incorporated as an amenity or
landscape feature such as a marshland. Biofilters
can also provide other ecological and social
benefits. Treated graywater may be recycled,
SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 4.3

Innovative Wastewater Treatment

reused for irrigation and toilet flushing, used for


landscape irrigation or dispersed on site.

Resources

An advanced house, La maison des marais,


located in proximity to a marshland, uses Quebec
technology called Le biofiltre Ecoflo to filtrate
the houses wastewater and avoid contamination
of the surrounding sensitive ecosystem.

Greywater Central
www.greywater.net

Canadian Water and Wastewater Association


www.cwwa.ca

Greywater Information
www.greywater.com

Wastewater Reclamation
Objectives
to reduce freshwater demand by applying
wastewater reclamation strategies.
to reduce the negative impacts of
wastewater.
The impact of buildings on water resources can be
minimized by recycling and reusing wastewater.
Using reclaimed or non-potable, lower quality
water can dramatically reduce freshwater demand.
An advanced house La maison des marais, located in
proximity to a marshland, uses a Quebec technology
called Le biofiltre Ecoflo to filtrate the houses
wastewater and avoiding contamination of the
surrounding sensitive ecosystem.

Although blackwater is more challenging to treat


and dispose of, incorporating innovative wastewater treatment systems offers the potential to
reduce the negative impacts of buildings.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Assess the different water needs of the
building users.
Determine the level of water quality needed
(potable or non-potable) based on its use.
Incorporate innovative wastewater treatment
systems.

Case Study
Advanced house comparable to R-2000
La maison des marais
R. Monnier, Architecte, QC

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Wastewater reclamation usually requires a dual


piping system to deliver the potable water and
the reclaimed water. A dual piping system
may require modifications to existing plumbing
regulations and it will cost more.
Two options are available for wastewater
reclamation systems: recycling and reuse.

Wastewater Recycling
Wastewater recycling recirculates blackwater and
graywater many times through a reclamation
system. These systems use controlled applications
of natural absorption materials and in-line filters.
They are commonly known by trade names, such as
Solar Aquatics, Waterloo Biofilter Living Machines,
and Cycle-Let technologies. Each time wastewater
passes through a reclamation system, a percentage
of water is absorbed by the system. The initial
amount of water is reduced during each successive
cycle through the system. Water is absorbed by
the systems living organisms that feed off the
nutrients in the reclaimed water. Wastewater
recycling is the most efficient type of reclamation,
because it uses a closed loop system.

Innovative Wastewater Treatment

Water recycling has the potential to concentrate


certain pollutants. The water is recycled many
times; if the system does not remove all
pollutants from the water, those left in the water
after treatment accumulate in the system. This
problem can be identified with a comprehensive
monitoring system and resolved by providing a
series of different consecutive treatments in order
to remove all pollutants. Combining different
treatments increases the efficiency of the system.

Chapter 4.3

Another technology that can be used to filter


wastewater on-site is a Living Machine. The
Body Shop Canadas Home Office and Production
Facility in Don Mills, ON, was equipped with a
Living Machine for onsite wastewater treatment.
A system of water tanks and plants provides the
treatment. The water coming out of the system is
passed through an ultra-violet filter to clean it
enough for reuse.

Innovative onsite wastewater recycling


technologies require extensive maintenance. They
also may require modification of certain health
regulations to be implemented. However, a
reduction of up to 85% in the use of water can be
achieved by using recycled water for non-potable
water uses. Complete onsite wastewater recycling
could eliminate loads on wastewater treatment
facilities, because a building or development with
such a system would output no wastewater.
A leading biological wastewater treatment
technology is Solar Aquatics. Under controlled
conditions, Solar Aquatics duplicates the natural
process of fresh water streams, meadows and
wetlands. Sewage flow passes though a series
of water tanks filled with algae, plants, bacteria
and aquatic animals. The process can take
between 2 to 4 days depending on the level of
treatment. One installation in Errington, BC,
features an odourless pleasant greenhouse, which
provides wastewater treatment for a mobile home
community. It is an amazing experience to see
wastewater coming out of the greenhouse as
clean, clear water after four days of treatment!

The Body Shop Canadas Home Office and Production


Facility in Don Mills, ON, was equipped with a Living
Machine for on-site wastewater treatment.

Wastewater recycling technologies are costly and


should be used when municipal infrastructure is
unavailable. Central larger municipal wastewater
treatment plants may be more cost effective and
sustainable than these on-site technologies.

Wastewater Reuse
Wastewater reuse is a process that does not
include the complete recycling of wastewater.
These systems treat wastewater sufficiently to
permit its reuse as lower quality water. For
example, water from showers and baths can be
treated and reused for toilet flushing. Compared
to full wastewater recycling, reuse strategies
produce a larger amount of wastewater and are
usually less successful in reducing overall water
demand.

It is an amazing experience to see after four days,


and after use, clean, clear water coming out of the
greenhouse.

Although the reduction in water demand is not as


great as with wastewater recycling, wastewater
reuse is simpler, more economical and probably
more acceptable -- the Canadian public may not
be ready to use wastewater for daily bathing and
showering.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 4.3

Innovative Wastewater Treatment

Technologies
Many innovative wastewater treatment systems
are available to Canadian design teams. All
new systems will require the involvement and
support of the building users because they may
need an explanation of the function of the
system. Moreover, ongoing maintenance will be
required to ensure the proper functioning of the
wastewater treatment system.
Each system has different advantages and
tradeoffs. Some commonly used wastewater and
septic tank treatment technologies are Clivus
Multrum Greywater Filter, Waterloo Biofilter,
polishing filter, ultraviolet disinfection, ozone
disinfection, Alascan wastewater system,
Biogreen wastewater system, Biokreisel, Clean
Flush System, Cycle-Let, Hydroxyl Systems,
and Rotordisk.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Advocate for wastewater reclamation to
clients and authorities having jurisdiction
at the early stage of a project.
Allow for modular, plug-in purification
systems for building adaptability in
the future.
Use graywater for landscape irrigation
and toilets.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Case Studies
Beausoleil Solar Aquatics
ECO-TEK Wastewater Treatment, Errington, BC
Body Shop (Canada) Headquarters
Colborne Architectural Group, Don Mills, ON

Resources
Ocean Arks International
www.oceanarks.org
Ecological Engineering Associates (EEA)
www.solaraquatics.com
Living Technologies Inc.
www.livingmachines.com

Chapter 4.0 - Water Efficiency

4.4 Regulations,
Linkages and
Tradeoffs

Regulations, Linkages and Tradeoffs

Chapter 4.4

4.4 Regulations, Linkages


and Tradeoffs
Authorities having jurisdiction have the
potential to improve water efficiency in the built
environment. Changes in legislation and policy
can promote conservation and provide leadership
in water management. At the national level,
initiatives that target the built environment
include:
establishing standards for efficient fixtures;
imposing efficient water use amendments to
building codes;
promoting and studying wastewater
technologies; and
adopting and enforcing provincial, regional
and municipal water conservation policies,
regulations and by-laws and legislation.
Regional water and wastewater managers can
institute residential and commercial pricing,
which promotes water conservation, and reduce
outdoor water use by means of legal restrictions.
Municipalities can stipulate landscape design
guidelines for new developments in order to
reduce irrigation needs.
Broader water
conservation measures for both interior and
exterior water use include water rights allocation;
purchase and transfer; licensing; water quality
regulation; educational programs; and economic
instruments.

All new or amended legislation and policies


should encourage stewardship of our water
resources. This requires collaboration with all
water resource stakeholders. Cooperation will
reduce duplication of effort, prevent contradictory
legislation and promote integrated resource
management.
Furthermore, legislation and policy must be
realistic and enforceable. Because there are many
perceived and actual regulatory barriers related to
water conservation and wastewater reclamation, it
is good practice for design teams to hold detailed
discussions with regulatory authorities in the early
stages of projects. These discussions will establish
allowable practices, acceptable costs and provide
sufficient timing for approvals. For example, some
jurisdictions do not allow non-potable water in
toilets, because pets may drink it.
Regulatory changes will require experimentation,
testing and approval. In light of the wellpublicized concerns about Canadas water supply
systems, particularly post-Walkerton, these
approvals may be difficult to obtain.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

5.0 Energy and


Atmosphere

Energy and Atmosphere

Chapter 5.0

Energy and Atmosphere


Overall Objectives
to understand and minimize detrimental
environmental impacts of energy use.
to design buildings that use less energy.
to select energy sources having the lowest
possible environmental impacts.
Approximately 40% of worldwide energy use is
for the cooling, heating and supply of power to
buildings. There are two strategies for reducing
energy use:
the selection of low impact energy sources;
the application of energy efficient solutions
to building design.
Energy consumption produces damaging
environmental impacts through resource
extraction, energy production, transportation,
inefficient distribution and emissions.
Low
impact renewable energy sources can overcome
some of these problems. The low impact energy
supply sector is growing and there are now new
technologies available.
Through their entire life cycle, buildings
consume energy for construction, operation and
deconstruction; however, it is the operation
of buildings that consumes the most energy.
Numerous methods are available to minimize the
operational energy consumption of buildings,
including passive systems and energy efficient
design strategies.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.0 - Energy and Atmosphere

5.1 Energy and Pollution

Polluting Emissions
Factors Affecting Pollution

Energy and Pollution

Chapter 5.1

5.1 Energy and Pollution


Objective
to understand and minimize the detrimental
environmental impacts of energy use.
It is critical to minimize the negative impacts
associated with energy production, transportation, inefficiency, emissions and energy
consumption in buildings.
Energy consumption is connected to the global
problem of air quality and climate change. In
order to minimize pollution, the design team
must include the reduction of energy consumption
as a criterion for design decisions.
When selecting an energy source, factors to
be considered include cost, feasibility and
regulations. Unfortunately, sometimes Canadian
design teams cannot choose the energy source;
however, the design team can use production,
transportation and the efficiency of energy as
selection criteria.

Polluting Emissions
Objective
to minimize the amount of polluting
emissions from energy use.
Greenhouse gases (GHG) are by-products
of energy production and consumption. For
example, coal burned for electricity production
and fossil fuels burned for automobile use both
produce greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as CO2.
Energy production is the largest activity that
produces GHG emissions in Canada, accounting
for approximately 34% of the total emissions.
Greenhouse gases cause global warming, which is
damaging ecosystems.
The 1997 Kyoto Accord identified targets for
the reduction of GHG emissions. Over the last

few years, Canada has continued to increase


emissions by moving further away from this
target. Green buildings can play a key role
in meeting the Kyoto objectives. It has been
calculated that by reducing the GHG emissions by
25% from renovated and new buildings, architects
and design teams have the power to achieve
15% of Canadas Kyoto commitment within 5
years. Ultimately, the construction industry must
shoulder the responsibility for 40% of Canadas
Kyoto commitment our proportional share of
total national energy consumption. To attain
that target, we need greater energy efficiencies in
new buildings and we have to renovate a higher
percent of the existing building stock.
Other emissions can be damaging for the
environment and for a growing portion of the
population. One example is airborne sulphur
dioxide, a byproduct of coal fired electricity
production that leads to acid rain and smog.
The design team must avoid the use of certain
types of refrigerants that damage the ozone layer.
Ozone occurs in two layers of the atmosphere.
The 10 km deep layer surrounding the earths
surface is the troposphere. In this layer, groundlevel ozone, a key ingredient of urban smog, is
an air pollutant that harms humans, animals,
vegetation, among other things. Above the
troposphere is the stratosphere, which contains
the protective ozone layer; it extends upward
from about 10 to 30 km and protects life on earth
from harmful solar ultraviolet rays (UV-B).
Refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs),
hydrofluorocarbons, (HFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and halons used in HVAC systems
and refrigeration equipment are also harmful and
can add to urban smog. Upon rising into the
upper ozone layer, they form chemical bonds and
destroy the protective ozone layer that prevents
global warming. Each refrigerant has different
impacts on smog and global warming. The 1987

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.1

Energy and Pollution

Montreal Protocol dictates that ozone-depleting


substances be phased out and ultimately
eliminated. These chemical compounds are also
potent greenhouse gases.

Resources

In Europe, the use of these chemicals in


HVAC equipment is outlawed. North American
regulations are not as stringent. Mechanical
engineers who are committed to not specifying
CFCs, HFCs, or HCFCs should be engaged on all
projects. Alternatives do exist for example, the
Mountain Equipment Co-op store in Ottawa has
HVAC equipment and building materials without
CFCs or HCFCs.

David Suzuki Foundation


www.davidsuzuki.org

Climate Change Solutions


www.climatechangesolutions.com/
english/default.htm

Rocky Mountain Institute


www.rmi.org

Factors Affecting Pollution


Objective
to minimize pollution associated with energy
consumption.

Energy Production

In the design and construction of the Mountain


Equipment Co-op store in Ottawa, HVAC equipment
and building materials without CFCs or HCFCs were
selected.

Energy production has serious environmental


impacts examples include drilling for fossil
fuels in ecologically vulnerable areas and
flooding of large areas of land for large-scale
hydroelectricity production. Small scale, low
impact systems such as solar collectors, wind
turbines, geothermal energy, and small scale
distributed electrical generation for communities
(co-generation and fuel cells)
should be
considered.

Transportation Issues
In brief, the selection of low impact energy
sources can reduce damage to the environment,
depletion of the ozone layer, and consequent
human illnesses (e.g. UV-B exposure can cause
skin cancer, eye damage).

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Specify building products manufactured
with no damaging refrigerants such as
CFCs and HCFCs.
Phase out existing CFC based refrigerants
when retrofitting existing buildings.

Case Study
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Linda Chapman Architect and Christopher
Simmonds Architect in joint venture, Ottawa, ON

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

The distance between an energy production


facility and the energy user should be kept to a
minimum. Large distribution systems:
are inefficient (transmission losses account
for over 50% of total hydro electricity
generated);
occupy a considerable amount of land; and
consume great quantities of natural
resources.
The construction of oil and gas pipelines
significantly disrupts ecosystems and animal
habitats. Canadians are familiar with rights-ofway for energy transmission lines that scar the
landscape and damage ecosystems.

Energy and Pollution

Chapter 5.1

Efficiency

Most energy production plants are relatively


inefficient and waste heat that is released into
the air. Cogeneration plants can capture this
wasted energy and use it for heat and power,
thereby improving efficiency. The forecast is
for increases in energy demand, population and
consumption; hence, greater energy efficiency is
necessary for a sustainable future.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Minimize the distance between the project
and the energy source.
When possible, select low impact efficient
energy sources.

Resources
Natural Resources Canada
www.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca
The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Network
www.eren.doe.gov

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.0 - Energy and Atmosphere

5.2 Reducing Embodied


and Deconstruction
Energy

Embodied Construction Energy


Deconstruction Energy

Reducing Embodied and Deconstruction Energy

Chapter 5.2

5.2 Reducing Embodied and


Deconstruction Energy
Objective
to minimize the amount of energy contained
and released in construction and demolition.
A building consumes considerable energy
during its entire life cycle. Design teams must
reduce energy consumption for all stages of a
buildings life cycle: construction, operations and
deconstruction. Each phase must be targeted for
overall reduction in energy demand and use in
green buildings.
This section discusses initial embodied energy
and deconstruction energy contained in buildings.
However, the greatest return on investment is
achieved by reducing operational energy. Minor
improvements in the daily energy efficiency of a
building can lead to enormous savings after 50
or 100 years of operation. When considering the
entire life cycle of buildings, operational energy is
the largest factor, more important than embodied
and deconstruction energies.
The reduction of embodied and deconstruction
energy does not necessarily result in a cost
premium; however, when specific solutions do
cost more, it is possible that these costs may be
offset by savings in operating costs.

Embodied Construction Energy

The embodied energy of a building product is


the amount of energy required to produce it,
from raw material extraction to installation, and
finally disposal. Similarly, the process of Life
Cycle Assessment (LCA) provides data on the
environmental impacts of products. Generally,
materials in more natural states (wood, slate, etc.)
have lower embodied energy than materials that
are more highly refined or manufactured.
The reduction of embodied energy and an
assessment of life cycle requires a rethinking of the
entire extraction, manufacturing, and distribution
process related to material selection. Organizations
such as the Athena Institute can provide embodied
energy and LCA data about many building products.
The use of building materials that require human
rather than mechanical labour can reduce the
initial construction energy. For example, one
or two workers can construct a wood frame
house, as compared to the number of workers
needed for building a house using concrete or
heavy steel members. Straw bale houses can
also be constructed easily with manual labour.
Additionally, straw is a by-product of agriculture,
making it a building material with very low
embodied energy. Straw bale houses can also
provide high thermal performance, as exemplified
by the R-40 straw bale house designed by Julia
Bourke, Architecte in Montreal.

Objective
to minimize embodied construction energy.
Minimizing the initial amount of energy used for
the construction of a building can be achieved by
specifying building products with low embodied
energy and low life cycle environmental impacts,
as well as by using systems, materials and
construction techniques that do not require heavy
machinery and energy-intensive construction.

Straw bale houses can be constructed easily with


manual labour.
SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.2

Reducing Embodied and Deconstruction Energy

The potential long life of concrete or steel


resulting in longer building life may validate the
selection of those materials for many projects.
Aluminium is a very high embodied energy
material; however, it is easily recycled with little
new added energy.
Design teams must be aware of these tradeoffs.
In all design decisions, it is crucial to consider
issues such as the energy used for operating
buildings, material efficiency and indoor air
quality.
Successful green design requires the
right balance of these issues for a particular
project and location.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Specify materials with low embodied energy
and low life cycle impacts.
Use design solutions and construction
techniques requiring low use of heavy
machinery and energy-intensive construction.
Provide natural materials that are locally
sourced.
Evaluate embodied energy in relation to
recycling potential for various products.

Case Study
Straw bale house in an urban environment
Julia Bourke, Architecte, QC

Resources

Designing for demountability can reduce energy


use and the consumption of new materials.
Demountability allows for reuse or recycling
of the energy embodied in existing building
elements.
The principles of demountability
include:
designing for easy access and exposed
connections;
simplicity of construction and design details;
independence of assemblies to reduce
damage during deconstruction;
minimizing onsite alterations and
compositions.
When composite systems (such as wall
assemblies) are constructed using nails, glues
and other adhesives, in a way that alters the
components, they become
hard to recycle
or salvage. It is much easier to disassemble
a building when materials are used without
alteration. Pure wood, steel, and rigid insulation
can be reused or recycled. When materials are
fused together they often end up in the landfill.
A good example of designing for deconstruction
is the MEC store in Ottawa, the structure of
which incorporates visible screwed and bolted
connections that facilitate the future reuse
of structural elements. A future fundamental
decision to renovate and reuse will minimize the
amount of energy necessary for deconstruction,
and conserve materials and resources.

Athena Sustainable Material Institute


www.athenasmi.ca
SETAC Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) Advisory Group
www.setac.org/lca.html

Deconstruction Energy
Objective
to minimize the energy required to
deconstruct buildings.

The MEC store in Ottawa has a structure with visible


screw connections, facilitating the possible future reuse
of structural elements.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Reducing Embodied and Deconstruction Energy

Chapter 5.2

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Provide design solutions with connections
and details that facilitate deconstruction.
Reuse and/or recycle existing buildings where
possible.

Case Study
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Linda Chapman Architect and Christopher
Simmonds Architect in joint venture, Ottawa, ON

Resources
CMHC - Designing for Disassembly
www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca
Institute for Self Reliance
Building Deconstruction
www.ilsr.org/recycling/builddecon.html

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.0 - Energy and Atmosphere

5.3 Reducing Operational


Energy Consumption

Compact and Efficient Buildings


Energy Efficient Products
Building Orientation
Thermal Performance
Passive Systems

Reducing Operational Energy Consumption

Chapter 5.3

5.3 Reducing Operational Energy


Consumption
Objective
to reduce energy consumed to operate
buildings.
In order to minimize operational energy, consider
the following:

sufficient, generating its own electricity,


collecting and distributing rainwater, and
composting human waste. La Petite Maison
du Weekend encourages us to consider the
relationship between housing, consumption,
technologies and the environment.

Compact and efficient buildings save energy,


materials and water.
Energy efficient equipment and products used
for HVAC systems, lighting, and appliances,
further reduce energy consumption.
Optimum building orientation improves
thermal performance, allows for passive
systems and saves energy.
Passive systems for heating, cooling,
ventilating, thermal mass storage,
and lighting further reduce negative
environmental impacts of buildings.
Investigate free energy sources.

Compact and Efficient Buildings


Objective
to minimize detrimental impacts of a
building on energy, water, air and other
materials.
Reducing energy demand requires a new approach
to design. The rationale for all design decisions
must be confirmed in the context of reducing any
detrimental impacts of buildings.
One key objective is to design compact efficient
buildings. Small efficient buildings reduce
impacts on the site, consume less water, less
energy, and fewer materials and resources.
La Petite Maison du Weekend is a minimal
dwelling in a recreational setting. It can be
installed on any outdoor site and is virtually self

La Petite Maison du Weekend provides us with


a reflection on the relationship between housing,
consumption, technologies and the environment.

Repetitive modular systems can also produce


efficient buildings that reduce environmental
impacts through their simple economical design
logic. Green buildings are simple and elegant,
rarely complex and elaborate.
Challenging the energy needs for programmed
spaces can also help improve buildings. Room
temperature variations and ventilation rates can
be designed with energy conservation in mind.
For example, some low occupancy areas may
be able to accommodate larger temperature
variations than others. Design teams should work
with clients and users to establish environmental
performance targets and energy budgets for
specific building areas and uses significant
overall savings can accrue. The energy wasted on

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.3

Reducing Operational Energy Consumption

unoccupied, or underoccupied, areas of a building


can be reduced or eliminated. For the unbuilt
Earth Science Building at UBC, a 50% energy
savings in operational energy will be achieved by
allocating energy budgets to specific areas and
needs:
90% to laboratories (worker comfort and
safety);
35% to classrooms and lecture spaces
(energy required only early in the day);
15% to circulation spaces (high temperature
range tolerance);
10% to faculty and graduate student offices
(where an individual can effectively moderate
and control the passive systems in his or her
own space).
These approaches to increased energy efficiency
can and should influence the development of
functional programming for all buildings.

Case Studies
La Petite Maison du Weekend
Patkau Architects Inc., Vancouver, BC
UBC Earth Science Building
Busby + Associates Architects, Vancouver, BC

Resources
The Guide to Resource Efficient
Buildings Elements
www.crbt.org

Energy Efficient Products


Objective
to specify energy efficient products to reduce
energy demand and use during building
operation.
Specifying energy efficient building products
helps reduce the demand and use of energy. The
main areas targeted for energy efficiency are
heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
systems, lighting, appliances and equipment.

HVAC

For the Earth Sciences Building at UBC (unbuilt),


a 50% savings over operational energy savings was
achieved in the building design.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Design compact efficient buildings to
minimize operational energy.
Explore ways to make more efficient use of
programmed areas.
Use simple, lean design approaches.
Coordinate energy consumption budgets with
building users.
Establish temperature tolerance guidelines
with the client.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

The energy required to heat, ventilate and cool


buildings is considerable. Even if natural systems
are employed, additional mechanical systems
may be needed to achieve the performance
requirements of the client. The most efficient
systems must be specified, not necessary those
with the least initial capital cost. Some of the
more efficient systems are indeed smaller and
offer capital cost savings. Efficient systems
reduce the potential for pollution resulting
from the operation of larger HVAC systems.
A mechanical engineer who thinks small is
beautiful is an asset to the design team!
Numerous factors increase the efficiency of HVAC
systems:
installing appropriately sized ducts and other
components;
providing high performance components such
as chillers, boilers, fans and pumps;
variable speed motors;
reducing or recovering heat loss in systems;
and
providing an effective energy management
and control system.

Reducing Operational Energy Consumption

Sensors and monitoring systems can further


increase the efficiency of building systems.

Lighting

The evolution of artificial lighting has moved


from direct-fired fuel light sources such as gas
lamps and candles, to the commonly accepted
use of 100% artificial lighting. Lighting levels
have evolved with the advent of better types of
illumination and inexpensive electrical power,
from a 30 foot-candle level in the offices of the
1920s and 1930s to a 100 foot-candle level in
the 1950s and 1960s. The current trend is to
return to ambient lighting levels in the 20 to 30
foot-candle range, augmented by more precise
task illumination of 70 foot-candles. These levels
can be achieved by integrating task lighting in
all work areas, thus reducing lighting levels and
therefore, energy consumption.
When this approach is integrated with daylighting
strategies, the result is a reduced lighting load on
total building energy consumption. Daylighting
is logical; however, energy efficient lighting
technologies must continue to improve for
nighttime lighting as well.
Energy efficient lighting equipment results in
a speedy payback. Recently in North America,
compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and energy
efficient linear fluorescent lamps, such as the T-8,
have been integrated into mainstream design to
reduce energy consumption. Fluorescent lighting
is 75% more efficient and lasts 10 times longer
than incandescent lighting. European fluorescent
technologies, such as the linear T-5, are now
being used in lighting design in North American.
The T-5, and more recently T-5HO technologies,
offer a smaller, more efficient light source with
higher output, better lighting control, better
light distribution, reduced power consumption,
and fewer lamps per office. Fewer lamps means
less material and less manufacturing, hence less
environmental impact.
Unnecessary lighting of unoccupied spaces can
be reduced by lighting management software,
light sensors, occupancy controls, and automatic
dimming. User controls also increase indoor
environmental quality. Lighting efficiency can be
enhanced with pendant light fixtures that provide
general (reflected) low-glare uplighting, and taskoriented, downlighting components, all from a
single source. Exterior lighting should be solar

Chapter 5.3

powered, or use low energy lamps such as metal


halide, high-pressure sodium and low-temperature
fluorescents.
Emerging technologies such as light emitting
diodes (LEDs) are very energy efficient, have
an extremely long life (80 years), and have very
low heat generation. LEDs are made of semiconductor material that changes electric current
into light of a certain wavelength (colour). LED
technology is being applied to emergency system
lights for long life and low energy use, and to
traffic lights. Lighting designers are hard at
work applying LED technology to office lighting
equipment these products should soon be
available. Induction lamps and silicon phosphors
may also hold future promise for lighting.
Energy efficient products are also available for
residential lighting. Dimmable, self-ballasted
compact fluorescents operating with standard
base sockets are available and provide an energy
efficient alternative to the residential customer.
Although these units are expensive, growing
awareness and marketing techniques are leading
to an increase in their use.

Appliances and Equipment

In Canada as well as in the USA, programs are


in place to promote minimum standards for the
energy efficiency performance of new products.
Also, the appliance manufacturing industry
has begun responding to demands for reduced
energy consumption.
New, smaller energyefficient designs, adapting technologies from
energy efficient manufacturers in Europe, are now
penetrating the marketplace. The promotion of
voluntary standards, both within and outside the
appliance industry, is expected to generate even
more efficient appliances.
Although residential appliances are becoming
more energy efficient, the development of
efficient commercial equipment is not keeping
pace and efficiency gains are somewhat offset
by the rapidly growing number and size of
appliances. Microwave ovens, clothes washers
and dryers, dishwashers, personal computers, and
small appliances are more and more prevalent.
Appliances such as refrigerators have generally
become larger, with more features such as
automatic defrost and icemakers. To facilitate
the task of specifying energy efficient appliances,
the Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency
SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.3

Reducing Operational Energy Consumption

publishes an appliance directory which lists


energy consumption ratings.
Todays typical offices are a network of fax
machines, photocopiers, computers, scanners,
printers, and plotters all of which have been
designed to improve our productivity.
The
proliferation of these energy consuming machines,
many of which are left on for 24 hours a day,
has had a profound effect on total office plug
loads over the last ten years. Designs for
5 and 6 watts per square foot are not uncommon.
Whereas the overall power input requirements of
the devices has remained relatively constant, the
embedded material and energy costs are being
considerably reduced. The change in technology
from cathode ray tube screen displays to LED flat
screen will yield a significant energy reduction.
For example, the replacement of a 15" monitor
using 95 watts with an equivalent 35-watt LED
flat screen, will save approximately 150 kwh per
workstation per year.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
HVAC
Select energy efficient HVAC equipment.
Lighting
Design to low interior lighting levels and
incorporate maximum daylighting.
Provide light levels appropriate to the task
at workstation locations, instead of high
ambient light levels.
Minimize the number of fixtures.
Use suitable, high efficiency fixtures
(such as fixtures with T5 and T5HO lamps).
Incorporate lighting controls, including
photocell sensors to monitor daylight and
occupancy.
Develop plug-in designs that allow for
flexibility in fixture location and fixture type.
Appliances and Equipment
Minimize appliance use, or use smaller, more
efficient appliances.
Specify energy efficient equipment.
Promote LCD/LED screens for computers and
televisions.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Resources
Consumer Reports
www.consumerreports.org
Energuide
energuide.nrcan.gc.ca
The National Lighting Product Information
Program (NLPIP)
www.lrc.rpi.edu
EPA Energy Star
www.energystar.gov

Building Orientation
Objective
to orient the building to take advantage of
solar and localized climatic conditions.
Proper building orientation and perimeter design
can reduce energy consumption by permitting
passive and active solar power to reduce:
energy use;
the amount of mechanical equipment; and
levels of artificial lighting.
Ideally in Canada, buildings incorporate southfacing glazing for increased winter solar gain
(well shaded to mitigate summer solar heat
gain). On the east and west elevations, the sun
needs to be controlled with more comprehensive
systems (such as louvres) to avoid large heat
gains and glare. This is due to the low angles
of the sun, entering deep into the spaces. Solar
control strategies need to be designed for each
specific location. The north elevation of buildings
should be well-insulated with less glazing. When
the ideal orientation is difficult to achieve due
to existing street patterns, other solutions such
as photovoltaic panels should be used to benefit
from the sun.
At the York University Computer Science Facility,
the east elevation is designed to let in morning
sun in the winter, but to exclude morning sun in
the summer. The west elevation is designed to
eliminate solar gain year round. South elevations
capture winter passive solar gain.

Reducing Operational Energy Consumption

Chapter 5.3

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Orient buildings to take advantage of winter
solar gain.
Provide year round shading to western
exposures.
Provide summer shading for southern
exposures.
Incorporate shading using the landscape or
integrated with the building.
Orient buildings to allow for the addition of
solar panels and other plug-in elements.

At the Nicolas Valley Institute of Technology in

At the York University Computer Science Facility, the


east elevation is designed to let in winter morning sun,
but exclude summer morning sun. The west elevation
is designed to eliminate solar gain all year. South
elevations capture winter passive solar gain.

Merritt, BC, four types of wood perimeter louvers,


each with different blade angles and spacing,
were placed according to the suns path and the
buildings orientation.

At the Nicolas Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt,


BC, we took a given form (a circle, prescribed for
cultural reasons) and developed four types of wood
perimeter louvres with different blade angles and
spacing, and placed these according to the sun path
to deal with orientation issues.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.3

Reducing Operational Energy Consumption

Case Studies
York University Computer Science Facility
Busby + Associates Architects, in association with
Van Nostrand diCastri Architects, Toronto, ON
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
Busby + Associates Architects, Merritt, BC

Resources
Sustainable Buildings Industry Council
www.sbicouncil.org
Advanced Buildings technologies and Practices
www.advancedbuildings.org

Thermal Performance
Objective
to increase thermal performance in order to
reduce operational energy use.
Improving the thermal performance of all elements
of a building the floor, roof, glazing and
walls will significantly improve the energy
efficiency of a building. It is critical to reducing
long and short-term operational energy and
system costs. In addition, improved thermal
performance facilitates the use of passive
systems. Some techniques include:
increasing overall thermal performance of the
walls and windows;
minimizing thermal breaks and heat loss
through the envelope;
using high performance glazing; and
restricting and optimizing the use of glazing
while maintaining benefits of light, air and
views.
Possible recommendations for insulation include:
R30/40 (Wall and Roof) for Canadian
maritime regions;
R40/60 for central regions; and
higher for northern communities.
Scandinavian practice already uses these levels.
Because rising costs are anticipated in a future
deregulated energy industry, such levels of
insulation will result in a payback from improved
thermal performance. The insulation level
architects specify today is intended to last 50 to
75 years.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

The first double skin building in Canada (only one


other in North America dating 1980) is the Telus
office in Vancouver, where a new outer wall was
suspended around an existing building.

Reducing Operational Energy Consumption

Double wall glazing systems are gaining


popularity in Europe, particularly in Germany
where approximately 20 buildings with double
wall glazing have already been constructed. This
strategy creates a 500 mm to 1.2 m greenhouse
or thermal buffer around a building, which yields
opportunities for passive strategies (such as, heat
gain, natural ventilation and cooling). The first
double skin building in Canada (there is only one
other building in North America, dating to 1980)
is the Telus office in Vancouver, where a new outer
wall was suspended around an existing building.
The energy consumption figures for the Telus
building are very low.

Chapter 5.3

Passive Systems
Objective
to use the natural attributes of the site to
reduce environmental impacts.

Case Study

Passive systems can minimize or eliminate


mechanical systems for heating, cooling and
ventilating buildings. The design of passive
systems requires an integrated design approach
(IDA). Therefore, it is essential to involve
mechanical and electrical engineers early in
the design process, particularly for decisions
related to building location, orientation, form,
daylighting, and shading. As the sun is the only
true sustainable energy source on earth, passive
systems should be encouraged whenever possible
because they produce no emissions or pollution.
The design team should specify passive systems
that are simple, accessible and easy to maintain.
Moving parts should be avoided. Additionally,
flexible and adaptable approaches are important
to accept future technologies. Traditional
temperature regimes for different activities and
room types should be reviewed and challenged.

Telus Office Building


Busby + Associates Architects, Vancouver, BC

Natural Ventilation

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Increase thermal performance (insulation or
R-values) of the building envelope.
Specify high efficiency glazing (there are
several Canadian suppliers).
Use details that contribute to thermal
performance.

Resources
Sustainable Buildings Industry Council
www.sbicouncil.org
The Building Thermal Envelope
Systems & Materials Program
www.ornl.gov/roofs+walls
Institute of Research In Construction
www.nrc.ca/irc

Natural ventilation is not well understood but it


can offer significant environmental advantages
for all Canadian climates. It can perform well
in moderate climates and has been used for
centuries in hot climates. Natural ventilation can
reduce the total annual consumption of energy
in all climatic zones in Canada, and therefore
significantly reduce GHG emissions and pollutants
into the atmosphere. It reduces heating and
cooling loads and maximizes fresh air cycles, thus
improving indoor environmental quality. Most
building users enjoy the opportunity to open
a window taking control of their own local
environmental conditions, and gaining access to
fresh air.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.3

Reducing Operational Energy Consumption

There are five factors that influence natural


ventilation:

quality of air intake;


ventilation mechanisms;
building form;
building orientation; and
special interior arrangements.

The quality of intake air should be maximized.


Outside air can be filtered or not, depending on
the system design. Outside air intake should
not be located in proximity to parking lots, high
volumes of automobile traffic, garbage disposal
areas or loading docks.
Ventilation mechanisms should permit user control
and require minimum maintenance. Examples
of ventilation mechanisms include: operable
windows, trickle vents and drum ventilators.
Good practice for successful natural ventilation
is the development of individual and overall
building ventilation protocols. These can be
placed in a building users manual and/or they
can be part of an automated control system.
Building orientation and building form can maximize
the use of wind for cooling and ventilation, and
can minimize heating requirements in the winter.
Wind creates high pressure on upwind faces and
low pressure on downwind faces. Suction on
downwind faces creates the best opportunity
for ventilation. The effectiveness of the system
depends on the existence and configuration of
upwind obstructions. If the shape and size of
the site allows it, orient the long face of the
building perpendicular to the prevailing wind in
order to create the greatest pressure difference
between the windward and leeward faces, allowing
cross ventilation across the buildings depth.
Orientation for the best wind may conflict with
the orientation to optimize passive solar systems.
The design team must assess all tradeoffs and
synergies which exist in green building design.
Natural ventilation can take many forms. The
Walnut Grove Aquatic Centre provides a series
of glazed overhead doors that provide natural
ventilation. By opening mechanically operated
vents, fresh air is pulled into the facility and
exhausted naturally through the roof.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

The Walnut Grove Aquatic Centre provides a series


of glazed overhead doors that contribute to natural
ventilation.

For the upper levels of a building to enjoy the


benefits of natural ventilation it is sometimes
necessary to create temperature differentials by
adding stacks to the roof (shapes with voids
that create a stack effect and draw air out of
the building).
The York University Computer Science Facility
uses stack effect chimneys to facilitate the
natural ventilation of the building. This building
has no ventilation ducts; instead, three largescale atriums, ventilation chimneys and plenums
are used to naturally air-condition the facility.
The following principles are important in the
consideration of natural ventilation:
Spaces that have windows on only one wall
can be ventilated with high level and low
level windows if the depth of the space is
less than 3 or 4 times the room height.
Greater room depths require cross ventilation,
preferably to an interior atrium or circulation
space.
Stack effects of multi-storey interior spaces
force natural ventilation more effectively.
Stacks also provide great pools of heat and
conditioned air to draw upon in winter
heating conditions.

Reducing Operational Energy Consumption

Chapter 5.3

Natural ventilation strategies and resultant


interconnected spaces can create difficulties in
building code compliance and fire separation
requirements. These can be overcome with
permitted equivalencies. A code specialist in
the green design will be familiar with accepted
equivalencies. At the Architectural Centre in
Vancouver, home of the Architectural Institute
of British Columbia (AIBC), equivalencies were
obtained for cross-ventilated fire-separated
tenancies and for an interconnected atrium space
that utilizes stack effect natural ventilation.

The York University Computer Science Facility uses stack


effect chimneys to facilitate the natural ventilation of
the building. This building has no ventilation ducts
- three large scale atriums, ventilation chimneys and
plenums are used to naturally conditioned the facility.

Underfloor air distribution systems and


displacement ventilation mechanical systems
work well with natural ventilation strategies
(heat rises).
Nighttime flushing of buildings (in summer)
enhances natural ventilation by completely
exhausting heat gained during the daytime,
and by drawing in cooler nighttime air.

At the Architectural Centre in Vancouver (home of the


AIBC), equivalencies were obtained for cross ventilated
fire separated tenancies and an interconnected atrium
space that utilizes stack effect natural ventilation.

Passive Solar Heating

Interior special arrangements can aid or hinder natural


ventilation.

The sun is a source of free, nonpolluting energy.


Passive solar heating uses solar radiation to
heat interior spaces or hot water systems and it
significantly reduces the size and energy needs
of mechanical systems. In order for passive
solar energy strategies to work, a significant
amount of thermal mass needs to be included
in the building. Thermal mass captures heat
during the day for future release, thus reducing
nighttime heating and daytime cooling demands.
Passive solar systems must be designed for low
maintenance and user control.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.3

Reducing Operational Energy Consumption

Passive design strategies can be modeled using


computer simulation programs or a sunchart.
With proper knowledge, both professional and
amateur solar designers can use the sunchart to
efficiently and easily design and optimize passive
solar buildings.
The Eco Residence of the McDonald Campus of
McGill University is a student housing project
using solar green houses for passive solar
heating. The building reuses a concrete, 1960s
era building. Solar green houses constructed of
salvaged doors and windows are used to capture
the sun energy and to preheat and filter the
outside air.

window can reach up to 4.5 m to 7.5 m deep


into spaces with a 2.4 or 2.5 m floor to ceiling
height. Highly reflective interior materials can be
specified to facilitate daylighting. Light shelves
and clerestory windows can be used to further
increase the penetration and effectiveness of
natural light into buildings.
When providing daylighting in buildings, the
design team should consider solar control,
shading and glare and their respective effects on
heating and cooling loads. Glare control should
be carefully considered. Glare in the workplace
could lead to a significant loss in comfort for
many building users. Minimizing glare in the
workplace begins with:
100% shading co-efficient to
exterior glazing;
indirect lighting to the workstations; and
increased user control.

The Eco Residence of the McDonald Campus of McGill


University is a student housing project using solar
green houses for passive solar heating.

The Association of Professional Engineers and


Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) Head
Office in Burnaby, BC, is an example of successful
daylighting strategies lots of natural daylight
fills the spaces of this building. Exterior, glass,
sun-control louvres limit heat gain and provide
successful glare control.

Daylighting

Daylighting has numerous benefits. It provides


energy savings by eliminating or reducing the
need for artificial lighting, with energy and
material consumption reduced accordingly.
Additionally, it improves environmental quality
for building occupants by providing natural
light for work, play, and living spaces. Access
to daylight improves the quality of space for
occupants and may improve access to views.
European studies have shown significant
improvements in the effectiveness of hospitals
and schools using daylighting strategies. Studies
document that productivity in the workplace
increases as a result of improved access to
daylight.
Narrow floor plates, interior courtyards and
atria are design approaches that lead to better
daylighting. Useful daylight from a typical

10

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

The Association of Professional Engineers and


Geoscientists of British Columbia, (APEGBC) head office
in Burnaby, BC, is an example of successful daylighting
strategies. Large amounts of natural daylight fill the
spaces of this building. Exterior glass sun-control
louvers limit the heat gain and provide successful glare
control.

Reducing Operational Energy Consumption

Solar control should maximize sun penetration


during colder months to minimize heating loads,
and minimize penetration during warmer months
to decrease cooling loads. Controls should
be coordinated with street orientation and
neighbouring buildings or trees. Heat loss should
be avoided by minimizing glazing on the north
faade. Computer simulation software is available
to help design teams assess various solutions.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Natural ventilation
Release hot air to the exterior in summer and
recirculate warm air in winter.
Maximize the use of external air in temperate
swing seasons (spring and fall).
Use wind pressure differential, stack effect,
and air paths through the building to
facilitate natural ventilation.
Shape the building to make use of natural
ventilation.
Orient the building to take advantage of
prevailing winds.
Design landscapes that work with natural
ventilation strategies.
Provide operable windows.
Develop solutions for nighttime cooling.
Provide temperature regimes appropriate to
varying activities.
Passive Solar Heating
Use thermal mass to capture heat during the
day for release in off-peak hours to reduce
demands for nighttime heating and daytime
cooling.
Seek low maintenance and simplicity in user
controls.
Review and challenge traditional temperature
requirements for different activities and
room types.

Chapter 5.3

Daylighting
Design interiors with good access to natural
light, using narrow floor plates, courtyards
and atria.
Redirect daylight with light shelves to extend
naturally lit spaces deeper into buildings.
Limit or angle west elevation glazing away
from direct western light.
Limit shading on east elevations to allow for
morning solar preheating.
Shade south elevations.
Limit glazing on the north elevation to
reduce heat loss.

Case Studies
EcoResidence
Daniel Pearl and Mark Poddubiuk Architectes,
Montreal, QC
York University Computer Science Facility
Busby + Associates Architects, in association with
Van Nostrand diCastri Architects, Toronto, ON
APEGBC Head Offices
Busby + Associates Architects, Burnaby, BC
Walnut Grove Aquatic Centre
Roger Hughes + Partners Architects, Langley, BC
AIBC offices, 440 Cambie Street
Busby + Associates Architects,
Pioneer Consultants Ltd. (Code Consultant),
Vancouver, BC

Resources
Advanced Technologies for Commercial Buildings
www.advancedbuildings.org
Solar Energy Society of Canada
www.solarenergysociety.ca
MITs Natural Ventilation Case Studies
naturalvent.mit.edu

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

11

Chapter 5.0 - Energy and Atmosphere

5.4 Energy Sources

Non-Renewable Energy Sources


Renewable Energy Sources

Energy Sources

Chapter 5.4

5.4 Energy Sources


Objective
to select energy sources with the lowest
possible environmental impact.
One strategy to reduce the negative environmental impacts of buildings is to select a green
energy source. Modern society has become
extremely dependent on a very few forms of
energy - electricity, gas and oil. However,
depending on the site, many different sources of
onsite renewable energy are possible. Priority
should be given to renewable, low impact,
decentralized, locally supplied, flexible energy
systems. When choosing an energy source, the
design team is faced with two choices: nonrenewable or renewable energy sources.

Non-Renewable Energy Sources


Objective
to provide maximum efficiency when using
non-renewable energy source.
The most common forms of non-renewable energy
are fossil fuels such as fuel oil, natural gas,
gasoline and coal. Fossil fuels are associated with
the release of pollution and GHG emissions. Fossil
fuels can be used as primary fuels or as secondary
fuels to produce electricity which heat buildings.
Gas offers higher site efficiency and the potential
for use in cogeneration (thermal and electric
energy produced from the same source a more
efficient choice). Fuel oil, natural gas, gasoline
and coal release various levels of emissions into
the air. In the case of non-renewable energy
use, the design team should focus on energy
efficiency.

For example, instead of specifying conventional


80% efficiency gas boilers, design teams should
specify mid-efficiency boilers at 85% efficiency
or even high-efficiency condensing boilers that
operate at efficiencies between 90-95%. This is
an example of a green strategy that can be easily
achieved.
Fuel cells are electrochemical devices which
convert fuel energy directly into electrical energy.
They are classified with non-renewable sources
because, although they do not create emissions,
they do consume fuels. Fuel cells operate much
like continuous batteries when supplied with
fuel. Possible fuels are hydrogen, natural gas,
and methanol. Fuel cells eliminate the creation
of wasted energy by eliminating combustion
heat. Instead, fuel cells chemically combine
the molecules of a fuel and an oxidizer without
burning, avoiding the inefficiencies and pollution
of traditional combustion.
Low emissions
from fuel cells (water and oxygen) and their
high efficiency contribute to the reduction of
detrimental environmental effects. Fuel cells are
not readily available in the marketplace. However,
a few large-scale test projects are underway.
Global Thermoelectric (Calgary) is working on
fuel cells for residential applications (2-3 years
away). Ballard is concentrating on stationary
power plants (some have been installed) and
vehicular applications (1-3 years away). Fuel cell
technology is still expensive to harness.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Use non-renewable energy sources in a very
efficient manner.
Plan for fuel cell applications in the near
future.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.4

Energy Sources

Resources
Advanced technologies for Commercial Buildings
www.advancedbuildings.org
The Energy Efficiency +
Renewable Energy (EREN) Database
www.eren.doe.gov
NRCan Energy Sector
www.nrcan.gc.ca/es

Renewable Energy Sources


Objective
to select low impact renewable energy
sources whenever possible.
Renewable energy sources have varying degrees of
environmental impact. Large-scale hydroelectric
power generation releases no emissions; however,
this power source damages host ecosystems and
the physical environment. Dams and transmission
facilities destroy vast areas of natural habitat.
New technologies provide low impact renewable
energy; these energy sources are increasingly
available, and are now feasible for certain
applications. Renewable energies are cleaner
energy sources and can provide the possibility of
onsite generation, with little or no transmission
loss. Sources of renewable onsite or offsite energy
are solar, low impact hydro, tidal, wind, wood,
biomass, geothermal, and alternative fuels.

The suns energy has produced fossil fuels and is


responsible for the functioning of all natural systems.

systems and cladding. These envelopes can react


and change to seasonal variations, to become a
living building skin.
Solar energy can be used in passive designs
or with solar collectors and photovoltaic
panels. Solar collectors offer approximately
70% efficiency versus the 10-15% efficiency of
photovoltaic panels. In the Telus Office Building
in Vancouver, when the sun is out, PV panels
supply energy to fans that assist the natural
ventilation system.

Solar Energy

Solar energy is the source of all energy on


the planet. The suns energy produced fossil
fuels, and is responsible for the functioning
of all natural systems. Plants produce 300
billion tonnes of sugar a year from solar energy;
mankinds ability to harness solar energy is
immeasurably small by comparison.
Solar energy can be used directly to produce
electricity with photovoltaic (PV) cells, or
indirectly, as passive solar heating or hot water
heating. Photovoltaics are gaining momentum as
a source of energy in Europe and their popularity
will spread to Canada soon. New technologies
for utilizing photovoltaics permit the design of
building envelopes that create energy. Building
Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) are already being
produced for applications in roofs, window

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

The Telus Office Building in Vancouver utilizes a


rational application that works best when needed most.
When the sun is out, PV panels supply energy to fans
that assist the natural ventilation system.

Energy Sources

Hydroelectric

Hydroelectric power is free of emissions and it is


renewable. In order to be of low environmental
impact, the system must have short transmission
distances and be appropriately scaled to the host
watershed or shoreline. Transmission losses from
large hydroelectric projects are over 60%, which
is not very green. Priority should be given to
small-scale systems that have lower detrimental
environmental effects.

Wind Power

The Washington-based Worldwatch Institute calls


wind power the worlds fastest growing energy
source for the fourth year in a row. Worldwide,
wind power capacity has increased by 35% during
1998. 20% of Denmarks power is provided by
wind. Mechanical energy from wind turbines is an
old technology experiencing renewed popularity,
as evidenced by a number of recent projects in
Quebec and Alberta. Pincher Creek is the largest
wind turbine farm in Canada it powers Calgarys
transit system. However, the impact of wind
turbines on bird populations is a concern and
studies are currently being undertaken in the USA
to alleviate this problem.

Pincher Creek is the largest wind turbine farm in


Canada and it powers Calgarys transit system.

Chapter 5.4

Alternative Fuels

In the near future, the carbon era of fossil fuels


should be replaced by the establishment of the
hydrogen era of nonpolluting fuels. Alternative
fuels such as hydrogen and biomass can be used
to provide electricity, heat and transportation
fuel. For many years now, hydrogen has been
recognized as a potential source of fuel. Current
uses of hydrogen are industrial processes, rocket
fuel, and spacecraft propulsion. With increasing
research and development, hydrogen could serve
as an alternative source of energy for heating
and lighting homes, generating electricity, and
fueling vehicles. When produced from renewable
resources and technologies, such as low impact
hydro, solar, and wind energy, hydrogen becomes
a renewable fuel. Biomass is composed of
vegetation-based refuse such as tree cuttings,
garden waste, grass and crop cuttings. Using
biomass as a fuel could divert significant amounts
of material from landfills, where no composting
facility is available. However, the burning of
biomass emits GHGs such as CO2, decreasing its
environmental merits.

Geothermal

Geothermal energy is harvested from below the


earths surface. It has a high associated capital
cost, but can have a reasonably fast payback time.
Capital costs are increased by the onsite geological
testing and drilling required to determine the
presence of a geothermal heat reservoir. In the
case of a large reservoir, the system could be made
to accommodate growth or phased construction.
Groundsource heat pumps are the most efficient
devices for harvesting geothermal energy. Despite
their high cost, there is an increase in the use of
groundsource heat for buildings. Although heat
pumps tap geothermal energy, they still consume
electricity to operate. They work best in climates
with higher temperature extremes (central and
northern Canada), exploiting the temperature
differentials between air and ground. They have
been widely utilized in the prairies for years and are
considered energy efficient.
The presence of aquifers greatly enhances system
performance and efficiency because they are
highly conductive. Low conductivity soils, difficult
drilling conditions and the high cost of drilling
wells for expanding developments are factors
that can make this energy source inappropriate.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.4

Energy Sources

A commercial mixed-use development in


Vancouver, BC, demonstrates the use of thermal
energy harnessed with heat pumps. The project
provides geothermal hot water heating as well as
a combination of geothermal heating and energy
efficient gas fireplaces.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
When possible, select low impact energy
sources.
Design with the entire energy infrastructure
in mind.
Choose source, transmission and storage
systems that require a minimum number of
transformations that reduce efficiency.
Design buildings and developments that
supply energy as well as consume it.
Match energy source output with appropriate
needs for electric or heat power.
Use connections to the grid for onsite
electricity generation which can wind back
electricity meters with excess power, thereby
reducing total consumption.
Design for adaptation to future and more
sustainable technologies.

Case Studies
2211 West Fourth
Hotson Bakker Architects, Vancouver, BC
Telus Office Building
Busby + Associates Architects, Vancouver, BC

Resources
Canadian Renewable Energy Network
www.canren.gc.ca
A commercial mixed-use development in Vancouver, BC,
demonstrates the use of thermal energy harnessed with
heat pumps.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems


in Canada
www.newenergy.org
Solstice: Renewable and Alternative Energy
www.crest.org
Renewable Energy Deployment Initiative
nrn1.rncan.gc.ca/es/erb/reed
Canadian Earth Energy Association
earthenergy.org

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 5.0 - Energy and Atmosphere

5.5 Regulations,
Linkages and
Tradeoffs

Regulations, Linkages and Tradeoffs

Chapter 5.5

5.5 Regulations, Linkages


and Tradeoffs
Energy used in buildings is linked to all aspects
of green building design. Many green building
strategies contribute to the overall reduction of a
building energy use. The selection of an urban
site minimizes infrastructure and transportation
energies. Water efficiency saves energy from
expanding infrastructure for water systems.
Selecting green building materials minimizes
embodied energy. Daylighting, user controls and
natural ventilation also save energy. In brief, a
holistic approach to green building design results
in a multitude of synergies.

There are a few regulatory hurdles to overcome


when using renewable energy sources. However,
there is still one important impediment to site
energy generation in many parts of Canada
it is still very difficult to wind back an
electricity meter with onsite generation and get
a reasonable credit for the energy supplied to the
grid. Utilities should be lobbied to remove this
impediment; site generators should be lauded,
not hindered.

Tradeoffs also happen when designing green


buildings for low energy consumption. For
example, daylighting strategies and natural
ventilation may reduce the thermal performance
of buildings. Using rating systems and standards
such as LEED, the Model National Energy
Code for Buildings, and ASHRAE 90.1 1999
can take into account these anomalies and
ensure optimization of the total environmental
performance of buildings. The design team,
clients and authorities having jurisdiction can
then agree on the strategies that best suit a given
building.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

6.0 Materials and


Resources

Materials and Resources

Chapter 6.0

Materials and Resources


Overall Objectives
to reduce the demand for materials and
resources.
to maximize the use of green building
products.
to minimize waste during construction.
to minimize demolition.
Buildings and natural resources are closely linked.
Considerable natural resources are extracted for
the purpose of constructing buildings; in fact,
about 40% of the worlds raw materials are used
in the construction industry. This extraction
means that ecosystems are damaged, energy is
consumed, and water quality is reduced. Mining
and manufacturing processes produce significant
pollution to their host ecosystems. Waste and
pollution from manufacturing can be very toxic.
The transportation of construction materials to
distributors and building sites also produces
pollution. Many materials, once installed, release
toxic gases, affecting occupants health. Cleaning
and maintenance requires more energy and these
activities can produce toxic waste or cause
health risks. Finally, after the end of their useful
life, building products will need to be reused,
salvaged or discarded. Disposal prevents the
potential reuse of recoverable resources, increases
the demand for landfill sites, and can lead to
further pollution. All of the environmental
impacts resulting from certain choices of building
materials can only be understood when the
full upstream and downstream history of the
product is considered.

The design team must understand and


acknowledge that most natural resources
harvested for building construction are finite.
Consumption of these resources must not
compromise the use of the same resource by
future generations. For example, the rate of
harvesting of renewable resources (such as wood)
must permit the ongoing, long-term sustainable
regeneration of these resources. Two major green
building concepts are important when choosing
building materials:
striving for material efficiency;
selecting green building products.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 6.0 - Materials and Resources

6.1 Material Efficiency

Building Reuse or Renovation


Material Reduction and Efficiency
Design for Flexibility
Construction Waste Management
Designing for Deconstruction

Material Efficiency

Chapter 6.1

6.1 Material Efficiency


Objective
to reduce the demand for new materials by
reusing materials and renovating buildings,
by increasing material efficiency, and by
designing flexible buildings for future
adaptation.

Building Reuse or Renovation

found materials are the final finishes. This


project, completed in 2000, demonstrates a
successful reuse and adaptation of a robust and
flexible structure that now has greater value. An
identical building, two doors down the street, was
demolished this year for a new development,
creating over a thousand tonnes of landfill, and
approximately the same amount in unnecessary
greenhouse gas emissions.

Objective
to achieve materials, energy and cost savings
by reusing or renovating existing buildings.
Reusing and renovating buildings offers
material and resource efficiency by avoiding
the construction of new buildings. The reuse
of buildings is a very effective way to reduce
demand for new materials.
Buildings are
constructed with a hierarchy of building elements
and systems, such as, 1. structural components,
2. envelope, and 3. interior finishes. Reusing
only the structure can save 20-30% of new
building costs and avoid massive additions to
landfills (30% of Canadian landfill sites consist
of construction wastes). In some instances, it
is feasible to save only the structural elements
and to replace the building envelope and interior
finishes. In other cases, a cosmetic renovation
may require replacing only interior finishes.
Designing buildings with structural systems that
last and perform well over time is a first step to
facilitating the future reuse of a building.
The office of Busby + Associates Architects is
located in a 1950s era concrete warehouse.
The structure was seismically upgraded. Simple
openings have been cut for atriums and
ventilation.
Natural ventilation, daylighting
and material efficiency are some of the design
strategies employed in this recycled facility. As

Our office is located in an old concrete warehouse built


in 1951. Simple openings have been cut for atriums
and ventilation strategies.

The Angus Locoshop project in Montreal is a


stunning example of larger scale recycling and
upgrading of industrial properties with exciting
architectural results.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 6.1

Material Efficiency

In addition to material reduction, these strategies


can also help the architect to meet the clients
budget.

The Angus Locoshop project in Montreal is a stunning


example of larger scale recycling and upgrading of
industrial properties with exciting architectural
results.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Reuse and/or renovate buildings when
feasible.

Case Studies
Telus Office Building
Busby + Associates Architects, Vancouver, BC
1220 Homer Street
Busby + Associates Architects, Vancouver, BC
Angus Locoshop
difica, Montreal, QC

Resources

Responding to the functional program by providing


compact and efficient spaces reduces energy
use and capital costs, and conserves materials
and resources. An example of this is efficient
wood framing and careful detailing. By avoiding
finishing materials and by specifying products
that do not require the use of paints and
coatings, resource consumption is reduced and
the future reuse of natural materials is facilitated.
Designing using a module facilitates through
repetitive construction techniques, possible
ease of disassembly and reuse, and reduction of
onsite waste during construction.
Using
structural modules can also permit incremental
additions to buildings, thereby increasing their
adaptability over time.
In the Strawberry Vale Elementary School, Patkau
Architects consciously limited the finishes used
throughout the building. Strategies included
avoiding gypsum board in the corridors and
library areas, and exposing the polished concrete
floor. In this project, numerous other green
building design features include high levels
of natural light in the classrooms, native
landscaping in the schoolyard, and on-site
stormwater management.

Sustainable Architecture Compendium


www.css.snre.umich.edu

Material Reduction
and Efficiency
Objective
to provide design solutions that reduce
material and resource demand.
Material reduction can significantly reduce the
consumption of new resources. This can be
achieved by:
designing compact spaces;
using material-efficient construction
techniques;
avoiding superfluous materials such as
unnecessary finishes; and
using standard material dimensions to avoid
waste during construction.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

In the Strawberry Vale Elementary School, Patkau


Architects consciously limited the amount of finishes
used throughout the building.

Material Efficiency

During the operation of most buildings, the


occupants produce waste. The design team
should plan for central, adequate and convenient
recycling, sorting and composting facilities to
assist in reducing material waste.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Minimize the quantity of materials used.
Look for synergies within the functional
program to reduce building areas.
Maximize use of materials that do not require
finishes and avoid the unnecessary use of
finishes.
Design with precut and engineered
construction products to minimize waste.
Fabricate modules based on no cutting panel
sizes.
Develop structural systems based upon
building industry modular sizes.
Plan buildings with facilities for recycling,
sorting and composting.

Case Studies
1220 Homer Street
Busby + Associates Architects, Vancouver, BC
Liu Centre for the Study of Global Issues
Architectura, in collaboration with Arthur
Erickson, Vancouver, BC
Strawberry Vale Elementary School
Patkau Architects Inc, Saanich, BC
La Petite Maison du Weekend
Patkau Architects Inc, Vancouver, BC

Resources
Guide to Resource Efficient Building Products
www.crbt.org

Design for Flexibility


Objective
to prolong the life of buildings using flexible
design solutions.
Buildings should be designed with the longest
possible useful life. In order for buildings to fully
accommodate their changing functions over time,
flexible spaces must be provided. The goal should
be to increase a buildings lifespan and to make it
adaptable.

Chapter 6.1

Lifespan
The CSA Standard S478-95, Guidelines on
Durability in Buildings, analyzes the lifespan
of interior materials for an office building over
60 years. The design service life of finishes
is defined as 5 years for painted materials,
10 years for carpet and floor finishes, and 20
years for partitions, gypsum board and masonry
substrates. For longer useable lives, buildings
must be designed for maximum flexibility, with
the knowledge of these differing lifespans.
Building designs must accommodate for the fact
that components with shorter lifespans need to
be replaced without compromising or damaging
components with longer lifespans. Architects
must create details for easy access, removal and
replacement of various building components. The
useful life of these removed components can be
extended by subsequent reuse or recycling.

Adaptability
Adaptability is a fundamental concept for
the design of green buildings. The design of
conventional buildings dictates their energy and
resource consumption as well as their waste
production for their entire life cycle. Conventional
buildings can be technological time capsules,
locked into consumption profiles based on the
design approaches and technologies prescribed
at the time of their design and construction.
Since sustainable designs must take the longterm view and respond to different uses and
needs over the entire lifecycle of a building, it
is important that a building evolve and that it
be readily adaptable to different uses and new
sustainable technologies.
Green buildings should accommodate changes
in use, new systems, and ease of maintenance.
Contiguous service zones should be provided
for increased adaptability of existing systems
and as support for future new technologies,
such as solar panels, fuel cells, vehicle charging
stations, etc. These new technologies may need
to be incorporated either in the service zones
or externally. Flexible buildings should be able
to provide both internal and external plug-in
connections. Non-zoned schemes are much less
flexible for accommodating future unanticipated
uses and room configurations, for additional
systems, and for future distribution needs.
It is difficult to predict future technologies;
nevertheless, the green design team must provide
for future adaptability to the extent possible.
SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 6.1

Material Efficiency

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Consider the varying lifespans of building
systems and components.
Design primary structural elements for an
extended life span.
Provide structural systems with minimum fire
ratings, which may be easily upgraded.
Design secondary structures, such as nonloadbearing walls, guards, and infill floor
panels to be demountable, using adaptable
materials.
Develop adaptable plug-in service connection
points with easy access.
Use standard modules.
Develop a module based on available
materials and in sizes that are capable
of being relocated without sophisticated
equipment.
Develop a modular system based on local
standards in which components can be reused and reassembled.
Plan using a module size that will satisfy a
variety of space planning criteria.
Design modular interior elements to permit
future alteration (move, remove or recycle).
Develop easily demountable connection
details.
Design flexible spaces that can accommodate
the maximum number of uses.
Provide service zones to accommodate future
upgrading of systems.

save considerable amounts of materials and reduce


cost for materials and landfill. One of the greatest
challenges for construction jobsite recycling is to
educate the contractors and subcontractors about
salvage and recycling programs. In the Greater
Vancouver Regional District, for example, studies
have shown that jobsite recycling of construction
waste can divert up to 45% of materials from the
landfill to recycling facilities. For the Richmond
City Hall project, a jobsite recycling program saved
the project $10,000. This figure includes cost
savings for new materials, expenses related to
disposal fees, and additional labour costs.

For the Richmond City Hall project, a job site recycling


program saved the project $10,000.

Designing with module-based building products


reduces on-site cutting and fitting. The use of
modular products can:

Resources

increase savings in both material and time;


reduce construction waste; and
minimize purchases of new materials.

Modular Building Institute


www.mbinet.org

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada

Advanced Technologies for Commercial Buildings


www.advancedbuildings.org

Design using raw material unit dimensions.


Use modular materials and thoughtful
detailing to reduce waste.
Reuse or recycle waste material from the
construction process.
Train construction personnel to implement
a jobsite recycling program.
Require recycling of construction waste in
specifications and construction contracts.
Find uses for recycled waste close to site.
Consider waste as a resource.

Construction Waste Management


Objective
to reduce the amount of waste occurring
during construction.
Proper construction waste management provides an
opportunity to recycle and salvage materials. Not
only is the construction industry the single largest
user of natural resources, it is also a large producer
of waste. Construction waste management can

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Material Efficiency

Case Studies
Richmond City Hall
Hotson Bakker Architects and Kuwabara Payne
McKenna Blumberg Associated Architects,
Richmond, BC
Liu Centre for the Study of Global Issues
Architectura, in collaboration with Arthur
Erickson, Vancouver, BC

Resources
Greater Vancouver Regional District Sustainable Design and Construction
www.gvrd.bc.ca/services/garbage/
jobsite/index.html
C&D Waste Web
www.cdwaste.com

Designing for Deconstruction

Chapter 6.1

Architects and owners must allow sufficient time


for deconstruction. The labour costs and extended
timeframe required for deconstruction can be
offset by income generated from selling salvaged
materials, savings in the purchase of fewer new
building products and savings in landfill (tipping)
fees.
Design teams should provide construction details
that facilitate deconstruction. Materials should
be easily removable from their assemblies for
recycling. Demountable connections promote
the reuse of structural components such as
heavy timber. Bolts or screws should be used
instead of other damaging industrial fasteners.
Power-actuated industrial fasteners, such as
Hilti fasteners, should have threaded inserts.
Adhesives and composite structures should be
avoided whenever possible.
Modular access
floors, carpet tiles, suspended light fixtures,
and demountable metal or wood partitions are
excellent choices.

Objective
to reduce demolition and deconstruction
waste.
Designing for building deconstruction (demountability) helps minimize the negative impacts of
buildings on the environment. The construction
industry is a large producer of demolition waste approximately 30% of Greater Vancouver Regional
District landfill waste originates from demolition
and land clearing. The remaining waste is
from the institutional, industrial and commercial
sectors (50%) and the residential sector (20%).
It is possible to change an industry. Following a
1996 law, German cars must be deconstructed
into separate types of material with less than five
hours labour. Current demolition usually involves
mixing large quantities of valuable materials with
less valuable materials, contaminated or ruined
in the demolition process. This valuable material
could be diverted from the waste stream by
deconstructing buildings rather than demolishing
them. Careful disassembly during deconstruction
permits the reuse of salvaged building materials
in new construction.

The MEC store in Ottawa was designed to facilitate


disassembly by providing screwed and bolted
connections for the entire structure.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 6.1

Material Efficiency

Designing for disassembly has the potential to


significantly reduce the amount of materials
wasted and deposited in landfills. The Mountain
Equipment Co-op (MEC) Store in Ottawa was
designed to allow disassembly by using screwed
and bolted connections throughout the entire
structure. Many of the structural elements in this
building had already been salvaged once the
heavy timbers were from old log booms and the
steel structure consists of columns, beams and
joists from the former building on the site.
The Concord Pacific Sales Pavilion in False Creek
was designed to be easily demountable and
transportable in order to be reused over a 20-year
site buildout program. It has already been
moved twice, with a minimum of effort, materials
and energy.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Design structures to be demountable.
Require the deconstruction of existing
buildings in all construction contracts.
Use modular materials and thoughtful
detailing to facilitate deconstruction.
Train demolition personnel to deconstruct.
Reuse salvaged materials close to the site.
Consider waste as a resource.

Case Studies
Concord Sales Pavilion
Busby + Associates Architects, Vancouver, BC
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Linda Chapman Architect and Christopher
Simmonds Architect in joint venture, Ottawa, ON

Resources
CMHC - Designing for Disassembly
www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

The Concord Pacific Sales Pavilion in False Creek was


designed to be easily transportable and demountable,
facilitating reliable reuse over a 20-year site buildout
programme.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 6.0 - Materials and Resources

6.2 Selecting Green


Building Products

Life Cycle Assessment and Embodied Energy


Energy Efficient Building Products
Material Efficient Building Products
Certified Products
Building Products with Low Emission

Selecting Green Building Products

Chapter 6.2

6.2 Selecting Green Building Products


Objectives
to select building products that have minimal
impact on the environment and building
occupants during their full life cycle.
to select resource-efficient building products.
to select energy-efficient building products.
When choosing building products, the design
team must take into account energy and water
and resource use during harvesting, production
and transportation of the material. A comprehensive list of selection criteria provides the
necessary information for responsible environmental selection.

Life Cycle Assessment and


Embodied Energy
Objective
to select building products that have low
embodied energy through their full life cycle.
to select building products that have minimal
environmental impacts through their full
life cycle.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a process that
documents the environmental impacts of the full
life cycle of a building product. For example, the
LCA data for a building product such as a masonry
unit considers the following environmental
impacts:

raw resource extraction;


manufacturing;
transportation;
installation;
use; and
disposal.

The list of potential environmental impacts


includes water and air pollution, toxic releases,
chemical combinations, greenhouse gas (GHG)

emissions, energy consumption, landfill impacts,


recycled content, recycling potential, etc. LCA
information is not yet available for most building
products. However, LCA data introduces the
building industry to the notion of full life cycle
environmental impacts and will identify areas
of environmental problems. In order to remain
competitive, building product companies have
an interest in improving the weaknesses of their
products. Architects should become advocates
for full life cycle assessment and insist that
suppliers provide all the necessary data.
Sound environmentally-based reasons will lead
to certain materials not being selected. The
construction industry will react and ultimately be
transformed.
Embodied energy is another measurement of the
detrimental environmental impact of building
products. Embodied energy can be defined as
the amount of energy consumed by all of the
activities directly or indirectly associated with the
full life cycle of a building product. The concept
of measuring embodied energy is similar to life
cycle assessment, except that it focuses solely on
energy.
These two methods provide information to
manufacturers and design teams about the
impacts of building products. When possible,
these methods should be used to select
building products. However, because full data
is not readily available for all materials, partial
information and less quantifiable criteria are
often used in practice. In the medium term,
materials should be classified into three main
categories:
energy efficient building products;
material efficient building products; and
products that have benign impact on
building users.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 6.2

Selecting Green Building Products

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada

Specify materials that have low associated


energy costs for their full life cycle.
Specify materials that have a minimal
environmental impacts for their full life
cycle.
Request full data from manufacturers and
advocate for full life cycle assessments of
building products.

Specify locally available materials that


are durable, repairable and require low
maintenance.
Research and maintain a resource list of
locally available green products, salvage
companies, trades, businesses, etc.
Specify building products that contribute to
the reduction of operational energy.

Resources

Resources

Athena Sustainable Material Institute


www.athenasmi.ca

US EPA Comprehensive Procurement


Guidelines (CPG)
www.epa.gov/cpg/index.htm

Life Cycle Assessment Links


www.life-cycle.org
Environmental Resource Guide (ERG)
www.e-architect.com

Energy Efficient Building


Products

EPA Energy Star


www.energystar.gov
Energuide
energuide.nrcan.gc.ca

Material Efficient Building


Products

Objective
to reduce the energy demand associated with
building products.
In order to reduce the energy use associated
with building products, the design team can
specify local and regional materials, thereby
reducing transportation energy and providing
support for the local economy. Using local
materials enhances regionally-differentiated
architecture; for example, the use of a local stone
or other cladding materials can define a regional
architectural characteristic.
Products that reduce operational energy use
should be incorporated. As mentioned in the
Energy and Atmosphere section, energy savings
can be obtained by specifying products that
minimize operational energy, such as energyefficient appliances, lighting and HVAC systems.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Objective
to specify only building products that are
material efficient.
A green building material should demonstrate
material and resource efficiency through its entire
life cycle. The environmental selection criteria
that can be used for selecting efficient green
building products include resource efficiency,
renewable materials, salvaged materials,
recycled content, and materials selected for low
maintenance characteristics.

Renewable Materials
When specifying a building product, the design
team may be faced with the selection of either
renewable products, non-renewable products or
a combination of the two. Renewable building
products, if sustainably harvested, offer the
advantage of conserving other building products
made from finite resources. The use of renewable
materials can be sustained for many generations
without compromising the current global stock.
Some products, such as bamboo and straw, rapidly

Selecting Green Building Products

regenerate; this rate of sustainable regeneration


increases their potential application in green
buildings.
Bamboo flooring products and
wheatboard (an alternative to MDF) are readily
available in Canada. Biodegradable renewable
products such as cellulose insulation offer an
added attraction because they generate no toxic
waste after disposal.
The finite resources available limit building
products made of nonrenewable resources;
therefore, many environmentalists view the
conservation of materials and resources as a
cautionary measure to ensure use for future
generations. Efficiency, recycling and reuse of
materials should be the foremost consideration
when selecting building products.

Salvaged Materials
The use of salvaged building material minimizes
demands for new materials and resources,
reduces pressure on existing landfills, and offsets
the negative environmental effects from the
production of new materials. There are many
materials that can be reclaimed from existing
buildings. Reclaimed, large dimension lumber
is usually high quality, clear wood that is very
difficult to obtain new today. It should be
remilled and used in ways that demonstrates its
inherent natural beauty in applications such as
millwork or furniture.

The City of Vancouver Materials Testing Facility is


constructed of 80% salvaged building materials.

Chapter 6.2

A number of significant challenges face design


teams wanting to use salvaged building products.
Many of these challenges were overcome in design
of the City of Vancouver Materials Testing Facility,
which is constructed of 80% salvaged building
materials.
A normal design/tender/build process should not
be used, as few bidders care to identify and locate
the materials to be salvaged, or contractors may
inflate their bids to cover any risks associated
with salvaging materials. The architect should
assist the client in locating and selecting
materials prior to determining the process for
construction procurement.
Salvage yards are a rich resource; architects
should incorporate products found at salvage
yards into their designs. The results will be a
saving in materials costs, offset by more labour
in the design and construction process. The
end product, as the Materials Testing Laboratory
demonstrates, can be very satisfying in terms of
the quality of materials used.
Websites with inventories of salvaged materials
are being developed now in several Canadian
cities.

Recycled Content and Recyclability


of Materials
Recycling can divert waste destined for landfills,
thus reducing the demand for new materials.
Some building products already contain waste
from post-consumer, post-industrial or postagricultural processes. Two examples of products
with high recycled content are Isoboard and
concrete with high contents of flyash. Isoboard,
used as equivalent to particleboard, is made of
straw, an agricultural waste product. Using flyash
in concrete instead of Portland cement is another
excellent example. Concrete made with replacements for Portland Cement is known as EcoSmartf
Concrete The production of Portland Cement
produces a significant amount of CO2, at the rate
of one tonne of CO2 for each tonne of cement
produced. Therefore, using flyash significantly
reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps
Canada meet its Kyoto commitment.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 6.2

Selecting Green Building Products

Many existing materials have a large content


of recycled materials, and the list is growing.
Reinforcing steel or rebar is composed primarily
of scrap steel.
Subject to environmental
protection regulations in certain jurisdictions,
the drywall industry has started to establish
a sensible, industry-wide recycling program
requiring the supplier to take responsibility for
recycling (gypsum cannot be put in landfills). The
paint industry is moving in the same direction.
Concrete can be recycled easily. Some asphalt
paving has a high content of recycled tires.
Flooring made of recycled tires is attractive and
durable. Architects must do the research and
establish minimum targets of 20-30% recycled
content in new buildings, a standard that is
relatively easily achieved today in Canada.

Low Maintenance Materials


Many exterior and interior finishing building
products require a lot of maintenance during
their useful life. By specifying low maintenance
materials, considerable amounts of energy,
cleaning products (usually chemical-based), and
maintenance costs can be saved over time. Low
maintenance materials can be left in their natural
state and paints and coatings with a short life
should be avoided. Polished surfaces are easy
to clean (glass, stone, metal). Durable finishes
are low maintenance (anodized powder coated).
Also, materials that require chemical cleaners
should be avoided because these cleaners are
pollutants.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Select products that use less material to
perform the same function.
Specify salvaged, recycled and/or recyclable
building products.
Specify building products that come from
renewable sources.
Set targets, such as the use of 20%-30%
salvaged or recycled products in all new
buildings.
Understand the maintenance requirements of
specified materials.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Case Studies
City of Vancouver Materials Testing Facility
Busby + Associates Architects, Vancouver, BC
Liu Centre for the Study of Global Issues
Architectura, in collaboration with Arthur
Erickson, Vancouver, BC

Resources
EcoSmart Concrete Project
www.ecosmart.ca
Used Building Material Associations (UBMA)
www.ubma.com
Used Building Materials Exchange (UBM) Index
www.build.recycle.net

Certified Products
Objective
to specify certified products to ensure
minimum environmental performance
There are third party associations that will certify
the environmental merits of certain products.
In the case of sustainably harvested wood,
two organizations undertake such certification:
the Silva Forest Foundation and the Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC). Numerous labeling
programs are also available such as EcoLogo,
Energy Star Label, and Terrachoice. Certification
and labeling is growing rapidly and there are
likely to be green labels on most products in the
near future. In the meantime, architects should
request the data and backup reports for all eco
labels on products specified.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Select certified building products.
Specify certified wood from sustainably
managed forests.
Promote the use of certified products to
manufacturers and clients.
Request data and backup reports.
Develop a library of certified products for use
in all designs and specifications.

Selecting Green Building Products

Chapter 6.2

Resources
Forest Stewardship Council
www.fscoax.org
UPA Energy Star
www.energystar.gov
Green Seal
www.greenseal.org
Silva Forest Foundation
www.silvafor.org

Building Products With


Low Emissions
Objective
to specify building products with little or no
negative impact on building users.
Most building products contain compounds that
adversely affect indoor air quality and contribute
to the poor outdoor air quality of our urban
centres. Many manufactured materials emit
Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs (wood
naturally emits VOCs). All indoor environments
have a certain percentage of VOCs. Adhesives,
sealants, composite wood products, paints
and many carpets have high levels of VOC
emissions. The green design team must specify
materials with low VOC emissions. Certification
or labeling programs are in place to provide
minimum performance standards, such as EcoLogo
Certification Criteria from Environment Canada.
Materials with low VOC emissions, such as low
toxicity paints and finishes are readily available
in Canada. Many projects exemplify interior
environments designed using these materials,
such as the Urban Strawbale House, designed by
Julia Bourke Architecte.

The Urban Strawbale House, designed by Julia Bourke


Architecte, incorporates many materials with low
emissions.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Use materials and equipment with low
emission finishes to minimize indoor air
pollution.
Select non-toxic materials that minimize or
eliminate off-gassing of VOCs.
Develop a library of products having low
emissions of VOCs.

Case Studies
Strawbale house construction in
an urban environment
Julia Bourke, Architecte, QC
Liu Centre for the Study of Global Issues
Architectura, in collaboration with Arthur
Erickson, Vancouver, BC
Low Cost Dwelling for the Environmentally
Hypersensitive
Phillip Sharp Architect Ltd, Ottawa, ON
CK Choi, Institute for Asian Research
Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc., Vancouver, BC

Resources
Environmental Building News Product Catalog
www.buildingreen.com
OIKOS Green Building Source
www.oikos.com
Canadas EcoLogo
www.environmentalchoice.com

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 6.0 - Materials and Resources

6.3 Regulations,
Linkages and
Tradeoffs

Regulations, Linkages and Tradeoffs

Chapter 6.3

6.3 Regulations, Linkages


and Tradeoffs
Regulations have significant influence on
design strategies related to materials and
resources. Close coordination with authorities
having jurisdiction may be necessary, such
as the incorporation of salvaged building
materials in new construction. Municipalities
could also encourage this practice by granting
deconstruction permits faster than demolition
permits. Such a policy would help encourage the
time-consuming disassembly of building materials
in order to optimize the use of salvaged building
materials.
A reduction in the consumption of materials
and resources leads to savings in energy and
water associated with harvesting, production and
transportation of new materials. The selection of
low-toxicity building products, that do not offgas airborne contaminants, contributes to healthy
indoor environments. A healthy indoor environment will also increase the marketability of green
buildings by increasing occupant comfort and by
reducing operating costs.
The marketplace is a powerful tool for change in
the construction materials industry. Architects
should:
always look for green labels;
require manufacturers to provide green
product data;
advocate for green labeling standards in the
construction industry; and
support manufacturers of green products.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

7.0 Indoor Environmental


Quality

Indoor Environmental Quality

Chapter 7.0

Indoor Environmental Quality


Overall Objectives
to provide the best possible indoor air
quality.
to ensure maximum comfort for occupants
with the greatest control.
Canadians on average spend approximately 90%
of their time indoors. The quality of indoor air
affects the productivity, health and well-being of
building occupants. High quality indoor environments can increase employee productivity, thereby
yielding a significant return on the investment
spent on systems that support and control the
environment. Poor indoor environ-ments lead
to illness and can even result in liabilities for
building owners and managers. The delivery
and maintenance of high quality indoor air
is a primary goal for green building design
teams.
Factors that affect the quality of indoor
environments are air quality and occupant control
and comfort. Indoor air quality is influenced by
indoor and outdoor contaminants and by the rate
of ventilation of interior spaces. Some factors
that influence occupant control and comfort
include the ability to control various systems,
the actual performance of HVAC systems and
appropriate lighting solutions.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 7.0 - Indoor Environmental Quality

7.1 Indoor Air Quality

Outdoor Pollutants
Indoor Pollutants
Fresh Air and Ventilation

Indoor Air Quality

Chapter 7.1

7.1 Indoor Air Quality


Objective
to provide the highest possible Indoor Air
Quality (IAQ) throughout the building.
Indoor air pollutants are contaminants found
in the air emitted from interior sources. These
pollutants can take the form of allergens, Volatile
Organic Compounds (VOC), fumes, high levels of
CO2, inert gases (such as radon) and microbial
and bacterial particles of many kinds. Outdoor
air pollutants are better known, including a
full range of noxious gases and particulates
emitted by industry, vehicles and all forms of
combustion (smog). Design teams can control
indoor air quality by carefully preventing outdoor
contaminants from entering buildings, by
minimizing indoor pollutants, and by providing
adequate ventilation systems.
Ventilation
systems, natural or mechanical, should be
designed to eliminate potential health risks and
to minimize the dissemination and growth of
contaminants in circulated air.

Outdoor Pollutants
Objective
to minimize the penetration of outdoor
pollutants into buildings.
The presence in outdoor air pollutants is
exacerbated by various activities located in
the immediate vicinity of buildings. Outside
activities such as high traffic, idling vehicles at
loading docks and industrial processes nearby
can introduce contaminants into a buildings
ventilation system or through operable windows.
Contamination from outdoor air pollutants can
be effectively mitigated by the proper location
of outdoor air intakes and the orientation and
distribution of operable windows.

Outdoor air intakes should be located to avoid


proximity to building exhaust fans, cooling towers,
automobile traffic, standing water, sanitary
vents, loading docks, and garbage collection
areas. Design teams should study the prevailing
winds and nearby sources of emissions including
exhaust air, chimneys and fume hoods. It may
be necessary to conduct a wind study and,
possibly, build a model. An authority on wind
models recognized worldwide is a Canadian firm,
Rowan Williams Davies and Irwin Inc., located in
Guelph, ON.
Airflow into operable windows is not easy to
control. It is necessary to observe and determine
sources of pollution and noise in adjacent streets.
The wind rose and prevailing seasonal wind
patterns for the site must be studied. Window
locations should be determined on the basis
of both distribution and orientation. Windows
located on the leeward (downwind) side are
successful at enhancing airflow patterns within
buildings. Adjacent areas of natural vegetation
and landscape buffers prevent outdoor pollutants
from mixing with the air through operable
windows. Plants are great natural air scrubbers.
Buildings must not themselves contribute to
outdoor air pollution. It is important to specify
scrubbers on all stacks, chimneys and fume
hoods. Architects should advocate to clients for
the installation of scrubbers.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 7.1

Indoor Air Quality

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Avoid air intakes close to polluting activities
such as automobile traffic.
Study wind patterns and site conditions
to determine the correct locations for air
intakes and operable windows.
Provide landscape buffers to protect operable
windows from pollutants.
Ensure the building does not contribute to
air pollution.

Resources
ASHRAE 62-1999 Ventilation Standards for
Acceptable Indoor Quality
www.ashrae.org
Health Canada
www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Indoor Pollutants
Objectives
to minimize the contamination of indoor air
during construction and during operation.
to reduce or eliminate the use of materials
that emit contaminants or pollutants to
indoor air.
Indoor air pollutants can be introduced by
various construction processes, interior activities,
inadequate maintenance and by materials
specified and used in buildings.
Compounds introduced during construction
and renovation can contaminate the indoor
environment and lead to long-term problems with
indoor air quality. HVAC systems are especially
vulnerable to contaminants such as dust, VOCs,
and micro-organisms. Contaminants can remain
in HVAC systems for long periods of time, causing
serious health problems to building occupants.
Strategies to minimize contamination during
construction include:
isolating HVAC systems;
isolating work areas to minimize overall
contamination;

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

cleaning frequently during construction; and


cleaning thoroughly after construction but
before system startup.
During construction or renovation, it is important
to schedule the installation of pollutant-absorbing
materials as late as possible in the construction
process. Some materials, such as fabric-coated
partitions, carpets, insulation, ceiling tiles and
gypsum products will absorb VOCs from paints
and sealants used during construction. By
installing these products at the end of the
process, VOCs have nowhere to be absorbed, thus
resulting in a better IAQ. Finally, the allocation
of sufficient time (at least two weeks) for
systems operations prior to occupancy, permits a
complete flushing of building air, thus improving
indoor air quality. However, the release of
contaminants from the building reduces the
quality of outside air and contributes to smog.
After occupancy, common office equipment (such
as photocopiers and fax machines) produce
volatile organic compounds that contaminate the
rest of the building. Design teams should provide
adequate measures to prevent the transmission
of these VOCs to the entire building by providing
HVAC solutions that isolate this equipment, by
locating exhaust air vents to serve them or by
providing separate ventilation systems.
Many manufactured materials emit VOCs; including
adhesives, sealants, composite wood products
and carpets. PVC and vinyl products also emit a
range of atmospheric pollutants. The best design
strategy to reduce the amount of VOC and other
contaminants in the indoor environment is to
specify low emission materials. (Refer to the
Materials and Resources section).
Certification or labeling programs are in place
to provide minimum performance standards.
For example, Environment Canadas EcoLogo
Certification Criteria for paints and surface
coatings stipulate that a product must not be
formulated or manufactured with formaldehyde,
halogenated aromatic solvents or heavy metals
such as mercury, lead, cadmium or chromium.
Paints and stains must not contain VOCs in excess
of 200 grams per litre and varnishes in excess of
300 grams per litre.

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air contaminants are particularly harmful


to allergy sufferers. The design of environments
for hypersensitive occupants is a specialty of
some Canadian architects. A housing project
in the Ottawa region demonstrated that a low
toxicity indoor environment can be achieved with
no premium on construction costs.

Chapter 7.1

The maintenance and cleaning of indoor air supply


and distribution ducts is important. Therefore,
easy access to ducts and shafts for periodic
cleaning must be provided. Concealed ducts
should be avoided whenever possible. An under
floor air system with access floors provides for
easy and economical cleaning. The interior of
an air supply duct that has not been cleaned
for 25 years is a frightening sight, as evidenced
by this duct with a 10mm layer of organic and
bacterial growth contaminating all the air that
flows through it.

A housing project in the Ottawa region demonstrated


that low toxicity indoor environments can be achieved
with no premium on capital cost.

Buildings usually have cleaning and maintenance


routines associated with them.
The selection
of low maintenance natural building products
may reduce the use of chemical cleaning products
or maintenance materials such as paints. The
Liu Centre at the University of British Columbia
illustrates the use of low toxicity finishes
requiring minimal maintenance.

Interior of duct that has not been cleaned.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Minimize HVAC system contamination during
construction.
Provide for an adequate period to flush the
building before occupancy.
Isolate areas and activities that generate
VOCs such as photocopiers, and storage
areas for cleaning and maintenance supplies.
Specify low emission materials that minimize
or eliminate off gassing.
Specify low maintenance materials to reduce
the use of chemical cleaning products.
Prior to selecting a product, determine
the level of emissions of VOCs from the
manufacturer.
Specify certified products that meet a
minimum standard.
Provide maintenance access to all air supply
and distribution systems.

The Liu Centre at the University of British Columbia


illustrates a minimal use of overall finishes.
Low toxicity and low maintenance were primary
considerations for the selection of finishes.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 7.1

Indoor Air Quality

Case Studies
Low Cost Dwelling for the Environmentally
Hypersensitive
Phillip Sharp Architect Ltd, Ottawa, ON
Liu Centre for the Study of Global Issues
Architectura, in collaboration with
Arthur Erickson, Vancouver, BC

and activities in the building. These monitors


can be linked to the automated control system
to affect HVAC operations. The monitoring
system, together with calibration information
and other requirements, should be included in
the commissioning plan and the building manual.
CO2 systems consume energy, but they also
provide significant energy savings by ensuring
that the HVAC system operates efficiently.

Resources
Canadas EcoLogo
www.environmentalchoice.com
OIKOS Green Building Source
www.oikos.com/products
Building Materials for the
Environmentally Hypersensitive, CMHC
www.cmhc.ca
Public Works and Government
Services Canada, IAQ
www.pwgsc.gc.ca/rps/iaq

Fresh Air and Ventilation


Objectives
to provide fresh air and ventilation
appropriate for diverse uses within buildings.
to minimize the distribution of pollutants
with the ventilation system.
Adequate ventilation rates should respond to the
functional program, building use and occupancy.
Satisfactory levels of air change are a result of the
effectiveness of the distribution of outside fresh
air throughout the building. The ideal ventilation
system is balanced to optimize ventilation
effectiveness and energy efficiency. Design teams
should consider potential changes of use during a
buildings life cycle and incorporate strategies for
flexibility when designing the ventilation systems.
A good indicator of adequate ventilation is the
level of CO2 in the building. CO2 monitoring
systems maximize indoor air quality (IAQ) by
ensuring interior CO2 levels are similar to exterior
healthy outdoor levels. A CO2 monitoring system
will increase initial capital costs; however,
it can prevent health problems and increase
productivity. Systems are most effective when
they are installed throughout a building and are
capable of monitoring CO2 levels for all conditions

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Rates of fresh air input into buildings are measured


in CFM/person. ASHRAE standards were 15 CFM/
person prior to the 1970s oil crisis. In the mid
1970s, ASHRAE lowered these levels to 5 CFM/
person and convinced a generation of mechanical
engineers to eliminate operable windows. Sick
building syndrome was the result and by 1989,
ASHRAE restored the former 15 CFM/person
standard. (All airflow measurements are based
on a systems minimum mode, (i.e. in Canada,
during the winter.) Adequate air input is currently
15 CFM/person for children and 20 CFM/person
for adults. Some recent high-quality offices
have pushed the fresh air input to 30 and
40 CFM/person. Architects should ensure that
mechanical engineers design to higher standards.
Energy can be recaptured with heat exchangers
on exhaust loops. Furthermore, the HVAC system
should have the ability to provide 100% fresh air
when outdoor air temperatures allow.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Provide effective ventilation.
Provide a CO2 monitoring system.
Ensure frequent inspection and cleaning of
HVAC systems.
Design for 30-40 CFM of fresh air per person.
Ensure frequent inspection and cleaning of
HVAC systems.
Include operable windows everywhere
possible.

Resources
ASHRAE 52.2 Method for Testing
General Air Cleaning Devices for
Removal Efficiency by Particle Size
www.ashrae.org
USEPA Indoor Air Quality Division
www.epa.gov/iaq
Canadian Lung Association
www.lung.ca

Chapter 7.0 - Indoor Environmental Quality

7.2 Occupant Control


and Comfort

Controllability of Systems
Thermal Strategies
Lighting Strategies

Occupant Control and Comfort

Chapter 7.2

7.2 Occupant Control and Comfort


Objective
to provide maximum ability to control
systems by the occupants.
Providing maximum occupant control in both HVAC
and lighting systems increases the productivity,
comfort and well-being of building occupants,
in addition to offering potential energy savings
through the elimination of unwanted cooling,
heating or lighting. Conventional buildings,
particularly those with inoperable windows,
are usually completely disconnected from
their surroundings and offer occupants limited
or no control over their indoor work, play,
and living environments.
These limitations
contribute to a reduction in the well- being
of occupants and eliminate the possibility
to use natural systems to control the indoor
environment.

Controllability of Systems
Objective

controls and smaller zones is offset by the


advantages listed above.
More individual controls can have beneficial
effects on energy conservation. Energy use
can be decreased if occupant controls permit
adjustments to unwanted air conditioning or
heating during occupancy and offset settings at
night or during long periods out of the home or
office. A green building design can and should
infuse the building occupants with an awareness
of energy efficiency. Building cleaners, security
and maintenance personnel should check windows
and lights, in the appropriate seasons, on their
nightly rounds. Building user manuals, on-going
commissioning, and education can maximize
the benefits from occupant controlled systems
throughout the life cycle of the building.
At the Telus Office Building, flexible airflow Trox
diffusers, adjustable by the occupants without
the use of tools, were specified and installed.
Trox diffusers can be located anywhere occupants
wish, and the numbers of diffusers can be
adjusted to suit personal preferences.

to provide maximum controllability for all


building systems in order to produce energy
savings and increase comfort.
There are two main advantages for installing
systems that occupants can control or adjust:
enhancing occupant comfort and well-being;
and
improving the energy efficiency of building
systems.
By allowing individuals and groups to customize
their microenvironments, the overall comfort,
satisfaction and related productivity of occupants
can be improved. Conventional HVAC and other
building systems are often designed in a first
cost, efficient manner, with large zones and
few controls. The cost of providing additional

At the Telus Office Building, flexible airflow Trox


diffusers that can be adjusted by the occupants
without the use of tools, were specified.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 7.2

Occupant Control and Comfort

At the Revenue Canada Building in Surrey, BC,


two levels of occupant control from a pressurized
underfloor air system were provided.

office buildings, these systems can offer optimal


occupant controls at each workstation.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Provide maximum occupant control for
increased comfort.

Case Studies
Revenue Canada Office Building
Busby + Associates Architects, Surrey, BC
Telus Office Building
Busby + Associates Architects, Vancouver, BC

Resources
Best Practice to Maintaining IEQ
www.ipmvp.org
ASHRAE Indoor Air Quality Position Document
www.ashrae.org
USEPA Indoor Air Quality Division
www.epa.gov/iaq
At the Revenue Canada Building, Trox diffusers can be
located anywhere occupants wish, and the numbers of
diffusers can be adjusted for people who are chronically
hot or cold.

System Zones
Occupant control strategies can be applied to
either perimeter or interior HVAC zones.

Thermal Strategies
Objective
to provide maximum thermal comfort for
occupants
to maximize energy savings.

In perimeter zones, the most important issue


to coordinate with other green design goals
is the size and functionality of windows. The
intent of the fenestration and window design,
window sizes, and operable opening sizes, must
be discussed with the team members. Windows
affect many things in a building including natural
ventilation, daylighting, thermal performance,
views and solar control strategies. Artificial
lighting and daylighting strategies require
coordination to optimize both systems.
In interior zones, air distribution and artificial
lighting are the main factors to consider. Systems
should provide small zones and individual
controls. This allows for the implementation
of Personal Environment Control (PEC) systems.
There are specialized furniture systems available
that are capable of providing controls and air
delivery locations within the furniture itself. In

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Thermal comfort supports the well-being of building


occupants and increases energy savings by providing
efficient heating systems.

Occupant Control and Comfort

Thermal comfort supports the well being of


building occupants and increases energy savings
when efficient heating systems are used.
To reduce the overconditioning or overheating of
spaces, building occupants need to be educated
about the system and the environmental goals of
the building.
Levels of activity, clothing, humidity levels,
air temperature, radiation exchange and air
circulation all affect an individuals thermal
comfort in a given space. All of these, except
clothing, can be controlled by the building
systems.
An assessment of
these factors
is necessary to provide thermal comfort. The
Integrated Design Team must evaluate many
systems and factors simultaneously. For example,
in a naturally ventilated building, the rate of
fresh airflow can affect the thermal comfort
of an occupant. Recent literature has shown
that natural building system strategies such as
increases in thermal mass and air velocity control
will modify conventional comfort zones. It is
important to look for synergies and to document
and share results of successful designs.
The Intuit Canada Headquarters in Edmonton,
AB, Alberta has an 18-inch access floor that
provides building occupants with better control
of heating within their work environment. Grilles
in the flooring supply air at locations near the
occupants rather than at ceiling levels, and also
take advantage of natural air currents. The grid
of access flooring, covered by easily removable
and replaceable carpet tiles, permits access to the
pressurized air cavity for ease of maintenance.

Chapter 7.2

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Design thermal environments that suit the
functional program
Specify building systems that can be
adjusted to meet the occupants needs.

Case Studies
Telus Office Building
Busby + Associates Architects, Vancouver, BC
Intuit Canada Headquarters
Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd., Edmonton, AB

Resources
ASHRAE Thermal Comfort Standard
www.ashrae.org

Lighting Strategies
Objective
to provide adequate lighting levels for
increased energy savings and occupant
comfort.
Lighting design represents an opportunity
to improve the indoor environment through
increased occupant control, improved daylighting,
reduced glare, and a better visual connection with
the outside. When using daylighting strategies,
glare control should be carefully considered.
Increased energy savings are a result of the
increased use of natural daylight and reduced use
of artificial lighting.
The BC Gas Operation Centre is full of naturally lit
spaces. Here, light shelves increase the amount
of daylight entering the spaces and facilitate
solar control.

The Intuit Canada Headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta


provides an 18 inch access floor that allows the
building occupants to better control the heating of
their work environments.

Increasing the level of control over lighting


increases the satisfaction of building occupants
and eliminates energy consumption from
unnecessary lighting. Individual lighting controls
vary in complexity and intelligence. Room
and task light switches are simple and effective,
and occupancy sensors and photocells increase
the reliability of lighting controls. New, more
sophisticated products for task and room lighting
feature occupant controls that can be operated
from personal computers, allowing adjustments to

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 7.2

Occupant Control and Comfort

Lightshelves are in place to provide solar control and


increase the amount of daylight entering the spaces.

light levels and hours of operation. These controls


can also be linked to automated building control
systems for even more energy efficiency.

Summary of Strategies for Use


across Canada
Provide maximum occupant control for
increased comfort.
Provide light shelves to increase light
penetration.
Provide design solutions for glare control.
Use room and task light switches, occupancy
sensors and photocells as energy efficient
occupant controls.

Case Studies
Revenue Canada Office Building
Busby + Associates Architects, Surrey, BC
APEGBC Head Offices
Busby + Associates Architects, Burnaby, BC

Resources
Tips for Daylighting with Windows
windows.lbl.gov/daylighting/
designguide/browse.htm

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 7.0 - Indoor Environmental Quality

7.3 Regulations,
Linkages and
Tradeoffs

Regulations, Linkages and Tradeoffs

Chapter 7.3

7.3 Regulations, Linkages


and Tradeoffs
There are very few regulations that inhibit the
design team from producing excellent indoor
environments. However, design teams and clients
are not always aware of the factors that affect or
reduce indoor air quality (IAQ).
If building occupants are not educated to be
sensitive to the environment, an increase in the
number and accessibility of controls can conflict
with energy efficiency measures. Education
is essential for the optimum performance of
occupant-controlled systems. The objective of
realizing a high-quality indoor environment is
consistent with other green design goals, such
as increasing energy efficiency, facilitating the
use of passive systems and reducing the use of
materials that compromise IAQ.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

8.0 LEED in the


Canadian Context

LEED in the Canadian Context

Chapter 8.0

LEED in the Canadian Context


Overall Objective
to introduce the LEED rating system to
Canadian architects.
The Sustainable Building Canada Committee
(SBCC) is currently reviewing the merits of the
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) as a potential Canadian assessment
tool for green buildings. The LEED Rating
System was developed by the United States Green
Building Council (USGBC) in an effort to provide a
benchmark for the rating of green buildings. Its
purpose is to accelerate the implementation of
green building policies, programs, technologies,
standards and design practices. It is probable
that this assessment tool will become the North
American standard.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 8.0 - LEED in the Canadian Context

8.1 LEED Green Building


Rating System

LEED Green Building Rating System

Chapter 8.1

8.1 LEED Green Building Rating System


Objectives
to provide background information regarding
the history and evolution of the LEED
Rating System.
to present a brief overview regarding the
application of the LEED Rating System.
to provide information related to the
potential implementation of LEED in
Canada.

History of the LEED Rating System


The USGBC has developed the LEED program
to provide a benchmark for buildings and to
provide guidelines for the development of
sustainable projects. The USGBC, a Washington,
DC - based organization, was formed in 1993
with a mandate to be the centre for debate and
action on environmental issues facing the multiple
interests of the building industry. The USGBC has
grown to include various construction industry
players such as product manufacturers, building
owners, environmental leaders, design and other
building professionals, general contractors, trade
contractors, utilities, government agencies,
building control sub-contractors, research
institutions and leaders in the financial industry.
This wide representation provides a unique
and ideal platform for carrying out important
programs and activities.

Overview of the LEED Rating System


The LEED Green Building Rating System is a
voluntary, consensus-based, and market-driven
building rating system based on existing proven
technology. Using a series of criteria, the system
evaluates environmental performance over a
buildings life cycle. LEED is based on accepted
energy and environmental principles and aims
to strike a balance between existing accepted
practices and new sustainable technologies.

LEED is a self-assessing system used for rating


new and existing commercial, institutional and
high-rise residential buildings. It is also a
feature-oriented system where credits are earned
for satisfying each criterion. Different levels
of certification are awarded based on the total
credits earned. LEED Version 2.0 is currently
used. Version 2.0 allows for the possibility to
obtain a total of 69 points with four possible
ratings:

LEED
LEED
LEED
LEED

Platinum
Gold
Silver
Certified

(more than 52 points)


(between 39 and 51 points)
(between 33 and 38 points)
(between 26 and 32 points)

This SDCB 101 Manual is organized in accordance


with the LEED Green Building Rating System
environmental categories:

Sustainable Site Design


Water Efficiency
Energy and Atmosphere
Materials and Resources
Indoor Environmental
Quality
Innovation and
Design Process

(14
(05
(17
(13

possible
possible
possible
possible

points)
points)
points)
points)

(15 possible points)


(05 possible points)

These categories not only have credits but also


numerous prerequisites which support the point
system. The following document offers a detailed
breakdown of the various prerequisites and credits
included in the LEED Rating System. For more
detailed information on the rating system, refer
to the LEED reference guide at the USGBC
website (www.usgbc.org).

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 8.1

LEED Green Building Rating System

LEED in the Canadian Context


The LEED assessment tool and rating system is
gaining momentum in North America. It is very
possible that this assessment tool will become
the North American standard. The potential
to implement a Canadian adaptation of LEED
is being considered by a subcommittee of the
Sustainable Building Canada Committee (SBCC).
In order to implement LEED in Canada, Canadian
equivalencies must be determined for the series
of American performance standards which are
referenced in the LEED document. A report
on these adaptation issues has been funded by
various federal agencies and is being conducted
by Nils Larsson of NRCan and the Athena
Institute. The report should be available by the
end of 2001.
Momentum to adopt the LEED system is building
across the country, especially in British Columbia.
An ad hoc group composed of the City of Vancouver,
the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the British
Columbia Building Corporation and the Green
Building BC - New Buildings Program was formed to
discuss LEED. The committee has recommended
rapid adoption of LEED Version 2.0 for BC and
Canada. It also has recommended that BC and
Canadian stakeholders participate in the shaping
of LEED Version 3.0. The City of Vancouver is
the first Canadian jurisdiction to formally adopt
LEED on a trial basis for a new sustainable
community being developed at False Creek. This
use is dependent on a LEED BC Application
Study which should be completed by late 2001.
The Municipality of Whistler is also recommending
implementation of this tool.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

LEED Accreditation is now available to


Canadian architects and engineers through the
computer based LEED Professional Accreditation
Exam. A number of Canadian professionals
have already received accreditation. The USGBC
website provides an up-to-date list of accredited
professionals.
The Sustainable Building Canada Committee
(SBCC) is proceeding with the translation of
LEED Version 2.0 into French.

Resources
United States Green Building Council
www.usgbc.org
BREEAM GREEN LEAF Rating System.
www.breeamcanada.ca
SBCC and National Assessment Tool
www.raic.org

Chapter 8.0 - LEED in the Canadian Context

8.2 Applying LEED


Version 2.0

9.0 Regional Perspective

10.0 A View to the Future

RAIC Vision
As members of the Royal Architectural Institute
of Canada, we believe that architecture is
intrinsic to our national culture, and that
it must be experienced, discussed, and respected
to stimulate its development and to define
our heritage.
We believe that excellence in the practice
of architecture embodies environmental and
social responsibility, the exceptional resolution
of built form and functional requirements,
and the ability to lift the human spirit.

A View to the Future

Chapter 10.0

A View to the Future


Raymond J. Cole, PhD

School of Architecture, University of British Columbia

Introduction

Information Technologies

The 20th century was undeniably Americas


century. The USA emerged as the worlds most
powerful and affluent nation a status built
on an insatiable appetite for natural resources
derived both domestically and globally. The 21st
century will be shaped not by the unconstrained
consumption of resources, but by the dictates of
sustainability. Those countries that flourish will be
the ones that make the transition to a sustainable
pattern of production and consumption that
operates within the biological capabilities and
limits of the planet. Clearly the economic cost
of transforming infrastructures, industries and
the built environment will be enormous and
that cost will have to be borne by everyone.
That cost will only be surpassed by one other
cost - and that is the cost of inaction. The
cost of such inaction will be borne by future
generations - our children and our grandchildren.

Developments in information and communications


technologies now dominate industry, commerce
and recreation and, as such, dictate the pace
of almost all human activity and expectation.
Romm et al. (1999) suggests that information
technology has redefined the way that virtually
every product and service is designed, produced,
and operated and reshaped productivity by
allowing rapid and significant increases in the
efficiency with which materials, labor, and capital
are used throughout the economy.

Climate change will remain the most significant


environmental issue that we collectively face.
This will be directly and indirectly evident in
almost every human endeavour. However, it will
also be impossible to isolate any discussion
on green buildings, now or in the future, from
other profound changes that are occurring or
likely to occur. There will be inevitable parallel
developments, with technological sophistication
and cultural expectations that will ultimately
shape the way and the rate at which we change
buildings and infrastructure in response to
mounting environmental issues.

In addition to significantly transforming product


design and manufacture including buildings
the widespread adoption of information
technology will transform human settlement
through demobilization and dematerialization.
(Mitchell, 1999)
Demobilization: The Internet holds the prospect of
reducing transportation energy intensity by:
Replacing some commuting with
telecommuting.
Replacing some shopping with teleshopping.
Replacing some air travel with
teleconferencing.
Enabling digital transmission of a variety
of goods.
Improving the efficiency of the supply chain
management, thereby reducing inventory
warehousing.
Increasing the capacity utilization of the
entire transportation system.
In short, Romm, et al. (1999) suggest that
the Internet has the potential to break the
historical relationship between communications
and travel.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Chapter 10.0

A View to the Future

Dematerialization:
Information technologies
offer the promise of satisfying a wide range of
human needs without construction - employing
electronic services in place of physical built
facilities. The social and behavioural implications
of widespread adoption of Information
Technologies are currently uncertain, but they
will profoundly alter our perceptions of time and
space and, one can speculate, the perceived limits
of human possibility.

Decarbonization
Energy production and use are central to the
current environmental problems and to any
discussion of sustainability.
A decarbonization of energy has occurred over
the past 150 years, reflecting greater conversion
efficiencies and the substitution of fuels that
are progressively lighter in carbon - from wood,
to coal, to oil, and now to natural gas. Current
discussions see solar and other renewable energy
technologies emerge as the logical alternative
to fossil fuels, either harnessed centrally or
captured locally. But alternative paths have
been posited. Ausubel (1996), illustrates that
growth of per capita energy consumption has
also been historically keyed to the adoption of
cleaner fuels and that in the past, per capita
energy consumption tripled before the energy
services desired outgrew the old fuels or portfolio
of fuels, whether the limits were economic,
social, technical, and / or environmental. He
suggests that we are on a steady trajectory
toward a methane, and eventually hydrogen,
economy. Solar and renewable technologies would
eventually be used to generate hydrogen that
would then be the primary storage medium,
capable of fulfilling human need without the
adverse environmental consequences associated
with the combustion of fossil fuels. The promise
suggested by Ausubel is for yet another seemingly
unconstrained increase in energy use.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

World Views
The key question is not what will be the nature of
future building, but what value set or worldview
will prevail and the extent to which it embraces
and engenders environmental responsibility
across a range of diverse cultures. The way that
the broader technological and other contextual
changes may shape this worldview over the next
century is critical.
There are two current conflicting worldviews.
One is a recognition of ecological constraint;
the other is shaped by the perceived freedoms
permitted by new technologies:
At the centre of an ecological-based
worldview is that humans are an integral part
of the natural world and are constrained by
its production and assimilative abilities. The
underlying message in environmental debate
over the past two or three decades, above
all, has been about respecting natural limits
and understanding how to live within them.
The emergence of the Internet and the
promise of a New Economy, a new Energy
Economy the Hydrogen Economy ,
may well change human preference,
expectation and action. Any answer to
the question of the future of green
building must start with anticipating
how the seemingly unlimited capability of
information technologies and the potential
of abundant clean energy within a hydrogen
economy may affect human aspirations.
Not only are they about constraint and
freedom, but they are also about fundamentally
different time frames of reference. Ecological
responsibility is about accepting the long-term
view and yet emerging information technologies
are shortening our time horizons of thinking.
How we react to either long-term or shortterm demands of these information technologies,
will indirectly but profoundly transform our
understanding of energy and environmental
problems, future environmental policy, the
strategies that we implement, and what and
how we build.

A View to the Future

Embracing Sustainability
The shift from green performance to sustainable
levels of performance may well require a conceptual
leap. Whereas we can define green and even
greener as well as the incremental process for
improving performance, it is difficult to currently
envision a sustainable future either in general
terms or as related to the configuration of human
settlement. As such it is more difficult to identify
sustainable targets for individual buildings and the
individual building is a too constraining level to
define sustainable practice. While greater leaps
in building performance may be perceived more
risky and more challenging for clients and the
design team, they will not necessarily be more
expensive. Greater and more comprehensive leaps
in performance enables the creative integration
of systems and strategies. Further, a more
coordinated effort by the design team can provide
a greater opportunity for trade-off of one cost
item against another.

Shifting From Product to


Service Oriented Industry
Current industrial production is based on the
throughput of resources raw materials enter,
goods are produced and waste discarded.
Industrial Ecology seeks the application of
ecological theory to industrial systems or the
ecological restructuring of industry to reducing
environmental burdens by optimizing the total
material cycle from virgin material, to finished
material, to component, to product, to obsolete
product, and to ultimate disposal. (Graedel and
Allenby, 1995)

Chapter 10.0

Sustainable design will require a fundamental


rethinking of the services that buildings offer and
our approaches to providing them. The current
notion of building production centres on buildings
as products. Within this prevalent product provider
business model, profits within the building industry
are directly linked to the quantity of product sales.
Maximizing the quantity of materials, with little
perceived benefit from closing the productionuse throughput, clearly inhibits the acceptance
of industrial ecology. In the future, the notion
of the building industry as a service provider,
where industry can profit by providing services
that generate convenience, comfort, security and
various benefits embodied with function and
performance of buildings, will gain prominence.
(Tomanari, 2001) The service provider model assigns
responsibility for environmental performance
to manufacturer and generates incentives for
fundamental improvement of resource productivity
in construction.

References
Ausubel. J.H., (1996) Can Technology Spare
the Earth? American Scientist, Vol. 84,
March-April, 1996, pp167-179
Graedel, T.E. and B.R. Allenby, Industrial Ecology,
Prentice Hall, 1995
Mitchell, W.J., (1999) The Era of the E-topia:
the right reactions to the digital revolution
can produce lean and green cities, Architectural
Record, March 1999, pp35-36
Romm, J., Rosenfeld, A., and Herrmann,
S., (1999) The Internet Economy and Global
Warming: A Scenario of the Impact of
E-commerce on Energy and the Environment,
The Center for Energy and Climate Solutions,
A Division of The Global Environment and
Technology Foundation, Version 1.0,
December 1999
Yashiro, T., (2001) Incentive for Industrial
Ecology in Building Sectors. Paper presented
at OECD/IEA Joint Workshop: The Design of
Sustainable Building Policies, OECD, Paris,
28-29th June 2001.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Glossary

Glossary

SDCB 101

Glossary
Biodegradable

Ecology

Blackwater

Ecosystem

Brownfields

Efficient Detailing

Capable of decomposing rapidly under natural


conditions.
Blackwater is the wastewater produced by toilets
and urinals.
Brownfields are areas of land previously used for
industrial activities. These sites are usually in
central urban locations, and they are usually
contaminated.

Commissioning

Commissioning is a systematic, documented and


collaborative process that includes inspection,
testing and training conducted to confirm that a
building and its component systems are capable
of being operated and maintained in conformance
with design intent.

Daylighting

The method of illuminating building interiors with


natural light.

Daylighting Controls

Devices that allow for user or automated changes


in the amount of artificial lighting within interior
spaces designed for daylight such as electrical
switching controls, exterior or interior louvers,
and dimming devices.

Depletion

Totality or pattern of relationships between


organisms and their environment.
The complex of a community and its environment
that functions as an ecological unit in nature.
Design detailing that eliminates or reduces the
amount of materials used. For example, designing
with a module to reduce cutoff waste or leaving
structural material or mechanical systems exposed
to eliminate finishing costs or superfluous
finishes.

Embodied Energy

The total energy that a product contains,


including all energy used in growing, extracting
and manufacturing it plus the energy used to
transport it to the point of use. The embodied
energy of a structure includes the embodied
energy of its components plus the energy used in
construction.

Emission

Discharge of entities (such as chemicals, heat,


noise and radiation) to the environment from the
system studied.

Environmental LCA

Part of a broader LCA in which only environmental


consequences are considered.

Depletion is the result of the extraction of


resources from the environment faster than they
can be created. Depletion can be subdivided into
abiotic depletion and energy depletion.

Extraction

Ecolabel

Treatment process for removing solid particulate


matter from water by passing it through porous
media such as sand or artificially produced filters.
This process is often used to remove particles that
contain pathogenic organisms.

Official award granted to a number of product


alternatives in a product group conforming to
the environmental criteria as set for that group,
usually on the basis of a life cycle assessment.

Use of materials or resources obtained directly


from the environment by an economic process.

Filtration

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

SDCB 101

Glossary

Fossil Fuel

A fuel such as coal, oil and natural gas, produced


by the decomposition of ancient (fossilized)
plants and animals.

Freshwater

Naturally occurring water having a low


concentration of salts. It is generally accepted as
suitable for extraction and treatment to produce
potable water.

Global Warming (greenhouse effect)

Environmental problem caused by pollution.


Global warming potential is defined as the
amount of CO2 (in kg) emitted. Mostly caused as
a result of the burning of fuels, and by emission
of CH4.

Graywater

acceptable temperature and relative humidity.


According to ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, indoor
air quality is defined as air in which there are no
known contaminants at harmful concentrations
as determined by cognizant authorities and
with which a substantial majority (80 percent
or more) of the people exposed do not express
dissatisfaction.

Life Cycle

The consecutive, interlinked stages of a product,


beginning with raw materials acquisition and
manufacture, continuing with its fabrication,
manufacture, construction and use, and concluding
with any of a variety of recovery, recycling or
waste management options.

Non-Renewable Resource

Wastewater that does not contain toilet wastes


and can be reused for irrigation after simple
filtration. Wastewater from kitchen sinks and
dishwashers may not be considered graywater in
all cases.

Resource that exists in a fixed amount (stock)


in various places in the earths crust and has
the potential for renewal only by geological,
physical, and chemical processes taking place
over hundreds of millions to billions of years.
Examples are copper, aluminum, coal and oil.

Green Design

Overall Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Design which
considerations.

focuses

on

environmental

Hazardous Wastes

Wastes with toxic, infectious, radioactive or


flammable properties that pose a substantial
actual or potential hazard to the health of humans
and other living organisms and the environment.

Heat Island

Study of many aspects of a product process,


considering the complete life cycle through a
range of aspects such as the environment, costs
and safety.

Photovoltaic

The generation of electricity from the energy of


sunlight, using photocells.

Quality of Life

The additional heating of the air over a city as the


result of the replacement of vegetated surfaces
with those composed of asphalt, concrete,
rooftops and other man-made materials.

Notion of human welfare (well-being) measured


by social indicators rather than by quantitative
measures of income and production.

Hydrological Cycle

Materials that are capable of being recycled


are typically made of a single component or of
materials that can be separated.

Biogeochemical cycle that collects, purifies and


distributes the earth's fixed supply of water from
the environment to living organisms, and then
back to the environment.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection


Agency (EPA) and National Institute of Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH), the definition of good
indoor air quality includes (1) introduction and
distribution of adequate ventilation air; (2) control
of airborne contaminants; and (3) maintenance of

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Recyclable Materials

Recycling

To collect and/or process waste from a system


that results in a useful application in the same or
in another system.

Glossary

Renewable Energy

Energy resources such as wind power or solar


energy that can keep producing indefinitely
without being depleted.

Resource Efficiency

A term used to describe the efficient use of


materials in design and construction.
For
example, design strategies that reduce material
use or enable materials to be salvaged, reused or
recycled.

Runoff

SDCB 101

Stormwater Management

The process of collecting, storing and treating


rainwater, especially rainwater runoff that occurs in
the first few minutes of a storm event. This initial
rainwater contains the highest concentrations of
contaminants, such as petroleum hydrocarbons or
particles from erosion or other sources.

Sustainability

Sustainability is a state in which interdependent


natural, social and economic systems prosper today
without compromising their future prosperity.

Portion of rainfall, melted snow or irrigation


water that flows across the grounds surface and
is eventually returned to streams. Runoff can
pick up pollutants from air or land and carry them
to receiving waters. Impervious surfaces such
as asphalt, concrete and rooftops significantly
increase runoff in urban areas.

Thermal Mass

Scrubber

Organic compounds that evaporate readily and


contribute to air pollution mainly through the
production of photochemical oxidants.

Air pollution control device that uses a spray of


water or reactant to reduce or remove pollution
from air.

Sedimentation

Settling of matter to the bottom of a liquid or


water body, notably a reservoir.

Sewage

Organic waste and wastewater produced by


residential and commercial establishments.

Sewer

Channel or conduit that carries wastewater,


sewage and storm water from their source to a
treatment plant or receiving stream. A sanitary
sewer conveys household and commercial wastes,
a storm sewer transports rain run off and a
combined sewer is used for both purposes.

Smog

Combination of smoke and fog in which products


of combustion such as hydrocarbons, particulate
matter and oxides of sulphur and nitrogen occur
in concentrations that are harmful to human
beings and other organisms.

Mass in a building (furnishings or structure) that


is used to absorb solar gain during the day and
to release the heat as the space cools in the
evening. Thermal mass can assist in the proper
functioning of passive systems.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Waste

Materials without any positive commercial value


created by an economic process. (Sometimes a
by-product with a low value or one, which makes
only a small contribution to the total revenue,
is also considered as waste). A distinction can
be made between waste that is re-processed in
the economic system with resulting emissions,
and final waste, which is introduced into the
environment.

Watershed

An area of land that, as a result of topography,


drains to a single point or area.

Water Table

Level below which water-saturated soil is


encountered. It is also known as groundwater
surface.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

Bibliography

Bibliography

SDCB 101

Bibliography
Publications
Adams, William Mark. 1990. Green Development: Environment and Sustainability in the Third World.
London: Routlege.
Cole, Raymond J., and Nils Larsson. 1998. "Preliminary Analysis of the GBC Assessment Process."
In Conference Proceedings Green Building Challenge 98. Vol. 2, 251-267. Vancouver, BC:
Natural Resources Canada.
Crosbie, Michael J. 1994. Green Architecture : A Guide to Sustainable Design. Gloucester, MA:
Rockport Publishers.
Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, Statistics Division.
United Nations. New York, NY. Glossary of Environment Statistics. 1997.
Earthscan. Earthscan Publications Ltd. London, UK. New Books. October 2000-April 2001.
Environment Canada, Minister of Public Works and Government Services. Hull, QC. Informing
Environmental Decisions: First steps towards a Canadian Information System for the Environment.
Interim Report of the Task Force on a Canadian Information System for the Environment to the
Minister of Environment. 2001.
Hawken, Paul, Amory B. Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins. 1999. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next
Industrial Revolution. Boston: Little Brown & Co.
Kasian Kennedy Design Partnership (KKDP). 1995. Design Smart: Energy Efficient Architectural
Design Strategies. BC Hydro:Vancouver.
Kincaid, Judith, Cheryl Walker, and Greg Flynn. 1995. WasteSpec: Model Specifications for Constrution
Waste Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling. Research Triangle Park, NC: Triangle J Council of Governments.
Knight, Kevin D. and Bryan J. Boyle. Guidelines for Delivering Effective Air Barrier Systems. 2001. Ottawa:
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Lawson, Bill. 1996. Building Materials Energy and the Environment: Towards Ecologically Sustainable
Development. Manuka, Australia: Royal Australian Institute of Architects.
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Washington, DC. Sustainable Design:
Professional Development Program. 2001
National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. Ottawa, ON. Managing Potentially Toxic
Subtances in Canada. 2001.

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings

SDCB 101

Bibliography

OCofaigh, Eoin, and Eileen Fitzgerald. 1999. A Green Vitruvius: Principles and Practice of Sustainable
Architectural Design. New York. James and James Science Publishers.
Peck, Steven and Monica Kuhn, B.E.S., B.Arch, O.A.A. Design Guidelines for Green Roofs. May 2001.
Ottawa: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Projet de socit: Planning for a Sustainable Future. Ottawa, ON. Canadian Choices for Transitions to
Sustainability. Volume 5, (Revised Draft) 1995.
Rees, William. 1989. Planning for Sustainable Development: A Resource Book. Vancouver, BC.:
Info Vancouver and the UBC Center for Human Settlements.
Rees, William. 1998. The Built Environment and the Ecosphere: A Global Perspective.
Conference Proceedings Green Building Challenge. Vancouver, BC: Natural Resources Canada.
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). Ottawa, ON. Micro, Metro, Global: Architecture and
the Environment. 1994
Steele, James. 1997. Sustainable Architecture: Principles, Paradigms, and Case Studies.
New York: McGraw Hill.
United Nations Environment Programme. Industry and Environment. Cleaner Production Programme.
Paris, France. Life Cycle Assessment: What it is and how to do it.
United Nations Publications. Combating Global Warming: Possible Rules, Regulations and Administrative
Arrangements for a Global Market in CO2 Emission Entitlements.
United Nations Publications. International Source Book on Environmentally Sound Technologies for
Municipal Solid Waste Management.
United Nations Publications. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer:
1998 Report of the Technology and Economics Assessment Panel.
United Nations Publications. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer:
Flexible and Rigid Foams Sourcebook.
United Nations Publications. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer:
Report of the Flexible and Rigid Foams Technical Options Committee 1995 Assessment.
United Nations Publications. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer:
Report of the Halon Fire Extinguishing Agents Technical Options Committee
United Nations Publications. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer: Report of
the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps Technical Options Committee 1995 Assessment.
United Nations Publications. Sourcebook of Alternative Technologies for Freshwater Augmentation.
United Nations Publications. Study on the Potential for Hydrocarbon Replacements in Existing Domestic
and Small Commercial Refrigeration Appliances.
Wines, James, ed. 1997. The Architecture of Ecology. London: Academy Editions.
Zeiher, Laura C. 1996. The Ecology of Architecture. New York: Whitney Library of Design..

SDCB 101 Sustainable Design Fundamentals for Buildings