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Introduction to Green Buildings & LEED Defining Sustainability United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development “Development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Defining Green Buildings

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defining sustainability
Defining Sustainability
  • United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development
    • “Development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
defining green buildings
Defining Green Buildings
  • Design and construction practices that significantly reduce, or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and its occupants with regard to site planning; safeguarding water use and water use efficiency; promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy; conserving materials and resources; and promoting indoor environmental quality.” (US Green Building Council)
construction impacts
Construction Impacts
  • 76 million residential buildings in US
  • 5 million commercial buildings in US
  • consume 40 % or raw materials
  • 32% total energy produced
  • 17% fresh water
  • 25% global wood harvest
  • 5 billion gals water/day just for toilets
  • generates
    • 25-40% of municipal solid waste from C&D
    • 50% of US CFC production
    • 30% of US CO2 production
building operations impacts
Building Operations Impacts
  • 49% of Sulfur Dioxide emissions
  • 25% nitrous oxide emissions
  • 10% of all particulate matter
  • 1/3 of all energy consumption in US
  • 2/3 of all electricity consumption in US
  • disturbs natural habitats
  • contaminates air, soil, and water
  • depletes non-renewable resources
  • ½ of greenhouse gases
  • 35% of carbon dioxide emissions
  • community issues
  • occupant issues
        • sources: “The Architecture of Sustainability, 2002”, World Watch Institute, USGBC
key issues and benefits

Building Commissioning

Air Quality

Occupants productivity and well being

Energy Conservation

Water Conservation

Storm Water Management

Waste Management

Local & State Standards & Programs

Green ethics / commitment

Research and Grant opportunities

Being a leader (as it should)

Responsibility to show importance

Competitive advantage (ie – recruiting)

Institutional community demand

Great public relations

Key Issues and Benefits
overall financial benefits



Reduced Waste

Improved Indoor Environmental Quality

Greater Employee Comfort/Productivity

Reduced Employee Health Costs

Lower Operation and Maintenance Costs

Competitive First Costs

Through integrated design & synergies

Increased Value & ROI

Marketing Advantage

Reduced Liability

Improve Risk Management

Insurance costs

Overall Financial Benefits
overall financial benefits8
Overall Financial Benefits
  • Financial Benefits of a Green Building equate to $50-$70 SF over lifetime
  • Over 10X return on any premium cost associated with building it over lifetime

Source: USGBC

air quality
Air Quality
  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) – effect the contents of the inside air has on a structure and its occupants
  • People spend 90% of their time indoors
  • Indoor air has 10-100X higher pollutants than outdoor air
          • USEPA “Indoor Air Quality” Jan, 6 2003
energy conservation
Energy Conservation
  • US uses 25% of world energy but only has 5% of population & 95% of our energy is from fossil fuels (US Energy Information Administration)
  • Higher Education - $2 Billion/year on energy

(American School & University)

  • Most can reduce by up to 30% - savings can be used on:
    • New faculty
    • Upgrades/renovations for more savings
    • New programs
water conservation
Water Conservation
  • USA uses 340 billion gallons of fresh water per day
  • Nearly 65% is discharged into waterways
  • Energy Policy Act of 1992
  • Facilities can easily reduce use by 20-30% with little cost and effort
  • Water & Sewer Bills
  • Connection Fees & Tax Base
occupants well being and productivity
Occupants Well Being and Productivity
  • Relationship exists between worker comfort/productivity and building design/operation
  • Hidden sick days – higher absenteeism, respiratory ailments, allergies, asthma = lower productivity, higher insurance and medical costs
  • A 1% increase in productivity (about 5 minutes per day) equals $600-700 per employee per year - a ^1.5% equals about $1,000/yr
          • (Katz 2003 study)
mythology about first costs
Mythology About First Costs
  • Common Perception when we started was +20-30%
  • Past & Current Trend
  • Recent Studies
    • Average Premium <2% or $3-$5 SF
    • Most of cost associated with increased architectural and engineering design, time, modeling and integration time
    • Earlier you integrate the lower the cost
mythology about first costs14
Mythology About First Costs
  • Source: USGBC, Capital E Analysis
mythology about first costs15
Mythology About First Costs
  • Another recent study has shown the following average increase in project construction costs, on a percentage basis for LEED certification.
    • Certified 0 – 2.5%
    • Silver 0 – 3.3%
    • Gold 0.3 – 5.0%
    • Platinum 4.5 – 8.5%
  • Start Early – Save Costs
          • Source: Sasaki Associates 2004
mythology about first costs16
Mythology About First Costs
  • Building green can be done for no additional cost
  • Initial premium costs are entirely up to you and project specific
  • LEED buildings average only a 2-3% increase in costs, but can be done for the same budget as traditional buildings with planning
  • Savings from green building’s more than return any premium you may choose to put into it
  • Design Fees will be higher but construction costs may be reduced
  • Set Budget first then work fees within framework
general mythologies
General Mythologies
  • Appearance of Green Buildings
    • You design it to look how you want. It can easily match traditional campus design or not.
    • Carpet, furniture and windows do not have to look different. They can look like traditional ones only they perform better and are healthier.
    • Does not need to be high tech to be green.
  • Time
    • Green Buildings take the same amount of time to construct as regular buildings. More time may be required in the Design phase though.
  • Costs
    • Green Buildings do not have to cost more. With planning they can be built at the same price or less.
    • Design fees may be higher in the beginning of the project but the extra design work will lower the actual construction costs. In the end the building costs the same and fits in the traditional budget.
      • Normal: 2 + 2 = 4
      • Green: 3 + 1 = 4
    • Long term maintenance and operations costs can be reduced by 20 – 50% with good planning.
green buildings at usc
West Quad Residence Hall & Learning Center

School of Public Health

Library Rare Books Collection & Modern Political Wings

Law School

New Honors College

Gamma Phi Beta Sorority

New Student Health Center

Baseball Stadium

Horizon Buildings

Biomedical Buildings

Arnold II

Band/Dance Building


Green Buildings at USC
west quad20
$30.9M project cost - $25M const. cost

177,000 SF - $141.24/sf


502 bed spaces – 4 buildings

Residential, office, academic & retail spaces

Goal of LEED Silver – Achieved

Reduced Construction & Change Order Costs

45%-55% More Energy Efficient = over $50,000 savings annually

20% more Water Efficient = $ 3900+ savings annually

Residents comment on improved health and productivity

West Quad
west quad at usc
West Quad at USC
  • Selected “Green” Project Particulars
    • Designed to be 40% more energy efficient and to use 20% less water
    • “Green” roof on Learning Center
    • Fuel Cell for supplemental electricity & hot water
    • Solar pre-heating for domestic hot water
    • Low VOC paints and carpets & 100% Fresh Air
    • Daylighting in all buildings
      • Building orientation
      • Light shelves for shading and natural lighting on southern exposures
      • Light wells on Learning Center
    • “Green” board in case good furnishings
    • Total storm water management integration
us green building council usgbc

US Green Building Council (USGBC)

Leadership in Energy

& Environmental Design



to promote the design and construction of buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work.

The organization’s activities…

  • Integrate building industry sectors
  • Lead market transformation
  • Educate owners and practitioners
USGBC is...
  • A national nonprofit organization
  • A diverse membership of organizations
  • Consensus-driven
  • Committee-based product development
  • Developer and administrator of the LEED® Green Building Rating System
what is green design
What is “Green” Design?

Design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and occupants in five broad areas:

  • Sustainable site planning
  • Safeguarding water and water efficiency
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • Conservation of materials and resources
  • Indoor environmental quality

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design®

A leading-edge system for designing, constructing, operating and certifying the world’s greenest buildings.


Why Was LEED®Created?

  • Use as a design guideline
  • Recognize leaders
  • Stimulate green competition
  • Establish market value with recognizable national “brand”
  • Raise consumer awareness
  • Transform the marketplace!

Why Was LEED®Created?

  • Facilitate positive results for the environment, occupant health and financial return
  • Define “green” by providing a standard for measurement
  • Prevent “greenwashing” (false or exaggerated claims)
  • Promote whole-building, integrated design processes
leed nc market transformation
LEED-NC® Market Transformation
  • Registered Projects by State - Top 10

As of 05.02.05

All statistics exclude pilot projects

leed nc market transformation31
LEED-NC® Market Transformation

Registered Projects by State - Top 10

Where does the Southeast stand?

  • Georgia – 62
  • South Carolina - 56
  • North Carolina – 42
leed nc point distribution
LEED-NC® Point Distribution

Five LEED credit categories

  • – US Green Building Council
  • Extensive Resource List
  • The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design
  • - bookstore
  • – ISO 14001 EMS
  • - EPA’s EMS site
  • – US – US EPA
  • - West Quad Handbook
  • - Sustainable Universities Initiative (SUI)
  • – Environmental Building News
  • – Environmental Design & Construction
  • – Green Building Alliance
  • - Earth Craft Homes
  • – Green Globes
contact info
Contact Info

Michael Koman Dr. Gene Luna

Environmental Programs Manager Associate Vice President

1215 Blossom Street for Student Affairs

Columbia, SC 29208 1215 Blossom St

Columbia, SC 29208