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Topics: Sustainability
Introduction to Green Buildings and LEED

Introduction to Green Buildings and LEED

1.0- Green Buildings
1.1- Sustainability and Green Buildings
The sustainability and green building applications are considered the most important developments in the engineering sector because of the importance of environmental, social and economic benefits of the sustainability.
Sustainability is defined as The ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs(GBES, 2010, p.2).Green buildings technologies are considered the new practices for sustainability which open for researchers new horizons to create new technologies and applications in construction and operation for buildings .
Green Building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient throughout a building`s life cycle.
(GBES, 2010, p.2)
Green Buildings designed structures that reduce the overall negative impacts of building by using energy, water, land and materials efficiently. Sustainable buildings are better than standard ones, because they use less energy and save money. In addition, they provide better occupant health and comfort (GBES, 2010, p.3).
1.2- Technologies and Techniques of Green Buildings
Sustainable and green buildings were found before creating the idioms for them. In 1900`s , the houses in Arabic region ,especially in Syria , Lebanon and Palestine, had be build to prevent the cold weather to effect on the occupants by making the interior rooms for living and build by local natural materials. Old houses were designed to allow natural light to go inside the house to reduce use the oil or electricity for lighting.
At the end of Twentieth Century, there were many reasons to go with sustainable technologies. These reasons contain economical issues, healthy and environmental ones. Here some of examples for green technologies and Techniques:
1.2.1- Site Selection
Site selection means choose the best location for site and protect it within construction and after occupancy. Site selection will affect on design and the way of work. The team work and Clients must avoid to select prime farm land, wetlands, public parklands, areas below flood plain, and lands close to lakes and reveres(GBES, 2010, p.56-57).
1.2.2- Green Roofs
Green roofs can be used to combat the heat island effect and to help in stormwater management by using plants on the roof. Green Roofs used in Europe for over 30 years (GBES, 2010, p.73).
1.2.3-Dual-flush Toilets
A dual-flush toilets has two buttons, one provide full flush for solid waste, the second provide half flush for liquid waste. This type can reduce using water by 67% cmpared to traditional one (GBES, 2010, p.93).
1.3- Management and Green Buildings
As all projects, green buildings project must be manage by suitable way to get the targets. Forming The team of work is the most important action steps according to the method of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), which is defined Integrated Project Delivery is a project delivery approach that integrates people ,systems ,business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all participants to optimize project results , increase value to the owner ,reduce waste, and maximize efficiency through all phases of design ,fabrication ,and construction. ( AIA IPD Guide, 2007 ,p.2). In many mega projects, the management can form the work team virtually, i.e. the work team will work in virtual environment and in many geographic areas.
Project management for the project which is working of virtual teams, makes it imperative for the project manager in particular practice of all management techniques and social skills in order to achieve compatibility and harmony between members of the team, taking into account the temporal and cultural differences and different experiences among them.
Planning phase in project management is the most important stage ,in my opinion, because it is continuous effort. We must update our project management plan while we are going a head in the project.
The processes of planning required to establish the scope of the project, refine the objectives, and define the course of actions (PMI, 2008, p.39). Planning develop the project management plan and the project documents that will be used to carry out the project (PMI, 2008, p.46). I think the most interesting part in planning is the progressive which called Rolling Wave Planning(PMI, 2008, p.46) because regarding to that we can update our plan when any constrain changes our any change is occurred.
2.0- LEED Rating System
There are many standards for green buildings and sustainable construction like BREAM in UK, and the most famous and international system (LEED) which is released by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
2.1- What is the LEED ?
LEED had created by USGBC and LEED stands for LEADERSHIP in ENERGY and ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN. From 1994 to now, LEED was growing to cover all aspects of the development and construction process (GBES, 2010, p.22).
2.2- LEED Systems
LEED is flexible, and it has different versions depending on the project type like: LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations, LEED for Commercial Interiors, LEED for Existing Buildings: Operation & Maintenance, LEED for Core & Shell, LEED for Homes, LEED for Neighborhood Development, LEED for Schools, LEED for Retail and LEED for Healthcare(GBES, 2010, p.25-26).
Projects can earn multiple certifications like earning LEED New Construction and after that earn Operations & Maintenance one. (GBES, 2010, p.25-26).
3.0- Article Study: The spatial diffusion of green building technologies: The case of LEADERSHIP in ENERGY and ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN(LEED) in the United States.
This article discus the spatial diffusion of green building technologies, and the case which studied was LEED in USA. The article released at International Journal of Technology Management & Sustainable Development, Volume 10 Number 3. The author is Ola Johansson from University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
The article organized in simple and clear way to proceed with the the information. The author started by abstract for the article, then he introduced the green building and sustainable terms. After that he explained (Spatial Diffusion Theory) by using a lot of citations. The background to LEED was very clear and the system for Data collection cleared in separate paragraph, then he started by analyzing.
The analysis is very important section and he submits many types of bar charts and tables. Statistics were arranged in charts for ownership and government categories. The range in years for these statistics was between 2000 and 2008, which considered  in my opinion- the gold age for green buildings.
The author presented his ideas in the conclusion after the analysis, which depended on the data that had been analyzed. He supported his ideas by many evidences and when they were many opinions, he citied by all and support one which he believed the it is right.
The author used, in almost of the article, citing, quoting by Harvard System. For referencing he used mixed ways of that. But in all cases the referencing was benefit and strong.

4.0- References
-Green Building Education Services (GBSE).(2010) LEED Green Associate: Study Guide,GBES[Online]. Available from: (Accessed: 07 August 2012).
-JOHANSSON, OLA. The spatial diffusion of green building technologies: The case of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in the United States. International Journal of Technology Management & Sustainable Development. Dec2011, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p251-266. DOI: 10.1386/tmsd.10.3.251_1.
-Project Management Institute (PMI). (2008) A Guide To The Project Management Body of Knowledge : PMBOK Guide. 4th ed. USA:PMI.
-ProQuest (2004) Scholarly journals, trade publications, and popular magazines [Online]. Available from (Accessed: 14 February 2012).
-The AMERICAN INSTITUTE of ARCHITECTS (AIA).(2007) Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide ,AIA [Online]. Available from : (Accessed: 2 August 2012).
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The sustainability and green building applications are considered the most important developments in the engineering sector because of the importance of environmental, social and economic benefits of the sustainability.

What is your experience with construction of green buildings?

Great insight,

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