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Evidence abounds that population growth and associated development are radically affecting the ecological balance of our planet. Buildings contribute substantially to the depletion of our planet's resources and the reduction of quality of our environment. For example, the largest proportion of the total greenhouse gas emissions arising from fossil fuel combustion in Australia are attributable to energy consumption for manufacture of building materials plus the heating and cooling in buildings. (Refer State of the Environment [SOE] report 2001 at Environment Australia or numerous other current reports )
Architecture is well placed to influence the built environment through applications of energy efficient and responsible design principles. By combining efforts with the construction industry, urban and landscape planners, and related research communities, opportunities exist to develop and harness processes and materials which will significantly reduce our impact on the environment.
Practical strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions include comparing materials and components, construction systems and products, energy/water saving features and devices, and includes industry strategies applicable to various building life cycle phases.
Whilst the larger issues of pollution and energy consumption of industry and agribusiness are more challenging to address, simple actions in our homes can assist with reduced energy consumption, such as installing pelmets to windows over heavy curtains, draft excluders to external doors, insulation in the roof space, and use of energy and water saving devices are a good start to changing our resources consumption habits plus systematically update and revise current best green practice.

Passive Design Strategies
Passive design is about taking advantage of natural energy flows to maintain thermal comfort. This can be placement of the building to harness the sun's warmth in winter and catching the cooling breezes during summer, sheltering it from driven rain and buffeting winds. It is also about using the appropriate building materials for the location and landscaping.

Life Cycle Strategies
Every product goes through a series of stages, know as its life cycle. These stages generally include material extraction, manufacture of product, packaging and distribution, product use, and disposal of the product. By designing for adaptability and extended use, disassembly, recyclability, and standardisation of components, designers can minimise impact on the built environment.
Ecologically Sustainable Development
Environmental Impact and Whole of Life Cost

Material selection
Selection of materials used in the design of buildings can make a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emission by choosing environmentally preferable products. EcoSpecifier is a database set up to help architects, designers, builders and specifiers shortcut the materials sourcing process. Ecospecifier is a joint initiative of the Centre for Design at RMIT, EcoRecycle Victoria and the Society for Responsible Design.

USA reference : A developing resource with case histories, links and materials catalogue.
Further topics include: Technological Strategies, Renewable Energy/Co-generation, Energy smart appliances, Lighting technologies, Water technologies of conservation and reuse, Integrated Heating/Cooling Systems. (Links to follow soon)

Assessing green design
Materials assessment: CSIRO Built Environment
Life Cycle Assessment. See web & The Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society
Latest Awards for Sustainable Construction

Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) on sustainability
AIA Sustainable Design Strategies
Energy modelling tools from the Rocky Mountain Institute
Thanks to Ingrid Pearson and Josephine Vaughan for their original contributions for above and later editors, researchers, assistants for the balance.(06dec10)

Rating schemes: INTERNATIONAL
BRE UK Environmental assessment of buildings,
LEED USA : Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
Rating schemes: AUSTRALIAN
AccuRate (software) :: The use of simulation software to rate residential buildings in Australia began in the early 1990s with the the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) - a joint Federal, State and Territory Government initiative. A CSIRO team, led by now retired researcher, Dr Angelo Delsante, was asked to develop software that could calculate annual totals of hourly heating and cooling energy requirements for residential buildings. AccuRate is the second generation of residential energy rating software for Australia from CSIRO, and overcomes many limitations of previous software.
BASIX for the state of NSW, ensures new homes are designed and built to use less potable water and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. An online tool where users select from a range of options in order to meet the energy and water reduction targets for residential dwellings, villas, townhouses and low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise developments.
SEDA Green Building Rating Scheme
Building Commission, Victoria : Building Energy Measures. Proposed energy-efficiency measures for commercial and public buildings are expected to be introduced into the Building Code of Australia (BCA) 2006, from 1 May 2006. see and Download the Fact Sheet
Tilted, zero energy house. In a continued effort to produce ecologically conscious structures, the research center on zero emission buildings and design office Snohetta developed this pilot house. The dwelling also serves as a platform for assisting knowledge of 'plus houses', which produce more energy than they use. via designboom web :: Norway / Global relevance. Zero net energy house link

The coolest buildings arenít green | Bryn Davidson | TEDx talk Consider the location along with the before and after aspects of your building design to better reflect and reduce greenhouse gas emissions impact. web :: Vancouver, Canada with Global relevance. Nov 2014 Passive Haus TEDx talk link

Illawarra Flame retrofit wins, Internationally! Transforming a 'fibro' into a sustainable 21st C net-zero energy home. With aims to to inspire Australian homeowners and the local and national building industry, and to accelerate the development and adoption of advanced building energy technology in new and existing homes. This is a great start web :: Wollongong, Australia 2013 illawarra flame retrofit greener Home link

Print 'inHouse' ! :: Designers (short) Guide 1.'Be lazy like a fox'. Avoid solving problems from scratch, adapt & credit 2. Design for low-cost, low-carbon & fully recyclable or biodegradable 3. Design assembly for minimal formal skills & without power tools 4. Make habitable year-round, & as efficient as possible 5. Design for maximum safety, security & health 6. Design for climate, culture, economy & legal / planning (local + known) 7. Share your work 8."It is easier to ship recipes than product" 9. Design to dismantle 10. Design for mistakes, make it impossible to get wrong or won't matter if they do. Wikihouse :: 2012
wikihouse link Wikihouse How To link

Recent Green Awards and Articles ::
Mainstreaming green homes :: You may be forgiven for assuming that green building design was all pervasive, and dominated the architectural scene as the indicators appear to be there. For example, 2012 is the Green Building Council of Australia's 10th birthday. Over this time they've registered 530 Green Star projects, signed up 850 member companies and accredited 4,500 building professionals. When Ecospecifer started out as a joint project between RMIT and the SRD ... full article
wikihouse link

Australian green building Finalists for 2012 BPN Sustainability Awards pics and articles at BPN
Several great examples in architecture and design for the built environment here pics and articles.

Indesign sustainability articles link
ARTICLES / SUSTAINABILITY Latest products, people, projects and news on sustainable design and architecture practice ...

Indesign sustainability articles link
Green Award 2009 :: Moorabbin Justice Centre in Victoria, Australia was awarded the Outstanding Sustainable Building Award in the S.E. Asia awards. Recognising architectural and design excellence addressing everything from urban design to community improvement and landscaping and environmental issues. In close collaboration with engineers Umow Lai, the building, opened in Novermber 2007, was the first in Melbourne to use a 'night sky cooling system', which collects rainwater, cools it at night and is used the next day in the building's mechanical systems. Images by Mark Munro Source: : SE Asia
Fires again. Time for an overdue rethink on building standards ...
climate for change 08 PIA  pic With forest fires regularly threatening many homes around Los Angeles, and larger areas experiencing longer droughts, alternative models for housing are looking to be better alternatives. Professors Don and Ann Cottrell for thirty years have lived in the earth-integrated, zero-energy house that they designed and built into a hillside near San Diego State University. Inspired by ... 2009 Source story Metropolis Really Integrated Design By Julia Galef : USA
More good links
:: DESIGN TECHNICAL MANUAL : Australian guide to environmentally sustainable homes :
:: YOUR BUILDING : A portal to advice on greening the performance of commercial property for building investors, designers, managers and occupants plus ideas and 'know how'.
:: LOW IMPACT HOUSING Database of low energy, low environmental impact housing, particularly high performance homes at northern latitudes relevant to Canadian climates :
:: GREEN BUILDING INFORMATION a resource center developed by and the US Green Building Council launched in 2004.
:: US GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL and LEED : American resource promoting buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.
:: IISBE - International Initiative for Sustainable Built Environment :
:: SBIS - The Sustainable Building Information System :

:: A great source of RELIEF and CRISIS DESIGN in building / architecture is at Architecture for Humanity with links at
:: Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota has a good selection of information in several research topic including. *Guidelines & Ratings Systems *Housing * LCA * Design for Community Resilience *Building Evaluation

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