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Review article

Sustainable Development and Green Buildings

Arijit Sinha ; Department of Wood Science and Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Rakesh Gupta ; Department of Wood Science and Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Andreja Kutnar ; Andrej Marušič Institute, University of Primorska, Koper and at ILTRA d.o.o., Ljubljana, Slovenia

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page 45-53

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Global sustainability goals have led to the development of the green building movement. The Green Building Program, stemming from the movement, has had unprecedented success as it provides a quantifiable metric to people’s efforts towards sustainable development. Sustainable development and green buildings are often used interchangeably. Although, sustainable development and green buildings are related, they are not the same. This paper provides an overview of how green building relates to sustainable development practices. Sustainability also governs decisions concerning building materials. A comprehensive explanation of what constitutes a green building material is discussed and how renewable material like wood fare in the deciding criteria. There are many green building rating systems in place. United States Green Building Council administered Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) is the global market leader in the rating systems. LEED is a commendable and grand effort in moving towards sustainable development by converting the built environment green. However, it does have certain pitfalls and challenges. Some of these challenges are with respect to policies on material selection and performance monitoring. The materials used in a project are considered at a common starting point and no consideration is given to the life cycle performance of the material. Statements concerning sustainability require validation, and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is a tool that can provide such validity. This paper presents how beneficial it can be, when included, in the bigger scheme of green building rating systems and introduces an integrated design concept for green buildings.


LEED; life cycle analysis; wood

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