<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >


Water usage can be minimized by using low-flow fixtures in restrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. Dual-flush toilets allow for the user to have the option of select less water (e.g. for liquid waste) and more water (e.g. for solid waste) when flushing (See Figure Dual Flush Toilet ). These have long been in use in Europe, the Middle East and other places where water conservation is paramount. Fresh water consumption can be reduced further through the use of greywater    systems. These systems recycle water generated from activities such as hand washing, laundry, bathing, and dishwashing for irrigation of grounds and even for flushing toilets.

Dual-flush Toilet This toilet has two flush controls on the water tank. Pushing only the circular button releases half as much (0.8 gallons, 3 liters) water as pushing the outer button. Source: By Eugenio Hansen, OFS (Own work) [ CC-BY-SA-3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Integrated design

Integrated design is a design process for a building that looks at the whole building, rather than its individual parts, for opportunities to reduce environmental impact. Incremental measures would include those approaches described above. To accomplish integrated design of a building, all parties involved in the design--architects, engineers, the client and other stakeholders--must work together. This collaborative approach results in a more harmonious coordination of the different components of a building such as the site, structure, systems, and ultimate use.

Standards of certification

Most countries establish certain standards to assure consistency, quality and safety in the design and construction of buildings. Green building standards provide guidelines to architects, engineers, building operators and owners that enhance building sustainability. Various green building standards have originated in different countries around the world, with differing goals, review processes and rating. In this section we will discuss a few examples.

A good certification system should be developed with expert feedback. In addition, it should be transparent, measurable, relevant and comparable.

  • Expert-based: Was input acquired from experts and professionals in the fields of design, construction, building operation and sustainability?
  • Transparent: Is information readily available to the public about how buildings are rated?
  • Measurable: Does the rating system use measurable characteristics to demonstrate the extent of sustainable design incorporated into the building? Does the system use life-cycle analysis to evaluate?
  • Relevance: Does the rating system provide a “whole building evaluation” rather than an evaluation of an individual design feature?
  • Comparable: Is the rating system able to compare building types, location, years, or different sustainable design features?
Comparison of Certification Systems Source: Klein-Banai, C.


Year established

Country of origin

Trans- parent


Measurable/ Uses LCA



BREEAM 1990 UK √* -
Green Globes 1996 Canada √/√
LEED 2000 US √/√ V 3.0
CASBEE 2001 Japan √/√
ENERGY STAR 1999 US # Only energy

*Only assessment prediction check lists available publicly

# Benchmarking tool developed by US EPA


The built environment is the largest manifestation of human life on the planet. Buildings have been essential for the survival of the human race, protecting us from the elements and forces of nature. However, they also consume a lot of material, energy and water, and they occupy land that might otherwise be undeveloped or used for agriculture. There are many ways to reduce that impact by building to a higher standard of conservation and reuse. There are a number of systems that can help architects, engineers, and planners to achieve those standards, and they should be selected with a full awareness of their limitations.


Fowler, K.M.&Rauch, E.M. (2008). Assessing green building performance. A post occupancy evaluation of 12 GSA buildings . (U.S. General Services Administration). PNNL-17393 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Richland, Washington. Retrieved from http://www.gsa.gov/graphics/pbs/GSA_Assessing_Green_Full_Report.pdf

Horvath, A. (2004). Construction materials and the environment. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 29 , 181-204.

Humphreys, K.&Mahasenan, M. (2002). Toward a Sustainable Cement Industry. Substudy 8, Climate Change. World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Retrieved from http://www.wbcsd.org/web/publications/batelle-full.pdf

Kats, G., Alevantis, L., Berman, A., Mills, E.&Perlman, J. (2003). The costs and financial benefits of green building: A report to California’s sustainable building task force. Retrieved from http://www.usgbc.org/Docs/News/News477.pdf

Turner, C.&Frankel, M. (2008). Energy performance of LEED for New Construction Buildings, Final Report . Retrieved from http://newbuildings.org/sites/default/files/Energy_Performance_of_LEED-NC_Buildings-Final_3-4-08b.pdf

U.S. Department of Energy. (2011). Energy savers: Furnaces and boilers . Retrieved from http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12530

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (1987). The total exposure assessment methodology (TEAM) study (EPA 600/S6-87/002). Retrieved from http://exposurescience.org/pub/reports/TEAM_Study_book_1987.pdf

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (1998). Characterization of building-related construction and demolition debris in the United States . (Report No. EPA530-R-98-010). Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/wastes/hazard/generation/sqg/cd-rpt.pdf

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2010). Green Building Basic Information. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/pubs/about.htm .

Review questions

What are the positive and negative impacts that buildings have on the environment and society?

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

How can those impacts be reduced?

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

What would be the advantages and disadvantages of demolishing an old building and replacing it with a new, highly “sustainable” building vs. renovating an old building to new standards?

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Questions & Answers

microeconomics study part of the economy but macroeconomic study the whole economy
Olokun Reply
studying the whole economy, solving the problem of the economy and building up the economy
micro means small while macro means large
standard of living is the footsteps of an economy because it plays important role for country to have crucial view about their budget ,import and export
it will be differ because economic agent will only take their views on some part of household
can opportunity cost be zero
OBED Reply
how many types of transportation do we have
yes. when a customer's purchasing power is high, he may have d ability to purchase all he needs, dt makes opportunity cost zero
please can give more explanation on this question
what are the factors production
Labour capital entrepreneurs
Land,capital, labour,and the entrepreneur
I will like to know use of calculus in economics
do they use it in economics?
I want to know if I should take calculus or statistics and probability my senior year of highschool
yes for example in monopolistic competitive market..... TR=TC* & THIS CALCULATED BY CHANGING( DERIVATIVE LAW) MR =MC ** WILL BE THE FORMULA THAT USE.
please in which topic in economic is the question coming from.
from PCF in economics
why is unitary proportional to responsiveness
Etim Reply
any tip for igcse economics exam?pls
Stacey Reply
What is a market
Divine Reply
what are the variables that affect demand
what are the variables that affect demand
what are the variables that affect demand
what are the variables that affect demand
what are the variables that affect demand
price of the related goods 2 price of the given commodity 3 income of the consumer 4 taste and preference 5 expectation in the future price
pls the taste and preference
explain briefly
a consumer taste and preference commodity changes for a time the man becomes
sorry sorry
is when the price of a commodity becomes high and can't afford example Samsung instead of iPhone
consumers who have high intense for goods will purchase the goods even if the price of that commodity increases because he or she preferred that commodity.people will be prefer iphone as its price increase
as usual bad taste of preference is when a consumer regrets from one commodity to another in terms of the price
thanks alot
you're welcome
#Preference; #Income #Test
#price Of Commodity #Income #Taste #Preference
#Market is The Place Where Buyers And Sellers Are Exchanging Their Goods And service. #
difference between macro and micro economics
Microeconomic Study about individual consumers market But Macroeconomis Study General economic Process Such As #Aggregate Demand #Aggregate Supples #GDp= #GNp
nice so can u run down a brife discussion on GDP
pls can someone differentiate between the perfectly elastic, perfectly inelastic and unitary
yhar Reply
and then again pls what are the types of elasticity, the methods of calculating it thank u
Perfectly inelastic is when the coefficient is equal to zero Unitary is when the coefficient is equal to one But am not sure if we have perfectly inelastic
I'm kind off confuse abt the PED, IED and co are they the types of elasticity we've
Yh the types are price elasticity cross and income elasticity of demand
do we've specific formulaes to calculate for each of them
yes. PED. changes in quantity demanded divided by changes in price
so pls what's the general name given to unitary, elastic n inelastic ? are the names given to the final result after doing the calculations?
P2-P1÷P1×100or Q2-Q1×Q1×100 PED
They are elasticity coefficient
@John I don't get u well pls
P2-P1÷P1×100or Q2-Q1×Q1×100 PED @john pls tis is what m talking abt
Yh is the formula for PED
Pls are you having a for PED
thank u very
what is economics
economics is a science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative use
is a science which study human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses
yes this is because economic provide a body of knowledge on human economic principles under theories and these theories can be verified with real world data using science method in other words it was scientific method in arriving at solution identification of problem or basic data collection among
unitary ElasticWhen Elasticty =1 Perfectily Elastic When 0<1 inelastic when 0>
Pls is anyone having the NovDec questions?
John Reply
what is micro economics
Rakesh Reply
What is PPF
Production Possibility Frontier
It refers to a curve or graph which shows the possible contributions of maximum alternative of commodity that can be produced in an economy
Thanks John talkx of defination pls
I don't get you
guys Any One With Novdec Questions 2019?
Diana Reply
what did Adam Smith introduce?
Sunday Reply
what is supply
Awunyo Reply
supply relationship shows that the higher the price, the higher the quantity supplied. 
what are the dissadvantages of large scale production
Atanga Reply
depreciate of quality taste
Some of the Disadvantages are:- 1. Production not according to individual Tastes 2. Monopoly 3. Not Flexible 4. Over-Production 5. Heavy loss and Dislocation 6. Decline of Cottage and Small Scale Industries 7. Adverse Effect on Labourers 8. Unequal Distribution of Wealth
And what can be the advantages too
1.adequate satisfaction 2.reduce importation
Reduce importation how pls
the country will have enough products.this will reduce the level of government expenditure on imported goods especially
Some of Advantage 1. Division of Labour 2. More Production 3. Use of machines 4. Low Cost of Production 5. Standard Goods 6. Advertisements and Salesmanship
Some of its disadvantages are : (i) Less Supervision (ii) Individual tastes ignored (iii) Absence of Personal Element (iv) Possibility of depression (v) Dependence on Foreign Markets (vi) International complications and war (vii) Cut-throat Competition (viii) Less Adaptability
what are the types of trade cycle
Kenny Reply
in a comparison of the stages of meiosis to the stage of mitosis, which stages are unique to meiosis and which stages have the same event in botg meiosis and mitosis
Leah Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply
Practice Key Terms 5

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Sustainability: a comprehensive foundation. OpenStax CNX. Nov 11, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11325/1.43
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Sustainability: a comprehensive foundation' conversation and receive update notifications?