samedi 3 mars 2012

Environmental Sustainability

Sustainable construction is defined as "the creation and responsible management of a healthy built environment based on resource efficient and ecological principles". 

Sustainably designed buildings aim to lessen their impact on our environment through energy and resource efficiency. 
It includes the following principles:
-minimising non-renewable resource consumption
-enhancing the natural environment
-eliminating or minimising the use of toxins
Accordning to an OECD Project, "Sustainable building" can be defined as those buildings that have minimum adverse impacts on the built and natural environment, in terms of the buildings themselves, their immediate surroundings and the broader regional and global setting. "Sustainable building" may be defined as building practices, which strive for integral quality (including economic, social and
environmental performance) in a very broad way. 
Thus, the rational use of natural resources and appropriate management of the building stock will contribute to saving scarce resources, reducing energy consumption (energy conservation), and improving environmental quality.
Sustainable building involves considering the entire life cycle of buildings, taking environmental quality,
functional quality and future values into account. In the past, attention has been primarily focused on the size of the building stock in many countries. 
Quality issues have hardly played a significant role.
However, in strict quantity terms, the building and housing market is now saturated in most countries, and the demand for quality is growing in importance. 
Accordingly, policies that contribute to the sustainability of building practices should be implemented, with recognition of the importance of existing market conditions. 
Both the environmental initiatives of the construction sector and the demands of users are key factors in the market. Governments will be able to give a considerable impulse to sustainable buildings by encouraging these developments. 
The OECD project has identified five objectives for sustainable buildings:
-Resource Efficiency
-Energy Efficiency (including Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction)
-Pollution Prevention (including Indoor Air Quality and Noise Abatement)
-Harmonisation with Environment (including Environmental Assessment)
-Integrated and Systemic Approaches (including Environmental Management System)

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