Green Buildings Pay, Design, Productivity and Ecology


This is the third edition of this text, and this edition has a new subtitle, “Design and ecology”, which provides an emphasis on the business and ecological benefits of green building. The authors are Brian Edwards, Emeritus Professor of Architecture at Edinburgh College of Arts within the University of Edinburgh, and Emanuele Naboni who is an Associate Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Architecture. There are a number of other contributors to the text, most of whom are practising architects in Europe. There is an obvious focus on building design and architectural merit given the background of the authors, but this is balanced with economic and business management aspects of procuring and operating sustainable buildings.

The book is presented in six parts: Part One, The Greening of the Property Industry, presents a sound analysis of the economic and social benefits of green buildings. It discusses the necessary balance between energy conservation and the design of healthy and productive workplaces. The financial case for green building is presented in the last sub-section, but this is limited to discussing research undertaken by Greg Kats from Capital E, a clean energy technology firm in the USA. The research analysed just 33 LEED certified buildings in the USA to demonstrate the financial advantages offered by these buildings. It is a little disappointing from a property management perspective that more rigorous financial analysis to support the business case for building green is not presented.

Part Two, The Greening of Architectural Practice commences with an analysis of the role the green certification bodies play in influencing green design. Focusing on LEED and BREEAM, the authors conclude that these tools have had a significant beneficial influence on the adoption of life-cycle assessment of buildings and a long-term approach to the procurement and occupation of buildings. There is a reasonably comprehensive review of these rating tools and the categories they target within a sustainable building. The next section of Part Two explores some of the current research into new tools for building evaluation and environmental simulation modelling. The case for adoption of these new techniques is presented with some practical examples being provided. This is followed by a subsection dedicated to reviewing new approaches to office design. Through a series of case studies some of the major elements of office design are presented, including a number of different internal fit-out designs together with facades and atriums attributes and their role in providing natural light and visual amenity.

Part Three presents a series of case studies drawn from the USA, Canada, and the UK. These LEED and BREEAM certified developments have been selected to showcase some of the innovative design approaches being utilised to attain a high level of sustainability. Attributes discussed include the use of natural ventilation, energy conservation, daylight, and sustainable materials including recycled concrete.

Part Four is a further presentation of practical case study buildings, drawing this time from educational buildings in the North America and Europe while Part Five presents case study buildings in China and the Gulf Region. The use of extensive case study examples drawn from a number of regions and from a range of building types helps to highlight some of the best examples of green building. These examples are particularly useful for property managers as they illustrate buildings and green techniques that have been built and on completion found to be good examples of best practice.

The final Part Six of the text provides some concluding remarks and draws together what the authors consider to be the some of the very best examples of sustainable building and workplace design presented in the case studies. It discusses how these designs and building techniques can be employed in other buildings to lift the quality of green building practice globally.

This is an interesting book which provides some excellent case studies of some of the best examples of green building from North America and Europe. It is supported with good quality photos and diagrams to illustrate some of the key building design elements. It is, however, primarily an architectural text and, as such, has a very strong design focus with very little financial analysis of the upfront or ongoing cost implications of the various design solutions presented. Thus, from a property management viewpoint, it lacks some of the practical in use analysis we might expect. That said, it is still an interesting text which is easy to read and provides some valuable examples of good green building design around the world. These world best practice examples will allow property managers to evaluate the benefits of perhaps adopting some of the techniques into their own buildings.

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