Building Green

Enhancing healthy living and green building construction through sustainable and renewable materials
This course is no longer active
[ Page 1 of 6 ]  Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 next page
Sponsored by Cavawood Architectural Products, Columbia Green Technologies, Eldorado Stone, and Tournesol Siteworks
Elena M. Pascarella, PLA, ASLA

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the benefits that may be obtained through the use of materials derived from renewable resources.
  2. Identify renewable woods that can be used as alternatives to non-renewable South American Hardwoods, which are harvested from rainforests.
  3. Discuss the benefits of green roof systems.
  4. Identify the sustainable aspects of using manufactured stone veneers.


1 GBCI CE Hour

Green buildings are sustainable through a multifaceted approach that reduces environmental impacts and enhances healthy living. Green buildings use materials and components that are readily available, environmentally friendly, and that do not burden the environment by draining natural resources. Green buildings are energy efficient and minimize their carbon footprint by using locally available materials as much as possible.

Historically, buildings were constructed from locally and readily available materials. In the Southwest, the Anasazi sited their villages and built their homes into the local rock cliffs and oriented villages so that all of the dwellings received the benefit of naturally available solar heat. Early New England settlers used locally available stone and wood to construct dwellings and barns, and the local stone was used in the construction of the many stone walls that penned farm animals—walls that still crisscross the New England countryside.

The 20th century's green building movement arose out of the need for more energy-efficient buildings and a desire for more environmentally focused construction practices. Oil price increases in the 1970s spurred improvements in energy-efficient design and construction and the use of renewable material resources as well as renewable energy resources.

Green buildings use a number of approaches towards achieving sustainability including:

• Using sustainable and renewable resources and materials in their construction

• Using landscaping to reduce energy consumption and manage stormwater effectively

• Creating healthy living environments by minimizing the use of toxic materials and chemicals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides basic information on Green Building at their website The EPA website states that:

“Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:

• Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources,

• Protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity,

• Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation.”

The green roof at Horizon House Retirement Community

The green roof at Horizon House Retirement Community

Photo courtesy of The Berger Partnership, Landscape Architects


[ Page 1 of 6 ]  Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 next page
Originally published in Architectural Record
Originally published in February 2014


Building Green
Buyer's Guide
Alaskan Yellow Cedar Wood Poles
Enhance your landscape design with the natural elegance of Cavawood wood poles, made with Alaskan Yellow Cedar, which is naturally resistance to decay and insects without the use of chemical preservatives. And wood is a renewable, energy-wise alternative to metal poles.
Cavawood Architectural Products
Green Roof Solutions
Columbia Green Technologies offers green roof solutions engineered to meet the unique challenges of the rooftop growing environment. Designers appreciate the flexibility to use trays or multilayer assemblies, as the project requirements dictate. Building owners love the single-source "Roof to Green Roof" warranty options provided through Columbia Green's roofing partners.
Columbia Green Technologies
Rustic Ledge
Eldorado's Sequoia Rustic Ledge is a textured and layered full-scale ledge stone with long dimensional stones. Split along parallel planes, the stones possess distinctive textural foliation and pronounced rock cleavage. Stone sizes range from 1 to 4.5 inches in height and 6 to 20 in. in length with an average of 3 in. by 15 in.
Eldorado Stone
Thermally Modified Wood
Boulevard thermally modified wood is a domestic alternative to imported South American hardwoods. The FSC-certified red oak has 25+ year untreated durability, extreme resistance to rot and decay, and minimal twisting and warping. Featured in wood benches and tables, and as structural deck tiles and decking.