الاثنين، يناير 15، 2007

العالم الإسلامي وتحديات التنمية المستدامة

العالم الإسلامي وتحديات التنمية المستدامة

مقدمة

ازداد الاهتمام بقضايا البيئة، ومشكلاتها في الوقت الحاضر، بعد أن نمت مهارة الإنسان، أكثر مما نمت لديه الحكمة والعقلانية، وبعد أن أصبحت المشكلات البيئية واقعاً يتهدد حياة الإنسان حالياً ومستقبلاً، ما لم يتدارك ويعدل من سلوكه الخاطىء بفطنة وذكاء.
ومن المسلم به أن الإنسان لو التزم بتوجيهات الإسلام، ونفذ أوامره واجتنب نواهيه، لتخلص من كل أسباب المشكلات البيئية، ولانتفت من الوجود، ذلك، أن اللَّه سبحانه وتعالى خالق النفس البشرية، يعلم ما يصلح أمرها، وكذلك مايضرُ بها، ويوردها المهالك، وصدق اللَّه العظيم، إذ يقول في كتابة الكريم { ألاَ يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوََ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِير }. (سورة الملك، آية :14 ).
ولقد عالج الإسلام كل قضايا البيئة، بنظرة شمولية متكاملة، دون الدخول في التفاصيل الدقيقة، وصدق اللَّه العظيم، إذا يقول في كتابة الكريم { مَا فرطنا فِي الكِتَابِ مِن شَيْء } (سورة الانعام، آية : 38).
وقوله سبحانه وتعالى في سورة أخرى { ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَى شَرِيعَةٍ مَنَ الأَمْرِ فَاتبِعْهَا } ( سورة الجاثية، آية :18).
كذلك عالجت السنة النبوية متمثلةً فى أحاديث الرسول، صلى الله عليه وسلم، ماجاء، مجملاً في القرآن الكريم، وصدق اللَّه العظيم، إذا يقول { وَمَا ينطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى، إنْ هُوَ إلاَّ وَحْيّ يُوحَى } ( سورة النجم، الآيتان : 3 و4).
  • وتشتمل الدراسة على أربعة فصول :

الفصل الأول : ويناقش مفهوم البيئة ومكوناتها من وجهة نظر إسلامية، كما وردت في القرآن الكريم والحديث الشريف، بطريقة إجمالية أو تفصيلية.

الفصل الثاني : ويتعرض لمفهوم التنمية المستدامة، والظروف التي أدت إليها، وتعريفها، ومقوماتها، وضوابطها بالنسبة للنظم البيئية الطبيعية، وبالنسبة للمحيط الاجتماعي.

الفصل الثالث : ويفسر أسس ومقومات التنمية المستدامة من المنظور الإسلامي، ثم بعد ذلك تعريفها.

الفصل الرابع: ويحلل بعض المعوقات الأساس للتنمية المستدامة، ومطالب دول العالم الإسلامي من قمة التنمية المستدامة العالمية.

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الجمعة، ديسمبر 23، 2005

Green Building Basics


Green Building Basics
Bosted By : Sayed Marey


Green Building: Builders, Consumers and Realtors -- PrimerV 5.6 ©1996-2005; Building Environmental Science and Technology (B.E.S.T)

Table of Contents
Overview: Resource Efficient Buildings
Green Buildings are really resource efficient buildings and are very energy efficient, utilize construction materials wisely -- including recycled, renewable, and reused resources to the maximum extent practical -- are designed, constructed and commissioned to ensure they are healthy for their occupants, are typically more comfortable and easier to live with due to lower operating and owning costs, and are good for the planet. The overall environmental impact of new building and community development and the choices made when we either reuse or demolish existing structures is very important.


Hundreds of professional home builders have learned how to make their products better for the environment over the last 25 years, and consumers are now able to find better environmental value when they shop for a new home, or conduct a remodeling project. This information should help you learn more about what to look for in a home that is more environmentally sensitive. If you are a builder unfamiliar with the simple approach to green building, this material should give you a starting point for further exploration of the topic, and a better ability to ask the right questions.


The author of this material is Bion Howard. An environmental scientist, and former home builder, Howard has over 25 years of experience in conducting research and information programs aimed at creating better buildings and developments that have lower environmental impacts. This article was developed originally for the US Green Building Council, as a result of work done for ASTM, US EPA Energy Star Homes, EEBA, and The Alliance to Save Energy. Howard is currently a member of US GBC technical advisory groups developing the Energy and Atmosphere criteria for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Programs.
Link to: Bion Howard, Qualifications
Top


Table of Contents: Green Building Primer
Overview (up) What is Sustainability? Higher Environmental Performance Why Buy A Green Home? Basics of Green Homes and Communities Pollution Graphic (US) Green Buildings are Energy Efficient Water Efficiency is Important Green Homes are Healthy Indoors Respect for the Site Reduce, Reuse, Renewable and Recycled: Green Building Watchwords Basic Specs and Programs Ties to Community Green Building Guide Contact B. E. S. T.
Scope of this Document
The overall term of art for this area is "green building" and the use of environmentally sensitive planning, design, specification, labor management, construction, and commissioning processes and technologies results in a holistic building strategy that should result in more sustainable communities, and we hope some day -- the reversal of many of the negative impacts of development upon the planet.
Contents
What is Sustainability?
The term "sustainable" is bandied about with great elan these days; so what does it mean?
Paraphrased from a United Nations Environmental Programme Document: '... meeting the needs of people today without destroying the resources that will be needed ... by persons in the future; based on long range planning and the recognition of the finite nature of natural resources...'
In the definition, there is no exclusivity of human-kind, and therefore in broad terms it can represent the protection of resources utilized by all living organisms on the planet. This meaning while broad, does not exclude humanity from utilizing natural resources, whether renewable or fixed, but rather calls for more effective management of our resource utilization so as not to harm the planet or future possible users or uses of our resources.
The concept of "spaceship Earth" comes into play, if one recognizes the potentially finite nature of non-renewable resources -- such as petroleum, coal, nuclear ores, and to be sure potable water. There is just so much of certain kinds of "stuff" (...after Coach John Madden...) that it must be better protected and utilized with more vision. Wealthy developed nations will need to come to terms with developing countries where remaining stocks of such raw materials are located, and in turn the developing world may act to put greater demand upon already strained supplies and utilization methods. This statement applies to our homes, housing developments, communities, cities, and regions and helps the environment at all levels when successfully implemented. We clearly have a ways to go as a society to meeting the intent of this definition. Our homes can be an important tool in making the developed part of the environment, now strongly intertwined with the natural environment, more healthy and less damaging to future generations well being. Environmentally sensitive development at all levels -- housing, commercial, institutional, infrastructure -- appears to be a very promising approach to help achieve sustainability in these terms. Humanity shares a common need for affordable, healthy, durable, comfortable housing and workspaces designed and built to maintain or uplift the human condition. Unfortunately, as a general criteria, this does not yet frequently occur as a rule throughout the World.
Some corporate leaders - such as 3M, Dupont, Amoco, Carrier, Trane, and others -- have begun in earnest to recognize the market value of environmentally sound products and manufacturing approaches. Over the next 10 to 20 years, accelerated movement toward a more sustainable economy and infrastructure will be needed, to head off environmental problems such as global climate change, enlargement of the Ozone "hole," possible food-chain disruption and depletion of ocean fisheries, top-soil depletion and erosion, desertification, and ground water contamination.
Contents
Higher Environmental Performance
A "green" building is a much better product. For example, your new or remodeled green home is more comfortable, keeps its resale value, has better indoor health, and is the modern thing to do. When you buy one you take as much as 60% of the "pressure" off the environment compared to the conventional home next door. It's good for your pocketbook through much lower utility bills, good for your community through added jobs, it's good for your employer since healthy homes save on medical bills and sick-leave, and you live with the knowledge that you are helping the earth.
Thousands of these new homes and green remodeling are sweeping into housing markets across the nation. This is not another "craze" -- green homes are for real -- they are available now and here to stay. The designs, materials, techniques and builder skills are available now. And, new standards are being issued by professional societies, the housing industry, and numerous trade groups to help you find products and services that really do help provide a cleaner environment. Buying green products has become enormously popular around the World. Now every day can be an Earth-Day when you live in a green -- environmentally high-performance -- home.
Contents
Why Buy a Green Home?
There are many questions consumers have about environmental products. Do they really work as promised? Why bother to look for and purchase an environmental product? Can my shopping decisions really make a difference and help the planet? The answer -- especially for our homes and the products they entail -- is a resounding yes.
U. S. consumers utilize greater resources per capita than any other people World-wide. We about 20,000 pounds (10 tons) per person per year of "active" materials. These include virgin forest products, fuels, steel, glass, cement and plastics. An astounding 90 percent of these of materials becomes "waste" in less than one year according to a 1992 study by the US Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). Residential construction processes are still fairly inefficient compared to other industries according to these OTA reports to Congress.
Home building needs to undergo a process of technological substitution and rethinking to become more environmentally sensitive and sustainable. In a green housing project, many inefficiencies are addressed and overcome, so your home becomes part of the solution. The building industry is acting to incorporate the growing knowledge of green buildings into housing products and services, but consumer demand plays an important role in getting these better products to market.
As a Nation we consume over 2 billion tons of non-durable resources each year. Add to this quantity: non-hazardous industrial waste equaling 11 billion tons per year (OTA said 6.5 billion tons could be reduced by design decisions and enhanced recycling), 1.9 billion tons per year of pollution from automobiles and light trucks, 700 million tons of hazardous waste, about 600 million tons of building related air-pollution, and 180 million tons of municipal solid waste (sewerage sludge, etc.). From the graphic below on annual environmental pollution from major sources in the US, you begin to get the picture. Our productive economy produces these by-products of our affluent life-style, which are threatening our environment.
Luckily, our homes can become a powerful tool that empowers us to help protect the environment. When we live in a green home we encourage reducing waste, implementing recycling, using renewable materials and energy sources, and implementing a better way of producing housing. These are the Four-R's: Reduce, Recycle, Renewable and Rethinking. When our homes are built or remodeled with these important tools in mind, each one becomes an "engine" pulling to help the environment.
Contents


Basics of Green Homes and Communities
Selecting an environmentally superior "green" home does not necessarily cost more. But, a green home will directly benefit you by its energy efficiency, ease on our natural resources, high level of comfort, and better value when you sell. Yes, homes can be built and remodeled using inexpensive currently available designs, materials and techniques to greatly reduce their environmental impact. One day, green homes may even help to heal previous environmental damage as more is learned.
Any home or multi-family building can be designed, constructed, remodeled, or renovated -- even demolished -- in ways that have much less impact on the Earth's environment. There are several key things to look for in a new home, or to do now to make your current home better for the environment. You the buyer -- working with your Real Estate Professional -- need also to evaluate how the home fits into its development, and in turn how the development fits with the surrounding community. Even if you demolish an older structure, there are ways to minimize environmental impacts and reuse or recycle the old building components and materials wisely. Green building techniques concern the whole life-cycle of a building, and are simple but very systematic in application.
The following sections contain general recommendations for your green home. Elsewhere in this site listing of some Internet "links" used to find out more about green buildings. As you begin to think about your green home, apartment, condominium or small business, use the following paragraphs as a starting point for getting better basic value and improved environmental performance. Contents


Green Homes are Very Energy Efficient
New homes today are about 35% more energy efficient than those built prior to 1976. However, they need to be more so to deliver the best economics for buyers. Why? Simple really -- your home is the biggest purchase of your life and it should not have the biggest impact on your pocketbook from utility bills, on the environment from energy waste.
An existing homes should be provided with an energy "audit" available at low cost from many utility firms, their "energy services" subsidiaries, or Home Energy Rating Providers. In a quality energy audit or home energy rating, specific measures are identified for maximum savings, unless there has been an energy audit or "home energy rating" performed on the property within the last 5 years [a detailed uniform audit will often be accepted by lenders and utility programs for special financing or incentive programs that make energy efficiency more affordable]. Obtaining an up to date Energy Rating can help you learn the priority of things to do (is attic insulation a better deal than new windows, for example).
New homes should exceed by at least 30% overall (heating, A/C and hot-water demand), the efficiency levels specified in the International Energy Efficiency Code-2003, published by ICBO, Whittier,, CA-USA. or Standard 90.2-1993 "Energy Efficient Design of New Low-Rise Residential Buildings," by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers ( ASHRAE ). Both ICBO/IECC and ASHRAE work closely with housing industry and the US Department of Energy to make sure the energy standards for building codes are up to date, but not overly costly for the average consumer. Remember, the energy standards in building codes are just a starting point.
There are other measures of energy efficiency that provide superior performance, but at somewhat higher initial cost. One such measure is the EEBA Criteria © for Resource Efficient Building developed by the Energy and Environmental Building Association (EEBA) [currently available on line]. Always check with your builder or remodelor to see what sources of information and training they have had on energy efficient construction. Other groups like the Rocky Mountain Institute, Alliance to Save Energy, Union of Concerned Scientists, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, and Natural Resources Defense Council all support much more efficient home energy standards than just meeting code.
Very basic materials, building techniques, and designs distinguish an energy efficient home. Sealing up air-leaks like construction cracks and holes is very important. Increased attic, wall and foundation insulation, and installing high-performance windows and better doors completes the building "shell." Using efficient electric lighting and plug-in appliances, and upgrading to high efficiency furnaces, heat-pumps and boilers further reduces energy waste. A floor plan and building orientation designed to admit winter solar heat, ample day lighting, and avoid summer-time sun further reduces energy waste. Such a "package" may save up to 65% in your green home versus a typical homes' utility bills. As with many quality oriented projects, energy efficiency upgrades perform best when installed as a package by professionals. However, some projects like insulating your attic, putting on weather-stripping, and installing a digital clock-thermostat are simple and low-cost do-it-yourself measures.
Performance Verification -- Designers and builders are advised to obtain a "uniform home energy rating" - HERS - from an accredited provider (see National RESNET ) in order to document a properties' energy efficiency for consumers, lenders and code-officials. An important part of HERS rating is ensuring the home and it distribution systems are sealed and insulated effectively, and that actual construction meets design intentions.Financing programs -- called Energy Efficiency Mortgages (EEM's) -- linked to home energy ratings (or enhanced audits) are coming to market backed by US DOE and US EPA technical and marketing programs. Integrating energy improvements into a mortgage quickly helps you pay for these measures. The concept is simple: improve the home to meet an energy rating, and the cost of the most economical improvements can be included in the mortgage (or refinancing) as long as the average monthly energy savings are greater than the added monthly mortgage costs. Contents
Green Homes Use Fresh Water Efficiently
Water is one of our most precious natural resources. Homes use hundreds of gallons each day which could be conserved or saved as "gray-water" to be recycled to water gardens. In a green home, simple and low-cost measures are taken that reduce water use by about half compared to homes constructed in the 1980's. Water saving is important since in many areas fresh water resources are being rapidly depleted by development; with shrinking reservoirs and dropping aquifer depths where wells run dry.
Low-flush toilets, well insulated hot water piping, low-flow shower heads and faucets, and dishwashers and clothes washers that have "water-miser" features are all important to lower home water use. How the hot water is produced is important too. One way to cut down running the tap to get hot water is to install a main solar heated tank to provide year-round warm water, and then use a instantaneous or "tankless" water heater near each point of hot water use. Another useful option is using plumbing planned so that the shortest possible length of pipe runs from the water heater to each hot water using device or tap.
Landscaping using native plants with high drought resistance (Xeriscape™) is another great way to lower water waste outdoors. Most green architects and home builders have learned what plants flourish with little or no watering, or get assistance from their local university or agricultural extension service to select plants needing little water. Selecting a drought resistant grass, and using lawn chemicals and fertilizer sparingly also reduces watering needs. Grass that is heavily fertilized needs two to four times the water to survive, and may wind up with a weak root system. Contents
A Green Home has Good Indoor Environmental Quality
Indoor environmental quality is a mixture of the air your breathe, the lighting from indoors and outside, noise levels, and even the electromagnetic fields produced by electric power-consuming devices. All these factors contribute to our health, comfort and a sense of well being at home. Bad smells, excessive noise, humming from lights or appliances, and pollutants (particles, spores, volatile gases or unburned fuel) all can lead to irritation, poorer health, reduced productivity and in extreme cases, injury or death.
The basic design, building materials used, and operating efficiency of your green home can help greatly reduce the threat to you and your family of indoor environmental problems. A green home is designed, constructed, and can be easily maintained to be free of unhealthy levels of indoor air pollutants -- such as Radon gas, excess moisture, mold and mildew, formaldehyde, passive tobacco smoke, particles and dust-mite allergen (feces) -- that can impact occupant health. Once you move in, use the information provided by your green builder or remodelor to properly maintain healthy indoor environments.
In existing homes, owners should check for lead-based paint and have drinking water tested in case lead solder was used to fit the plumbing. Inexpensive kits are widely available for home testing of Radon, lead levels, VOC, and drinking water. Also, requesting the seller or remodelor certify that no Asbestos was used in the home or in any projects done at your home carries value into the future in terms of health and resale value. In general, states have been gradually moving toward greater disclosure of indoor pollution sources -- like Radon, Lead and Asbestos -- over the last several years. Your Realtor will be able to advise you on local regulations, and can help you obtain information on these matters from sellers or your new home builder.
Once major sources of air pollution indoors are addressed, it is still a good idea to ventilate homes to ensure good comfort and health. American homes have largely been "accidentally" ventilated by leaks through which air flows due to wind pressures and temperature differences. This sometimes results in stuffy or unhealthy conditions. Today, better energy efficiency reduces the leaks and hence "accidental" ventilation may not be enough for comfort. Low cost ventilation techniques include a wide range of fresh-air systems that boost indoor air quality while not adding very much to energy bills. In very cold or hot/humid areas air-to-air heat recovery ventilators ("heat-exchangers") provide ventilation at reduced overall energy cost since they reclaim heat or cooling from stale indoor air being exhausted outside. Builders trained on energy efficient construction have been informed how to ventilate homes better with these systems, which can be "tuned" to your climate for least cost and best performance.
If there are allergy sufferers in the household, installing a higher efficiency air-filter element, or an "electrostatic" air filter device, can reduce their discomfort. But one of the biggest advantages of energy efficient construction for allergy sufferers is the lower air leakage, and hence fewer spores, pollen grains and less duct that gets in from outdoors. According to EPA and the CPSC such filters may not be necessary in most homes, once the sources of indoor pollutants -- especially particles, smoke, and dust-mite allergen -- are reduced. Air filters do little to protect against radon gas, pesticides, formaldehyde or other chemical agents.
Specific healthy home information including recommendations you can pass on to builders, designers and remodelors is available from groups like the American Lung Association, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as well as the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Contents
Green Buildings Respect the Site
Your green home has been designed with greater respect for the natural resources on the land. The well designed building site lets natural energy sources work for you -- such as solar heating, natural cooling breezes, and placement of vegetation and water bodies near by. Existing homes will benefit by landscaping too, since planting's can help compensate for poor building orientation, shelter existing homes from Winter winds and reduce glaring Summer sun which adds to your air-conditioning loads. These steps are free in the planning phase, and research shows they can significantly reduce energy used for air-conditioning and heating homes. Experience designing, building and testing "passive" solar heated and cooled homes indicates simple no-cost / low-cost planning of orientation and window placement can save 20% to 35% on winter heating bills and also can reduce air-conditioning loads.
Designers take advantage of shading and breezes from adjacent buildings and trees, and from carefully considering the surface colors of nearby the home (walkways, parking lots, etc.) to reduce summer temperatures. Planting new trees, shrubs and ground covers to reduce cold winds washing heat from home surfaces while admitting ample sunlight reduces heating bills and brightens a home in Winter.
In Summer, deciduous trees along a Southwest to Northwest aspect can reduce the impact of solar heat gains during hot afternoon hours. Studies at Florida Solar Energy Center and Arizona State University have shown building orientation, overhangs and shading, surface colors and textures, and proper planning of landscape vegetation can greatly reduce air conditioning loads. Contents
Reduce Environmental Impact Using Recycled, Renewable, and Reused Building Materials
Many construction materials -- such as cellulose and some mineral fiber insulation, steel "stud" framing, manufactured and structural wood products, and sheathing for building exteriors -- are now made from of recycled, renewable, and reused materials in concentrations ranging from 25% to nearly 100% in their overall content of recycled materials. Where performance, durability, energy efficiency and cost trade-offs appear reasonable, using such materials boosts overall energy efficiency, can greatly benefit the environment, creates jobs and markets for such materials.
Green building designers and builders also become familiar with local sources of construction materials, such as wood, insulation, windows, concrete block, brick, gravel, etc. Using local materials whenever possible reduces excess energy use from transporting materials long distances and helps local economies by increasing jobs and keeping cash-flows and tax revenues in your community.
The building products manufacturing industry is working quickly to provide better means of informing consumers on environmental products through standards and uniform assessment techniques. Unfortunately, there currently is no single source that "rates" a green home overall. However such metric's are in development by groups like the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST [Dept. of Commerce]), in collaboration with business and industry trade groups. In the future the US Green Building Council may issue a "LEED Homes" program; work was underway in early 2003 on such a development.
Non-profit groups like Green Seal and the US Green Building Council are developing specific detailed rating approaches and approve individual products for their environmental performance. Local jurisdictions have developed voluntary programs that help train professionals to boost the environmental performance of homes and remodeling, while promoting the market for green buildings to consumers. Developers are catching on too. There have been numerous new projects started in Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Colorado where developers require home builders and designers to meet specific green building criteria when they construct new homes on their properties. Contents
Basic Specifications and Programs:
Even if your area does not have a green builder program yet, specifications can be added in your home construction or professional remodeling contract that emphasize use of recycled, renewable and reused materials. You can ask that contracting documents that builder, remodelors or developers use include a voluntary model specification like:
"...contractor shall make their best efforts to:

a.) employ recycled, renewable, and previously used but structurally sound (reused) building materials wherever feasible and permissible;


b.) minimize waste, spillage, pilferage, spoilage, and misuse of building materials;

c.) maximize energy and water use efficiency by exceeding local energy standards in building code for site planning, thermal insulation and mechanical systems, and installing a mechanical home ventilation system;

d.) reduce indoor levels of Radon gas and formaldehyde emissions by following industry and US EPA guidelines on indoor environmental quality;

e.) provide consumer operating and maintenance information for best performance in this project; and


f.) provide thoughtful environmental planning through specification, job site management, and labor supervision."
Green Building Programs:Builders and remodelors will increasingly engage in national or local programs that provide either ratings or certifications that energy or environmental goals have been met. Some of these programs include meeting voluntary training standards, entering into contracts or "memorandum's of understanding" or other documentation that quality levels will be maintained and consumers protected.


There are basic technical criteria that have been reviewed by B.E.S.T., and show some emerging consistency despite not having a national set of guidelines or standards as yet (3 / 2004). Learn more by linking to B.E.S.T. "Resources" page and selecting the web-based PowerPoint (tm) show titled: "Technical Criteria for Green Building Programs" presented at the EEBA national conference (invited).
One clear advantage of buying a home produced by a builder, or retaining a remodelor, that is signed onto one of these programs is the future credibility of the projected energy savings and environmental value in the home when you later sell the property. Your buyer knows the value is there, and the Realtor has less explaining to do since documentation will be available covering the added features in the green home. Contents
The Green Home and Development Ties into the Community
How many times have you seen advertisements for "affordable housing" only to find it located miles from essential health services, schools, stores, public transportation, or even lacking in fire and police authority? The costs of coping with an "affordable" home in an outlying area requiring long commutes, and big driving distances to shopping, schools, doctors, and recreation sites can cost you over $9000 per year according to estimates by NRDC.
Housing affordability is an overall consideration of all the costs of ownership, not just those costs leading up to putting the key in the front door after closing. Lower first-cost housing that forces you to drive more, requires expensive new utility infrastructure (which you pay for in higher taxes) or is isolated by distance or lack of local social and community services is not really "affordable" when you add it all up. Living in such areas takes a toll on scarce human energy, our emotions, and spare time.
Worse for the environment is the excess fuel-energy required for transportation. The vehicle miles-traveled by persons coping with life in fringe areas escalate compared to well planned communities. In many developing areas political pressures permit developers to avoid contributing large shares of direct costs for adding "infrastructure" -- the roads, bridges, water mains, sewers, power-lines -- needed to provide essential services to you new home.
In theory this added infrastructure will be developed (long) after the new housing is erected, using funding from the new tax base (your tax dollars). Thus, your new "affordable" home may suffer power outages, traffic congestion, poor water quality, lack of civil services, and other disadvantages while you have to pay higher taxes to compensate for poorly planned development. All these factors can hurt the environment through energy waste, hasty planning decisions, and long lasting impacts on wetlands and open spaces.
Considering a closer location, better knit with community services, can actually save money in the long run, even at higher initial home prices. Unfortunately, drive-distances and other costs of living in fringe areas are not yet recognized factors accounted for in qualifying mortgages. But, unnecessary high monthly commuting costs take money out of homeowner's pocketbooks that might otherwise pay the mortgage, buy food, or save for college education. Looking for a closer-in or well planned community where schools, libraries, places of worship, and safety services are closely integrated with housing development has environmental advantages. Living with walk-able distances to shopping and community activities can make a large difference in your quality of life.
Social studies have indicated residents of environmentally planned communities happier, healthier and more productive. Added benefits are lower crime rates and better environmental quality which result due less dependence on cars (which have been shown to isolate people) and the greater sense of "belonging" to a community. Contents
Residential Green Building Guidelines
This guideline contains an overview of what makes a Green Building work with the environment, and in favor of consumer health, comfort and economy. This listing is only to be used as a general guide since there are numerous specific technical considerations, that are used by building industry professionals to meet such criteria, that could not be included here for brevity.
1. Emphasize the four "R's" via sound design, construction and building commissioning without compromising structural durability, indoor pollutant levels, ventilation, building code requirements, or marketability, including:
a. Reduce -- lower quantities of building materials, resources, and embodied energy are used
b. Reuse -- construction materials are reused where practical and structurally sound
c. Recycle -- recycled materials are used, and home is designed for recycle-ability
d. Renewable -- energy from natural sources and renewable building materials are emphasized.
2. Use Energy, Water and Resource Efficient design, specification and construction methods:
A. Building thermal envelope thermal and air leakage levels are superior by at least 20% to levels cited in the International Energy Conservation Code - 2003 (managed by ICBO) or ASHRAE Std. 90.2-1993. (A minimum 30% improvement in energy used for heating, A/C and Hot-water, is recommended by EPA/DOE "EnergyStar" Homes.)
Resources:International Council of Building Officials / IECC-2003American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers
B. Mechanical home ventilation is provided, designed to be occupant controllable
C. Ducts and pipes are of minimal length, well sealed, and located inside the home
D. High efficiency heating and air-conditioning equipment ("right" sizing, high unitary efficiency, effective controls, system gets commissioned)
E. Efficient service water heating, including consideration of solar water heating
F. Major appliances selected with DOE "Energy-guide" labeled usage in most efficient quintile (best 20%) of appliance "family" annual comparison. Another important gauge of appliance efficiency is whether it obtained an "EnergyStar" designation; ask for it!
G. Minimize potable water use of both hot and cold supplies, and outdoor uses for landscaping
H. Install energy efficient electrical lighting, and design floorplan to maximize interior daylighting;
I. Respect site conditions to considers passive solar and natural cooling
J. An operating manual is supplied so owner/occupant knows how to maintain good performance
3. Healthy indoor air quality (IAQ)(meets or exceeds US EPA voluntary criteria)
A. Radon/soil-gas entry is prevented through good design and construction
B. Low-VOC emitting construction, adhesives, finishes are employed
C. Low Formaldehyde emitting manufactured wood products are installed
D. Use carpeting that is tested and labeled for low emissions, installed along with low emission padding materials
E. Steps are taken in design and construction preventing excess moisture to avoid rot, mold and mildew
4. "Affordable" Community prefer building locations have connectivity with:
A. mass transit, bus, light rail;
B. community infrastructure that reduces vehicle miles traveled;
C. local health and social services;
D. walk-able options for recreation and light shopping needs;
E. accessible bike paths, etc.
5. Development creates a sense of well being in its neighborhood structure providing a sense of community.

6. Building remains reasonably affordableand cost effective while accomplishing criteria one through five;
A. overall added mortgage cost per month is generally offset by savings on building operating energy, commuting costs, avoided health claims from indoor air pollution, and better mental health due to sense of community and fewer hours spent commuting); and
B. over the useful life of the structure (50 year useful life for life-cycle analysis purposes) the building produces no net economic loss to owner(s) when evaluated against traditional competing free market investments (bonds, stocks, etc.) for the funds employed to upgrade the building to meet these criteria.
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Sustainable (Green) Building


Sustainable (Green) Building

Green Building Basics
Bosted By : Sayed Marey

Buildings account for one-sixth of the world's fresh water withdrawals, one-quarter of its wood harvest, and two-fifths of its material and energy flows (Roodman and Lenssen, 1995). Building "green" is an opportunity to use our resources efficiently while creating healthier buildings that improve human health, build a better environment, and provide cost savings.
What Makes a Building Green?
What Are the Economic Benefits of Green Buildings?
What Are the Elements of Green Buildings?
Occupant Health and Safety
Building Operation and Maintenance
City of San Diego'sRidgehaven Green Building
Steps to Ensure Success
For More Information
What Makes a Building Green?
A green building, also known as a sustainable building, is a structure that is designed, built, renovated, operated, or reused in an ecological and resource-efficient manner. Green buildings are designed to meet certain objectives such as protecting occupant health; improving employee productivity; using energy, water, and other resources more efficiently; and reducing the overall impact to the environment.
What Are the Economic Benefits of Green Buildings?
A green building may cost more up front, but saves through lower operating costs over the life of the building. The green building approach applies a project life cycle cost analysis for determining the appropriate up-front expenditure. This analytical method calculates costs over the useful life of the asset.
These and other cost savings can only be fully realized when they are incorporated at the project's conceptual design phase with the assistance of an integrated team of professionals. The integrated systems approach ensures that the building is designed as one system rather than a collection of stand-alone systems.
Some benefits, such as improving occupant health, comfort, productivity, reducing pollution and landfill waste are not easily quantified. Consequently, they are not adequately considered in cost analysis. For this reason, consider setting aside a small portion of the building budget to cover differential costs associated with less tangible green building benefits or to cover the cost of researching and analyzing green building options.
Even with a tight budget, many green building measures can be incorporated with minimal or zero increased up-front costs and they can yield enormous savings (Environmental Building News, 1999).
What Are the Elements of Green Buildings?
Below is a sampling of green building practices.
Siting
Start by selecting a site well suited to take advantage of mass transit.
Protect and retain existing landscaping and natural features. Select plants that have low water and pesticide needs, and generate minimum plant trimmings. Use compost and mulches. This will save water and time.
Recycled content paving materials, furnishings, and mulches help close the recycling loop.
Energy Efficiency
Most buildings can reach energy efficiency levels far beyond California Title 24 standards, yet most only strive to meet the standard. It is reasonable to strive for 40 percent less energy than Title 24 standards. The following strategies contribute to this goal.
Passive design strategies can dramatically affect building energy performance. These measures include building shape and orientation, passive solar design, and the use of natural lighting.
Develop strategies to provide natural lighting. Studies have shown that it has a positive impact on productivity and well being.
Install high-efficiency lighting systems with advanced lighting controls. Include motion sensors tied to dimmable lighting controls. Task lighting reduces general overhead light levels.
Use a properly sized and energy-efficient heat/cooling system in conjunction with a thermally efficient building shell. Maximize light colors for roofing and wall finish materials; install high R-value wall and ceiling insulation; and use minimal glass on east and west exposures.
Minimize the electric loads from lighting, equipment, and appliances.
Consider alternative energy sources such as photovoltaics and fuel cells that are now available in new products and applications. Renewable energy sources provide a great symbol of emerging technologies for the future.
Computer modeling is an extremely useful tool in optimizing design of electrical and mechanical systems and the building shell.
Materials Efficiency
Select sustainable construction materials and products by evaluating several characteristics such as reused and recycled content, zero or low off gassing of harmful air emissions, zero or low toxicity, sustainably harvested materials, high recyclability, durability, longevity, and local production. Such products promote resource conservation and efficiency. Using recycled-content products also helps develop markets for recycled materials that are being diverted from California's landfills, as mandated by the Integrated Waste Management Act.
Use dimensional planning and other material efficiency strategies. These strategies reduce the amount of building materials needed and cut construction costs. For example, design rooms on 4-foot multiples to conform to standard-sized wallboard and plywood sheets.
Reuse and recycle construction and demolition materials. For example, using inert demolition materials as a base course for a parking lot keeps materials out of landfills and costs less.
Require plans for managing materials through deconstruction, demolition, and construction.
Design with adequate space to facilitate recycling collection and to incorporate a solid waste management program that prevents waste generation.
Water Efficiency
Design for dual plumbing to use recycled water for toilet flushing or a gray water system that recovers rainwater or other nonpotable water for site irrigation.
Minimize wastewater by using ultra low-flush toilets, low-flow shower heads, and other water conserving fixtures.
Use recirculating systems for centralized hot water distribution.
Install point-of-use hot water heating systems for more distant locations.
Use a water budget approach that schedules irrigation using the California Irrigation Management Information System data for landscaping.
Meter the landscape separately from buildings. Use micro-irrigation (which excludes sprinklers and high-pressure sprayers) to supply water in nonturf areas.
Use state-of-the-art irrigation controllers and self-closing nozzles on hoses.
Occupant Health and Safety
Recent studies reveal that buildings with good overall environmental quality can reduce the rate of respiratory disease, allergy, asthma, sick building symptoms, and enhance worker performance. The potential financial benefits of improving indoor environments exceed costs by a factor of 8 and 14 (Fisk and Rosenfeld, 1998).
Choose construction materials and interior finish products with zero or low emissions to improve indoor air quality. Many building materials and cleaning/maintenance products emit toxic gases, such as volatile organic compounds (VOC) and formaldehyde. These gases can have a detrimental impact on occupants' health and productivity.
Provide adequate ventilation and a high-efficiency, in-duct filtration system. Heating and cooling systems that ensure adequate ventilation and proper filtration can have a dramatic and positive impact on indoor air quality.
Prevent indoor microbial contamination through selection of materials resistant to microbial growth, provide effective drainage from the roof and surrounding landscape, install adequate ventilation in bathrooms, allow proper drainage of air-conditioning coils, and design other building systems to control humidity.
Building Operation and Maintenance
Green building measures cannot achieve their goals unless they work as intended. Building commissioning includes testing and adjusting the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems to ensure that all equipment meets design criteria. It also includes instructing the staff on the operation and maintenance of equipment.
Over time, building performance can be assured through measurement, adjustment, and upgrading. Proper maintenance ensures that a building continues to perform as designed and commissioned.
City of San Diego's Ridgehaven Green Building
At a glance, the Ridgehaven Building appears identical to its neighbor. In 1996, however, the 73,000 sq ft. Ridgehaven Building was completely renovated with many cost-effective sustainable performance methodologies and technologies. As a result, the Ridgehaven Building now uses 65 percent less total energy than its nearly identical neighbor, yielding a saving of more than $70,000 in annual utility costs. This equates to $1 per sq ft. in annual savings. Even more important, the building occupants love its light and "healthy" atmosphere, boosting their productivity (Gottfried, 1999).
Steps to Ensure Success
Establish a vision that embraces sustainable principles and an integrated design approach.
Develop a clear statement of the project's vision, goals, design criteria, and priorities.
Develop a project budget that covers green building measures. Allocate contingencies for additional research and analysis of specific options. Seek sponsorship or grant opportunities.
Seek advice of a design professional with green building experience.
Select a design and construction team that is committed to the project vision. Modify the RFQ/RFP selection process to ensure the contractors have appropriate qualifications to identify, select, and implement an integrated system of green building measures.
Develop a project schedule that allows for systems testing and commissioning.
Develop contract plans and specifications to ensure that the building design is at a suitable level of building performance.
Create effective incentives and oversight.
For More Information
California Integrated Waste Management Board Green Building Web site (this site): www.ciwmb.ca.gov/GreenBuilding/. Includes the manual Designing With Vision: A Technical Manual For Material Choices In Sustainable Construction (Pub. #431-99-009). Hard copies are available from the publications clearinghouse at 1-800-CA-WASTE.
Sustainable Building Technical Manual, http://www.sustainable.doe.gov/freshstart/articles/ptipub.htm
A Guide to Irrigation Water Needs of Landscape Plants in California: www.dpla.water.ca.gov/urban/conservation/landscape/wucols/
Department of Health Services, Indoor Air Quality Web site: www.cal-iaq.org
U.S. Department of Energy Web site: www.sustainable.doe.gov/buildings/gbintro.shtml
Environmental Building News: www.buildinggreen.com/
U.S. Green Building Council Web site: www.usgbc.org
You may also order a hard copy of this publication from our catalog.
References
1. D.M Roodman and N. Lenssen, A Building Revolution: How Ecology and Health Concerns are Transforming Construction, Worldwatch Paper 124, Worldwatch Institute, Washington, DC, March 1995, p. 5. (Back)
2. Environmental Building News, Building Green on a Budget, Vol 8, No. 5, May 1999, www.ebuild.com/Archives/Features/ Low_Cost/Low_Cost.html#General (Back)
3. William Fisk and Arthur Rosenfeld, Potential Nationwide Improvements in Productivity and Health From Better Indoor Environments, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, May 1998. (Back)
4. Gottfried Technology, excerpt from Web site, www.buildingfutures.com/p3.htm, Feb. 9, 1999. (Back)

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Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development - Environmental sensitivity

A good definition of sustainable development is easily stated by the UN: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” And within this area there are three basic points of reference for international organizations such as the UN. Sustainable energy development is the first priority, as it is the founding of any modern civilization. Sustainable development of industry and production is the second priority in the UN. While in third is the sustainable development of the biosphere (air pollution, Ozone, the rainforest…etc) or the environment.
Sustainable energy development is important to the world as a number one priority, because political views aside (and most everyone is as fierce about this as abortion right now), the world is based on energy supplies that are not easily renewed in any profitable way for the next 50,000 years or so. At the current rate of consumption, it is quite possible that we will find ourselves competing for black oil supplies in almost absurd ways within the near future if we are not already!
An excellent example of how we need to work on sustainable energy can be seen with China. China is currently subsidizing its gas stations both forcing the oil companies to make discounts as well as offering lower prices to consumers?!!? Some people say that is communism, but when in fact it is not, it is pampering! Communism is not based on short term goals as limited resources such as oil are communism is based on long term goals that gradually bring progress! Instead of investing 4.2 billion US$ in securing oil reserves, China could invest 4.2 billion dollars in sustainable energy development, but no, they choose the former rather than the later, in an attempt to imitate the west?!?
The problems countries like China are and will face in the future are not “their” fault by any means. The problem is paradigm. The problem is how humans look at the world. And even here in the US our founding father John Dewey the philosopher who invented pragmatism made this paradigm very clear, “if it works then I will do it.” The problem is current energy consumption is not sustainable and will not continue working if we keep doing things the way we do! We need to understand this, or else, by the time people actually start investing in sustainable energy development, the world will already be going through a serious energy crisis.
When we talk about the sustainable development of industry and production we are talking about the basics of our human civilization. Trucks that carry things from one side of the country to the other, factories that build toys and cosmetic packaging, paper mills, wood cutting, oil refineries, plantations… everything that is a commodity. Industrial sustainable development means creating an entire network of economies and politics that keep us from either the shopohaulic monster that thinks not of the calories of tomorrow nor the isolated artificial island sustainable sovereign nation state floating in the middle of the Atlantic cut off from the world.
Sustainable development for our industries means doing something that is low impact on both humankind and the environment, and when well supported by excellent sustainable energy resources, we begin to live a brighter better now and a brighter better future for generations to come.
Sustainable environment development, this means that once we have concentrated on correcting our current resource management challenges, balanced our industry in a way that will lower the impact on future generations, we can look toward the planet as a whole. Global warming is not an imagined thing. Maybe the world is not going to destroy itself, but if we want to be sure that we are building a brighter here and now for a longer future, we need to take action to preserve the biosphere’s equilibrium. Mother Nature built so many forests, rivers, lakes, streams, mountains, deserts and winter landscapes, yet little by little it disappears.
Without these resources, we cannot breath or drink. The more we destroy, invade and poison the simple parts of nature that most people tend to take for granted, the more future generations will have to be troubled by inconveniences like air pollution, fishless lakes and illnesses (such as psychosomatic and oncological challenges) that spread from city to city like plagues. Sustainable environment development, searches for solutions that appease not only the earth, but humankind as well, in a balanced and productive manner.
Sustainable development such as in the UN definition, of guaranteeing the needs for ourselves and future generations to come, means prioritizing sustainable energy, sustainable industry and sustainable environmental recovery. If we choose to develop a more sustainable source of energy for the general population, transportation, industry, home and office now, we will be able to make the complete change over when the time comes without causing Y2K syndromes. By securing sustainable industry based on sustainable energy, we guarantee that food, production, computers and everyday economy survive as well. Environmental development through sustainable recovery is the most vital step in the process of sustainable development, as it addresses the planet we live on. We exist because of this planet and without it, our species would perish. Perhaps one day we may discover a secure method for removing ourselves permanently from the biosphere, but as there is so little research done on this, we still could not survive without it.
Sustainable development means working from within these three areas as much as we can in all manners and walks of life. Sustainable development is not merely a way of acting locally or globally, it is a new frame of mind, a new paradigm that the whole world must embrace, if we are to migrate from limited resources to a brighter and healthier way of life on this planet. The other alternatives are less enjoyable.
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