Development Guiding Principles
Over time, a number of principles, guidelines, practices, and
design characteristics have been developed to guide sustainable
development and green building projects. The following are examples:
Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED ) Standard
A voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing
high-performance, sustainable buildings. Members of the U.S.
Green Building Council representing all segments of the building
industry developed LEED and continue to contribute to its evolution.
LEED standards are currently available for:
· New construction and major renovation projects (LEED
· Existing building operations (LEED-EB, Pilot version)
· Commercial interiors projects (LEED-CI, Pilot version)
Systems Thinking (excerpt from RMI's Green Development:
Integrating Ecology and Real Estate)
Whole-systems thinking is a process through which the interconnections
between systems are actively considered, and solutions are sought
that address multiple problems at the same time. Some refer
to this process as the search for "solution multipliers."
Design (excerpt from RMI's Green Development: Integrating
Ecology and Real Estate)
Greater up-front investments of time and money typically are
required in Green Developments. But those costs are often recovered-with
interest-by avoiding such downstream costs as expensive redesigns,
drawn-out approvals, litigation, and stalled construction.
/ Least-Cost Considerations (excerpt from RMI's Green
Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate)
End-use/least-cost planning is a decision-making approach that
keeps the planning team focused on what the end users really
want and need. It is a key component of green design and development
because it identifies how to achieve the greatest benefits at
the least cost in financial, social, and environmental terms.
(excerpt from RMI's Green Development: Integrating Ecology
and Real Estate)
In the conventional, linear development process, key people
are often left out of the decision-making process, or brought
in too late to make a full contribution. By working together,
on the other hand, both capital costs and operating costs can
be reduced, and environmental and social goals met.
Green Development Designation Standard
The Florida Green Building Coalition developed this standard,
which includes a checklist for green developments, and provides
details of the process by which a development becomes certified
as a green development.
Conservation Subdivision Design (CSD) is a green development
strategy that can help communities preserve open space and natural
areas in residential housing developments. By reformulating
the approach to conventional subdivision design, CSD strategically
concentrates home construction on the development site in order
to protect sensitive and valuable open space, habitat, and other
for Creating High Performance Green Buildings
Produced by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection,
this guide is intended for decision-makers and others involved
with designing, constructing and developing green buildings.
It includes useful information on green design systems, case
studies, and references and sources.
and Principles for Sustainable Community Design: A Study of
Sustainable Design and Planning Strategies in North America
from an Urban Design Perspective
A Masters Degree Thesis in Architecture at Florida A &
M University that outlines basic principles of sustainable design
for planned developments and communities.
Sustainable Building Technical
A comprehensive manual of sustainable building practices. It
provides clear, easily applied guidelines and useful practices
that can be readily introduced into new construction, renovation,
and building operations. The manual focuses on commercial-size
building projects, but includes useful tips for buildings of
Principles of Sustainable Design
Produced by the National Park Service, this guidebook articulates
principles to be used in the design and management of tourist
facilities that emphasize environmental sensitivity in construction,
the use of non-toxic materials, resource conservation, recycling,
and integration of visitors with natural and cultural settings.
Sustainability principles have been developed for several topics,
including building design, site design, and energy management.
Individual chapters are available online.
Principles of Ecological Design
Proposes a marriage of nature and technology, using ecology
as the basis for design. The strategies of conservation, regeneration,
and stewardship can be applied at all levels of scale to produce
revolutionary forms of buildings, landscapes, communities, cities
and applied technologies.
Vision of Community Sustainability: Model Principles
Developed by the Ontario Roundtable on Environment and Economy,
these principles offer a starting point for addressing sustainability
at the community level.
for Neighborhoods and Towns
TNDhomes.com offers a list of principles for Traditional Neighborhood
Design, emphasizing mixed use and pedestrian access to services.
The Congress for New Urbanism is an organization committed
to reestablishing the relationship between the art of building
and the making of a community through participatory planning
and design. The website presents New Urbanist principles to
guide public policy, as well as development of planned communities
and towns, along with coverage of relevant articles, news and
the yearly Congress/conference. The Congress for New Urbanism
also publishes New Urban News a bi-monthly newsletter.
Identifies a number of resources on ecological landscape planning,
a procedure for studying the biophysical and sociocultural systems
of a place to reveal where a specific land use may be best practiced.
A highly acclaimed set of community and regional principles
developed by a leading group of architects and urban planners
to assist local government officials in planning for quality
of life and sustainability. The Ahwahnee Principles
have three parts: 1) Community Principles, which provide
a definition of land use ideals for communities; 2) Regional
Principles, which describe how communities should relate to
each other within a region; and 3) Implementation Strategy,
which creates a plan for local officials.
An international movement dedicated to helping society reduce
its impact on the environment and move toward a sustainable
future. Begun in Sweden in 1989 by cancer researcher Karl-Henrik
Robert, The Natural Step developed by building a consensus among
prominent scientists, which can be summarized as four system
conditions for sustainability.
Last updated: April 20, 2004
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