Sustainable Buildings for the Public Realm
Sustainable design, construction and operations have become increasingly common requirements for public buildings. Federal, state and local governments, along with universities, colleges and professional sports leagues such as Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer are mandating that new construction be built in accordance with adopted energy efficiency standards. At the outset, these new requirements can appear as an unknown and secondary requirement to a successful project. In reality, sustainability is more than just positively impacting the environment; it can improve the bottom line and create public goodwill.
Sustainability can be measured and certified in various ways. Some are specific to local jurisdictions and others are intended to be adopted nationwide. When deciding if a third party sustainability metric is to be used, the benefits and costs must be weighed. For the purpose of this book, the LEED Rating Systems as developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) serves as our reference. Although not the sole proprietor of sustainability requirements internationally, the USGBC’s LEED Rating Systems are the most widely recognized sustainability rating systems in the United States and are also gaining acceptance around the globe.