Green Home Building and Sustainable Architecture

Sustainable architecture is an exciting and important field, with many people reviving traditional methods of building and others creating innovations to established practices. Kelly Hart, webmaster of the popular website, posts text and photos featuring what he discovers from around the world.

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Location: Crestone, Colorado, United States

Kelly Hart has been involved with green building concepts for much of his life. He has also worked in various fields of communication media, including still photography, cinematography, animation, video production and now website development. Kelly has lived in an earthbag/papercrete home that he built and consults about sustainable building design.

September 11, 2010

The Beyond Green High-Performance Building Awards

Green is Good, Beyond Green is Better
By Bud DeFlaviis and Tom Herron, MBA

Last year, during an event to promote energy efficient buildings, President Obama quipped that although the topic particularly isn’t a particularly “glamorous” one, it was something that he could “get really excited about it.” This light-hearted comment had the positive effect of reminding people that better buildings can, and will, contribute positively to the human experience. Such a claim may sound overblown, but when one considers that we spend approximately 90% of our time indoors, it becomes clear how important our buildings really are.

As the green building movement gains momentum, residential and commercial building owners strive to become better environmental stewards. This usually involves renewable and energy efficiency strategies. Certainly, these are laudable, but not sufficient to create a fully-functional building.

A Holistic Approach to Sustainability

The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) and its members are committed to doing even more. That is why SBIC created the Beyond Green TM Awards. Since 2001, these Awards have recognized exemplary innovations and innovators in the sustainable building industry. The awards also encourage building professionals to develop a more holistic approach to design and construction – an approach that promotes energy, water, and material efficiencies, while ensuring indoor environments that are healthy, productive and comfortable. This kind of holistic approach fuels a self perpetuating cycle, triggering further advances and improvements, which lead to greener and more sustainable buildings all over the world. Additionally, the Awards provide a platform to showcase forward-thinking buildings and initiatives that embody the definition of a high-performance building. Such buildings, of course, provide greater accessibility, cost-effectiveness, functionality, historic preservation, productivity, safety, security and durability, and sustainability.

Beyond Green Awards 2010

This year’s 2010 program, just getting underway, will again recognize high-performance buildings and high-performance building initiatives. Entries will be accepted through the end of October and reviewed by a select jury. Once winners are determined, they will be invited to Washington, DC in February 2011 to present their projects on Capitol Hill as part of an educational briefing for lawmakers and the public.

This year’s program will also feature an additional afternoon session and expanded poster session held at Catholic University's School of Architecture and Planning. Area students and local building practitioners will have the opportunity to understand winning projects in greater detail, ask questions, and earn AIA CES credits.

Finally, winning entries will have the opportunity to post a case study about their project on the Whole Building Design Guide – a highly-visible web resource that has become the comprehensive source of information for high-performance building practices and techniques.

Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen once wrote, “Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context - a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.” The Beyond Green TM High-Performance Building Awards embodies this sentiment, and we hope the 2010 competition will continue to inspire others to embrace this holistic approach to buildings that will transform the American landscape, both figuratively and literally.

Details are available at the SBIC’s Website.

Bud DeFlaviis is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council. Tom Herron is the Communications & Marketing Manager at the National Fenestration Rating Council.


Blogger Ryan said...

Man what a great blog! I ran across a company that is based out of Orlando that seems to be making quite a buzz. I happen to pass by them while they were demoing a house in our neighborhood. So I stopped and talked to the GC for a minute, I think his name was Ryan, and he seemed to have his stuff together. He said from that demo they recycled more than 70% of it which I was impressed with. I am glad that people are being more conscious of our environment. I went to his website that was on the site and it's pretty refreshing as well. The companies site is if you are interested in checking it out.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Laurent Kanago said...

I was not familiar with Beyond Green. this will be something that I will have to check out during the weekend. I am so accustomed to the LEED system that my company has not ventured outside of it. How would you say it relates to BREEM or BREAM, the european system?

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Bud DeFlaviis said...

SBIC's Beyond Green is not a rating system, rather, our philosophy involves a holistic approach to buildings that does not require a quantified system.

We accomplish this through our products and customized seminars or briefings.

If you have an event or project in mind in which we can provide consultation, we're happy to provide a quote for services.

Thanks and best,

5:08 PM  

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