What Is "Green Architecture?"


What is meant by "Green Architecture and Green Design?"

Green Architecture and Green Design are the creation or renovation of buildings so that they have a minimal impact on the environment. These are overwhelmingly Leed Certified Buildings by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). 

HRH Architects, Inc., and our President, are recognized members of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

He is a LEED-certified GREEN Design Architect (LEED AP BD+C) for both building design and construction).


What is meant by a USGBC Leed-certified Green building? What is sustainable design or a green building? What does green architecture mean anyway?


¨    Green Architecture also known as Sustainable Architecture or Design is a general term that describes environmentally-conscious design techniques in the field of architecture.

¨    Green Building, also known as green construction or sustainable building, is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance ...


To talk about green architecture or sustainable design, we would be remiss if we did not mention the main organization that governs green design. The foremost organization of green design is the U.S. Green Building Council. Green design in the United States is overseen by the most part, by the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council). The USGBC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction. They are also the developers of the LEEDS Building Rating System. LEED is an internationally recognized green building system. It can be applied to both commercial and residential buildings.


LEED measures site sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, location and connectivity, awareness and education, innovation and design, and regional priority.


Buildings can earn a maximum of 110 points under Leed certification. Building ratings are as follows (basic Certified 40+ points, Silver 50+ points, Gold 60+ points, Platinum 80+ points).


There Are Two Levels Of LEED Accreditation:


    1. The LEED Green Associate credential is intended for professionals who want to demonstrate green building expertise in non-technical fields of practice. The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has created the LEED Green Associate credential, which denotes basic knowledge of green design, construction and operations.


    2. The LEED AP credential provides a standard for professional participation in the design and construction phases of buildings. LEED AP’s have specialties such as the LEED AP BD+C (for building design and construction) of high-performance, healthful, durable, affordable and environmentally sound commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential buildings. C. Warren Boatman, our President, is a LEED-certified GREEN Design Architect (LEED AP BD+C for building design and construction).


Credit toward your building Certification (for having a design professional on the team) only counts if your design professional is a LEED AP with specialty such as LEED AP BD+C. LEED Green or LEED AP alone doesn’t count toward this credit.


The overall goal of Green Buildings is to reduce its’ environmental impact.


Some Elements Of Leed Or Green Certified Buildings Include:


¨    Sustainable Sites

o       Pollution Prevention

o       Development Density & Community Connectivity

o       Brownfield Redevelopment

o       Alternative Transportation (public transit, Bicycle storage, Parking)

o       Site Development (protect –restore habitat, open space)

o       Storm Water Design (quality & quantity)

o       Heat Island Effect

o       Light Pollution Reduction

Water Efficiency

o       Water Use Reduction

o       Water Efficient Landscaping

o       Innovative Wastewater Technologies

Energy & Atmosphere

o       Commissioning of the Building Energy System

o       Fundamental Refrigerant Management

o       Optimize Energy Performance

o       On-Site Renewable Energy

o       Green Power

Materials & Resources

o       Recyclables

o       Building Reuse

o       Construction Waste Management

o       Materials Reuse

o       Recycled Content

o       Regional Materials

o       Rapidly Renewable Materials

o       Certified Wood

Indoor Environmental Quality

o       Indoor Air Quality Performance

o       Environmental Tobacco Smoke

o       Outdoor Air Delivery Monitoring

o       Indoor Air Quality Management Plan

o       Low-Emitting Materials

o       Indoor Chemical & Pollutant Control

o       Controllability of Systems

o       Thermal Comfort

o       Daylight & Views

Innovation in Design

Regional Priorities


As you can see there is a lot more to Green Architecture (sustainable design) than most people know. We suggest you hire a Leed AP (with specialty) Accredited Architect at the onset of your project prior to purchasing any land to maximize your LEED rating and minimize your cost.