The end of another year is rapidly approaching, so it time to look forward, for me the absolute minimum requirement to obtain a green building certification is a growing concern.
In 2014, what features will a Green Building have? The same as 2013? Should every building labelled ‘green’ have one or more “green” features? Shouldn’t certain requirements be mandatory for certification? Perhaps labelled buildings should use rainwater harvesting or greywater? Maybe it should have water cooled type chillers instead of energy hungry air cooled type chillers.
PHOTO ABOVE: EXTERNAL LIGHTING OPERATING DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS
Or is it sufficient to merely illustrate that the certified building is so how better (however you wish to define better) than its minimum code peers?
Energy and Water conservation provide savings that are transparent, quantifiable, and we could, using published emission factors, assign a Carbon value, but other Environmental Impact criterion remain subjective and dimensionless.
Green building labelling and certification will certainly continue to gain prominence in 2014, Hong Kong has growing body of 2,000 BEAM Professionals and that’s a positive sign. Yet one benchmark that creates a nagging doubt for me is that Hong Kong’s total energy consumption continues to rise, that disparity provides fuel for Green Building critics.
It was thought by some commentators to be a passing fad, but the Green Building movement has past the grass-roots stage, overall it has shown stronger growth here in Hong Kong over the last year than previous years, and is set for positive double digit growth for next decade or so.
Here is clip from BEAM PLUS Interiors launch ceremony in 2013, with John A. Herbert.