What Is Green Building?

Green buildings have different names and definitions in each country. The earliest concept of green building was in the 1960s, which was about the low environmental impact represented by "environmental symbiosis housing" from Japan and the "ecological building" from the United States. Until 1990, the United Kingdom issued the world's first standard of green building. The purpose was to implement the norm of "use the least earth's resources and create the least waste" in the life cycle of a building, from renovation, planning, construction, and operation to demolition. Each country will create its green building standards according to its geographical and climatic conditions.


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The Green Building Certification System 

In 1999, the Taiwanese government established the Green Building Certification System, known as EEWH, which came right after the LEED in the US. The EEWH includes four main aspects - Ecology, energy saving, waste reduction, and health. The green building works for all the project types, which have four options: basic, residential, Eco-community, industrial, and building renovation.


The Green Building Regulations and Enforcement Rules

According to the Green Building Assessment Manual – the green building assessment has been divided into nine categories.



Ecology can be evaluated in three aspects - 



Biodiversity: This assesses the area of biological habitats and activities in natural areas such as vegetation, soils, light pollution, and biological movement barriers. This metric only applies to the project if more than one hectare.
2. The level of the greenery: The difference between this index and the ecological diversity index is in quantity and quality. The amount of greening is calculated according to the type of planting, and the soil depth is required to be 0.3~3.5m. Floristics can be divided into ecological multistratal, arbor, shrubs, perennial vines, flowerbeds, meadows and old trees, etc.
3. Soil moisture conservation: It refers to water content capability, as well as the storage and infiltration of rainwater. The higher the water retention, the better to help the microbial activity in the soil. It can improve the organic quality of soil and cultivate plants. The water retention can be calculated through the area of green space and the volume of garden soil, the paving area of permeable bricks, and other special water retention designs.



Energy Saving

4. Energy saving can be evaluated in three following aspects-
    A. The shell of the building: The building design should include ventilation, and roof insulation of heat to avoid the need for air-conditioning. Using energy-saving glass can help to reduce indoor temperature, etc.

    B. Air-conditioning: High-efficiency air-conditioning system, energy-saving, CO2 detection, etc.


    C. Lighting: To maintain daylight, all indoors should have sufficient windows. By using energy-saving lamps with automatic dimming, a control system, and chosen high-brightness colors to improve the lighting level, etc.



Waste Reduction

5. CO2 reduction: It is to review the CO2 content that includes bricks, tiles, rebar, and glass in buildings. CO2 emissions will be scored based on 4 structures: structure rationalization, lightweight construction, durability, and recycled materials. For example, the building should be as regular and square as possible; the use light rebar and the use of lightweight material for partition walls. Additionally, seismic resistance and the use of recycled materials should also be considered.


6. Waste reduction: It is aimed at comprehensive pollution control in the process of building construction. Among them, construction pollution sources include construction waste, solid waste from demolition waste, engineering balance earthwork, and construction air pollution. Suggested solutions include installing dust-proof nets, and dust-proof plastic cloths, setting up wastewater pollution treatment systems and using recycled building materials.


7. Indoor environment: This index appeals to low pollution, low fugitive, and recyclable building materials design to evaluate whether it is friendly to human health and the global environment. This can reduce the harm of carcinogens to the human body and the burden on the earth. The indoor environment is divided into four categories: light environment, sound environment, ventilation, and indoor building materials.


8. Water resources: According to the geographical environment and climatic conditions of Taiwan, take the advantage of more than 2,500 mm of rainfall annually that makes good use of water resources. Recycling water resources can help to reduce the cost of development and to avoid the loss of water. Water resources assessment such as products with water-saving labels-faucets, toilets, public hydrants; planning rainwater recovery systems to calculate water storage levels, etc.


9. Improvement of sewage and garbage: Mainly to evaluate whether the sewage and garbage treatment system is implemented and should be strengthened. For example, all domestic miscellaneous water discharge systems should be connected to sewage pipes and treatment facilities, sufficient space for garbage placement and transportation, geotechnical installations for recycling, food waste collection systems, etc.

The Green Building Rating System 

According to the green building assessment, the score range has been divided into:

  1. Diamond
  2. Gold
  3. Silver
  4. Bronze
  5. Passed 

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How Did We Design the Green Building?

Layana was certified with Gold-level Green Building (EEWH-Gold) in 2018, in Taiwan. The essence is a manufacturing factory, so the application category is a green building factory. In the early stage of plant planning, it developed along the four principles of energy saving, greening, health, and waste reduction. Among them are the targets for significant improvement:

  • The level of the greenery – through gardens, planting, green space, etc., the total green area is 4,780 square meters, and the greening ratio is 37.8%
  • Soil Moisture Conservation – using water permeable pavement, the area, and the volume of the gardening area to calculate the water retention. ZQi=328.37
  • Energy saving from the shell of the architecture – widely added windowsills to avoid direct sunlight, plus inlaid the heat insulation materials into the rooftop, can reduce the heat transfer rate. Layana’s headquarter is on average rate.
  • Energy-efficient air conditioning – chose the right air conditioning system which includes air purification, and energy recovery ventilation (ERV) to comply with the rules of energy saving. 
  • Water Saving – Layana’s headquarter used a raft foundation to create the rainwater recycling system. Rainwater is stored in the basement which can save 7,900 tons of water every year. Please find the further story here.
  • CO2 reduction – Layana executes recycling, regular cleaning, and minimizing the waste of construction can dwindle the carbon emission. 


The Benefits of the Green Building 

  • Energy Saving – first of all, the construction cost may be higher than the average cost of a building project. However, in the long term, the energy cost can be saved a lot by complying with the regulations of green buildings. 
  • Low Maintenance Cost – if the architecture planning is well considered before the construction start, then its following maintenance for green buildings can be easier than for non-green buildings. For example, 
  • Raised the quality of the working environment – creating a healthy, comfortable, and sustainable indoor environment can improve human beings in both physical and mental ways. CO2 detectors can monitor indoor CO2 density.

The Effects of Having Green Buildings 

It changed the values of the land and properties. For example, in Taiwan, according to the level of green building, the living area, and the original property price, there is a green premium between green buildings and non-green buildings, and it will last over time. (2017) In short word, green buildings can raise the value of the property itself, and non-green-buildings decrease at the same time.



The Guidelines for Green Building Projects 

  1. Understand the types of green building projects – to know the project direction whether is new building construction or an existing building renovation, then to see which category suits the best - residential, commercial/industrial, eco-community, or building renovation. 
  2. Set up a target of Green Building Certification – according to the rating system, it would suggest that design a building architecture in according to the nine categories of green building. If the project is a renovation, then an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of achieving green building certification is a need. Making the most efforts in the right place will be the effective way to acquire the certificate.
  3. Create a task force – the team should be multidisciplinary, which includes quality, accounting, facility management, and procurement to go through the project. The team should be competent and actively involved in the process.
  4. Find the right person – the architect shares the same values with the owner and is willing to make the project happen. 
  5. Choose suppliers wisely and carefully – suppliers include contractors and hardware systems. It would be beneficial to understand the capability of contractors if the project manager can visit some physical examples of contractors.
  6. Monitor the quality of the construction continuously – to maintain the quality of the structure, the task force can help to validate materials, generators, air conditioning, and so on. External audits are required during the construction period. 
  7. Execute the acceptance of work – the quality of the construction should be consistent throughout the project. Every phase should have inspections or acceptance of work to get approvals from external audits. 
  8. Execute the contract – as a project leader, an incentive can encourage constructors to finish the work before the deadline with the same quality. If constructors need to prepay expenses, then allow it within capable range.
  9. Execute the facility test – use the actions to validate the finished work. For example, the production can produce a batch of products successfully.

The Summary 

The definition of green architecture nowadays extends beyond just the appearance of buildings; it also encompasses the importance of sustainable design in terms of building materials and construction methods. These practices all aim to reduce environmental impact and achieve the goals of "environmental prosperity" and "health and wellbeing" through energy-efficient, low-carbon, and sustainable operational approaches. The current development of green architecture in Taiwan has achieved some success, and in addition to green building certification, there are other sustainable initiatives that can be implemented, such as energy management systems and sustainable manufacturing in factories. For this precious planet, businesses should continuously strive to protect and conserve, without ceasing.







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