Sustainable development is a development that meets present demands without compromising the needs of the next generations. The three main criteria for evaluating sustainable development are environmental, social and economic aspects. These criteria are further defined and vary depending on geographic locations.
A Green Building involves the creation of structures and the use of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient throughout a building’s whole life-cycle. They are carefully designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and natural environment. Green building pursues solutions that represent a healthy and dynamic balance between environmental, social, and economic benefits.
Sustainable Communities are those, who value healthy ecosystems, use resources efficiently, and actively seek to retain and enhance a locally based economy. Sustainable community can include two principles: Smart growth and green buildings. This results in an improved quality of life. Smart Growth is a concept of innovative urban planning and described a well planned growth of a city or community.
The SEEA provides a comprehensive and broadly accepted framework for incorporating the role of the environment and natural capital into the conventional system of national income accounts through a system of satellite accounts for the environment. It is comprehensive in that it covers both stocks and flows, and physical and monetary accounts. Please visit the link below for more details. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/envaccounting/seea.asp
Unlike chlorine and salt water pools, natural swimming pools use no chemicals and are self-cleaning. The natural pool system consists of two distinct parts: the swimming area and the pond area. The swimming water is cleaned naturally using plants and healthy micro-organisms which are located in the pond area. Sometimes the two are integrated into one, depending on the system chosen.
Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a new discipline that studies nature's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Studying a leaf to invent a better solar cell is an example. Biomimicry introduces an era based not on what we can extract from organisms and their ecosystems, but on what we can learn from them.
Biophilia is the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms. Please see the link below for information on biophilic design. http://www.ultimatehomedesign.com/oph/uhd04gb02.pdf
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) have been discovered in the mid 1800s. They are contained in many products and are released as vapours that can be harmful to your health. Some of these VOCs have been found to contribute to cancer. Common products emitting VOCs are manufactured wood furniture and finishes, fibreglass insulation, gypsum wallboard, carpet padding, synthetic upholstery materials, resilient flooring, carpets and paints.
WAVES - Wealth Accounting & Valuation of Ecosystem Services The overall goal of WAVES is to promote sustainable development worldwide through the implementation of comprehensive wealth accounting that focuses on the value of natural capital and integration of ‘green accounting’ in more conventional development planning analysis.
Vegetated roofs are layers of roof protection and planting medium that are placed on top of conventionally waterproofed roofs. There are two types of vegetated roofs: extensive and intensive. The intensive or high profile system uses soil and can host a variety of plants, shrubs and trees, depending on the depth of the soil. The extensive or low profile system is less thick and can host a limited variety of plants but is less costly.
A green building rating tool sets the standards and benchmarks for green building and enables an objective assessment of the green aspects incorporated in a building. The Green Star SA rating tool was developed by GBCSA (Green Building Council of South Africa) based on theAustralian Green Star rating tool. The Green Star SA rating tool is available for different market sectors: Office and retail buildings, multi-residential projects and public&education buildings (Pilot).
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is an internationally recognised rating system that has been developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998. A LEED certified building is a building whose ecological attributes have been measured in the following categories: Sustainable Sites Water Efficiency Energy & Atmosphere Materials & Resources Indoor Environmental Quality Innovation in Design Regional Priority Credits For more information, see: https://new.usgbc.org/leed
Systems Thinking involves looking at the big picture to understand how products or buildings are made, used and disposed of. This can help to identify where environmental and social impacts occur, and make changes to improve the design. When entire systems are examined rather than individual parts, the overall effectiveness can be increased. Systems view allows systems’ communication with the ecosystem surrounding them.