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Stephija Patterson
Kelly Dunbar
Senior Research Paper

Contemporary Sustainable Building

With numerous rumors of the earth one day self destructing, most people have come to
the realization that its time to take a stand against any and everything they can in order to save
their home. Categories spread as wide as the horizon, all labeled with different changes they
could potentially make in hopes of the next decision doing justice. Finally its dawning on people
that they need to develop a plan around not breaking down the earth anymore than they already
have with societies polluting ways, and how to handle and control earths resources in order to
make them last. It's about the matter of coming to an understanding theyre putting people in a
bind, in reference to future generations, and instead of continuing to do so an alternative route is
required and that route would boast sustainable building. In the midst of finding a place one
could make their home, most people would find themselves leaning towards anything that could
possibly be beneficial to their own health, as well as save them a little cash in the long run. With
the instability of the U.S economy and the attractiveness of Green Built Homes, sustainable
building has been catching peoples attention. Living in these green built homes that efficiently
put use to our natural resources, reduces pollution and environmental degradation, and more so
protect occupants health, one could connect the dots further on to see how much they would
really be helping their environment. A green building is a clean, sustainable building, designed
with natural materials, to reduce the overall impact of the built-up environment on human health

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and the natural environment, uses little energy and renewable ones at that, is easy to maintain
and usually available at a reasonable cost.
Many question whether or not it will soon become relevant to our fellow states and
distant countries that the United States is cutting edge negatively with its natural resources,
completely running rounds, and wasting, being the exact opposite of what society need to be
doing, nonetheless, the world is approaching the end, and why it seems that society is running for
it is confusing. This is not a race, especially if the finish line is a dead end.
One of the most interesting things about sustainable building, is how easy it makes it to
conserve and efficiently put to use natural resources, like water, energy, and other naturally
provided materials, rather than the blink and theyre gone concept. Through classical
economics a resource is defined as a service, or other asset used to produce goods and services
that meets human needs and wants (Websters Dictionary, 1). The phrase you dont bite the hand
that feeds you, comes to mind when one thinks about the disrespect society shows the planet
under the circumstances and providing it with the materials needed to contribute to the making of
any and everything. "Since the Industrial Revolution, the world has witnessed incalculable
technological achievements, population growth, and corresponding increases in resource use, and
we are recognizing the side effects of human activities like population landfills at capacity, toxic
waste, global warming, resource and ozone depletion, and deforestation, said Natalia Silverman,
in a bulletin post up of sustainable engineering (Silverman, 12). The earths carrying capacity at
this point severely being affected by these efforts, place restraint in a form so close to disabling
its ability to provide the resources required to sustain life while trying to avoid abolishing the
capacity to generate and remain realistic. Effectively, a green building can incorporate materials
reused, recycled, recyclable, or from renewable resources, in its construction in which to create a

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healthier interior environment with a least possible amount of pollutants and functional
landscape arrangement that requires less water, using native greenery that thrives without
additional watering. The availability of fresh water has become a matter of intense concern in a
context where developed and developing countries are engaged in a race to obtain resources that
are unyieldingly becoming scarcer (Legrand, Ecological Construction, 1). Managing waste
water, irrigation water and rainwater is also essential, however not as commonly looked at nor at
all considered fresh due to previous issues with acid rains, and oil spills in the ocean and bay
areas. If they told us the water in water bottles we bought from gas stations was filtered rain
water, Deer Park or whichever preferred, would probably go out of business.
Another environmental issue that Green Building addresses is overall energy use, because
everyone can claim guilty under the circumstances of leaving a light on in a room for at least an
hour after leaving that room and migrating elsewhere. Specific energy for certain services, can
only be provided through the use of electricity. Items that are not taken into account in specific
electricity include hot water, heating and cooking, which can use other types of power such as
sun energy, or solar power, etc. Specific electricity consumption has doubled over the past 20
years and this trend is likely to continue, so substituting those energy uses with other options
could potentially solve that problem for the time being (Legrand, Ecological Construction, 33).
Energy efficiency has proved to be a cost-effective strategy for building economies without
necessarily increasing energy consumption. For example, the state of California began
implementing energy-efficiency measures in the mid-1970s, including building code and
appliance standards with strict efficiency requirements. During the following years, California's
energy consumption has remained approximately flat on a per capita basis while national U.S.
consumption doubled. In industrial settings, there are rich opportunities to save 70% or even up

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to 90% of the energy and cost for lighting, fan, and pump systems; 50% for electric motors; and
60% in areas such as heating, cooling, office equipment, and appliances. As the worlds
population continues to expand around the world, the implementation of resource-efficient
measures in all areas of human activity is crucial and the build environment is one clear example
of the effects of human activity through decision making on resources, Natalia elaborates
(Silverman, 13). Buildings have a significant impact on the environment, accounting for onesixth of the worlds freshwater withdrawals, one-fourth of its wood harvest and one-fourth at
least of the energy flow.
In addition to cutting into our resources at a sharp curve, we also happen to be completely
destroying our land in a process in which is conamed environmental degradation. Environmental
degradation takes many forms ranging from pollution and destruction of ecosystems to degraded
freshwater supplies and arable land. Through the polluting ways and physical carelessness of
most people, humans are breaking down this planet like women break their capillaries with the
piles of makeup they desire on the daily basis. Nowadays, there is so much pollution and
problem to the earth in which make the humans realize to work on something in order to save the
world holistically. "Pollution prevention, also known as source reduction, is any practice that
eliminates or reduces pollution at its source. Pollution prevention is achieved through material
substitutions, process changes, and the more efficient use of natural resources. Through pollution
prevention, the use and production of hazardous substances can be minimized, thereby protecting
human health, strengthening economic well-being, and preserving the environment,"
(Environmental Protection Agency, 1). Theres so many benefits behind pollution prevention if
only it were more popular worldwide. It can allow people to meet compliance standards, save
money on materials and energy costs, as well as reduce liability. The United Nations wants to

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make some form of change in which to place on a timetable or agenda, by then all countries will
cooperate, they assume (Silverman, 10). However, for the world's most vulnerable and sidelined
groups, issues of environmental degradation tend to be more localized and immediate in their
nature. Degradation of a resource base can result in decreased production i.e. reduced soil
fertility may produce lower yields and worsened water quality can impact fishing. Such problems
are of great concern to the poor, with direct impacts on livelihoods, food security and health.
Buildings have negative effects on the environment throughout their life cycles from the
phase of acquiring raw materials needed to contribute to the building of and assembling materials
and components, building from the base up. Issues continue to arise as the building is then put to
use up until the final phase of removal when the building is decommissioned, and either torn
down or left in abandonment. In general, current regulations place limits on both the use of
energy and the emissions allowed during operation on the come up of the building.
Unfortunately, those regulations dont stretch much further, and have yet to place restraint on the
other limitations that define the design of contemporary sustainable buildings. Determining the
sustainability of buildings should take place in the planning phase of the project, when it is still
possible to influence the outcome otherwise, once its built theres no turning back which some
assume would be obvious. For most green building rating systems, all composite wood products
including particleboard which is also called chipwood because its made of wood chips (ironic
name choice right), medium-density fibreboard (dry processed fiberboard), plywood,
wheatboard, strawboard, panel, substrates, and door cores, and associated laminate adhesives
should contain no added urea formaldehyde resins, which as you could see, under the guidelines,
eliminates a lot of options other than the non-toxic alternatives such as composite wood
products. If the building remains not yet instructed to be built sustainably, construction workers

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can run into a lot of problems throughout preparation for the actual task. In effect of this
unawareness there could potentially be chances concluding in the building not being sustainably
built after all, then theres another hundred years on the states hands waiting for a building to
deconstruct and suck the rest of the life out of the lot its built on. Another huge environment
degrader is bulldozing old buildings! The toll bulldozing takes on good land is unbelievable in a
sense of comparing it to what wisk do to not yet mixed cake batter.
Green building objectives are broader than just environmental effects, and have come to
embrace human health issues as well, including human performance and well-being. Health and
well-being embraces both physical health, and the psychological aspects of human performance.
Over time, physical issues have been partially dealt with. The importance of the issues being
more so acknowledged through legislation that has banned the use of toxic or otherwise
dangerous substances in buildings, in which actually impact human performance. Some
architects are pioneering the idea of evidence-based design as a means of rigorously examining
past buildings in order to build better new ones. Evidence-based design borrows from work done
in evidence-based medicine to carefully observe, quantify and analyze the way people use
buildings, (Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, 27), because in the developed world
where people spend much of their time inside buildings, the design of the indoor environment is
of great importance to human health standards. Indoor environmental quality can negatively
affect occupants' physical health through poor air quality, extreme temperatures, excess
humidity, and insufficient ventilation by contributing to the development of asthma, and
respiratory allergies. Not only, but it also could impact one's psychological health through
inadequate lighting, acoustics, and ergonomic design resulting in depression and stress.

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A lot of measures being looked into and discovered along the lines of trying to critique
green building, in which these were explored trying to enhance indoor environmental impact:
monitoring of carbon dioxide levels, ventilation effectiveness, control of indoor chemical and
pollutant sources, personal control of environmental systems, as well as the presence of daylight
and views. New standards have been introduced to ensure adequate ventilation, reduce
condensation and inhibit the growth of molds and mildews. Designers are also interested in
potential psychological and related physiological benefits of environmental design factors. For
example, intuition tells us that a connection to nature improves our sense of well-being when
indoors. This can be achieved through access to daylight or views, or by providing a visual or
tactile connection with natural materials such as wood and stone, (Impacts of Buildings on
Human Health; Designing for Human Well-being, 1), which makes so much sense because like
almost everyone else, one would feel more in contact with their inner spirit, and own personal
side of naturistic characteristics when comfortable and surrounded by what is or once was
living. Ever woken up from a camping trip and immediately jumped out of the tent to feel the
breeze on top of the suns ray beating down on your skin? Plenty of times its been described as
reviving! Most wood totally agree being in contact with nature brings up one's overall wellbeing.
In whole, within given numerous reasons in and under contemporary sustainable building
boasting it as the way to go in a sense such as elaborating the good it can bring into conception
with our planet, the drastic measures it would secure, and the positive potential effects it leaves
on our life span, it seems to be such an easy decision to make. However, so many alternatives
and circles one would have to run around the basics of carpentry could and would get very

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overwhelming, which is probably the main thought behind the entire world not yet being under
these regulations.
People are probably so resistant to the change because the cost considering most projects
when it comes to building homes are pretty expensive. Not to mention finding the materials
needed to make the home reach qualifications, those materials more than likely couldnt be
found in regular home goods stores, so doubting being able to just pull it off the shelf in lowes,
one would probably seek most materials online and then also have to pay shipping based off
weight. If youve ever ordered offline, you know larger orders take longer to process, as well as
get shipped, so imagine the weight on more than half the raw materials.
Theres plenty of concerns and should dos, but going into detail on all the rights and
wrongs isnt going to rush the change needed. Its a speak now or forever hold your peace kind
of situation as many see it, and only so much persuading can happen and been have happening
until it actually clicks. With numerous rumors of the earth one day self destructing, most people
have come to the realization that its time to take stand against any and everything they can in
order to save their home.