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A green building is an environmentally sustainable building, designed, constructed and operated to minimise the total environmental impacts.



Well designed green buildings  save money, increase comfort and create healthier environments for people to live and work, using improved indoor air quality, natural daylight, and thermal comfort. Build Green's focus is on reducing building energy usage,water conservation,recycling waste and increasing occupant comfort.


What actions do you propose?

MIT apply green building values (LEED certified building) and processes to new development

Green building is an approach toward building design, construction, operation, and removal that seeks to reduce human impact on the environment while fostering healthy and comfortable communities.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building.

LEED certification ensures electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthier environments for the places we live, work, learn, play and worship. LEED’s global sustainability agenda is designed to achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health, acting on the triple bottom line - putting people, planet and profit first.

LEED credits are awarded by third-party technical reviewers; are applicable to all building types throughout a building’s lifecycle; and are developed through several rounds of public comments and in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) board, broader membership and staff.

There is no single blueprint for green building; rather, it is a set of processes that may be adapted to best suit the needs of the campus. Green building practices revolve around a few basic principles:

  • Integrated, whole life-cycle consideration in building conception, design, and maintenance. Planning for maximum efficiency, health, and cost-effectiveness of a building over the long-term-- construction, operation, maintenance, and potential disassembly. Designing individual systems to work together for the highest possible effectiveness.
  • Environmentally sensitive siting and design. Planning and placing buildings so as to preserve natural growth, species, habitat, and land quality. Clustering development in urban area to preserve greenspaces and redeveloping brownfields. Taking advantage of natural resources such as sunlight and wind for heating, cooling, lighting, and other functions. Controlling harmful byproduct effects like stormwater runoff, soil erosion, airborne dust generation, waterway sedimentation, and heat trapping.
  • Maximum sustainability in materials and processes. Utilizing ecologically friendly construction and operation procedures that may be reproduced indefinitely. Use of low-impact, recycled/recyclable, regional, non-toxic, and sustainably-sourced materials.
  • Resource and energy efficiency. Employing alternative and renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic and wind power. Management of systems and for optimal effectiveness and efficiency, including conservation and recycling of water and energy.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality. Optimizing indoor conditions for health and comfort through management of pollutants, adjustable light, heat, and ventilation controls, natural lighting, and inclusion of windows.

Green building is not a simple development trend; it is an approach to building suited to the demands of its time, whose relevance and importance will only continue to increase.

Green building is not a simple development trend; it is an approach to building suited to the demands of its time, whose relevance and importance will only continue to increase.

The U.S. Green Building Council (, a nonprofit organization composed of leaders from all sectors of the building industry, works to promote "buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work." The USGBC developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system in 1999 and is the organization responsible for awarding LEED certification.

According to the USGBC website, the LEED Green Building Rating System™ is "the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality."

Specific LEED rating programs exist for the following:

  • New Commercial Construction and Major Renovation projects
  • Guidelines for Multiple Buildings and On-Campus Building Projects
  • Existing Building Operations and Maintenance
  • Commercial Interiors projects
  • Core and Shell development projects
  • Homes
  • Neighborhood Development
  • Schools
  • Retail
  • LEED for Health Care is currently under development.

In the LEED certification process, projects are awarded points according to achievements within certain sustainability categories. Depending on points achieved, projects are rated one of four levels of LEED Certification:

  • Certified (26-32 points)
  • Silver (33-38 points)
  • Gold (39-51 points)
  • Platinum (52-69 points)

These categories, and examples of points available within them, follow:

1. Sustainable Sites (14 possible points)

2. Water Efficiency (5 possible points)

  • Reduce landscaping water use by 50%
  • Innovative wastewater technologies
  • 20% or 30% water use reduction

3. Energy and Atmosphere (17 possible points)

  • Minimum energy performance (required)
  • Optimize energy performance (1-10 points available)
  • On-site renewable energy
  • Enhanced refrigerant management
  • Green power

4. Materials & Resources (13 possible points)

  • Storage and collection of recyclables (required)
  • Building reuse (maintain 75% or 95% of existing walls, floors, & roof)
  • Construction waste management (divert 50% or 75% from disposal)
  • Materials reuse (5% or 10%)
  • Regional materials (10% or 20% extracted, processed and manufactured regionally)
  • Certified wood

5. Indoor Environmental Quality (15 possible points)

  • Minimum Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) performance (required)
  • Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) control (required)
  • Increased ventilation
  • Low-emitting materials (e.g. adhesives & sealants; paints & coatings; carpet systems)
  • Indoor chemical and pollutant source control
  • Controllability of systems (lighting and thermal comfort)

6. Innovation & Design Process (5 possible points)

  • Four points available for innovation in design
  • LEED Accredited Professional


Green building strategies

Environmental impacts and waste mitigation strategies:

Mitigating environmental impacts and waste in construction is a major consideration for green building. Studies indicate that these goals are based on many factors, including emission reduction, materials and resource use, and waste reduction. These studies focus on qualitative features as justification assessment tools and benchmarks, and attempt to provide direction to project stakeholders in performing life-cycle assessments for green buildings. Energy strategies implemented in sustainable construction and design desire to increase on-site renewable energy sources using features such as ground source heat pumps (GSHP), solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays, and electrochromic glazing. Other strategies such as rapidly renewable material and recycled content are introduced when applying the LEED-certification process during design development. This portion of the sustainable construction design process aims to limit the construction waste sent to landfills and promote greater use of recycling programs. Life-cycle assessment modeling tools such as Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES), tracks products through the entire manufacturing process, from raw materials extraction to the ultimate disposal of the product

Occupant well being and performance:

Occupant well being and performance associated with green buildings has been purported to improve human health and productivity. A study conducted by Singh et al. (2009) shows that investing in LEED certification improves the physical and psychological well being of building occupants, however, it increases the cost of the project. Increased costs are shown to be incremental, even decreasing as markets. Green building design using strategies such as LEED-certification also presents challenges with less individual occupant comfort control, noise level increases, and lighting dissatisfaction.

Social value:

The social value of green building is based on the triple bottom-line concept to include the environment and economy. Research and assessment tools on social equity and investment made in green buildings lag, according to Hammer (2009). Cost justifications attributed to social return-on-investment are considered less quantitative, as these investments are holistic and provide benefits to the larger community.

Who will take these actions?


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

95%-99% emissions will be reduced or sequestered.

What are other key benefits?

Green building is not a simple development trend; it is an approach to building suited to the demands of its time, whose relevance and importance will only continue to increase. The benefits to green building are manifold, and may be categorized along three fronts: environmental, economic, and social.

Environmental Benefits

  • Emissions Reduction
  • Water Conservation
  • Stormwater Management
  • Temperature Moderation
  • Waste Reduction


Economic Benefits

  • Energy and Water Savings
  • Increased Property Values
  • Decreased Infrastructure Strain
  • Improved Employee Attendance
  • Increased Employee Productivity
  • Sales Improvements
  • Development of Local Talent Pool


Social Benefits

  • Improved Health
  • Improved Schools
  • Healthier Lifestyles and Recreation


LEED certification guarantees that new and existing green buildings achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health.

  • LEED buildings consistently set the market rate for commercial real estate in highly competitive markets.

What are the proposal’s costs?

Building Design and Construction's "White Paper on Sustainability," published in November 2003, examined the building costs of 26 LEED-certified buildings and found the cost per-square-foot ranging from $13 to $425.

A July 2007 report by Davis Langdon, a construction consulting company, compared the costs of LEED seeking buildings to conventionally designed and constructed counterparts. Eighty-three LEED seeking buildings and 138 conventional buildings were chosen for the study, a total of 221 academic, laboratory, library, and community center buildings, and health care facilities.

The following graphs show the costs per square foot of the conventional buildings versus buildings seeking various levels of LEED-certification. LEED seeking academic buildings are scattered broadly across the chart, showing no significant difference in the average costs of LEED seeking and non-LEED seeking buildings.

"As the various methods of analysis showed, there is no 'one size fits all' answer to the question of the cost of green. A majority of the buildings we studied were able to achieve their goals for LEED certification without any additional funding. Others required additional funding, but only for specific sustainable features, such as the installation of a photovoltaic system. Additionally, our analysis suggests that the cost per square foot for buildings seeking LEED certification falls into the existing range of costs for buildings of similar program type. From this analysis we can conclude that many projects can achieve sustainable design within their initial budget, or with very small supplemental funding."

The City of Seattle reports that the average incremental cost of meeting LEED Silver standards across all projects is 1.7%. 


Time line

Within 5 years baseline survey

5-15 years construction of building and installation of necessary equipments

Above 15 years cost benefit analysis


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