Go Green

Green doors and win­dows

Enterprise - - Contents -

En­vi­ron­men­tal de­sign and sus­tain­abil­ity in con­struc­tion busi­ness is, like other tech­ni­cal ques­tions, a highly so­phis­ti­cated is­sue that de­mands a more com­plex ap­proach, both from the sup­ply and de­mand side of the mar­ket. Cor­rect im­ple­men­ta­tion of ba­sic sus­tain­abil­ity and ef­fi­ciency prin­ci­ples drives down cost, in­creases ef­fi­ciency, im­proves the bot­tom line and, most im­por­tantly, re­duces the bur­den on the en­vi­ron­ment in which we all live.

En­vi­ron­men­tal de­sign and ef­fi­ciency at con­struc­tion projects places a par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on the façade, win­dow and door seg­ments of the in­dus­try to achieve the bulk of en­ergy, ma­te­rial and cost sav­ings in the over­all de­sign of a build­ing. This is rec­og­nized by the lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers of this sec­tor, ev­ery­one of whom is ac­tively de­sign­ing and pro­mot­ing prod­ucts based on the ba­sic prin­ci­ples of en­vi­ron­men­tal de­sign and sus­tain­abil­ity.

How­ever, hav­ing in­di­vid­ual com­pa­nies com­ing up with var­i­ous prod­ucts and pro­mot­ing them in­di­vid­u­ally is not enough. For op­ti­mum al­lo­ca­tion of re­sources, it has been sug­gested that there must be a cen­tral­ized forum where sup­ply and de­mand can come to­gether and de­ter­mine the true mar­ket and take ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties for en­vi­ron­men­tal de­sign and ef­fi­ciency prod­ucts in to­day’s con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

LEED (Lead­er­ship in En­ergy and En­vi­ron­men­tal De­sign) Green Build­ing Rat­ing Sys­tem pro­vides a com­plete frame­work for as­sess­ing build­ing per­for­mance and meet­ing sus­tain­abil­ity goals. Based on well-founded sci­en­tific stan­dards, LEED em­pha­sizes state-of-the-art strate­gies for sus­tain­able site de­vel­op­ment, water sav­ings, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, ma­te­ri­als se­lec­tion and in­door en­vi­ron­men­tal qual­ity.

Here are rec­om­men­da­tions on what to look for in en­vi­ron­ment-friendly doors and win­dows.

Green win­dow and door guide

1. Man­u­fac­turer’s com­mit­ment to en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship. 2. En­ergy ef­fi­ciency. The build­ing en­ve­lope is a key part of how a build­ing will per­form in re­la­tion to en­ergy ef­fi­ciency. When a build­ing has win­dows and doors, there are holes in that en­ve­lope that could com­pro­mise the en­ergy ef­fi­ciency. That is why win­dow and door choices are crit­i­cal and only high qual­ity and en­ergy-ef­fi­cient win­dows and doors should be used. 3. Wooden win­dows with triple glaz­ing and blinds be­tween the glass are one op­tion be­cause they of­fer ex­cel­lent U-val­ues and ther­mal prop­er­ties of the wood. 4. Re­cy­cled con­tent. Eval­u­ate the amount of re­cy­cled con­tent used; this

can be post-con­sumer or post-in­dus­trial. 5. In­door air qual­ity. The main is­sue with in­door air qual­ity is VOC (Volatile

Or­ganic Com­pounds); at the very least prod­ucts need to meet some type of re­quire­ments, such as Green Seal. 6. Day light­ing and views. These are a key win­dow prop­erty for green, be­cause win­dows al­low in nat­u­ral day light­ing which re­duces or elim­i­nates the need for ar­ti­fi­cial light­ing and cre­ates sav­ings on en­ergy costs. A key com­po­nent is to place win­dows and shad­ing de­vices at a lo­ca­tion that max­i­mizes day light­ing and min­i­mizes heat gain. Views are max­i­mized if all oc­cu­pants have vis­i­bil­ity to the out­doors. Stud­ies show this con­trib­utes pos­i­tively to both the work en­vi­ron­ment and life im­prove­ment. 7. In­creased ven­ti­la­tion ef­fec­tive­ness. Op­er­a­ble win­dows can as­sist with this if the build­ing is go­ing to be nat­u­rally ven­ti­lated in or­der to re­duce the need for me­chan­i­cal sys­tems for fresh air flow. 8. Light pol­lu­tion. Lights can pol­lute the night sky and neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing the in­te­rior lights from a build­ing. The goal is to elim­i­nate light tres­pass from the build­ing. 9. Wood as a build­ing ma­te­rial uti­lizes re­new­able re­sources. 10. Cer­ti­fied wood. There are sev­eral wood cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tems avail­able, the most well-known be­ing FSC (For­est Stew­ard­ship Coun­cil) and SFI (Sus­tain­able Forestry Ini­tia­tive). Most of the well-known cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tems are de­vel­oped and used with the same key pur­pose in mind, which is to prac­tice sus­tain­able forestry.

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