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Green Building - The Purpose of a Building: Consider the Whole System

To have the greatest value, a building will meet the needs of the people who will use it and of the surrounding community of which the building will be a part – health and safety, social, aesthetic, economic, and environmental. To achieve this value, an integrated approach to design is essential.

Questions to Consider

Resources

Whole Systems Thinking
By Rocky Mountain Institute's (RMI) Green Development Services
RMI's Green Development Services unit works to improve the efficiency of buildings and projects through consulting and research. RMI states, "Whole-systems thinking is a process through which the interconnections between systems are actively considered, and solutions are sought that address multiple problems at the same time."
www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid223.php

Design Approach - US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Provides a number of tools to ensure more integrated design approach. www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/highperformance/design_approach.html

Smart Communities Network
Discusses comprehensive set of green building principles, codes, success stories and additional reference material.
www.smartcommunities.ncat.org/buildings/gbintro.shtml

Natural Capitalism
This book is authored by three leading business visionaries, who explain how the world is on the verge of a new industrial revolution. Natural Capitalism describes a future in which business and environmental interests increasingly overlap, and in which companies can improve their bottom lines, help solve environmental problems. The book cites hundreds of compelling stories. Available for purchase through the Rocky Mountain Institute.
www.naturalcapitalism.org/

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