Green Design strives to save the green in the natural and built environment and save the green in your pocket.
Now more than ever, there is a demand for environmentally conscious design and sustainable buildings due to the increasing scarcity of our natural resources. Green Design has taken the initiative to design and construct buildings while reducing harmful effects on the environment and human health. By making the initial investment of these sustainable materials and systems, not only does it save on energy and resources but also on the cost of maintaining the buildings for years to come post-construction.
Top 5 Business Cases for Green Design
- Improved air quality and access to natural light and views leads to improved employee health and wellness and results in higher productivity and fewer sick days.
- Casts a positive light on developers that take on sustainable construction practices and invest in buildings that are efficient, have a smart footprint and contribute to natural resources rather than deplete them which results in decreased operational costs.
- In a commercial market filled with vacancies it gives sustainable developers a competitive edge against other developments.
- Sourcing materials locally support the local economy and reduce transportation costs.
- Sourcing eco-friendly materials results in no off-gassing*of materials, sustainable forestry, rapidly renewable resources, and cradle to cradle** products.
*off gas: give off a chemical in the form of gas
**Cradle to Cradle design allows manufactured materials to return to the land, either reused, recycled or repurposed, to enhance the environment.
What MQN is doing to emulate green & sustainable design:
It is ultimately up to the client if they would like their building to become certified; some clients cannot afford to get the certification because it is simply out of the budget. MQN, regardless of the project, takes pride in building on budget while keeping green methods of building in mind, essentially creating a “LEED/Living Building Challenge/WELL-like” design. Within our team we have two architects, a building technician and a Registered Interior Designer who are all LEED APs (Accredited Professionals). They are certified in the area of LEED’s green building standards and are able to provide consulting services to clients and developers. Regardless of which Green Design certification is used, ultimately these programs share the common goal of saving the green in the natural and built environment and saving the green in your pocket.
LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” and has been at the forefront of creating a successful business model out of sustainable design. LEED has established 5 rating systems, 9 credit categories and 4 levels of certification (Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum) to promote the use of sustainable materials, energy efficient building standards and healthy indoor environments in order to reduce the overall impact on the environment. The rating systems include Building Design & Construction (BD+C), Interior Design & Construction (ID+C), Operation & Maintenance (O+M), Neighbourhood Development (ND), and Homes & Units (HOMES). There are nine credit categories that you can earn points in to achieve a higher level of certification, they are Integrative Process, Location & Transportation, Materials & Resources, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Sustainable Sites, Indoor Environment, Innovation, and Regional Priority.
Living Building Challenge
The International Living Future Institute is committed to the transformation towards a socially and ecologically just world. The Living Building Challenge is one of the seven branches connected to this institute. The Living Building Challenge focuses on the upmost sustainable building practices and built environments by using a certification program with performance categories called Petals: Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Petals are then subdivided and elaborated on in each category.
WELL Building Standard
WELL Building Standard focuses on the features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through seven classifications: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort, and Mind. WELL’s foundation rests on the medical research that explores the connection between the buildings and the health and wellness of the people who live, work and play in these environments. WELL strives to create buildings and facilities that improves personal aspects of the occupants such as nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns and performance.