Green design of buildings and communities creates healthier, sustainable living environments

Mississippi Business Journal: “Green design” in architecture is far more than a buzz word or a fad. It is increasingly just the way things are done to not only preserve the environment, but the value of the owner’s investments.

Green architecture as a phrase may be a fad, said Michael Berk, AIA, director of the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University. The word he prefers is ecological design, that is designing in concert and in balance with the natural systems around us, working with these systems instead of against them.

The U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines are now used by many federal projects, as well as state and local governmental projects and private developments.

“The purpose of the guidelines is to minimize energy use, maximize resources, minimize land use and create healthier, sustainable construction and living environments,” Berk said. “In and of itself, it is not going to solve the world’s problems. But it is a good minimum standard like the building code is a good minimum standard. LEED guidelines are now fundamentally a standardized practice for building design, construction and commissioning. Homes are probably the largest investment most people will ever make, and green building techniques maximize the return on investment because buildings are designed to last and perform efficiently and economically.” Read more here>>