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BY Tali Aaron : March 4

The Art and Philosophy Of Green Building Science


Building Science is the body of scientific knowledge that focuses on the phenomena that affects buildings, including building materials and performance. This is no secret. But, when we started hearing certification companies like Environments for Living and agencies like the US Department of Energy throwing the term around, we got curious. And, since we're curious, we thought some of you that aren't in the construction industry might be curious too.

Green building science, as opposed to regular old building science, incorporates a lot of things that we at buildaroo are very concerned with; most specifically, an element of sustainability. Green building science stands on three legs; energy efficiency, healthy air quality, and resource management. Green building does not need to be in any particular style nor does it have to be expensive. It just has to benefit its occupants, by providing less expensive energy management, less maintenance, better durability, a healthier atmosphere, and all around more comfort.

So how do builders and certifiers achieve all of this? Most of them will tell you that the key is to look at the building as a system, not just a sum of its parts. Buildings are complex, and each part of the system affects every other part of the system. This relationship is what people interested in green building science are concerned with. Green building scientists analogize a building to the human body. Our homes breathe to live, sweat when they are too hot, and shiver when they are cold. Just as people adapt to their surrounding environment (most of us don't wear t-shirts in the snow, for example), a building must be built to reflect its environment. Green builders don't use the same plans for projects in different climates. By harnessing nature, green building science results in more efficient homes. Just as the weather affects our bodies and moods, it also affects out homes. There are a few basic factors to keep in mind when considering how to build a green home. A green builder considers the surrounding climate, air flow, rain, solar radiation, and noise. A green builder also makes sure that a structure is strong, economical, beautiful, and meets the needs of its inhabitants.

This is all just a small piece of the green building puzzle, but we hope we've given you some context when you hear the terms "green building science" and "the building as a system" thrown around. Furthermore, we hope we've driven the point across that green building is not just a series of physical acts, but a philosophy. Still looking for more? Check out the following resources:

-Building Science's digest on green building and sustainability
-Greenbuilding.com: Building the Future with Intention
-Building science experts offer green building courses
-Build it Green's resources on building science
-And of course, Wikipedia's article on building science

15 Responses to The Art and Philosophy Of Green Building Science

  1. Ciralight SunTracker on December 13, 2012 at 2:45 am


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  6. Xantara on April 14, 2011 at 10:38 am


    squMsM Very true! Makes a change to see soemnoe spell it out like that. :)

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  11. Pat Colburn on February 1, 2010 at 10:39 am


    The California Building Performance Contractors Association is the only training program in the state that is a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR partner. We teach Builidng Science - how to look at the house as a whole system. Contractors, and consultants learn how to diagnose, analyse, and remediate energy and air issues in existing residential buildings. We offer Building Performance Institute (BPI)and HERS certifications - the two certifications that will be required for the upcoming utility and municipal programs.

    Although other organizations offer these certifications, we are a the only one to incorporate Building Science in all of our training.
    Please contact me if you would like any more information. Thank you.

  12. buildaroo on July 7, 2009 at 1:48 am


    wow thanks! what did you like about it? What other kinds of articles are you interested in? We'd be happy to make one based on your request.

  13. emorse on July 5, 2009 at 7:50 am


    Great post!

  14. emorse on July 5, 2009 at 2:50 pm


    Great post!

  15. buildaroo on July 6, 2009 at 6:48 pm


    wow thanks! what did you like about it? What other kinds of articles are you interested in? We'd be happy to make one based on your request.

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