Green buildings are healthier buildings for humans. Green buildings are more resilient.
Green buildings are quality buildings.
Energy buildings are greener buildings.
Green buildings avoid brown discount.
This is what many opinion leaders with global influence claim what green buildings are or can do. Not surprisingly the intended audience can get confused (if not already) of what at the end a green building is.
Is there magic behind this color after all?
Green for the layman is mostly associated with the natural environment for 2 reasons:
1. Vegetation is (mostly) associated with the green color.
2. It is true that the green building movement started with its main (if not entire) focus on impact mitigation and protection of our natural environment.
However, real life proves to be a little more complex in order for a one dimensional solution to work the problem.
From nature’s patterns one can easily observe fauna to team, hunt, nest, give birth, fight, prevail etc. That is, inherent social and economic factors are present and manifested through fauna needs and scarcity of available resources.
Making the analogy, it is evident that in real life situations a green building must provide an equitable solution as well. That is, the green component has to coexist within a delicate balance of human needs satisfaction and available resources. Alter the heading, pitch or roll one of the three interrelated components and experience the challenge of sustaining the balance of the model called real life.
It is true that current climate change is a global scale threat and its manifestations are experienced through the natural environment component.
However, the word green (with its associated perception) and its use for headers most probably mislead the intended audience whatever the detailed analysis might demonstrate in several pages underneath. With the risk of the intended audience not reading further, not bothered to be aware or misled, the global movement needs to ponder if it has adopted the appropriate “brand” adjective.
Could it be fundamental for global fora, peer review specialist teams and opinion leaders to agree on a more appropriate single adjective?
And could at the end this single adjective prove more effective than global common metrics?
As we embark on 2016 it is always useful to ponder on the very fundamentals.
Happy New Year!