What does it mean to be green?
Sustainable building is not a brand-new trend, but it has evolved in the past decade, primarily through rating systems which help designers, builders, and owners better evaluate the sustainability of their project. Since building sustainable and energy efficient can have different meaning and criteria, a few rating systems have been created that are now the industry standard. For example, the US Green Building Councils (USGBC) Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED), or more recently the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) has the Living Building Challenge (LBC). LBC is a very difficult standard to achieve, and LEED has different tiers of achievement. In general, each rating system takes a holistic approach to the design and construction process, and looks at the project’s impact on its surroundings. The interactive icons below help illustrate common priorities of sustainable design.