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What Colour is your Building?: Measuring and reducing the energy and carbon footprint of buildings
Publisher: RIBA Publishing
Date Published: Jun 2013
Stock Code: 77531
Total votes: 111
‘An important and timely guide’ – Paul King, CEO of UK Green Building Council
Already garnering high-praise from luminaries within the construction and architecture industries, ‘What Colour is your Building?’ is an essential title for all those interested in determining and responding to the true costs of a building’s carbon footprint.
The result of many years’ analysis and design of low-energy buildings, it comes in two sections. In the first, author David Clark focuses on how to measure and benchmark the CO2 emissions caused by the operating, embodied and transport energy consumption associated with commercial buildings and the people that use them. He proposes a simple whole carbon footprint methodology which can be used to put into context:
- Real (not theoretical) energy consumption
- Embodied carbon (new build and refurbish vs demolish)
- The significant impact the location of a building has on the CO2 emissions of people travelling to work.
The second part of the book provides clear, practical guidance to developers, planners, architects, engineers, building owners, facility managers, and tenants on how to reduce the whole carbon footprint. This includes:
- 10 steps to low energy buildings
- The contribution that renewable energy can realistically make
- The use of lower carbon materials in construction, refurbishment and fit-out
- How to encourage greener methods of travel.
An overview of the ingredients to include in a business case to justify investment in low energy/carbon buildings is also provided.
The book is accompanied by electronic appendices which are free to download from thenbs.com/what-colour-is-your-building.
Why do award-winning "green" buildings so often have higher energy bills than ordinary buildings? Why do expensive refurbishments deliver...
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Romilly Madew, Chief Executive of Green Building Council of Australia
‘Investing in green buildings can not only reduce carbon emissions and cut costs, but create jobs and revitalise entire communities and cities. I congratulate David for contributing to the growing body of knowledge about green building, and supporting the property and construction industry's transition to a more sustainable future.’
S. Richard Fedrizzi, Chairman of World Green Building Council and President, CEO & Founding Chair of U.S. Green Building Counci
‘As the Chair of the World Green Building Council, I have a deep respect for the rating systems that help project teams, building owners, and facility operators measure the impact of their buildings and help them make better decisions. But real performance is tied to better metrics and more transparency across every dimension – energy, of course, but also water, waste, and materials. David’s call to action rings true for anyone who sees better buildings and communities as the cornerstones for a better future.’
Rab Bennetts, OBE, Director, Bennetts Associates
‘In the 20 years since we designed our first radically “green” building, the tension between myth and reality has continued unabated, largely due to a lack of real performance data combined with vested interests opposing change. This lucid and comprehensive book demonstrates that lower environmental impacts - critically the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions - can be achieved through design strategies based on a sound understanding of actual building performance. Its message is that the requisite knowledge isn’t rocket science; it requires scientific rigour and design innovation for sure, but common sense and objectivity are the primary requirements for the green buildings of the future.’
Professor John Connaughton, University of Reading, School of Construction Management and Engineering
‘This is a timely and very significant work, one of the first to look comprehensively at the energy and carbon impacts of buildings in their totality. David Clark has combined experience distilled from many years’ as one of the UK’s leading building engineers with the latest thinking to provide a compelling account of energy use and carbon emissions at all stages of the building life cycle. More than that, the book provides detailed practical guidance on reducing carbon emissions for all involved in the design, construction and operation of low-energy buildings. Guidance and data is clearly presented and in a straightforward way free from jargon. I would commend it highly to practitioners, clients and researchers alike.’
Steven Borncamp, co-Director of Construction21: International, Managing Director of Living Future Europe and Founding President
‘We need technical, economic and aesthetic success stories to dramatically improve the environmental performance of our building stock. What Colour is Your Building offers a rare combination of asking the right questions and providing detailed answers and is essential reading for all sustainable construction and property practitioners.’
Miles Keeping, Partner of Deloitte Real Estate and Chairman of Investment Property Forum Sustainability Interest Group
‘This book clearly sets out the importance of considering buildings in the round, as a whole system. I’d make this compulsory reading for all ‘built environment’ students and certainly would encourage all practitioners with an interest in the sustainability of buildings to put it at the top of their reading lists. In addition, policy makers involved in the carbon and energy arenas should inwardly digest this book as soon as possible.’
Pooran Desai OBE HonFRIBA, co-founder BioRegional and International Director, One Planet Communities
‘Data presented clearly, and with a touch of humour, make this a very good and timely read. The industry has been learning a lot about how to - and how not to - design, construct and manage green buildings. David’s book is a concise, accessible summary of the lessons.’
Andrew McNaughton,CEO Balfour Beatty plc and Vice President of the Institution of Civil Engineers
‘David is one of our leading exponents of low energy buildings. I commend this work to designers and contractors, as an embodiment of professional expertise, scholarly insight and remarkable common sense.’
Paul King, CEO of UK Green Building Council
‘What Colour Is Your Building is an important and timely guide to help us navigate the often misunderstood subject of energy use in and around buildings. This is not an academic pursuit, it is an urgent course of action that we must embark on to harvest the most cost-effective energy and carbon savings, and one in which everyone associated with planning, design, construction, occupation and management of buildings needs to play a part. Debunking myths and providing a simple step by step guide to measuring and minimising real energy use, this is essential reading.’
Sarah Radif, Programme Leader, Architectural Technology Southampton Solent University
Date Reviewed: September 2014
"What Colour is Your Building" is very well detailed and includes thorough calculations, some of which are perhaps more suited for services engineers or other professionals with advanced knowledge in the subject area. Having said that, I found the second part of the book more suited for professionals (and students) with design background or those who don't necessarily have any pre-requisites in the field.
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