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Article reference: Green Plants for Green Buildings
Per a press release published in April from the USGBC, representatives from Australia’s "Green Star” rating system along with the UK’s BREEAM rating system and USGBC’s LEED have agreed to work together to develop metrics and alignment tools to create consistency in measuring and reporting. Although this in and of itself may not seem like a very big deal, it is huge. It indicates mutual respect between these three entities and gets them working together toward a common goal. Green Plants for Green Buildings (publisher of this article) believes this cohesive approach will eventually give live plants their correct place within the LEED rating system, but only if the industry can push for the change.
The Green Building Council of Australia has an equivalent building rating system known as "Green Star." The Green Star - Office Interiors rating tool is designed for building owners, tenants and interior designers to assess the environmental impact of an interior fitout. A green fitout will include issues such as access to natural light, waste management, energy conservation, low emission paints and timber from sustainable forests.
In their system they aim to encourage and recognize the installation of indoor plants that improve environmental quality. Points are awarded when plants are included in the office environment build out or tenant improvement.
The criteria for compliance must have the following: * Plant species selected on suitability to indoors * Two-year horticultural maintenance plan * Minimum density of one 300mm (12") plant or two 200mm (8") plants per two work settings * Additional points can be added for increased plant density (double density=double points)
Seven Materials Calculators have been developed to assess the environmental impacts of fitout items during their manufacture, use, and post-use phase. The items are assessed for eco preferred content, durability, the product manufacturer's environmental management system, commitment to product stewardship, and whether the product is modular and/or designed for disassembly. Emissions of volatile organic compounds from paints, carpets, adhesives and sealants and office fitout items are covered within the Indoor Environment Quality category.
Beyond the above criteria there are also compliance requirement submittals and documentation. These can be reviewed at: www.gbca.org.au/green-star/rating-tools/green-star-office-interiors-v1-1/1530.htm
Green Plants for Green Buildings encourages Interiorscapers everywhere to learn as much as possible about the Green Star requirements and talk about it with their current and potential clients. Additionally, Interiorscapers are encouraged to join the local USGBC chapters and talk to anyone there who will listen about the system and why indoor plants should be in the LEED rating system. It is these kinds of grass roots effort that will get the industry recognized and get green plants in green buildings.
building eco friendly environmental green green building leed sustainable
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