[ class 1 ]
2007

 
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Taiwan Architecture & Building Center

About Green Building Labeling

Introduction

      “Green building” is known as “environmentally symbiotic building” in Japan, “ecological” or “sustainable building” in some American and European nations and “green building” in North America. Green Building as a design concept originated in cold-climate advanced nation, so many of the design techniques are not entirely adaptable in the tropics or subtropics. In Taiwan, the word “green” is now synonymous with environmental conservation as demonstrated in buzzwords like “green consumption”, “green lifestyle” and “green lighting”. Taiwan has even adopted the vision of a “green silicon island” as benchmark for sustainable development. Therefore, it was decided to use the already well-known expression of “green building” to refer to eco-friendly buildings.

 

 

      The Evaluation Manual for Green Building published in Taiwan in 1999 defined “green building” as “a building that consumes minimal resources of the planet and produces the minimal waste”. Seven indicators were used at the inception of the local GB rating system as quantifiable benchmarks: Greenery, On-site Water Retention, Daily Energy Saving, Co2 Reduction, Construction Waste Reduction, Water Resource And Sewage & Garbage Improvement. Two additional indicators—Biodiversity and Indoor Environment—were added in 2003 to round up the new system with nine indicators. The indicators were classified into four categories—Ecology, Energy Saving, Waste Reduction and Health—, while the definition of green building was expanded to “an ecological, energy-saving, waste-reducing and healthy building”. This system became the fourth scientific, quantifiable GB rating system in the world, preceded only by the British, American and Canadian systems. It is also currently the only system in the world independently developed for tropical and subtropical climates.

 

      Green building extends sustainable architecture from the scale of a single building to the entire planet, with the vision for a vibrant, sustainable living environment for all. However, how does one manage to create a comfortable yet eco-friendly built environment in the hot, humid and rainy climate of Taiwan? This is our greatest challenge as we tackle today’s global environmental crisis. The design concept of green building uses environmental conservation as a departure point and human health and comfort as the foundation, in the pursuit of architectural design that enables symbiotic, harmonious and sustainable co-existence between humankind and our living environment. Our GB rating system has been created to help the general public understand the meaning of green building and facilitate their selection and purchase of green building products. It also encourages developers, architects and related industries to become engaged in green building. Finally, it works hand-in-hand with government GB policies while facilitating the evaluation of a building’s performance in terms of sustainability and environment conservation.

 

      As the basis for formulating government policies, a GB rating system must be at once practical, simple and operative. Some countries include complex social and economical factors into GB assessment, not only complicating the scientific measurement but also losing sight of the original priority—environmental conservation. To facilitate green building practice by building professionals, our GB rating system does not, for now, include any hard-to-quantify cultural, social and economical indicators.

 

 

   
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