Sustainability, Energy and Architecture - Chapter 13: Key Characteristics of Top Performing Sustainable Buildings from the Perspective of the Users

Elsevier, Sustainability, Energy and Architecture, Case Studies in Realizing Green Buildings, 2013, Pages 359-385. 
George Baird

With an overall mission of obtaining an independent unbiased evaluation of their performance, the author has surveyed and analyzed the users’ perceptions of a world-wide set of thirty-one sustainable commercial and institutional buildings located in a range of climatic zones. The ‘top ten’ buildings, in terms of an overall ‘Summary Index’, were identified. In this chapter, these buildings are examined in more depth, and their key features identified. These include having a client and designers committed to sustainability and energy efficiency, the employment of integrated design processes, the judicious application of fundamental sustainability principles in terms of the design of the building envelope and the selection of the environmental control systems, and a commitment to the ongoing operation of the building.