A green building is referred to as a building that saves resources to the maximum extent, protects the environment and reduces pollution, provides people with healthy, suitable, and efficient use space, and coexists in harmony with nature during the entire life cycle of the building. Green buildings provide people with a healthy and comfortable home and work environment while achieving the highest efficiency of energy use and minimal impact on the environment. The Green buildings are considered energy consumers and have an significant impact on the environment. According to statistics, 50% of the world’s energy is used for buildings, and more than 50% of raw materials obtained by humans from nature are used to build various buildings and their ancillary facilities. In addition, air pollution, light pollution, and electromagnetic pollution caused by construction account for more than 1/3 of the total environmental pollution, and 40% of the waste generated by human activities is construction waste.
As an evaluation system, the green building connects the construction vision on sustainable human development and geographical and socio-economic conditions of each region. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in the United States is an example. A concept related to green building is a sustainable building, and these two concepts can be equivalent. In the green building’s evaluation system, the concept of sustainability runs through, and the evaluation method derived from this is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA evaluates the impact of products on the environment, and buildings are also used as a product. Therefore, LCA can also be used for evaluation.
There are four benchmarks for green buildings. First, energy saving promotes the application of new and renewable energy. It benefits the various functions of the city, promotes the rational distribution of urban residence and employment, reduces traffic load, and reduces the energy consumption of urban transportation. The next benchmark includes land saving which involves rational layout and scientific planning to improve the intensive and economical degree of land use. Industrial buildings should appropriately increase the floor area ratio, public buildings should appropriately increase the building density, and residential buildings should determine the building density and floor area ratio. Under the premise of meeting health, energy-saving, and lighting standards, we can further develop and utilize urban underground space, and occupation and destruction of cultivated land by production.
Water-saving is an important benchmark that focuses on strengthening the popularization and application of water-saving appliances while improving the utilization rate of sewage regeneration and rainwater utilization. There is a primary focus on the design process to implement water-saving standards and water-saving measures. The design involves an layout of sewage treatment facilities to create conditions for the use of reclaimed water, and promote the use of reclaimed water for greening water. The final benchmark for green buildings requires saving materials which involve adopting new building systems, promoting the application of renewable and sustainable building materials, and usage of local materials. This is crucial to improving building quality, prolonging service life of buildings, and reducing the consumption of building materials. Therefore, green buildings can basically be summarized as reducing the load of buildings on the environment, maximizing the technical saving of energy and resource losses; providing a safe, healthy, efficient, and comfortable living space.