Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition

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One hundred points are available across these categories with mandatory prerequisites such as minimum energy and water-use reduction, recycling collection, and tobacco smoke control. Within each category are credits that pertain to specific strategies for sustainability, such as the use of low-emitting products, reduced water consumption , energy efficiency , access to public transportation, recycled content , renewable energy , and daylighting.

There are no on-site visits required and certification can occur upon completion of construction. Green Globes —originated in Canada and was brought to the U. It is now cited in many Federal, State, and Municipal mandates. Users can indicate that certain credits may not be applicable to a project, a feature unique to Green Globes. It also does not have prerequisites. A Green Globes rating requires a Green Globes Assessor to perform an onsite assessment of the building.

This ensures that the self-reported claims made in the online documentation are verified. Both new construction and existing buildings can be evaluated using Green Globes; commercial or multifamily. The first step toward a Green Globes certification is completing a self-reported online assessment survey, which is required at various stages throughout design and construction.

At the construction documents phase and after substantial completion, a Green Globes Assessor will perform a site visit to verify the claims made in the survey. A Green Globes certification of one through four globes can then be earned once verification is confirmed. It examines site, water, energy, materials, health, equity, and beauty. All of its tenets are mandatory making it the most rigorous green building certification system in the market today. After online registration, projects must join the living building community where discussions concerning compliance are held, and documentation occurs.

Certification occurs twelve months after project completion, with an on-site audit to ensure compliance. The NZEB designation verifies that a building is truly operating as claimed, harnessing energy from the sun, wind, or earth to exceed net annual demand. To earn this certification, a building must meet five requirements of the LBC:.


There are certified projects in South Korea and Japan, and projects are certifying most recently in China and Israel. SITES certification is for development projects located on sites with or without buildings—ranging from national parks to corporate campuses, streetscapes to homes, and more.

SITES is used by landscape architects, designers, engineers, architects, developers, policy-makers and others to align land development and management with innovative sustainable design. Land is a crucial component of the built environment and can be planned, designed, developed and maintained to protect and enhance the benefits we derive from healthy functioning landscapes.

SITES helps create ecologically resilient communities and benefits the environment, property owners, and local and regional communities and economies. WELL —is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being by looking at seven factors, or Concepts.

WELL is grounded in a body of medical research that explores the connection between the buildings where people spend more than 90 percent of their time, and the health and wellness impacts on occupants. WELL is composed of over Features that are applied to each building project, and each WELL feature is designed to address issues that impact the health, comfort, or knowledge of occupants.

Many WELL Features intended to improve health are supported by existing government standards or other standards-setting organizations. WELL Features are categorized as either Preconditions —necessary for baseline WELL Certification or Compliance, or Optimizations —optional enhancements, which together determine the level of certification above baseline certification.

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WELL is further organized into Project Typologies which take into account the specific set of considerations that are unique to a particular building type or phase of construction. There are many international green building design systems that also set up their criteria through a nationalistic focus, keeping local standards and codes in mind.

They include:. The BCA Green Mark Scheme rates buildings according to five key criteria including: energy efficiency, water efficiency, environmental protection, indoor environmental quality, and other green and innovative features that contribute to better building performance. The program outlines a six step scheme that also offers cash incentives to developers, especially focused on addressing improvements to existing construction in areas such as energy use reduction and materials conservation. BEAM is an initiative that assesses, improves, certifies, and labels the environmental performance of buildings.

It is a voluntary program developed in partnership with, and adopted by the industry. BEAM is intended to: stimulate demand for more sustainable buildings in Hong Kong and other regions, giving recognition for improved performance and minimizing false claims; provide a common set of performance standards that can be pursued by developers, designers, architects, engineers, contractors and operators; reduce the environmental impacts of buildings throughout the planning, design, construction, management and demolition life cycle; and increase awareness in the building community, and ensure that environmental considerations are integrated at the beginning of a project.

Certification can only be issued upon building completion due to a significant number of credits being based on actions taken during construction and upon completion. Each tool is intended for a separate purpose and target user, and is designed to accommodate a wide range of uses offices, schools, apartments, etc. CASBEE covers the assessment fields of energy efficiency, resource efficiency, local environment, and indoor environment. Both indoor and outdoor spaces are considered as part of the assessment but are assessed separately.

EDGE Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies —is a green building certification system for new residential and commercial buildings in emerging markets.

The program, which engages financiers, developers, regulators, and homeowners, shows property developers how fast and affordable it is to construct resource-efficient buildings, enabling them to pass value directly to building owners and tenants. EDGE enables design teams and project owners to assess the most cost-effective ways to incorporate energy and water-saving options into their buildings. An innovation of the International Finance Corporation IFC , a member of the World Bank Group that focuses on private sector development, EDGE consists of a web-based software application, a universal standard and a certification system.

Green Star SA —was developed by The Green Building Council of South Africa, and is based on the Australian Green Building Council tools to provide the property industry with an objective measurement for green buildings and to recognize and reward environmental leadership in the property industry. Each rating tool reflects a different market sector office, retail, multi-unit residential, etc.

The objectives of the Green Star SA rating tools are to: establish a common language and standard of measurement for green buildings, promote integrated, whole building design, raise awareness of green building benefits, recognize environmental leadership, and reduce the environmental impact of development. Green Star SA Certification is a formal process which involves a project using a Green Star SA rating tool to guide the design or construction process during which a documentation-based submission must be submitted as proof of the achievement.

A "Design" certification can be submitted for and awarded at the end of the design phase of the project. At the end of construction, a project can submit for and be awarded "As Built" certification, certifying that all green building strategies were in fact incorporated into the final building. The Certified Rating can be achieved prior to practical completion, but must be achieved no later than 24 months after practical completion.

As Built submissions must be submitted after practical completion, and the Certified Rating must be achieved no later than 24 months after practical completion. Pearl Rating System for Estidama —Estidama, which means 'sustainability' in Arabic, is intended to be the initiative which will transform Abu Dhabi into a model of sustainable urbanization. Its aim is to create more sustainable communities, cities, and global enterprises and to balance the four pillars of Estidama: environmental, economic, cultural, and social. The Pearl Rating System for Estidama aims to address the sustainability of a given development throughout its life cycle from design through construction to operation.

Accordingly, three rating stages have been established: Design, Construction, and Operational. Within each section there are both mandatory and optional credits and credit points are awarded for each optional credit achieved. To achieve a 1 Pearl rating, all the mandatory credit requirements must be met. To achieve a higher Pearl rating, all the mandatory credit requirements must be met along with a minimum number of credit points.

New green technologies and materials are always being developed and entering into the marketplace to complement current practices in creating greener environments. Many of these technologies and materials have not been tested long enough in the built environment in order to fully verify their performance. Seek extensive testing and performance data before incorporating new technologies and materials into a project. Also, test beyond the product's green performance for safety, durability, and fire resistance standards from UL and ETL.

New and more stringent requirements will continue to be introduced to the standards and certifications process.

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Because of the toxicity of some pesticides and fire retardants, and additional means of exposure, testing and certifying beyond product emissions to product content is a trend that will likely increase. Over the last several years there has also been a shift away from a prescriptive approach to sustainable design toward the scientific evaluation of actual performance through Life Cycle Assessments LCA.

While LCAs are not yet a consistent requirement of green building rating systems and codes, there is a trend toward requiring LCAs and improving the methods for conducting them. Many cities, states, and U. Territories have also implemented green standards for public buildings. Every city's, state's, and U. Territory's energy goals and requirements are listed, highlighting LEED, Green Globes, and carbon emission reduction goals. New York City and California are two examples of governments that have implemented green standards for public buildings. California has implemented green building standards for all major renovations and new construction of public buildings.

It requires a combination of benchmarking, energy audits, retro-commissioning, lighting upgrades and sub-metering for the city's largest buildings. Applicable to all Building Types and Space Types.

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Aesthetics , Cost-Effective , Sustainable. Sustainability of the Building Envelope. All rights reserved. Skip to main content. Green Building Standards and Certification Systems. Verifiable single-attribute environmental claims for issues such as energy consumption, emissions, or recycled content. Can be first-party, self-declared manufacturer claims. However many manufacturers are beginning to seek third-party verification of those claims in response to industry demand.

Comprehensive environmental product disclosure and detailed product information. SCS Global Services. Wide range of sectors paints, adhesives, lamps, electric chillers, windows, window films, occupancy sensors. Building materials, interior design products, textiles and fabrics, paper and packaging, and personal and homecare products.

Green building guidance and assessment program for: Existing buildings New construction. Performance-based standard, and certification program for: Landscape and infrastructure projects Partial renovations and complete building renewals New building construction Neighborhood, campus and community design. Certification program using the structure of the Living Building Challenge which can be applied to any building type. One hundred percent of the project's energy needs must be supplied by on-site renewable energy on a net annual basis, without the use of on-site combustion.

Any type of building. New focus areas include: air tightness requirement source energy limit space conditioning criteria. Third party verified rating system for development projects located on sites with or without buildings. Measures attributes of buildings that impact occupant health by looking at seven factors: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort, Mind. Although there is still no recognition of the substitution effect in climate protocols, many countries have endorsed substitution by wood products on the basis of reduced lifecycle carbon emissions, and substitution towards renewable, less carbonated biofuel alternatives, a strategy which is promoted by IPCC Mitigation Activity 4b.

The European Union has also recognized the importance of substituting energy intensive materials and fossil fuels with wood products Julin, In its report on climate change13, the EU mentions that wood products should be used as a source of energy at the end of their useful life. This reflects the hierarchical principle of cascade use of wood fibre, which first encourages the use of durable, value-added wood products, then favours the reuse and recycling of wood, and finally, encourages the diversion of wood products from landfills via bioenergy use OFEV, As explained by Gustavsson et al.

There is no net additional release of CO2, as is the case when fossil fuels are burned, due to fossil carbon being released from underground reservoirs, considered non-renewable on the human scale, since they that have taken millions of years to create. Some advantages and disadvantages of wood use are also presented. These directories present contact, product and distribution information on companies certified by the FSC.

By December , nine CaGBC certified buildings out of 91 had actually received the FSC-wood credit, five of which were for new constructions, two for office interior refits, and two certified wood credits for steel industrial buildings. Certified wood credits thus represented 0. The FSC premium for glulam was, on average, 6.

Outside of LEED, there is a range of wood-related credits, other than FSC certified wood, that are being awarded by different certification schemes. Bowyer provides a detailed breakdown 33 of six American green building rating systems14, and examines all the specifications pertaining to wood products.

The author finds that credits are being awarded for formaldehyde-free products, the use of wood composites rather than lumber, the use of engineered wood, the use of structural insulated panels instead of standard framing, and the use of materials other than wood. Although a number of studies have attempted to measure changes in occupant behaviour in green buildings e.

An explorative study by Rice et al. Their findings suggested that wood in interior environments generated very positive reactions. While it remains unverified, many are convinced that these responses may contribute to improving the sentiment of well-being. A well-renown Canadian architect, Tye Farrow, used wood and its ability to induce positive reactions to create a hospital design that enhances healing, "Wood has the ability to create poetic spaces that feel warm, sheltering and comforting. We found during our research on health-care projects that wood makes people feel better, that it helps reduce stress" The project architect, Jeff Perry states that "The comfort of future residents is the biggest reason wood is being used in the construction of this facility, but not the only one" Literature also shows that indoor humidity has a significant effect on occupant comfort, health, and perceived air quality PAQ.

Simonson et al. One of the major factors inhibiting the supply of certified wood products in sufficient volumes is the complex, multilevel supply chain through which wood products must progress. In the case of FSC certification, the supply-chain from stump to product often has more than six intermediate processing and distribution channels which must all obtain chain-of-custody certification in order to successfully acquire end-product labelling Irland, Rating System Documentation - Meeting documentation requirements for third-party assessment in green building rating systems is a lengthy and costly process for design teams, especially if data is not readily available from suppliers or contractors.

Documentation validating the source of all building components, and detailed cost information is not conventionally provided by suppliers and contractors, but this information is now required for submittals. For recycled content, the total weight of the product, and the percentage by weight of its post-consumer recycled content and its post-industrial recycled content are to be detailed. Contradicting Objectives - Most green building rating systems have compartmentalized building environmental issues into distinct categories, but lack a mechanism by which whole building strategies may be assessed across categories.

Maximizing point gains by category e. For example, FSC certified, highly durable tropical timber flooring could be rewarded if a team was seeking to maximize material durability and renewability. However, it could also be frowned upon for not being sourced locally long- distance import , and for being sourced in the tropics where product integrity may be subject to local corruption. Single-attribute assessment systems are problematic in that they are unable to identify which issues take precedence in terms of environmental priorities i.

Wood Not Green - Market-driven building rating systems rely heavily on public and private endorsement. In addition, environmentalist groups have led negative advertising campaigns to sway public against any programs other than FSC thus reinforcing misinformation to the general public Treehugger, A review by Bowyer showed the point distribution for credits related to material resource efficiency in the Built Green Colorado Program, where the rating system awarded points for using materials other than wood.

All these messages put together are potentially confusing architects and other material specifiers on the environmental impacts of using wood for construction, and green building in particular. Unfortunately, popular misconception and consumer disapproval are maintaining a barrier to increased wood consumption. Ironically, the coalition of environmental groups defending the exclusivity of FSC certification, agree that the use of wood should be encouraged in commercial projects Leslie, This remains an advantageous sector in which wood products can gain 36 both market share and support from environmental lobbyists.

Prefabricated building components are in line with sustainability principals for material and resource efficiency, as well as reduction of construction waste to landfill. Although rating systems appear to disadvantage wood, no scientific market study has yet demonstrated that less wood is being used in green buildings. Other industries, such as concrete are also struggling to integrate into the green building market.

A clearly expressed need is product labelling. Specifiers need to provide manufacturing data for rating system certification submittals. All products, including wood, whose labels or specification sheets provide the data required by rating schemes, will facilitate specification by green building designers. End use data, demonstrating life-cycle performance would allow the fair and objective comparison of the environmental impacts of products. Finally, increasing the visibility of wood in human environments, via interior applications, appears to be a potential area for the development of wood products intended for the green building market.

Resolving this issue could increase the use of wood products in green buildings. Also, non-toxic transformation processes, such as torrefied17 wood, could potentially gain interest in green building applications, by way of durability, moisture-resistance, and natural finishing. Any material that will demonstrate positive impacts on occupant performance and well-being, both physical and psychological, will partially tie in the economic and social aspects currently lacking in green building design. The various temperatures and drying techniques used give the material new features such as a more decay-resistant surface, a lower risk of mould, and a resistance to bending and cleaving.

Rather, design decisions are influenced by a multitude of contextual drivers which act in concert to direct the choice of building materials.

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Examples of factors which may direct the material selection include client-driven requests and legislative obligations, which can sometimes limit the extent to which architects can make unconstrained material choices. As a result, construction materials which have the ability to easily meet these material criteria, present a competitive advantage. Moreover, a study by Decima Research indicated that structural materials were minor considerations of green building.

Hence, material selection criteria for green, non- residential buildings remain unknown. No research has yet identified the criteria that influence specifiers in their choice of building materials for present-day, green buildings. Moreover, the attributes of wood which are favoured for conventional building design need to be confirmed for green design, as the green building movement for non-residential construction may have altered designer preferences for materials. Closing this information gap with field data is crucial for manufacturers who wish to supply products destined for green building projects.

An inquiry into designer practice will provide details on the mainstream procedures for selecting materials, by examining the reasons and methods by which building materials are selected for green building projects. The impact of green building practice on material selection is examined in terms of architect preferences for specific material attributes.

In addition to providing knowledge that will benefit all material sectors, a parallel investigation was carried out to specifically assess the degree to which architects perceive wood as a valuable material for green building construction. Much information is available on the potential for wood use in non-residential construction, but no study has yet queried architects directly on their perceptions regarding the inclusion of wood products in green building design. It is presumed that materials with environmental benefits are favoured for green building design; however, the environmental attributes most valued by architects for green design remain unidentified.

The originality of this study lies in determining which factors influence the choice of building materials for green building design. The pre-experiment methodology is first presented, followed by a description of each component belonging to the experiment per se. Characterizing the decision process for material specification of non-residential construction is difficult since it involves collaborative and concerted participation of specialized design professionals.

Architects and engineers seem to go head-to-head at the decision table, both tending to self-elect themselves as the final decision makers in the specification process Ducker Wordlwide, Though clients are considered to have the final say, they are seldom involved in technical decisions such as material selection. Because these design constraints are a result of project boundaries, it is argued that material selection may be more a question of consequence, rather than choice.

To investigate this premise, a pre-experiment was conducted in the form of a concepts mapping, using Mind Manager. The purpose of the mapping exercise was to portray the variety of factors which act concurrently in orienting architects in their choice of materials. Illustrating the complexity of the context within which architects practice should enable a more comprehensive appreciation of the framework, and key drivers surrounding design decisions.

The weights magnitudes of each potentially influential factor were not characterized, nor were the multiple interactions relationships between factors. The program X for the chosen design structure was a self-administered survey, for which observations O were recorded via an online database. This survey was considered a non- experiment because it did not use pure randomized selection, nor control groups. Non- experiments, where data is simply collected and described, are a common approach in the realm of social sciences, and are often used for descriptive or observational research Changing Minds, Both the possibility of offering immediate rewards in the form of emailed gift cards, and the possibility of sending electronic copies of the research results, in gratitude of professional experience shared by respondents, were considered interesting incentives.

The convenience of answering and returning virtual surveys allowed for a hassle-free, flexible option, which helped reduce social costs. Table 1 summarizes the strategies and incentives adopted by this project to maximise respondent trust and expected rewards, while alleviating social costs. Other advantages inherent to electronic survey design and distribution include the economic benefits conferred by the elimination of stationary costs no paper, envelopes, nor postage , the absence of geographical boundaries worldwide access through any internet-connected device , and the improved visual display, such as automatic progression bars.

Automatic real-time data entry and storage reducing manual labour, data collection times, and transcription errors was made possible through the use of a virtual survey software package called Vantagepoint, which provided management and tracking for entire process from survey creation, through to distribution, analysis, and reporting.

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The advantage of using a survey to collect data is that surveys can simultaneously gather and appraise information, since the measurement instrument is actually the survey itself. Details on the types of questions to include, question wording, content, and placement, as well as response formats, were also guided by Social Research Methods developed by Trochim The survey instrument e.

A frame of reference was defined for certain questions, where architects were asked to only consider projects undertaken within the last 5 years, or their most recent project. To facilitate participation, respondents were asked to recall a level of detail that could be provided by the architect, without referring back to plans or records.

A copy of the questionnaire can be found in Appendix A. Knowing the level of measurement was useful in determining the appropriate type of statistical tests for data analysis. All questions made use of unidimensional, categorical response scales, with nominal and ordinal measurement levels; no interval or ratio data were collected. Questions with dichotomous answer options were considered as nominal. Opinion questions were answered using five-point, bipolar negative-neutral-positive , balanced Likert response scales, and interpreted as ordinal.

For multi- item questions, product characteristics or attributes were listed, and then rated by respondents on Likert gradient scales e. Ranking questions used a one to four response scale, and incremental categories were provided for questions best answered in ranges. Response brackets were also used for questions that were more personal in nature, to help elicit truthful answers. Questions offering multiple choice answers were of two types: single-option and multi- option variable attributes; both options provide the respondent with multiple choices of the nominal type, but single-option allows the selection of only one choice, while multi-option allows for any, or all, choices in the list to be selected.

All answer options were presented in mutually exclusive categories, ensuring the coverage of all possible outcomes. Investigation of response scale validity for Likert scale measurement revealed three possible types of bias: 1 central tendency bias, where response extremities are avoided in some cases, the inverse may happen, where respondents keep to the extremes values , 2 acquiescence bias, where respondents tend to agree for example, in some cultures it 44 is frowned upon to disagree , and 3 social desirability bias, where respondents answer as to be perceived more favourably Ray, For ordinal ranking questions, respondents were forced to hierarchically position response items since no item ties were allowed; this may have induced a bias if subjects deemed that certain response items should have been equal in rank.

Analysis of survey responses required that these distortions be kept in mind during interpretation. The other caveat in measuring architect attitudes comes from that fact that attitudes are intangible, and hence must be measured through associated behaviour. Two methods exist to measure attitudes through behaviour: direct self-report methods e. For this research, inquiring into architect preferences and habits necessitated that some questions focus on self-reported behaviour.

For example, participants were asked to recall certain design decisions or building products specified over the past 5 years. Because self-reports are unrestricted narratives of what people say they do and may not necessarily be true to their actual behaviour, answers obtained from this self- administered survey should be interpreted with caution, as reliability may be affected by individuals wishing to overrate or underrate their actions. One option to estimate the validity of self-reported behaviour would have been to cross-validate event accounts with publicly obtainable information.

Such verification was not conducted, and respondents were given the benefit of the doubt on the veracity of their answers, particularly considering that online answering was fully anonymous. The objective was to sample the full range of architects practicing green design, not just to sample leading architects in this domain. Since there existed no accurate listing for the subgroup of architects involved in green design, it was necessary to filter out the desired survey population from the general population of architects.

This is compounded by the fact that architect membership with the American Institute of Architects AIA and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada RAIC is not mandatory, and therefore, neither of these the two national professional associations could provide a complete listing of practicing architects. Furthermore, the AIA is composed of more than state and local chapters, each safeguarding an independent directory of their members; consequently, the option of contacting each AIA unit individually was not taken. The only complete registry of all practicing architects in Canada and in the US is held, 18 Sample frame: a list of the accessible population from which a sample is drawn.

In Canada, these jurisdictions correspond to the 11 provincial associations of architects19, while the US counterpart jurisdictions are represented by the 54 state registration boards of architects. Besides professional associations of architects, the other alternative was to use privately compiled lists of architects, available for rent through contact brokers. The main advantage of broker catalogues is that they offer single lists containing records for architects from all states and provinces; the major disadvantage is that these lists are opt-in, and consequently incomplete, usually tabulating only a fraction of the actual population of architects; for Canada, these lists barely contained 30 architects.

Due to the proprietary nature of the list, none of the email contacts were directly obtained by the research team. Instead, email contacts were rented from the broker, who acted as an obliged intermediary, sending out the participation invitations on behalf of the research team. Since no equivalent broker-held list20 was available for Canadian architects, an effort was made to obtain permission from each of the 11 provincial associations, to contact members through their email membership listing.

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This method resulted in a sample frame of 6, registered Canadian architects. Once again, no direct access was granted to individual email contacts; each association was responsible for sending out survey invitations to their members on behalf of the research team. Sampling methods generally require the calculation of a sampling fraction that represents the portion of the sample frame that is drawn to generate the actual sample. In this study, however, to compensate for expected low response rates, a maximum number of contacts were sought, and 19 A combined entity for the Yukon and Great North including Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

The sampling method for the Canadian sample resembled a census approach, since the entire population of registered architects was invited, either directly or indirectly, to take part in the study. Similarly, drawing the US sample resulted in everyone from the sample frame i. The difference between both sampling methods is that census studies are considered to be probability methods, because everyone in the population has an equal chance of being sampled.

The opt-in broker list is considered a type of convenience sampling because population members are not selected in a random way. Since members of the population do not all have an equal chance of being selected, convenience sampling is considered a non-probability procedure, where the resulting samples may be non-representative. Nonetheless, non-probability sampling is often used when resources are limited, or for preliminary research, because the cost and time required for approximating the results using random sampling often surpasses the value of pure random sampling.

In order to isolate the sample of green architects from the general population of architects, potential candidates were filtered using screening questions. The first two survey questions were used to screen for eligible and qualified candidates, admitting only those respondents having pertinent experience relevant to the remainder of the questionnaire content.

Thirty ineligible architects identified themselves as exclusively residential designers, while 17 others acknowledged that they were not involved in design decisions. Of the remaining potentially valid, non-residential21 architects, 32 indicated that they did not practice green design. Architects who indicated that they had not designed a green building in the past five years were not formally excluded from the survey, but were cautioned to only answer those questions for which they felt qualified, due to that fact that most of the survey content related to recent, new construction, green building projects; 16 of these chose to exit the survey, while the other 16 non- 21 Non-residential construction includes multi-family residential buildings.

The number of respondents was again reduced by discarding a further 78 partially completed questionnaires. Overall, a total of respondents were withdrawn from the initial responses, yielding a final sample of completed questionnaires from North American architects, who are involved in design decisions for non-residential, green buildings. On average, response rate percentages ranging in the teens, twenties and thirties are not uncommon for web surveys Cook et al.

Dillman et al. Finally, Grim et al. With respect to the design community, no recent internet-based surveys have been published on architects, yet a recent mail survey to architects, by Robichaud et al. Following the Council of American Survey Research Organisations recommended response rate calculations , the overall response rate for US respondents was 1. Since no statistics were available for the Canadian sample frame, it was impossible to determine the number of successfully delivered emails, and thus no response rate could be calculated.

However, other metrics for web survey interaction such as cooperation rate Lusinchi, and click through rates are available as indicators of survey interest and participation. Although low response rates, such as the ones obtained in this study, can affect the generalizability of results, this does not take away from the usefulness of conducting this type of experimental design.

A number of studies have revealed that lower response rates do not necessarily increase non-response error Groves, ; Keeter et al. In studies where samples are non-representative or non-random, analyses tend to concentrate on the qualitative aspect of responses and observations rather than on the generalizability of findings Sills and Song, Using the Internet for exploratory research remains an economical means of collecting data and gaining preliminary insight on the basic descriptors of a population.

Survey participation was subject to prerequisite acceptance of a consent form, underscoring the voluntary and confidential nature of participant involvement. Because data safety is always a sensitive issue, Secure Socket Layer SSL technology was added as an extra protection layer. SSL encrypts data that is transferred between the respondent through the survey link, and the server.

The first procedure consisted of sending indirect electronic invitations to 6, Canadian architects via each provincial association of architects. The second procedure consisted of managing the dispatch of 13, direct emails sent by a list provider to US architects Survey invitation emails received by architects contained an active Uniform Resource Locator URL , linking the participant directly to the first page of the web-hosted survey, which consisted of the consent form. The invitation specified that the estimated completion time for the survey should not exceed 20 minutes.

As a token of appreciation for survey involvement, all participants were offered a complimentary copy of the research results. Letters of initial contact, recruitment invitations, and reminder notices can be found in Appendix B. Letters inviting each of the Canadian association of architects to participate in the distribution of the research survey were sent on September 28th, The first questionnaires to be returned from survey respondents arrived on October 2nd, only four days after the deployment of invitation letters to the associations.

But while some associations agreed to immediate participation, others needed to present the proposition before their administration, and obtain council approval before confirming their participation. Because each council held meetings on different days, and at different intervals, it was impossible to set a definite start date for all the associations. On average, most associations gave consent to participate and started distributing the survey within two or three weeks after having received the initial invitation from the research team.

Surveys were distributed to association members via a URL live link transmitted through member newsletters. The variability in the frequency of distribution of newsletters added another level of complexity in sending coordinated reminders to members. Initially, a planned reminder was to be sent to association members one week after initial contact with potential participants, but it was difficult to be systematic with this strategy since the date of initial contact was not the same for all associations.

Associations were asked to re-contact their members, through direct emails or through newsletter distribution on October 26th, roughly one week after the last association sent out their invitations. Effects of the reminders are associated with the peaks on October 26th, 27th, and 30th Figure 1 , days on which associations actually sent out the reminders.

Since some associations were slower in contacting their members, the survey was not actually closed on November 1st, but rather on December 18th, , allowing 33 additional responses to trickle in past the initial due date. Translation of the French survey was ready for mid-November. The association invited members, through an e-newsletter, to take part in the survey on November 17th. Due to the bi-monthly publication of the newsletter, the reminder could not be sent one week after the initial email, and was carried-forward to December 2nd.

The last responses recorded from the French group were collected the following day, on December 3rd, even though respondents were given until December 18th to return surveys. Responses obtained from architects who received the French survey are represented by the beige bars in Figure 1. A total of 13, US architects were solicited after four email blasts The first email blast was sent to a random selection of 10, architects on September 23rd, A high frequency of responses was obtained the day of the initial blast Figure 1.

Figure 1 also shows a dramatic drop in the response rate on the day following the blast. In lieu of a third reminder to further increase responses, it was decided that an altogether new group of architects should be prompted from the same sample frame in an independent email blast.

Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition

This strategy was based on observations that additional reminders were noted to be less effective in generating significant increases in response rates Kittleson, Thus, on October 21st, , a third email blast was sent to a new group of 5, architects. Contacting new participants was thought to be more cost-effective in terms of increasing total responses than sending a reminder email, with a known, lower potential to increase response rates. All potential participants were given a minimum of three weeks to respond allowing for vacation absence or business travel absence. Figure 2 shows the cumulative frequency distribution of collected responses, by date of completion.

A number of steps were taken to prepare the data for analysis. A number of item reversals were performed to ensure that all scores for scale items were in the same direction e. Dichotomous variables e. Data were also scanned for the detection of unusual cases, such as duplicates, out of range values, invalid answers, and erroneous entries that could cause problematic combinations of values.

Very few out of range values were detected because, for most questions, answer options were limited to pre-defined response categories. A few imprecise and inaccurate answers were noted in the open-text boxes, where respondents were asked to name specific programs or tools they had used. The only data entry mistakes that were corrected were those with obvious incoherencies, for which corrections were evident and inarguable; all other entries were left intact. Non-random missing values from incomplete questionnaires were considered to be drop-outs, and were excluded from the final working database.

Finally, respondent identification emails were screened for duplicates, to ensure that respondents did not take the survey more than once. In cases where a respondent submitted both a partially completed and fully completed questionnaire, the complete version was selected providing that answers were the same for both questionnaires. Binning - A few of the statistical procedures used required the reduction of response categories, in order to reduce the occurrence of cells with low expected counts. Categories were collapsed using a substantive approach, based on segments commonly reported when describing architectural practice AIA, b.

Collapsing categories has advantages including the correction of skewness. However, collapsing data may influence effect size. When the range of the data is reduced artificially, by classifying or dichotomizing a continuous variable, correlation is attenuated, often leading to underestimation of the effect size of that variable Royston et al. To provide an idea of the effect size induced by the deliberate reduction of the number of original categories, correlation coefficients were computed between the original response categories and their binned homologues.

The correlations matrix is presented in Appendix C. Since correlation values remained high 0. SPSS automatically standardized variables for the correlations and clustering procedures. Since standardized coefficients are comparable, the largest absolute value coefficients have the greatest discriminating power. If the assumptions underlying an analysis are not met, the analysis may lead to incorrect conclusions. Basic statistical assumptions were thus verified. Normality Distribution - Since probability statistics and parametric tests rely on probability distributions, the normality of each variable was verified to evaluate the extent to which our samples could be presumed to come from Gaussian or normal distributions.

A combination of methods was used to verify normality, including the Shapiro-Wilk test, normality curves for frequency distribution histograms, and values for kurtosis and skewness. The Shapiro-Wilk test resulted in p-values that were almost always significant less than 0. This test was not used alone, however, since it is known to be less reliable when several values are identical Royston, See All Customer Reviews. Shop Textbooks.

Add to Wishlist. USD Ship This Item — This item is available online through Marketplace sellers. Temporarily Out of Stock Online Please check back later for updated availability. Overview To properly select and specify green building materials, successful architects need authoritative, real-world advice on how to select and use nontoxic, recycled, and recyclable products, and how to integrate these products into the design process in order to capitalize on the many practical and economic advantages of "going green.

Show More. Read an Excerpt Click to read or download. Table of Contents Preface to the Second Edition.

Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition
Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition
Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition
Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition
Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition
Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, 3rd Edition

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