Green Building Design Guide for Construction: Water Use and Building Exterior

Green Buildind Design: Building Exterior and Water UseThese design guides will show you how to conserve water used inside and outside a building and best design practices of building exteriors for green buildings or buildings that desire to achieve LEED certification.

Water use

To save water in buildings, the best thing you can do is to get plumbing fixtures that consume less water.  Use waterless urinals, toilets with a flush rate of 1.28 gallons per flush or less, dual-flush toilets and faucets with automatic sensors.  These strategies are easy to implement and  inexpensive.  You can also capture rainwater, filter it, disinfect it, and use it as graywater for the building toilets, but this strategy is a bit more expensive to implement.


Use programed automatic irrigation systems that are scheduled to turn on and off at certain times during the day.  Some irrigation systems can sense when it rains and turn off automatically to conserve water.  Rainwater can be collected to use at a later time for irrigation when needed.

Parking lot

Your building should have designated parking spots for people who carpool, and for people who drive hybrid and electric vehicles.  Have bicycle parking to encourage people to ride their bike to work.  And have showers and locker rooms in the building so that the people who ride their bike to work can have a place to change.  Parking lot roofs are a great place to put solar panels.

Light Pollution

Limit light glare and light trespass for all exterior lighting of the building.  Use only the necessary lighting to maintain safe lights levels and avoid having your lighting go out of your building zone.  You can use surfaces with low-reflectance values, spotlights with sharp angles and full cutoff luminaires.  The purpose of preventing light pollution is to improve nighttime visibility for the neighborhood, city, or community.

These guidelines along with the HVAC, Envelope, and Lighting guidelines will provide your design with a strong foundation in the development of a LEED or green building.


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