Albert Bicol on first and second generation green buildings, including LEED
With his extensive expertise in Sustainable Master Planning (SMP), High Performance and Net-Zero Buildings, Albert Bicol shares his insights on first and second generation green buildings, including first generation LEED buildings.
Explain how second generation buildings are becoming net-zero energy or carbon neutral. How are they different from first generation LEED buildings?
In my opinion, second generation green buildings address what really matters…climate change. Net-Zero Energy or Carbon Neutral buildings are buildings that have zero or very minimal greenhouse gas emissions in the long term operation of the building. This means that other sustainable features within the LEED grading system are already incorporated, such as thermal comfort, indoor air quality, views/daylighting, recyclable content, etc. Design professionals and developers should already have a handle on dealing with these requirements, but the focus should now be on carbon emissions.
What are some of the biggest challenges when trying to build net-zero energy or carbon neutral buildings?
The largest challenge is always going to be economics. Finding ways to design and build Net-Zero or Carbon Neutral buildings that meet the client’s budget is difficult. Long term benefits though are very attractive for clients and they are often willing to invest in the capital cost of the building.
What are trends should the construction industry be looking at in 2016 in regards to second generation LEED buildings?
There will be more and more Net-Zero or Carbon Neutral buildings. Design teams along with developers will continue to work together to find financial/economic solutions.
Written by: Albert Bicol, Principal at Alberto Bicol Consulting Inc.
As a LEED® Accredited Professional, Albert has performed reviews for the USGBC and CaGBC on projects applying for LEED certification. He previously sat on the City of Vancouver Urban Design Panel – only the second mechanical engineer to serve in this capacity. He has a wide range of experience in Canada, USA, and Asia including the SMP for several university campuses, and consulting services for mixed-used developments in North America and Asia. Albert brings not only technical expertise but recognizes the importance of business case and value analysis.