From Rating Tool to Design Tool: How Green Guidelines Are Affecting Today's Architecture Practice

By Juan Blanco.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Green guidelines, i.e., LEED or Green Star, have been widely adopted and its scale of implementation continues to rise; they are a factor that cannot be ignored in today's architecture practice. Despite that, the adoption of such guidelines tends to be perceived by practitioners more like a restriction—or checklist exercise. This research project aims to test such assumption by analyzing the effect of green guidelines in the design process of certified buildings. It is expected to prove that green guidelines tend to standardize proven design solutions instead of fostering innovative practices. The following is a working list of research questions: 1) To what extent do green guidelines alter design methodologies in today’s practice? What is the nature of such alteration in terms of knowledge generation? For example do they restrict or promote innovative solutions? 2) How has architecture practice responded to the introduction of green guidelines in their design methodologies? Are there any effective responses that can be adapted to different contexts? Do internal characteristics (e.g., size, approach, technology) promote better outcomes? This research will be conducted via case studies. The context of the study is Melbourne's CBD (Victoria, Australia), where a pool of practices had already worked with the local guideline: Green Star (developed by the Green Building Council of Australia, GBCA). In the early stages of the research, one project will be presented: “Council House 2.” The framework of analysis will trace the changes in the design process of this particular case, through by-product data and personal interviews, to identify the response of the design team to green guidelines criteria.

Keywords: Rating Tools, Design Process, Green Design

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.23-37. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.037MB).

Juan Blanco

Associate Researcher, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Chile

Juan is an architectural researcher, author, and academic. He previously taught at P. Catholic University of Chile (PUC) and since October 2010 and earned his PhD from the Melbourne School of Design (MSD). His fields of interest range from architectural design (biological design, passive systems, learning spaces), urban design (ecological urbanism, urban regeneration, technology parks) and urban planning (creative cities, innovation clusters, urban competitiveness). He focuses his studies in the massification of green guidelines, such as Green Star and LEED, and how they can sometimes act more like a barrier than encouragement for creative responses that really achieve environmental goals. His research seeks to understand how design discipline can take the lead in the delivery of a more sustainable built environment.