Building construction and operation have extensive direct and indirect impacts on the environment. Buildings use resources such as energy, water and raw materials, generate waste (occupant, construction and demolition) and emit potentially harmful atmospheric emissions. Building owners, designers and builders face a unique challenge to meet demands for new and renovated facilities that are accessible, secure, healthy, and productive while minimizing their impact on the environment.
Sustainable design is rooted in a mindset that understands humans as an integral part of nature and responsible for stewardship of natural systems. Sustainable design begins with a connection to personal values and embraces the ecological, economic, and social circumstances of a project. Architectural expression itself comes from this intent, responding to the specifics region, watershed, community, neighborhood, and site.
10 Measures of Sustainable Design http://www.aia.org/practicing/groups/kc/AIAS077365#