Green buildings: defining sustainable construction materials in Thailand
Sustainability is an important concept in today's architecture and will be even more so in the future. Thus, selecting sustainable materials is one of the most important steps toward sustainable or green building. In Thailand, the study of sustainable architecture is just beginning, and is not well studied. In fact, sustainable design is usually misunderstood to be the same as energy conservation design. In this study, common Thai construction materials from two regions (Northern and Central) were examined and analyzed with regard to sustainability. The following features of sustainability were studied: embodied energy, environmental effects, harm to users, durability, availability, and recyclability. Concrete and other cement products were rated as brown materials (unsustainable) compared to other materials which were green (sustainable). For a green building to be built, however, not only the use of green or sustainable materials is important, but the appropriate techniques and system for reasonable applications should also be taken in to account. This study proposed three types of green buildings that consider the above-mentioned factors.