Green Building Encyclopaedia GBE

Green Building Encyclopaedia (GBE) is a growing information resource about creating healthy, environmental and efficient buildings – giving you the freedom to make them beautiful.

GBE includes design guidance and technical advice regarding the selection, design or specification of building methods, materials, services, systems, products and whole buildings.

Green Building Encyclopaedia GBE Content

You will be able to make better decisions in a world that claims to be green, but where things are not always what they appear to be.

Links to GBE resources (which are continually growing):

  • Jargon Buster: so that we can all speak the same language, use the same terms and understand the answers to your questions
  • Checklists: Trade based sustainability checklists for New Build, Refurbishment and Adaptation and Lifestyle
  • Questions and Answers to challenging problems
  • Issue Paper: In depth studies of Issues e.g. Overheating, External Wall Insulation
  • Brain Dumps Topical information with links to pages or websites
  • Brainstorms: Analysing a particular issue or a building proposal that has been brought to our attention
  • Defects and Solutions
  • CPD Seminars, Lectures, Courses, Trainings within many CPD Topic groups
  • Specifications by trades, systems and elements
  • Design tools to help you to understand the problems and find solutions and products
  • 6 Core Pages: of Solution Providers and Solutions:
  • Materials properties and application guidance to meet application performance requirements
  • Design principles, to guide you when choosing from the options
  • Rules of thumb, when calculations are not needed
  • Datasets, and product data, Equations and Calculators to work it all out
  • Material properties and application guidance to meet application performance requirements
  • Methods of construction, with all the right parts included in the right order
  • Specifications: GBS Green Building Specification and GBE Robust Specification
  • Shop: CPD, Calculators, datasets, etc. for sale at low cost or free.
  • Books: Contributed to by GBE as writers, Steering Group or proof reading, or important book with a green flavour
  • Portfolio: Sets of images related to projects, companies, materials, exhibitions, CPD
  • Events: Daily monthly yearly lists of relevant Seminars, CPD, Exhibitions
  • Awards: Local, National, International awards received by GBE, NGS Ltd. and BrianSpecMan
  • Blog: Topics getting an airing
  • News: Daily, Monthly, Quarterly news that is of interest
  • Newsletters: Members Newsletters, Solution Provider’s News and Sign up
  • Updates & Additions: Daily, monthly and quarterly list of pages and posts added or updated
  • Diary: GBE Activities with links to outputs
  • Navigation
  • Projects: Buildings, Event or Information
  • Proposals: Ambitions to develop parts of this or other specific websites or tools
  • Slogans: Slogans and Phrases to succinctly communicate a principle
  • #Hashtags:

  • Page Groups: Part of navigation of the website over 300 Page Groups leading to pages and posts
  • Collaborate: Services by GBE towards Solution Providers (manufacturers, suppliers, installers, service providers) to better understand and communicate the properties and application of their goods and services, including pages on GBE website
  • Sign-up: Scroll down the right column of this page
  • Donate:
  • Templates: readymade page layouts for speedy and consistent format page creation

Green Building Encyclopaedia GBE
Who we are

GBE is being created by Brian Murphy (‘BrianSpecMan’) and a team of specialists. Brian is a technician and architect by training, a specification writer by choice and an environmentalist by action.

The GBE Team has complementary skills to provide well rounded, joined up content.


GBE’s purpose and approach:

* Is to explain building principles in GBE Patterns, interrogate multiple conflicting requirements, investigate potential problems and find competent solutions
* To enable understanding, design, specification, procurement and assembly of competent buildings during the sustainability revolution
*  To enable in-house know-how, instead of reliance upon external sustainability consultants, so that your  organisation can join the sustainability revolution
This includes understanding the physics of building, the science of materials and the crunching of numbers to find competent methods of construction. Evidence Based Design is the approach that we recommend. GBE Evidence Based Case will provide information on a project’s design, construction and verified performance data, as well as outline specifications of building fabric and services.


GBE Linkages and Enhancements

The basic principle behind the structure of this website is to link between the 6 Core Pages of Solutions and Solution Providers. In reality, the links go beyond these core clusters, to link every page to any related and relevant other page – so that you don’t have to search or guess the whereabouts of those pages.


GBE Navigation

  • GBE is designed to mimic neural networks of the human brain:
  • Every page knows where everything related to it is located
  • Those pages let their presence be known
  • Every related page is being listed and linked in the ‘See Also’ right column
  • Everything is linked in both directions
  • Nobody has to search for anything…
  • …Except your original enquiry (and Google found that for you)
  • There is a search box for keywords, pages, posts, portfolios, CPDs or documents, found on the website header
  • Navigating or drilling down the drop down menus will also find most things
  • There are also 100 touch screen Navigation pages leading to 300 page groups and 2050 pages
  • The result is a well structured set of clusters of information.
  • These are accessible without having to understand the structure of the website, or construction industry classification systems or jargon.

GBE Growth

  • The site is embryonic and the content is constantly being updated.
  • Please keep coming back to see what else has been added that can help you become an even more informed, environmentally aware individual capable of influencing others.

Designing, choosing methods, materials, systems, products and specifying a building is complex

GBE realises that designing, choosing and specifying for building is complex – even more so if you are trying to be healthy, environmentally friendly, energy and material efficient. There are too many options and alternatives which are full of short term, financially tempting compromises.

If this is your own home or place of business, this is an opportunity to create a bill-free, healthy living and working space. Choosing between methods of construction, materials, products, accessories and systems is a mind blowing, complex affair that is difficult to get right.  It is complex if you are not trained in the subject.

We are all surrounded by advisory or promotional manufacturer associations.  Even in the presence of good information, there is little joined up thinking.
Trying to make sense of all of this information is a challenge for architects, design professionals and constructors, let alone self builders BIYers, DIYers or first time clients.  So GBE has set out to try to help all of you in your quest.

GBE is finding other people to join the team that know about lifestyle, behaviour change, furniture, interiors, landscape, biodiversity, water, energy, lighting structures, civil engineering and infrastructure.
GBE will offer well-rounded content, where everything is given a level playing field with all the players on the pitch.  We will show their strengths and weaknesses and help you to find the right combinations that work effectively together.


GBE will:

  • Enable the re-education of the construction industry
  • Serve students, as they are the future
  • Introduce and translate the sustainability revolution jargon with GBE Jargon Buster
  • Address things that you can implement in your daily work
  • Put ideas in your head that will question received wisdom
  • Develop GBE Code of design principles: GBE Patterns, GBE Rules of Thumb
  • Develop GBE Equations, GBE Calculators and GBE Data
  • Introduce GBE Defects – linked to GBE Solutions

GBE will advise which materials to avoid and reduce within New Build, Existing Building and Adaptation GBE Checklists we will suggest alternatives materials and product lists to consider in their place.


© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka BrianMurphy
1st May 2015 – 22nd June 2019
Links updated 25th April 2018 BT

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© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka BrianMurphy
1st May 2015 – 9th June 2019

Green Building Encyclopaedia GBE