An environmental impact is defined as any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, resulting from a facility s activities, products, or services. In other words it is the effect that people s actions have on the environment. For example, when volatile organic compounds are released into the environment, the effect or impact is pollution in the form of smog, in this case being negative. It can go the other way, as a person picking up litter can have a beneficial impact on the local environment. The primary impacts of concern in an energy dependent society often come as a result of our energy use. Burning hydrocarbons like coal and oil to provide us with useful energy results in the emission of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Other activities causing harm include improper waste disposal to bodies of water and soil, accidental spills of chemicals, increased demand for resources as populations increase (especially due to consumerism), and much more. Sustainability in architecture addresses the negative environmental and social impacts of buildings by utilizing design methods, materials, energy and development spaces that aren t detrimental to the surrounding ecosystem or communities. This comprehensive book on Environment is made for students of art and architecture and civil engineering to help in their study and work.