Green building, or sustainable design, is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water, and materials, and reducing building impacts on human health and the environment over the entire life cycle of the building. Green building concepts extend beyond the walls of buildings and can include site planning, community and land use planning issues as well.
Why is Green Building important? The growth and development of our communities has a large impact on our natural environment. The manufacturing, design, construction, and operation of the buildings in which we live and work are responsible for the consumption of many of our natural resources.
In the United States, buildings account for:
- 39% of total energy use
- 68% of total electricity consumption
- 30% of landfill waste
- 38% of carbon dioxide emissions
- 12% of total water consumption
- Enhance and protect biodiversity and ecosystems
- Improve air and water quality
- Reduce waste streams
- Conserve and restore natural resources
- Reduce operating costs
- Improve occupant productivity
- Enhance asset value and profits
- Optimize life-cycle economic performance
- Enhance occupant health and comfort
- Improve indoor air quality
- Minimize strain on local utility infrastructure
- Improve overall quality of life
Green Building Programs
- LEED, Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is the nationally accepted rating system for commercial and institutional green buildings. The program helps establish a standard measurement for green building. Contact GreenTech for more information.