Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs. Source: USGBC, April 2011
What Is Green Building?
Green buildings are sited, designed, constructed, and operated to enhance the well-being of their occupants and support a healthy community and natural environment.
In practical terms, green building is a whole-systems-approach to building that includes:
- Designing for livable communities
- Using sun and site to the building's advantage for natural heating, cooling, and daylighting
- Landscaping with native, drought-resistant plants and water-efficient practices
- Building quality, durable structures
- Reducing and recycling construction and demolition waste
- Insulating well and ventilating appropriately
When implemented holistically, these strategies serve to preserve our environment for future generations by conserving natural resources and protecting air and water quality. They provide benefits for us today by increasing comfort and well-being and helping to maintain healthy air quality. Finally, green building strategies are good for everyone's pocketbook by reducing maintenance and replacement requirements, reducing utility bills and lowering the cost of home ownership, and increasing property and resale values.
Source: USGBC, 2010
Here are Five Principles and Examples of Green Building:
I. Livable Communities - Better neighborhoods and quality of life
- Broader site considerations (as applicable) such as infill or mixed use developments
- Keep size in check--conserve resources by increasing density on buildable land
- Design for diverse households; ADA-compliant
II. Energy Efficiency - Improved comfort and lower energy bills
- Passive solar heating, overhangs on south windows, deciduous trees on west and south
- Upgraded insulation, SIPs, advanced air infiltration reduction practices (air sealing),
- Low-E double-pane windows
- Compact fluorescent lighting, low energy-using major appliances
- High-efficiency furnace or zoned, hydronic radiant heat; Tankless water heater
- Solar water heating, photovoltaic system (solar panels), wind turbines
III. Indoor Air Quality - Safe, pleasant and healthy homes
- Low or no-VOC paint, wood finishes, & adhesives; avoid products with added formaldehyde
- Mechanical ventilation system, heat recovery ventilation unit, sealed combustion furnace and water heater
- Range hood and bath fans vent to outside, bath fans controlled with a timer or humidistat
- No wood-burning fireplace, or retrofit wood-burning fireplace with EPA certified wood stoves/inserts
IV. Resource Conservation - Wise resource use for future generations
- Reuse/recycling of C&D (construction & demolition) waste
- High-volume recycled fly ash in concrete (min. 25%)
- Reclaimed lumber, flooring, millwork, and other reused or salvaged materials
- FSC-Certified wood, engineered lumber, Advanced Framing techniques
- Recycled-content decking, ceramic tiles, glass tiles or counters, carpet, etc.
- Rapidly renewable flooring: cork, linoleum, bamboo, natural fiber carpet
V. Water Conservation - Generating efficiencies in a critical area
- Ultra-low flush or dual-flush toilets, fixtures with below standard flow rates (showers<2.5gpm, faucets<2.2gpm)
- Grey water system, rainwater harvesting system, low-water landscaping, native landscaping, high-efficiency irrigation system, smart irrigation control, no irrigation
Source: Build It Green, 2010
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Contact Green Project Marketing
To discuss how your company and project can benefit from our services as well if there are representation opportunities, please contact Michel (Michael) Stevens, President, at (800) 260-6008 ext. 301 PST or mstevens[at]greenprojectmarketing[dot]com. Skype ID: GreenProjMktg.