Green Building

What is Green Building?

Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high performance building.

The built environment has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health, and productivity.

In the United States alone, buildings account for:

  • 72% of electricity consumption,
  • 39% of energy use,
  • 38% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions,
  • 40% of raw materials use,
  • 30% of waste output (136 million tons annually), and
  • 14% of potable water consumption.

Environmental benefits:

  • Enhance and protect ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Improve air and water quality
  • Reduce solid waste
  • Conserve natural resources

Economic benefits:

  • Reduce operating costs
  • Enhance asset value and profits
  • Improve employee productivity and satisfaction
  • Optimize life-cycle economic performance

Health and community benefits:

  • Improve air, thermal, and acoustic environments
  • Enhance occupant comfort and health
  • Minimize strain on local infrastructure
  • Contribute to overall quality of life