What is a Green Building?
This day and age, you hear everyone talking about going green. Whether you want to admit it or not, at some point everyone will have to follow with the green movement. This is because at the rate we are going, the earth is simply not sustainable. That means that over the years, we will begin to run out of certain natural resources that are needed in order for us to survive. That is alarming to some people, which is why there are so many people that focus on green building. But, what exactly is green building? Lets take a closer look at what it is, why you should consider it, and what the goals of a green building are. You are sure to find that it is something that you should take part in.
Defining a Green Building
First, we will take a look at what a green building is. Some people may think of a green, or sustainable building as just a building that doesn’t really have as bad of an impact on the environment as another ‘average’ building. Other people may find it to be the type of building, and the actual surroundings of the building.
The ideal green building would be a building project that would allow you to preserve most of the natural environment around the project site, while still being able to produce a building that is going to serve a purpose.The construction and operation will promote a healthy environment for all involved, and it will not disrupt the land, water, resources and energy in and around the building. This is the actual definition of a green building.
The U.S. EPA says “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.”
Why Go Green?
Now, let us take a look at why it is so important to go green. Most people will find when going green that they are able to reduce their carbon footprint and actually lend a helping hand to the environment. You can go green in a variety of different ways, but builders and construction workers must do their part as well. If you haven’t begun going green, then you will find that there are a variety of different things that you can do to help you get started. You don’t have to jump in head first, and you can actually take some baby steps along the way. Green buildings are designed in such a way to reduce overall impact on environment and human health by:
i. Reducing trash, pollution and degradation of environment.
ii. Efficiently using energy, water and other resources.
iii. Protecting occupant health and improving productivity.
Does Going Green Really Cost More?
Some people feel that they just can’t go green because it will cost them more money, but that is really a common misconception. While it may cost you a bit more to get started when you are going green, because green materials and products can be more costly, you really have to consider the type of savings that you will be able to reap. You will be able to save on energy costs, because going green also means conserving energy. You should really look at the green building as more of an investment than anything else. An investment that will be able to save you money, as well as an investment that will be able to help the environment! It is a win-win situation for everyone!
Benefits of Green Building
With new technologies constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the benefits of green building can range from environmental to economic to social. By adopting greener practices, we can take maximum advantage of environmental and economic performance. Green construction methods when integrated while design and construction provide most significant benefits. Benefits of green building include:
- Reduce wastage of water
- Conserve natural resources
- Improve air and water quality
- Protect biodiversity and ecosystems
- Reduce operating costs
- Improve occupant productivity
- Create market for green product and services
- Improve quality of life
- Minimize strain on local infrastructure
- Improve occupant health and comfort
The Goals of Green Building
Now, we should consider the goals of green building. Of course, one of the main goals is to make the earth more sustainable, but it really does go deeper than that. When you decide to go green, your goal will be to actually help to sustain the environment without disrupting the natural habitats around it. When you start a building project, and you disrupt the natural habitats around it, you can actually make an impact in the wildlife and environment that will be much like a butterfly effect. Even the smallest changes that you can make will help to promote a better planet earth, and a better place for us all to live- not just us humans, but also the plants and wildlife that take up their residence here on earth as well.
As you can see, green building is something that everyone should really jump on to. If you don’t plan to rebuild your home, then you may just want to make a few green changes within your home to ensure that you are able to get the goals that you want out of it. You can cut down on your energy usage, save money, and make a big impact on the environment. You will find that it isn’t as hard as people make it out to be, and you will feel better about yourself when you go green too!
Image credit: brian_adams49 , AnhHuy
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