What is green building? Simply put, it’s the environmentally-conscious construction (and operation) of buildings.
For many good reasons, green construction is becoming more common. Several of these reasons are outlined in a recent article from Smart Cities Dive. But before we get to those, let’s first understand the types of building practices considered to be eco-friendly.
Green building practices
Whether you’re building new or retrofitting an existing structure, there are many ways to implement eco-friendly building practices. Minimizing (or eliminating) the negative impact a proposed (or existing) building has on the environment and surrounding community is the common goal of these green technology approaches. So, which should you choose? Some experts suggest: All of them.
From the article:
“Instead of focusing on a single top-notch system, try to incorporate as many eco-friendly improvements as you can.”
Some of the more common green construction practices include:
- Using sustainable building materials like recycled glass and steel, as well as renewable materials like bamboo and rubber.
- Installing energy-efficient windows and doors.
- Using lower-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and stains.
- Constructing green roof systems (aka “plants on your roof”) that offer many benefits, including onsite gardens, rainwater management and protection from the effects of harmful UV light.
- Adding water harvesting and purification systems that both manage and make the most use of rainfall.
- Maximizing natural light, which can not only save on lighting requirements (and subsequently energy costs), but can also help keep buildings warm in colder months.
- Using renewable energy to power the building—for example, installing a commercial solar panel system.
Green building benefits
The environmental benefits of eco-friendly construction are obvious, but there are other compelling reasons to implement green building practices that may not immediately come to mind. Examples include:
- Healthier and happier workers—employees that work in green buildings report fewer headaches, as well as improvements in asthma and allergy symptoms.
- Reduced energy costs.
- The ability to attract and retain top talent.
- Greater likelihood a green building will sell for more money than a standard building.
- Additional business opportunities that come from appealing to an ever-growing pool of conscious consumers.
From the article:
“A recent study revealed that 81% of global consumers surveyed have become willing to make sacrifices to preserve the environment. 80% stated that they are willing to buy products from unknown brands that have a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility.”
If you’re still wondering “What is green building?,” read the complete story here.