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 and 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 kinds 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? How about 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 don’t just manage, but also make the most use of rainfall;
- Maximizing natural light, which cannot only save on lighting requirements (and subsequently energy costs), but can also help keep buildings warm in colder months; and
- 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; and
- 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.