What is green building? Explaining eco-friendly construction

May 12, 2017

Green building practices can include green roof systemsWhat 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 workersemployees 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


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