Green buildings are gaining increased recognition.Green” or “sustainable” buildings use key resources like energy, water, materials and land more efficiently than buildings that are just built to code. With more natural light and better air quality, green buildings typically contribute to improved health, comfort, and productivity. Over a building’s lifetime, these benefits outweigh slightly higher average initial costs.
Green buildings use a variety of features to reduce their impact on the environment. These features can broadly be categorized as follows:
Energy Efficiency: Building structures, mechanical and electric systems, heating, and lighting that use minimal energy while providing the same comfort levels as conventional energy systems.
Water Efficiency: Water fixtures, re-use techniques, and other measures that reduce water use while providing the service expected by occupants.
Site Use: Minimization of land used for a building, location near public transportation, erosion prevention, and other techniques that reduce impacts on surrounding land.
Material Use: Recycled, easily regenerated, or efficiently produced materials and building techniques that minimize the materials required for a building.
Indoor Environmental Quality: Use of non-toxic materials, good ventilation, delighting and other improvements to the indoor environment that increase occupants’ comfort and productivity.