Green construction or green building refers to building construction and design that is environmentally responsible — using good stewardship of our natural resources — and sustainable. Construction companies using green technology and green building strive to lessen the impact of construction on the environment, leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Green construction also aims to be more economically efficient, reducing costs on energy and maintenance.
Sustainability reduces the impact on the environment
Sustainable construction practices make use of recycled materials. Green construction materials should be more durable and longer-lasting than other materials, and easier to maintain. Sustainable construction can be achieved by:
Reducing waste sent to landfills from construction, demolition and excavation;
Reducing carbon emissions from the construction process and transport associated with the construction process;
Using only construction products and materials that are responsibly sourced;
Reducing water usage during the construction process.
Fiscal advantages of sustainability and green construction
The upfront costs of a green construction project may be higher, however a building constructed with green technology and practices could save millions costs over time. Energy costs make up a significant portion of maintaining a building. As the cost of energy rises, sustainable construction is more desirable. Buildings constructed with green, sustainable practices will save more on energy and water costs. Additionally, some cities offer tax advantages for green construction.
Health benefits of green construction
Green construction technology means the incorporation of nontoxic materials. Less toxic materials can improve the health of a building’s occupants and reduce the risk of health problems, such as mesothelioma or increased risk of cancer.
Builders who put green construction and building practices into place display a commitment to the environment, cost-efficiency and health. To encourage sustainable building processes, the U.S. Green Building Council established the LEED Program to provide verifications of green buildings. Certified building projects are designed to lower operating costs, increase value, reduce waste and green house emissions, conserve energy and improve health and safety of occupants. Green construction isn’t simply a trend; it is a practice that is growing both in the U.S. and abroad.