Cannery housing development with SunPower solar panels in Davis, CA USA

What is green building? Explaining eco-friendly construction

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What is green building? Explaining eco-friendly construction

What is green building? Simply put, it's the environmentally-conscious construction (and operation) of buildings.

For many good reasons, construction using green technology 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 what types of sustainable building practices are considered to be eco-friendly. 

Green building practices

Whether you're building something new or retrofitting an existing structure, there are many ways to implement green building practices, even as you're determining how to reduce operating costs. Minimising (or eliminating) the negative impact a proposed (or existing) building has on the environment and surrounding community is the common goal of these green building 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 building practices include: 

  • Using sustainable building materials such as recycled glass and steel, as well as renewable materials such as 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.
  • Installing commercial solar panel carports to provide covered parking and integrated charging stations for electric vehicles.
  • Maximising 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 for business—for example, installing a commercial solar panel system or a commercial energy storage 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 might 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 Hay fever 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 eco-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."

Still wondering "What is green building?" You can read the complete story here