Due to its environmental benefits, green buildings are an ever increasing driver in the new green economy. Here is a summary of the major environmental benefits afforded by green building.
Emissions reductions are achieved in green buildings through the use of less environmentally harmful materials and decreased reliance on fossil fuel fired electricity.
Renewable sources of energy and efficiency initiatives reduce anthropogenic contributions to global climate change, and diminish emissions that compromise air quality and human health.
Water conservation and recycling rainwater can yield significant water savings. Stormwater management including harvesting and redirection can reduce erosion and flooding.
Temperature moderation can be achieved through conscientious building design and site selection, as well as including trees in the property development planning.
Waste reduction efforts can massively reduce the waste produced in demolition. A 1998 study titled “Deconstruction: Building Disassembly and Material Salvage,” from the National Association of Homebuilders, projected that 20 million tons of debris could be diverted from landfills if only one quarter of the buildings demolished every year were deconstructed.
Deconstruction involves the selective dismantlement of building components, specifically for re-use, recycling, and waste management. It differs from demolition where a site is cleared of its building by the most expedient means.
With their powerful environmental benefits, green building standards are destined to become the basic building standard for all new construction.
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