In the United States, buildings account for:
- 39 percent of total energy use
- 12 percent of the total water consumption
- 68 percent of total electricity consumption
- 38 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions
Buildings in which effective eco-friendly design, construction and operating practices have been incorporated are generally known as ‘green buildings’. On the whole, these use less energy, water, create less waste, and are healthier to live, work or study in than conventional buildings.
Going green in our buildings benefits us individually and collectively in many ways, including:
Reduced environmental impacts
Green buildings are generally more energy efficient, which reduces the need to burn fossil fuels and helps fight climate change—one of the most pressing global issues. They also make efficient use of water and other resources, while minimizing pollution and waste, enhancing and protecting biodiversity and ecosystems, and improving air and water quality.
Value and economic benefits
Green buildings cost less to operate because, among other things, they use less energy and water, and require less maintenance. They have excellent resale value-because they are higher quality buildings that are built to last. Studies show that people perform better in green schools and workplaces because of the improved indoor environment. Finally, every dollar spent on going green in buildings is a dollar helping fuel the green economy.
Health and social benefits
Green buildings have better indoor air quality because they minimize chemicals, mold and other harmful substances and harvest natural daylight to improve daytime quality for the occupant. By minimizing the strain on local infrastructure, they improve quality of life for the broader community.
Going green for yourself, your environment and your community has never been easier
Let the new Green Building Resource Center help show you how today!