As fuel costs continue to rise, and environmentally friendly actions become more mainstream, green building has seen a dramatic increase in popularity. On top of these issues, construction costs are skyrocketing and homeowners, businesses and developers want designs that last longer while taking into account their carbon footprint. Currently there are numerous organizations that are working together to develop a Green Building Code, and many cities in the U.S. have already adopted a green building code. Building green looks to be the wave of the future. Here is some information about Green Building you can consider for your next construction project. Also be sure to check out our Green Building Links section and downloads for additional resources.
What Is Green Building?
In a nutshell, green building means taking steps to create buildings that are safe and healthy for people and that protect our environment. While specific methods and products may vary from project to project, the basic principles of green building apply to all types of new construction and renovation, from remodeling a kitchen to constructing a courthouse. It can be helpful to think of green building as the convergence of three goals:
- Conserve natural resources
- Increase energy efficiency
- Improve indoor air quality
Green building is a "Whole-Systems" approach for designing and constructing buildings that conserve energy, water, and material resources and are healthier, safer, and more comfortable. In practical terms, green building includes:
- Using sun and wind to the building's advantage for natural heating, cooling, and daylighting
- Landscaping with native plants and using water efficiently
- Building quality, durable structures
- Insulating well and ventilating appropriately
- Incorporating salvaged, recycled, and sustainably harvested materials
- Maintaining healthy indoor air quality with appropriate building techniques and materials
- Using energy-efficient and water-saving appliances and fixtures
- Reducing and recycling construction waste
The Benefits of Green Building
In essence, building green means improving our design and construction practices so the buildings we renovate and build today will last longer, cost less to operate, and won't harm the health of workers or residents. Building green is good for Alameda County residents, workers, enterprises and communities. It's also good for the planet.