Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why Go Green?

Green Building, also known as sustainable building or environmental building, is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use and harvest energy, water, and materials, and reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal — the complete building life cycle. It can also lead to benefits like reduced operating costs and increased productivity, while using fewer resources. LEED certification is the industry standard for green building evaluation. The photo above depicts the Dana Building on the University of Michigan Central campus. Located on 440 Church Street, this 100-year old building has undergone $25 million worth of green remodeling.

Rocky Mountain Institute says there can be a 50% reduction in energy use by building green, and it would keep an estimated 1.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere. As much as 40% of building cooling is a function of heat entering through existing glass. Also, 20-25% of a building’s energy consumption can be artificial lighting so many costs could be reduced if green materials and building were implemented.

LEED evaluates buildings according to a series of energy and enviornmental standards that translate to a numerical rating or LEED credits. LEED was created to accomplish the following:
-Define "green building" by establishing a common standard of measurement
-Promote integrated, whole -building design particles
-Recognize enviornmental leadership in the building industry
-Stimulate green competition
-Raise consumer awareness of green building benefits
-Transform the building market

Information taken from

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