Green building is the idea of designing a home so that it is environmentally friendly. Anne Frej of the Urban Land Institute defines it as, “A sustainable building, or green building is an outcome of a design philosophy which focuses on increasing the efficiency of resource use – energy, water, and materials – while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment during the building’s lifecycle, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal.” There are different focuses, depending on the ideas of the institution, such as homes with a focus on energy or sustainable materials. The idea is overall unified in having minimal environmental impact. The practice focuses on more mindful ways to build and be able to co-exist with the Earth in a healthy manner.
Green building is essential because we are running out of resources to continue living as we have in the past. We want there to be enough resources for everyone now and in the future. Green building may seem like a tricky investment at first, but the rewards are great over time. Some may even offer economic benefits such as tax write-offs and saved money compared to conventional homes.
There are three main areas in green building: materials, reduced energy use and reduced waste. Green materials typically include renewable materials such as bamboo, which replenishes quickly and easily meets building demands. There is also encouragement to use locally produced materials that reduce transportation costs. There are many green building materials available. The United States Green Building Council (USBGC) has lots of updates on the latest in materials being used. In the area of reduced energy use, there are ways to build a home so it uses less power to be comfortable. This usually means better insulation, high-efficiency windows and even passive solar building so that daylight is used efficiently to light a home, but not overheat it. The Energy Star website has ratings on all kinds of materials that are used in building and will help save money and energy. In reducing waste, green building ensures that materials are used efficiently with minimal contribution to the landfill. A well-designed building also offers ways for the occupants to reduce their waste by using rainwater cisterns, composters and other things so that after the building is complete, waste is minimized at all stages.
There are other ways to build green such as investing in solar panels to be used on the home. The home accounts for more energy and waste than a car, so it is no wonder that it is being used as a solution to help humanity to have eco-friendly shelter. EnviroCitizen.org has uncovered a lot of research which states that having a green home is becoming cheaper than before and is proving to be more desirable than conventional homes