Building Safety Month: Resiliency, Sustainability, Innovation
Posted on 05/18/2020
Remember the time when your grandmother stored rainwater in a barrier to water her flowers and garden. This is a concept of “green building.” Or the time when your grandfather salvaged wood from an old barn and used the wood to build a tractor shed behind the house. This is a concept of “green building” as well.

In a nutshell, a “green building” is a building that is designed, constructed, and/or operated to reduce the negative impacts on the environment and the people occupying the building. Green building takes an intelligent approach to the use of energy, safeguards water resources, minimizes waste, and maximizes re-purposing. Green building also promotes the health and well-being of the occupants in the building through proper ventilation, natural lighting, acoustics, and intelligent temperature control. Green building also increases the useful life of a structure by incorporating flexibility in the building design.

Green building also asks the common sense questions that should be asked in the design and construction of a building. For example, does it make sense to use the same quality of water for both drinking and lawn irrigation? Does it make sense to leave all the lights on in a room that is not occupied? Does it make sense to maintain the same temperature in an unoccupied building as an occupied building? Does it make sense to demolish a structurally sound building because the interior spaces no longer meet the needs of the tenants?

Green building is not an expensive way to design and construct a building - it is the intelligent way to design and construct a building to maximize the use of available resources, minimize the effect on the environment, and incorporate flexibility in the use of the building.

Learn more: 
World Green Building Council
EPA - About Green Building