Green building is the idea of creating a built environment - buildings, landscapes, communities and infrastructure - that connects the highest positive regard for our quality of life with the least ecological consequences to our environment. Sustainable design attempts to balance economic, social, and environmental factors. Sustainable design principles affect all phases of project development, from design, construction, operations and maintenance, and demolition and disposal.
Building green isn't just about improving your health or saving the planet. Today's techniques can also save you money and make your home or projects more marketable. Green building techniques reduce energy and water use, improve indoor air quality, are sensitive to site development issues, incorporate environmentally friendly building materials, and more.
Typical building construction, use, and demolition, as well as the manufacturing of building materials, contribute significantly to environmental problems. In the United States, buildings account for:
Using integrated design and careful planning, green building can be cost-competitive with conventional construction, even on a first-cost basis. Some high-efficiency, healthy, and/or ecologically superior products do cost more up front, but pay back over time in terms of reduced replacement frequency due to superior construction detailing or materials durability, lower operating costs due to more efficient use of energy or water or by making use of resources harvested on site, less need for modification due to flexible design, and other factors. Other paybacks are garnered due to creating spaces that are healthier and more conducive to productivity. These returns are external to the building balance sheet, but can be some of the most compelling reasons to build green.
We're pleased to offer an excellent series of remodeling guides from the City of Seattle to help you green your current and future projects. Although written for primarily for homeowners, these guides also provide useful information for businesses, designers, and developers.
Click HERE for the Remodeling Guide.
Build It Green
Green Home Guide
U.S. Green Building Council
Global Green USA
Go Solar California
Los Angeles County Solar Map
Flex Your Power
Be Water Wise