In a nutshell, Green building is the use of design and construction practices that produce buildings that are generally higher quality, healthier for people and the environment, less costly to maintain, consume fewer natural resources and generate less waste than conventional buildings. More specifically, green building practices:
*Increase a building’s durability and ease of maintenance
*Reduce energy and water consumption
*Improve efficient use and recycling of materials, which
means that much less solid waste is generated during construction
*Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants associated
with building materials and energy required for heating and cooling
*Improve indoor air quality and health for building occupants
*Better integrate buildings and developments with existing and
planned local and regional infrastructures, such as transportation,
schools, parks, natural features, and so forth.
*Increase long-term property values.
There are many different ways to design and construct green buildings. New research data, understandings, strategies and technologies are appearing almost daily in the green building field. For these reasons, applying an integrated design process that involves many of the key players (owners/occupants, architect, builder, and key subcontractors) early on in the design process is the best way to ensure optimal results.
Information from Petaluma Build It Green, http://www.petalumabuilditgreen.org/