What is a green building?

new technology, real estate  /   /  By junjieshi

Thinking about the environment is something a lot of people do now, and the green industry is growing larger each year. You may want to be as environmentally conscious as you can be, and this is possible now in your dwelling. A green building is designed to be environmentally friendly, to lessen a house’s carbon footprint and make living life with all the conveniences of modern life sustainable.

Green building utilizes a range of technologies to create an energy efficient living environment

These buildings use rooftop solar panels to collect renewable energy onsite connected to Energy Star appliances to cut down on electricity waste. Some apartment blocks have recycling programs built into the design of the community combined with landscaping that uses irrigation control to use water efficiently. Plumbing fixtures are designed to not waste a drop; native plants are in the garden, increased insulation and Double Low E windows to cut down on heating and cooling costs. Light pollution thought of with state of the art lighting. (As lights take power to use, light pollution is something that disturbs the natural environment and wastes a lot of energy. Yes, even light can be used inefficiently and waste power.) Maintenance of the grounds and building is done using environmentally sustainable methods and equipment.

One project happening around the U.S. is The Millennium. The Millennium has buildings in Texas (The Woodlands and Houston.) and California (Los Angeles and Temecula.) that are ready for families, couples and singles to move in. Information on The Millennium is at this link here.

That site mentioned above says the apartments are LEED certified. Not many have heard of LEED certification, and you may be wondering what it is and if it is trustworthy. It’s easy to make a claim that something is certified by an official sounding body. Trusting in something being certified by a department you’ve never heard of is something I’d suggest you not do (Always look into the company that gives out certifications, many scams claim false accreditation from trusted companies or make up bogus companies to pose as being qualified to give certifications.). The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification comes from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC is an organization made up of builders, nonprofits, corporations, environmentalists, students, teachers, lawmakers and citizens numbering around 197,000 members in 12,870 member organizations of 76 chapters. The LEED certification is an attempt to monitor the industry to make sure green buildings grow and are built according to a standard. Information on the USBGC and LEED certification is here.

Green building is designed to utilize the materials, environment and the daily devices to not waste anything and be able to maintain the standard of living we’ve grown to enjoy. In a green building, a higher quality of life is possible while being considerate of the environment local and in the wider world. Saving energy means lower utility bills and energy being used sustainably. Reducing your carbon footprint means a cleaner home and a comfortable and healthy outside world to inhabit. You are not giving up or sacrificing your lifestyle but upgrading yourself to a better life. The initial costs are often higher but are a lot less in the future. Going green isn’t about becoming a hippie and living without the luxuries; it’s all about living with the luxuries while being sustainable.

Rent.com did a study (Found here) that found 86% of Americans have a strong want for “eco-friendly” apartments. A high number of people recognize the benefits of living in a green apartment for personal and societal reasons. Despite this high percentage, respondents of the survey didn’t quite know what a green apartment would end up looking or being like as a home. A green apartment doesn’t have to mean going without, but considering which appliances and facets of modern living are the best at saving energy. For example, an apartment building can have a heated pool, kept warm through solar power. Green building, when designed well, takes into consideration the living environment of the people and the natural world. The aim isn’t to take away anything, but to have more while using less.

Everyone loves when the government becomes more efficient, when public transport is efficient, when the workplace is efficient, and so it makes sense for a dwelling to work efficiently as well.

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