Daily Dose: Green Building Facts

Add to TwitterTo say that building green and sustainably are important considerations for today’s architects and construction workers is a gross understatement. It is certainly one of the main topics of discussion in the design and construction industry and deserves a little face time on the Daily Dose! Though I’ve been tuning in to sustainability discussions that are occuring online and through print magazines,  I hadn’t come across a conveniently organized set of facts and figures as to why one should start (or continue) building green – until now. Thanks to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for this information:

In the United States alone, buildings account for:

  • 72% of electricity consumption,
  • 38% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions,
  • 40% of raw materials use,
  • 30% of waste output (136 million tons annually) and
  • 14% of potable water consumption.

So how does green building help? Here’s what the USGBC says:

Environmental benefits:

  • Enhance and protect ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Improve air and water quality
  • Reduce solid waste
  • Conserve natural resources

Economic benefits:

  • Reduce operating costs
  • Enhance asset value and profits
  • Improve employee productivity and satisfaction
  • Optimize life-cycle economic performance

Health/Community benefits:

  • Improve air, thermal, and acoustic environments
  • Enhance occupant comfort and health
  • Minimize strain on local infrastructure
  • Contribute to overall quality of life

One last thought: according to the USGBC, Americans spend 90% of their time indoors. NINETY percent! I won’t get started on the changes that need to be made to that figure, but I will say that that makes the indoor air quality of a building of the utmost importance. MTI recognizes that and offers a free course about occupant health and sustainability of buildings – check it out here. (and get outside!)

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Source:
http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=1718

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