In recent years, sustainable construction practices for commercial buildings have grown in popularity. Green building practices such as using insulated materials, reclaiming and using recycled materials, and introducing elements of nature to the buildings, are quickly becoming the industry standard. This article will explore the advantages of using green building practices for commercial construction and why the trend is likely to continue.
What is Green Building?
Green building is a process that emphasizes a sustainable approach to building and construction. It refers to the practice of designing and constructing buildings in an eco-friendly way so as to minimize the environmental impact. This includes using renewable energy, minimizing water consumption and waste, and selecting materials with the least negative impact on the environment. Green building encourages the use of sustainable materials such as wood, certified lumber, low VOC paint, and recycled building products, as well as promoting operational practices that are compatible with natural ecology and resources such as water and energy efficiency.
Green Building Certifications
There are a variety of different green building certifications that recognize the achievement of sustainability in construction, though the most widely accepted and internationally recognized is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This certification is administered by the US Green Building Council and rewards buildings that meet the highest standards of ecological sustainability. Other certifications include the National Green Building Standard (NGBS), Living Building Challenge (LBC), Green Globes, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star. Independent information on green building performance and ratings can be found on sites such as the World Green Building Council, Green Building Council of Australia, and the LEED rating system.
Benefits of Green Building Practices
Apart from reducing a building’s environmental footprint, green building practices also bring about many important economic and social benefits. For example, they can help to reduce operating costs associated with energy and water use, provide healthier living environments for occupants, and create more livable and desirable communities. Additionally, they can even reduce the risk of disasters such as flooding and heatwaves, thus helping protect buildings and their occupants from loss and damage. Furthermore, green building practices also help to create jobs in the construction industry and contribute to local economic development.