“Going green” has become a staple phrase in an increasingly environmentally friendly world. It is a movement that everyone will eventually have to follow simply because we will not have any other choice. Our uncontrolled population growth and increased consumption has created an ecosystem that will not be able to sustain the lives of the inhabitants on our planet. At the rate we are going, we will run out of natural resources we rely on for our survival and will have to create innovative and sustainable practices so that we can be proactive about the degradation of our environment. A good place to start with in creating these sustainable practices is in our very own homes. We can each do our part to help maintain the home we all share called Earth. This is where green building makes it grand entrance, and provides a solution for the current situation that our species has put us in. But what exactly is a green building, why should you consider it, and what are the objectives of this phenomenon? We will lay out all this information for you and leave you wanting to participate in your own green building.
What is Green Building?
There are different kinds of green building definitions out there. Some people think of a green, or sustainable building that does not make as bad as an impact on the environment compared to another average building. Others might believe it to be a particular kind of building that also has environmentally friendly surroundings.
The model green building is a building project that allows one to preserve the natural environment around a project site, while at the same time having the ability to produce a building that serves a purpose. It is a building project that is look at how the construction and operation of a building will take into account the environmentally friendly management of the land, water, resources, and energy of the area. This is the actual definition of a green building.
According to the U.S. EPA, “Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high performance building.”
Why You Should Go Green?
There is no doubt the importance of going green. We all need to do our part in providing a safe home for future generations. Those who go green understand that they can help in reducing their carbon footprint and know they can lend a helping hand to protecting the environment. There are a number of ways in which you can go green, but builders and construction workers must do their part as well. It is not necessary to go all in and get overwhelmed by it all; you can easily take some baby steps in your path towards full sustainability.
Green buildings reduce the overall impact on environment and human health by:
- Reducing trash, pollution and the degradation of environment.
- Efficiently using energy, water and other resources.
- Protecting inhabitant’s health and improving productivity.
The Costs of Not Going Green
Some people believe this green revolution is only taking more money out of their pockets, which is a common misconception among skeptics to the movement. Although green materials and products can be more costly, their are costs from not going green that are much more disadvantageous.
When resources become so scarce because of how much we deplete them, the prices of these resources we take advantage of will rise dramatically. This is because the shortage of supply and increased demand for these products will cause those prices to increases. At the rate we are going, we will one-day struggle to access basic goods and suffer an even higher social cost. Apart from environmental costs, we will be risking our lives by not going green.
Furthermore, if more sustainable green practices are chosen, energy costs will eventually go down because going green also means conserving energy. Green building should be seen as more of an investment than anything else. It is an investment that will not only save money but also keep environmental costs down. It is a win-win scenario for everyone and it is a decision that is necessary to make.
Green Building Benefits
One thing is for sure, and that is that the benefits of green building heavily outweigh its costs. The benefits of green building range from environmental benefits to economic ones all the way to social ones. By adopting greener practices, we optimize environmental and economic performance. The benefits of green building are separated into the different areas below:
- Greatly improves air and water quality
- Helps conserve natural resources
- Reduces wasting of water
- Protects biodiversity and ecosystems
- Improves inhabitant productivity
- Reduces operating costs
- Creates market for green product and services
- Minimizes strain on local infrastructure
- Greatly improves quality of life
- Improves inhabitant health and comfort
The Objectives of Green Building
With everything, there is always a goal or objective we are trying to reach – especially with something like the implementation of green building. The most obvious goal would be to make the earth more sustainable. However, the goals of green building go beyond the main goal of this phenomenon.
When going green, the underlining goal is to help to sustain the environment without disrupting the natural habitats around it. When starting a building project it is important not to disrupt the natural habitat of that area so as to not create detrimental ripples in the ecosystems. Disrupting the natural habitat can cause act as a butterfly effect for the ecosystem and leave us without the resources we are dependent on.
The smallest changes to the environment can have dire consequences to an ecosystem. Comparatively, small positive changes you make can also have dire consequences that can help promote a better and healthier place for us all (including plants and wildlife) to live in.
Green building is a phenomenon that uses our social conscious to help us live in a better world. You might not be planning on rebuilding your home, but you may want to make a few green changes within your home to ensure that you are doing your part in keeping our planet around for a little while longer. You can cut down on your energy use, save money, and make a big impact on the environment by taking part in this green revolution. Contrary to popular belief, going green is not as difficult as people make it seem. Plus once you do go green, your conscious, and future generations will thank you for it!