Building Green

The undisputed leader in sustainable building practices, The U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification program promotes increasing employee productivity, reducing energy and other costs, and in the long term providing a facility that costs less to operate.

LEED was created to:

    • define "green building" by establishing a common standard of measurement
    • promote integrated, whole-building design practices
    • recognize environmental leadership in the building industry
    • stimulate green competition
    • raise consumer awareness of green building benefits
    • transform the building market

Initially, LEED was targeted exclusively at new buildings. Last year, LEED-EB for existing buildings was introduced and offers an even greater opportunity for reducing energy use and other costs while creating an improved employee environment, which results in productivity gains. Another direct benefit is a higher real estate value. A green building has a long list of marketable benefits, which can translate into both higher rents and sales prices.

Green buildings are not only environmentally optimal but economically as well. They're the most efficient buildings, and the most productive. After studying the hundreds of LEED certified projects, the building community is finding that green buildings have a negligible increase in cost, they are essentially cost neutral. Practicing green building results in superior buildings that realize a 25-50% reduction in operating costs.

A study by the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in the US concluded that buildings with good overall environmental quality can reduce the rate of respiratory ailments, allergies, and asthma, while greatly improving productivity. Case studies have shown that the potential financial benefits of improving indoor environments are estimated at 8-14 times the cost investment.

Another study by the Rocky Mountain Institute indicates that productivity gains of up to 16% are achievable in building with energy-efficient design and utilization of renewable, low VOC building materials. These increases in productivity are realized by a reduced absenteeism and improved quality of work. Because employee costs and productivity are a huge component of a company’s costs and its economic success, even a slight adjustment can reap enormous savings. It has long been accepted that a happy, healthy employee is a productive employee. Just recently, we have realized the important role that a green building holds in that equation.

While LEED addresses the commercial building arena, and most studies will monitor business environments, your own home certainly deserves the same treatment. The average person spends more time at home than at the office, so wouldn’t the benefits be greater on a personal residential level?

Sustainability Index | Sustainability in Business | Bamboo Renewability

 

 
     
 

Did You Know ?

The construction industry collectively consumes:

    • Approximately 37% of all energy used in the U.S.
    • 68% of all electricity
    • 12% of fresh water supplies

Information gathered from U.S. D.O.E,;USGBC