Using products made from renewable resources like green construction materials and plantation-grown woods helps mitigate the stress human consumption places on our global ecosystem.
"'Green building' is the next wave, and it's here to stay." An excerpt of a speech by Kenneth D. Lewis, CEO and President of Bank of America.
The Problem With Buildings
25% of virgin wood is used for construction, adding to
40% of total energy use, adding to
16 percent of total water withdrawals, adding to
Comparable in industrial countries to municipal solid waste generation, adding to
Poor air quality in 30 percent of new and renovated buildings, adding to
Source: World Watch Institute
With over $175 billion in new commercial construction annually, the environmental burden imposed by the construction and operation of buildings will continue to rise. Therefore, a new model for design that takes into account environmental impact over the life of the building is necessary. Sustainable design evaluates every design decision in order to evaluate potential impact on the environment, occupant health and comfort, and the bottom line.
Fortunately, many of the concepts and technologies that may be employed to reduce environmental impact in construction and operation can be implemented at no extra cost. Life-cycle cost accounting, which looks at long-term cost and return on investment, as well as environmental costs, makes some design options look more attractive once they are evaluated on other than just first cost.
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