Why Green Matters
According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), buildings have a tremendous impact on the environment. Implementing green building practices can help minimize the impact buildings have on the natural environment. The environmental benefits of going green include improved air and water quality, protecting and preserving natural resources, and reducing waste.
Green building also offers economic benefits, such as lower operating costs thanks to better energy and water efficiency. In fact, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports that, on average, green buildings “use 30% less energy than conventional buildings” (“AIA Issue Brief: The Economics of Green,” August 2006, www.aia.org). Lower operating costs can also enhance the overall value of the building.
According to the EPA, most Americans spend 90% of their time indoors—at work, school or home. Better indoor environments (with improved air quality, for example) provide health benefits to occupants, which may in turn improve productivity. By minimizing the strain on local infrastructures, green buildings also benefit the community (“Why Build Green?” U.S. Green Building Council, www.usgbc.org).