February 23, 2022
Benefits of Green Construction
It is estimated that in 2021, almost half of all constructions firms (47 percent) are building over 60 percent of their projects using “green building” methods and materials, typically in ways that also reduce insurance costs.
Some specific areas in which green construction benefits both commercial and residential construction include:
- Siting and design efficiency — the goal is to minimize impact in terms of a building’s location and the surrounding environment.
- Energy efficiency — includes minimizing air leakage with high performance windows and insulation, reducing the need for natural light by maximizing solar gain with strategic placement of walls and windows, and implementing renewable energy sources through solar, wind and hydro power, and biomass. A related objective is to reduce the impact on the electrical grid by reducing peak demand and implementing sustainable energy features such as sufficient indoor thermal mass, good insulation, photovoltaic panels, thermal or electrical energy storage systems and smart building energy management systems.
- Water efficiency — to the extent feasible, facilities should increase their dependence on water that is collected, used, purified, and reused on-site.
- Materials efficiency — building materials from “green” sources are preferred, such as recycled products, materials from certified forests and rapidly renewable plant materials like bamboo and straw.
- Indoor environmental and quality enhancement — Typically, most building materials and cleaning/maintenance products emit gases, some of them toxic, such as many VOCs (volatile organic compounds), including formaldehyde. These gases can have a detrimental impact on health, comfort, and productivity. Other internal environmental objectives should include improving a building’s thermal quality with improved airflow and personal temperature control and using hypo–allergenic building materials such as wood.