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Green Building is Smart Business

Published: Friday, January 15th, 2016

Simply put, Green Building is smart business. We are a society that votes with our check book and lives from pay check to pay check, so if you can save some money in the long-term and improve your living environment in the short term, there isn’t really any downside.

Whether you are a builder, seller or buyer, the more green elements you can add to your home or building, the better off you will be.

Here is why:

Economics

Economics are the single most importantly thing that makes buyers, sellers and builders pay attention. Studies of environmentally friendly buildings and homes show the following average savings:

30% reduction in energy costs

30% or more reduction in water usage

50% or more reduction in waste costs

Additionally, your assessment value increases about 7% on average.

Compliance

Several states, cities and most government agencies require their projects to comply with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Whether this is the best standard is subject to debate, but currently it seems to have the press and marketing behind it.

Health and Community

A growing body of research correlates green buildings with the health and productivity of their occupants:

Several studies claim that employee productivity increases, there is employee health improvement (i.e., reduced absenteeism), and in Green Schools student performance improves. Personally, as an asthmatic, I always perform better when I can breathe better.

Of course, all eco friendly buildings are not created equal, and not all of them achieve such stellar results. Please research carefully and make them verify their claims.

Environmental Factors

No matter where you are, buildings exert a huge influence on the environment:

According to LEED, U.S. buildings consume 36% of total energy generated and nearly 70% of all electricity produced.

In addition, they account for 30% of all raw materials produced and generate about 136 million tons of waste per year. They also emit 30% of all green house gas which is a major contributor to global warming.

Word of Warning

Just because someone tells you a building is green or even has green elements, this may not necessarily the case. A real estate agent will usually tell you whatever you want to hear to make the sale. A builder may be no different. Find out who did the certification and make sure that you see a copy of it.

In my opinion, Green Building is Smart BusinessĀ is the way to go as long as you have thoroughly researched everyone’s claims and verified them first.

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