|Why Build Green|
There are over 107 million existing homes in the United States, with another 1.5 million new homes built every year. The environmental impact of these homes equals or exceeds the impacts of commercial buildings. Taken as a whole, buildings in the United States have the following impacts:
The “built” environment has a vast impact on the natural environment, human health, and the economy. By adopting green building strategies, we can maximize both economic and environmental performance. Green construction methods can be integrated into buildings at any stage, from design and construction, to renovation and deconstruction. However, the most significant benefits can be obtained if those involved in the design and construction of the building work together from the earliest stages of a building project.
Saving Homeowners Money and Creating Business Opportunities
Although green homes usually cost slightly more to build, they provide significant long-term saving that far outweigh any extra expenditures from the initial construction. By minimizing energy and water use, green homes have substantially reduced operating costs. They also create, expand, and shape markets for green products and services by increasing demand for these products. Improved indoor environmental quality can cut costs by improving health. Green homes can also reduce costs to society that would otherwise have to be usedfor raw material extraction and manufacturing, energy development and distribution, and pollution cleanup.
Providing Residents with Better Indoor Air and Higher Quality of Life
Because green homes have better air and water quality, include more natural light, and reduce the presence of harmful chemicals, they enhance occupant comfort and health and improve the overall quality of life for their residents.
Producing Less Air and Water Pollution
Green homes can be built to consume less energy and water, increase indoor air quality, and incorporate reused and recycled content materials. Energy efficiency is closely tied to reduced water and air pollution, while reused construction materials conserve raw materials and natural resources, and reduce waste streams. Furthermore, green homes that include storm water management and native landscaping enhance and protect local biodiversity.