Choosing sustainable construction
BY World Special Publications
Monday, February 04, 2013
Green building, also known as high-performance building or sustainable construction has been practiced by builders and remodelers for centuries, but the modern era of sustainable construction started in the 1970s as oil prices rose and the need for energy efficiency increased.
High-performance buildings are designed and constructed to incorporate environmental considerations and resource efficiency into every step of the process to minimize its environmental impact. Green building is a practical response to increasing energy prices, waning water resources and changing weather patterns.
Choosing green means making intentional decisions about the following:
• Energy-efficient improvements such as a high-performance building envelope, efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, high-performance windows and energy-efficient appliances and lighting.
• Water conservation measures such as water-efficient appliances and fixtures, filtration systems, and drought resistant or low-maintenance landscaping.
• Resource conservation using materials and techniques such as engineered wood and wood alternatives, recycled building materials, sustainably harvested lumber and more durable products.
• Indoor environmental quality considerations such as effective HVAC equipment, formaldehyde-free finishes, low-allergen materials and products with minimum off-gassing or low volatile organic compounds.
• Site design planning such as minimizing disruption and preserving open space.