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Western North Carolina Green Building Council

Importance of Green Building

  

What is Green Building? Green building, or sustainable design, is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water, and materials, and reducing building impacts on human health and the environment over the entire life cycle of the building. Green building concepts extend beyond the walls of buildings and can include site planning, community and land use planning issues as well.

Why is Green Building important? The growth and development of our communities has a large impact on our natural environment. The manufacturing, design, construction, and operation of the buildings in which we live and work are responsible for the consumption of many of our natural resources.

In the United States, buildings account for:

  • 39% of total energy use
  • 68% of total electricity consumption
  • 30% of landfill waste
  • 38% of carbon dioxide emissions
  • 12% of total water consumption

Environmental Benefits

  • Enhance and protect biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Improve air and water quality
  • Reduce waste streams
  • Conserve and restore natural resources

Economic Benefits

  • Reduce operating costs
  • Improve occupant productivity
  • Enhance asset value and profits
  • Optimize life-cycle economic performance

Social Benefits

  • Enhance occupant health and comfort
  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Minimize strain on local utility infrastructure
  • Improve overall quality of life

Green Building Programs

  • LEED, Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is the nationally accepted rating system for commercial and institutional green buildings. The program helps establish a standard measurement for green building. Contact the US Green Building Council for more information www.usgbc.org/leed/http://www.usgbc.org/leed/
  • Green Built NC Homes Certification Program is a state-wide residential green building rating program administered by the WNCGBC. Homes receive a rating and certificate based on third party inspections. Contact the WNC Green Building Council for more informationhttp://www.wncgbc.org/greenbuilt/