The term “green” has become synonymous with environmentally friendly. The practice of incorporating green practices into construction started decades ago, but it very commonplace now, even in new home construction. The overall goal of this style of construction is to reduce the impact of the project on the environment. The government stepped in in 1994 when the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. This was a program that established standards in the green construction sector.
The Benefits of Green Construction
Green construction has three targeted areas of benefit:
Environmental Benefits of Green Construction
- Conserve natural resources
- Restore natural resources
- Improve water and air quality
- Enhance ecosystems
- Reduce the overall dependency on fossil fuels
Economic Benefits of Green Construction
- Reducing overall operational costs
- Improve occupant productivity
- Reusing of building materials
- Optimizing life-cycle performance
Social Benefits of Green Construction
- Minimizing strain on local infrastructure
- Heightened aesthetics
- Improve quality of life
What is LEED Certification
Ideally, on construction projects today, you have someone on the team, be it a member of the builder’s crew or your own construction management services team, that is a LEED Consultant. The LEED program is, by far, the most widely used green building ratings system used today. This process looks at all possible benefits of incorporating green construction into your project.
The overall LEED rating of any project will depend on how many elements have been incorporated into it. This ranges from using recycled materials in the construction of the building to environmentally friendly materials to energy-saving measures in the construction and operation of the home to reduced water usage, just to name a few.
LEED has four basic rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
The certification is based on five specific areas of construction:
- Waste reduction
- Energy and water efficiency
- Materials and resources
- Indoor environmental quality
- Sustainable site, location, and transportation
Even if you choose not to go down this route, most projects can incorporate green building construction to some degree. Depending upon your state of residence and the size of the building project, you may actually be required to use some aspect of green construction in the project. We have even seen certain housing developments that required green construction, such as solar panels, to be incorporated into the design of any new home.
If you are thinking about incorporating green construction into your home, give us a call and allow one of our residential construction consultants to discuss the project with you to see if our team is a good fit to help or completely manage your residential construction project. For more information on our managed construction services, click here.