Building Green and Increasing Efficiency

Environmentally friendly construction, or green building, is a concept that involves building structures in a way that minimizes their harmful impact on the environment. The most important elements of green building are maximizing energy efficiency, reducing water usage, using less building materials, and reducing or eliminating waste. The benefits of eco-friendly building include higher market values, reduced energy costs and operating costs, and lower pollution levels. Green building standards are managed by the United States Green Building Council, through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating systems. LEED ratings range from "Certified" for basic compliance, to Silver, Gold, and finally Platinum for buildings whose eco-friendliness are exceptional in magnitude.

Energy Efficiency

Water Efficiency

Materials Efficiency

Waste Reduction

  • Reuse and recycle packing materials rather than throwing them away.
  • Avoid packaging that is designed only for one use. Purchase items in bulk to reduce their per-unit cost and how much packaging is used overall.
  • Prefabricated building materials can reduce the amount of material used during construction, as well as the amount of material that is wasted.
  • Avoid using plastic utensils in cafeterias.
  • Reusing wood, glass, concrete, metal, and other construction materials, prevents such materials from going into landfills.
  • When recycling is impractical, it is also possible to prevent landfill usage by selling the remaining building materials that might otherwise go to waste, or donating the material to receive tax breaks.
  • Switching to a paperless office can save a business thousands of pounds of paper per year.
  • Pallets and corrugated paper boxes can be reused, and broken ones can be repaired and reused.
  • Replace bathroom paper towels with air-dry units.