Building Green? Stick to the Plan

The best thing to do when building green is to come up with a plan and stick with it. Your plan should be based on the good that you wish to accomplish for the environment, so come up with a list of things that you can do in order to protect the area in which you build. There are countless things that you can do, but it is usually best to keep it simple. Sure, it would be nice if every home ran on solar power, but this is simply not possible because most people do not have the resources to convert their homes over to this energy source. Do not allow yourself to get overwhelmed and simply take this process one step at a time, while doing everything in your power to keep your home running efficiently.

The first thing that you should do is make sure that there are not any energy leaks in the building. This is a simple process, as all you really have to do is make sure that the windows are closed in the winter and that there are no holes in your insulation. If you have a leak, you will find that your energy bills can increase rather significantly, so it is best to take a quick look around and eliminate any leaks in your home. If you do this, you will be able to lower your thermostat during the winter as well, which will save you even more money in the long run. Being responsible with your heating and air conditioning will help make your building green and will also save you a lot of money, so it is really something that you must do.

In accordance with these energy leaks is the type of windows that you use, as double paned windows will go a long way in keeping the heat in your home in the winter. Single paned windows allow for this energy to escape, which means that it will cost more the heat the building. While switching your windows over might be an expensive initial investment, you will save the money and then some in the future, especially if you live in a colder climate.

The new light bulbs that are available on the market also make it very easy for you to save energy, as these bulbs only use a fraction of the energy of other bulbs. These bulbs cost a little bit more in the beginning, but you will make this money back, and then some, over the bulb’s lifetime. These bulbs also last a lot longer than traditional bulbs, so you will replace them very rarely. If your entire building is switched over to these energy efficient bulbs, you will notice a major difference in the amount of energy that you are consuming every month, which will definitely be good for your back account.

If you have a shower in your building, switching to a low flow showerhead can save a lot of water, as older showerheads are definitely not very energy efficient. This is significant because not only will you be saving water, but you will also be using less hot water, which will help with your heating bills. These showerheads have evolved quite a bit in recent years, as they used to be very difficult to use because of their low flow features. Today, however, these showerheads are much different, as they still give you a great shower, expect for they are very cheap to operate.

Whether your building is a home or an office, we can all agree that planting trees on your property is a good idea. The environment relies on trees heavily because they filter the air for us and can support wildlife in the region. When planting trees, it is important that you only select trees that are native to the area because otherwise, you will be using up unnecessary amounts of water. The reason for this is that native trees are used to surviving in their native area, so they do not need the same resources as trees that are not from the area. Many communities how have an adopt a tree program, so if you do not want to plant a tree on your property, they will find a property where you can plant a tree.

While this might not have anything to do with a green building directly, many office buildings are going green by organizing car pools. Having a car pool program at your office can lower the amount of emissions that your employees are creating and can also save them money, since they will not be driving everyday. If you are able to get one of these programs started, you will definitely be doing your part in this green building movement, since your workers will be lowering the amount of emissions that they are releasing into the environment. Once again, this might seem like a small step to take, but it can do a lot of good over the year because people will use their cars an awful lot and driving to work everyday does do a lot of damage over time.

As you can see, having a green building includes every aspect of the building and the people within it, so there are countless ways to do your part. This can start with the construction of the actual building, as you can use recyclable materials, and end up with the people who work at a building doing their own part. You do not need to switch your entire power grid over to a renewable resource in order to do your part, as you can simply make an effort each and every day to go something good for the environment. This does not have to be heroic work, as simply organizing a car pool or planting a tree counts as contributing to a green building. If you can get everyone who enters the building to do the same thing, you will have done a great deal of good for the environment and that is something that you can definitely be proud of moving forward.

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Examples of Green Building Techniques

One way that many people are now going ahead with green building is through the use of solar panels. These panels take advantage of renewable natural resources to power the building, which is much more energy efficient than using electricity. Other techniques include having native plants in the building, as they clean the air and do not require much water to keep alive, the use of packed gravel instead of concrete, as this allow for the ground water in the area to be replenished, and keeping trees on the property. All of these elements of building green might seem minor, but they make a huge difference when they are done on a large scale. You will definitely find that your building will be a happier place if you are able to take advantage of these techniques and keep your building as green as possible. These sustainable materials are definitely a good thing to have around because they will keep doing good for the environment, even when you are not around to keep an eye on them.

Another way that people are taking the initiative and going green is by reducing the amount of energy that they use. A popular was of reducing the amount of electricity that a building uses is to strategically place windows in places that will provide the maximum amount of natural light for the building. If windows are placed in the right spots, you will not need to have lights on during the day, which will cut down on the amount of energy that you are using significantly. You can also plant trees in areas that will shade the roof of the building, which will help to keep the building cool during the summer. This is significant because you will not have to fire up the air conditioner as often, as the building will not get as hot. Cutting down on the amount of time that the air conditioner is running is definitely a major step and can save a lot of money. Geothermal heat is another environmentally friendly invention, as natural gas will not be needed to heat the home during the winter months.

By reducing waste, individuals can make significant strides with their green buildings, as this waste does a lot of damage to the environment. The amount of waste that is given off by a building starts in the construction phase, so it is important to limit how much waste is present while the actual building is being created. During this stage, the end goal should be to limit how much waste is going to a landfill, so using recyclable materials is a major step in this situation. Anything that you can keep out of the landfill is a positive for this project, so try to use as much of this waste on other projects as possible. Some buildings also implement a system where their waste water is used for other things. For example, the extra water from the washing machine can be collected and used to irrigate crops if it is treated properly. While having a water treatment system in the building is expensive and is actually not all that environmentally friendly, turning this extra water into fertilizer is eco smart and will definitely show a cost benefit for your building, especially if you are able to use this water on your property.

Companies that put this extra effort into this cause will definitely see the benefits because it will save them money once they reduce this unneeded waste. Many people forget about small things like recycling used water but over time, this can have a significant impact on the environment. This is especially true in an office type of setting, as countless people will be using the resources that are available there. If the resources are sustainable, the office will see profits increase because they will not be wasting as many materials or paying for expensive natural resources. The less you waste, the higher you can expect your employees to perform as well, as much of this waste can actually slow down their productivity. An important thing to keep in mind in this situation is that wasting energy and producing more carbon dioxide can actually have a negative impact on these employees both physically and mentally.

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Benefits of Building Green

The great thing about building green is that even an existing building can be switched over to green mode, depending on how you want to do things. While it helps out greatly if your building was built in a green manner, which includes using recycled materials or green construction techniques, you can reduce emissions and the amount of energy that is being used at any time, so will definitely help out with the process as a whole. No element of going green is too small, so make sure that you take advantage of any of these techniques that you are aware of and do your part to help the environment.

The benefits of going green are endless, as they begin with the actual environmental benefits. The environmental benefits include protecting the ecosystem in your area from future problems by reducing the amount of pollution that you are creating, the conservation of natural resources, and the improvement of air quality in your area. Even if your building is very small, you can do a lot of good in your area by simply cutting down on the amount of waste that you produce. This is not a trivial thing, as you can take a leadership role by cutting down on your waste and hope that other businesses follow suit in the future. Eventually, your green tendencies will take off and you will find yourself showing other people how to make their buildings green as well.

Besides the environmental benefits of going green, you will also find that there are economic benefits involved with this process, as you will lower the operating costs of your home or business by cutting down on the amount of energy that you use. Think about it for a second. The more electricity and natural gas that you use, the higher your bills will be. Also, the more things that you waste, the more you will have to buy new products to replace them. In the end, these expenses will add up considerably and you will find yourself paying more than you need to. The cost of operating your building is completely in your hands and if you only use what you need, you will save money each and every month. You will also find yourself to be more productive if you lower the emissions that you building is giving off, as human beings are not meant to breathe these emissions in, as they cause respiratory problems that can harm people over time.

There are also a number of social benefits that go along with a green building strategy, as it is definitely good publicity for any company to go in this direction. You might also find that a green building looks better, since it will not be producing staining emissions and the occupants of the building will be healthier and, therefore, happier. The overall quality of life will increase for anyone who accesses a green building on a regular basis, so making sure that you take the steps to go green is a great thing to do for all staff members or people living in your home.

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Why Green Building

Going green might sound like a cliché phrase, since it is used so much that its original meaning might be lost forever. That does not mean, however, that going green is not important, as there are countless reasons why people should take the time to go green, especially with their buildings. Green building occurs when people keep the environment in mind through the building’s life cycle, which includes things like its design, the actual erecting of the building, maintenance, renovation, destruction, and its day to day operations. These buildings can come in all shapes and sizes, but it is very important to keep in mind that even a house or shed can be included as a green building.

One of the most important aspects of green buildings is that they are efficient when using natural resources, such as energy and water, and that they are able to reduce the amount of waste that is given off. This is very important because the less waste that is produced, the less future issues there will be for the environment. Using green materials are also healthier for workers, which can increase their productivity. This means that going green can actually help a business in the long run, since they will get better performances from their workers. Reducing the amount of pollutants that the building gives off is a great way to keep the staff healthy, since they will not be breathing in these harmful materials if you are able to do this effectively.

Something to keep in mind is that buildings are responsible for 39% of the energy that is used in the world. This is a significant percentage, especially when you factor in that buildings use up 68% of our total electricity. This makes sense, since buildings are powered by electricity, but using less energy on a daily basis would be a great help for the environment. Buildings are also responsible for 12% of our water consumption and 38% of the carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere, so it is easy to see why going green can be a huge benefit for everyone involved.

 

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