Why Go Green?
There is a variety of reasons to go green, but most come back to supply and demand. We have a limited amount of resources available and more and more people using them up. If we want our future generations to enjoy the same standard of living we’ve experienced, we need to take action.
Green building is a great place to start, as buildings consume 14% of potable water, 40% of raw materials, and 39% of energy in the United States alone (according to the US Green Building Council). That’s 15 trillion gallons of water and 3 billion tons of raw materials each year! If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some other reasons to go green:
For The Environment
Want to make the world a better place? Implementing green practices into your home or office can help reduce waste, conserve natural resources, improve both air and water quality, and protect ecosystems and biodiversity.
For The Savings
Want to make your dollar go further? Green systems and materials reduce energy consumption, which in turn reduce your energy bills. They also increase asset value and profits and decrease marketing time; making your dollar go further for longer.
For Your Health
Want to live healthier? Green building isn’t just good for the environment; it’s also good for YOU. Sustainable design and technology enhance a resident’s overall quality of life by improving air and water quality and reducing noise pollution. According to a 2006 study by the Center of the Built Environment, University of California, green office buildings improve productivity and employee satisfaction in the workplace.
What is Green Building?
According to the US Green Building Council, “Generally, green homes are healthier, more comfortable, more durable, and more energy efficient and have a much smaller environmental footprint than conventional homes.”
Sustainable properties are the future of the real estate industry. Consumer demand, residential builders, federal government incentives, and local government policy are making this happen. Many consumers, real estate professionals, and property owners are taking steps towards greening their properties.
As the green building movement gains momentum, so does the consumer demand for greener properties. Two-thirds of consumers are paying attention to green homes and buildings; they recognize the link between green properties, cost savings and healthy living.
Consumers also understand the long-term investment and savings associated with greener homes. Homebuyers who ranked energy efficiency as “very important” purchased homes that had a median price $12,400 higher than those who ranked it “somewhat” or “not important.”
Government incentives and policies are increasing the number of green commercial buildings and retrofits as well. Nearly 25% of all new construction projects in the U.S. are LEED-registered. Additionally, the number of states with green building policies, standards, legislation, and programs increased from 13 to 31 between 2005 and 2008 (Green Outlook Report, McGraw Hill Construction 2009).