Green building means improving our design and construction practices so that the homes we build today will last longer, cost less to operate, and won’t harm people’s health. It also involves protecting natural resources and improving the built environment so that people, communities and ecosystems can thrive and prosper.
With the budget and time pressures of today, is it really worth the extra effort? Increasingly, builders, developers, real estate professionals, policymakers and homeowners agree that it is worth the effort. Better homes, it turns out, are also better for business. Developers, builders and other real estate professionals who follow “building as usual” practices may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage as regulatory and market forces shift the industry toward built environments that are healthier, more resource efficient and less polluting.
Green building is gaining momentum and for good reason. To meet expected population growth between now and 2020, thousands of housing units need to be added annually. That’s millions homes over the next 15 years.
Imagine the demands that all those homes will put on our water and energy supplies, forests, farmlands, recreational areas, roadways and municipal infrastructure. Green building offers solutions to meeting those demands while minimizing environmental impacts. By building durable, healthy homes that consume less energy, water and other resources, today’s green homebuilders are helping to safeguard the well-being and prosperity of Americans today and for decades to come.
There’s nothing mysterious about green building — it’s really just applied common sense. To move forward with greening your construction project, it is helpful to think of green building as quality design and construction achieved through the convergence of four fundamental objectives: