What You Need to Know

When considering “going green,” it is important to have a clear understanding of what green actually means and the long-term benefits implementing green provides. Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to both a structure and process that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s lifecycle — from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and demolition. Successful green building requires close cooperation between the contractor, architects, engineers and the client through all stages of the project.

The common objective of green buildings is to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by efficiently using energy, water and other resources; protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity; and reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation.

My job is to help clients identify the sustainability goals that correspond to their business, project or regional needs, and successfully implement programs that deliver on-time and on-budget results. Many people equate green building with energy efficiency since there is a known financial return. We focus on making informed decisions that result in overall resource efficiency, materials efficiency and durability, water conservation, occupant health (indoor air quality), siting and structure design efficiency, waste reduction, operations and maintenance optimization, and a structure’s harmonious relationship with the natural features and resources surrounding it.

A Cost-Benefit Analysis

Many businesses go green because they are compelled to do so as a result of local building codes or government regulatory requirements. Alternatively, an increasing number of financial partners are requiring green building certification as they strive to deliver value to shareholders. There is always the option of going green because making informed decisions and becoming a culture that is increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability just seems like the right thing to do.