Green, green home, green building, going green, sustainability and LEED are all catch phrases that seem to be catching steam and quickly building momentum these days. What does go green and green building specifically mean? Green building is the philosophy, design and implementation of the most efficient use of resources, that are both environmentally responsible and positively affect our health throughout the building’s entire life cycle. The building’s life cycle starts with siting, includes design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and then finally demolition. The total long term environmental cost of all building components is calculated and factors into green building design. Green building extends traditional building’s short term concerns of economy, utility, durability and comfort with long term goals of sustainability, high performance, human health and environmental impact. The environment is impacted by the production and consumption of materials, natural resources, energy, water and land. Our environment is adversely altered by the building’s inhabitants generation of waste products, water pollution, air pollution, heat and noise. Ultimate effects may include harm to human health, degradation of the environment including the atmosphere and loss of natural resources. Green building’s goal is to reduce or eliminate any adverse health and environmental impact for every kind of building including residential, public, governmental, religious and commercial.
The whole field of green building is literally exploding and there is so much information already available out there on many of the aspects involved with green building. Today’s blog is just an overview that defines what green building is and there will be a subsequent series of articles that will cover in more depth the many aspects involved. We will also closely examine and feature the role of copper in green building and green homes. Copper homes, copper building and copper architecture play an important part in virtually all green building designs, including some or all of the following: plumbing, wiring, solar panels, windmills, tankless water heaters, external wall siding, roofing, guttering, roof structures, flashing, chimneys, fascia, vents, duct work, healthier copper kitchen designs, even outside door and window cladding. Copper usage in fact can contribute upwards of 13 points in various areas towards LEED green building certification.