Green Building practices promote construction of buildings which incorporate the use of intelligent design and sustainable materials to create buildings that are healthier and produce less waste than traditional building techniques. This creates an environment which is both livable for the occupants and healthier for the environment.
Green building practices offer an opportunity to create environmentally-sound and resource-efficient buildings by using an integrated approach to design. Green buildings promote resource conservation, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation features; consider environmental impacts and waste minimization;
create a healthy and comfortable environment; reduce operation and maintenance costs; and address issues such as historical preservation, access to public transportation and other community infrastructure systems. The entire life-cycle of the building and its components is considered, as well as the economic and environmental impact and performance.
Green Building practices promote construction of buildings that are healthier for the occupants and healthier for the environment.
Sustainable or “green” building practices can reduce the tremendous impact that building design, construction and maintenance has on both people and nature.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Center for Sustainable Development, buildings consume 40% of the world's total energy, 25% of its wood harvest and 16% of its water. The building industry is the nation's largest manufacturing activity, representing more than 50% of the nation's wealth and 13% of its Gross Domestic Product. Energy and material consumption in buildings can contribute significantly to global climate change.
Sustainable building practices go beyond energy and water conservation to incorporate environmentally sensitive site planning, resource efficient building materials and superior indoor environmental quality. Some of the key benefits are:
- lower electric and water utility costs
- environmentally effective use of building materials
- enhanced health and productivity
- long-term economic returns
- reduced environmental impact
In addition to requiring City buildings to be designed and built using Green Building principles, the City of Brentwood encourages building owners, architects, developers, and contractors to incorporate meaningful sustainable building goals early in building design process. By using the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) Rating System to document sustainable building features, project teams can publicize their progress.