The rise of the green building

Most people are not used to thinking of large buildings as vast, energy-guzzling machines. But that is what they are. In America, buildings account for 65% of electricity consumption, 36% of total energy use and 30% of greenhouse-gas emissions. So making buildings more energy-efficient could have a significant impact on energy policy, notes Rebecca Flora of the Green Building Alliance, a group that promotes sustainable architecture. That is a key goal of the “green architecture” movement, which is changing the way buildings are designed, built and run.

Proponents of green architecture argue that the approach has many benefits. In the case of a large office, for example, the combination of green design techniques and clever technology can not only reduce energy consumption and environmental impact, but also reduce running costs, create a more pleasant working environment, improve employees’ health and productivity, reduce legal liability, and boost property values and rental returns.

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via TreeHugger