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Just How Green is Green Building Anyway?

| 2/19/2015 8:18:00 AM

green building

These days, sometimes businesses toss around the word “green” to be hip or fit in, hoping that by relaying the color to you, you’ll somehow be swooned into believing their company and products are the most environmentally conscious ever assembled.

The truth of the matter is that while many people use the word “green” to describe their products, it’s worth doing a little bit of research to determine just how much merit that adjective has when applied to their particular projects.

So what exactly is green building? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, green building is the process which encapsulates creating structures in an environmentally friendly and efficient way. The process starts when the plans for the building come into being, and it doesn’t end until the building is deconstructed however many years in the future. Simply put, green building involves doing all that is within our power to cause as little damage to the environment as possible while producing buildings that perform at the highest levels.

In the building world, if you really want to understand how green a project is, you’ll need to become familiarized with LEED certification. Generally speaking, LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—is a set of standards that when passed prove that a building was constructed remarkably green-friendly. From homes to facilities to public buildings, LEED is a versatile standard in the sense that it can be applied to virtually all construction projects.

For example, a building might be declared LEED-certified if it:

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