If you ride public transportation, you may have noticed signs advertising World Green Building Week during your commute.
This week, 21 different countries are hosting festivals and round table discussions to promote the environmental and economic benefits of green building.
As part of the campaign, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has released a report outlining the impact of building green.
It points out that green buildings typically cost up to 5 percent more than standard buildings during construction, but can reduce waste output by 70 percent, water usage by 40 percent and energy usage by 30 to 50 percent.
These numbers tie in with the U.S. theme of this week’s campaign, “realizing the potential of green buildings.”
The concept of green building involves reducing the energy and water use of a building, while also increasing the indoor air quality and use of recycled and low-impact construction materials. The U.S. EPA has compiled several statistics that point out the relevance of green building:
- Buildings account for more than 70 percent of U.S. yearly energy consumption, which can cost more than $2,000 per year.
- Public demand for water tripled between 1950 and 2000 while the population only doubled, to the point that Americans now consume an average of 100 gallons per day.
- Indoor air pollution is typically two to five times higher than the levels found outdoors.
- Construction and demolition waste accounts for 160 million tons per year, and only 20 to 30 percent of this material is recycled.
While LEED certification has only been around since 1998, the U.S. Green Building Council reports that more than 19,000 projects have registered for LEED certification. This breaks down to $464 million worth of construction that registers for certification each business day.