The rise in the certified green building industry has been making headlines for more than a decade, with no end in sight.

Besides, tests consistently show the green building pays off. In average, green buildings have a strategic advantage in terms of cost-effectiveness, marketability and total maintenance performance.

Because of the difference between green building and normal building, many facilities managers are often uncertain about what it means to be green. Is certification important?

Is renewable energy needed? That makes the building green, exactly?

The Green Building Plan Elements

Unfortunately, there are no fast and easy responses. Ask a dozen green building experts, and you will get a dozen responses, each reasonable but not the same. The truth is that sustainability is an incredibly complex problem and this is demonstrated by the industry.

Development of a suitable location

Green architecture is concerned not only with the house but also with the environment. Until construction begins, care is taken to choose a location that will lead to the prudent use of land and improve human and environmental wellbeing.

Main approaches include the effective use of space; the protection of wetlands and other important natural features; the alignment and configuration of buildings to take advantage of natural phenomena such as ventilation, airflow and microclimate variables; the reduction of urban heat insular effects; the reduction of light pollution; and esthetic appeal.

Technologies in this area cover such aspects as sunshine, passive lighting, green walls and roofs.

What else to know about green buildings vs. non-green buildings

If you are working with an existing building, the development opportunities may be minimal. There are, though, certain things you can do to get the building into harmony with its surroundings. Landscaping is a good choice.

Strategically planting trees and other plants where they provide shelter, windbreaks or other advantages can have a major effect on the building’s carbon footprint. It may also contribute to other unexpected benefits.

green building

Performance and recycling of energy

Each group requires steps that improve water efficiency and water quality.

Green construction planners are seeking to mimic and maintain the natural water cycle of the site through the use of rainwater catchment, innovative stormwater control methods such as permeable paving, native landscaping and water-saving devices.

This is electricity and climate

It is the type most people think about first when they think green. It also addresses many of the most drastic cost-saving opportunities.

Energy interventions provide technology and architecture that boost building efficiency to do more with less input.