Green Building – The Challenges Towards Widespread Acceptance By Home Builders

Energy savings, higher productivity and less waste. These are but a few of the many attributes towards implementing green building concepts and practices. These days, because of programs like the U.S. Green Building Council’s landmark LEED rating system for buildings, the ideas and concepts of green building have now entered the mainstream.

Currently, sustainable development analysts have noted that there are around 500 million square feet of green buildings under design, development, and implementation, and there has been a lot of success in LEED applications in different industries and sectors.

The Challenges Toward Widespread Acceptance of Green Building Ideas

Despite the rising acceptance in the concepts of sustainable building, there still remains a large challenge toward widespread acceptance and long-term practice, and despite the growing awareness in sustainable practices, green products, and high-performance technologies in building design and construction, many worry that there continues to be a lack of accurate, thorough, and quantifiable information regarding the financial and economic impacts of high-performance buildings within the construction and home building industry. In addition, there are also hurdles when it comes to the perception of cost, which has become a stumbling block in the quicker acceptance of green building concepts.

According to some sustainable development purveyors, there’s a consistent disconnect between capital costs and operating costs, as for instance, a building owner knows there is a return on investment of 40 percent going into a green building, as the investments are taken from capital; however, the year-to-year, the operating budget isn’t linked, and that poses a real stumbling block. For the past years, many entities have discussed and analyzed what it actually costs to build green and the ultimate value that results from constructing an environmentally responsible, high-performing facility in hopes of convincing the facilities industry to rethink construction budgeting and financing.

The Attributes Of Green Building Designs

Home builders and developers who have embraced the concepts of eco-friendly building, say that the four attributes of green building design, which are increased ventilation control, enhanced temperature control, enhanced lighting control, and increased daylighting, have been clearly and significantly correlated with increased levels in productivity.

Many note that indoor air quality also has been linked to potential productivity and health gains in workplaces and educational facilities, which helps to explain that the greatest advantages of green building come in the form of benefits to the occupants. The other financial benefits of green buildings are more than 10 times the average initial investment required to design and construct a green building. Construction industry insiders say that for energy savings alone, these exceed the average increased cost associated with going green, and the benefits and savings mark the true value of sustainable construction.

In these times where cost-efficiency, productivity and concern for the environment need to go hand in hand, home builders and property developers have a choice between a building designed to be healthy and efficient or one that is not. According to experts, with a 50-year life-cycle investment, green buildings are increasing at a rate of around 40 to 50 percent each year, and as global energy costs also soar up, the risks of simply doing conventional design are increasing, as well as the risk of going obsolete has fast become a large phenomenon too.

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Green Building – Sustainable Materials For Home Construction

There are prominent issues in the contemporary society especially those that tackle the massive impact of things in the environment. In the real estate industry, preferring technologies and systems that cater to the preservation of the environment is becoming a trend. One of the concerns prevalent today is on the use of sustainable materials for home construction.

There are innumerable criteria you can actually consider when talking about sustainable materials and how such items are qualified under this category.

One of the main properties that sustainable and green buildings must be eligible with is its less environment impact. Since such real property entities account for many effects on the use of land, water and energy consumption as well as the alteration in the air and the atmosphere, buildings must primarily reduce its consumption of natural resources which are slowly depleting and eliminated without chances of renewal.

Sustainable materials are the ones that are recycled and reused in order to build or renovate homes and buildings. This way, you are not contributing to the exhaustion of the natural resources in order to answer the demands for new materials and items to use for construction and renovation of your property. There are numerous industries in the world of real estate that cater to the notion of recycling and refurbishing materials instead of producing new ones for constructing new properties or improving old ones.

In general, bear in mind that the process of building construction is definitely producing a lot of wastes. Hence, the materials that are recycled and reused must have the ability to reincorporate whatever scraps or wastes are made and remixed or reused it for other building construction purposes.

Another important criterion to consider is to look into the sustainability features of the material and to know if it is truly sustainable from the very moment it was harvested or gained as a raw material up to the time of its eventual disposal.

The material must have very minimal impact to the environment especially in terms of the waste, emission, energy consumption and its capacity to replenish itself in order not to deplete the resources taken from nature due to its production. The energy consumption especially in terms of the harvesting process of the material, its actual processing and the transportation required are all considerable qualities to tag a material that is truly not hazardous to nature.

There are different types of resources which are not recyclable however are still considered sustainable because these primarily have the capacity to highly replenish. Examples of such materials are straw, hay, bamboo, cork, adobe and clay among others. They are tagged with this kind of quality because they can quickly replenish and renew their quantity after they have been harvested. These materials also have low or very minimal rates on emission and are highly deemed for energy conservation.

Hence, if you want to build an eco-friendly and healthier property, you must consider using all natural materials which are sustainable and renewable in nature in every corner and foundation of your home.

5 Reasons for Building Green

Various reasons have been given by many people and entities why they go for green homes and buildings. Through the years, developers have been very keen on abiding by the standards set by authorities aimed at promoting sustainable living. Despite the discussions and information drive, many of us are still left clueless about the advantages of such efforts. It is hoped that with the rest of the article, you, as a reader, will be shared with valuable information which will help you grasp the genera idea of green building.

One of the foremost benefits of investing in a green home is the multitude of economic benefits it can give. It may be a costly investment, but as years pass, the owner can actually reap the benefits of lowered electricity and water bills. Operating costs will likely depreciate in figures as compared with operating or maintain a non-green compliant home or building.

The market value of green properties surges as time passes by. Demand for this types of homes are projected to go up by 2020 with more millenials jumping into the realization that owning a dream house should be aligned with embracing environmental obligations as well. If time comes that the owner decides to sell his piece, gain is probably on his edge. Life span of green homes is projected to be longer than their non-compliant counterparts.

Families invest in homes because of their kids. Essentially, the social welfare of younger family members is in the high ranks of consideration when a house is built or bought.

With this come the associated health advantages that owners are likely to get. Planned ventilations and well-located air circulation appliances contribute to improved air quality. In general, windows of green homes are also designed to let natural air and natural sunlight pass according to controlled amount or as needed.

Green homes would not be called such if without for the benefits that the environment gets. These types of homes and structures in general are built using hybrid raw and recycled ingredients. This lessens trees cut for use as boards, lumbers, and hardwoods. The trees are given more time to mature in their natural habitat. Well-planned water sewage and waste disposal systems are also incorporated in the designs of green houses. There is lesser chance that the owner will likely be contributing to the accumulation of untreated waste products.

If you are planning of building a green home, the various benefits discussed above are more than enough reasons to give your plan a green signal.

Booming Green Building Market Continues to Grow

Make no mistake: the “green building” market is not only here to stay, but it’s also the wave of the future. In just the next five years, the market for buildings that incorporate alternative energy and conservation techniques will increase some $10-20 billion dollars. Yet the green building market only constituted about two percent of new construction in 2004. By 2010, that figure is expected to jump to 5-10 percent, which still represents only a tiny fraction of the immense potential of the green building market.

A recent survey showed that more than 70 percent of the architects, engineers, contractors and building owners interviewed expect a significant increase in their income from green building. Of those surveyed, some 60 percent of those industry professionals are now regularly including green techniques in their new construction projects.

Although they cost a bit more to construct, once the buildings are completed, they can save their occupants 8-9 percent in operating costs vs. conventional buildings, which can add up to significant savings over time. Recognizing the trend, builders, architects, and manufacturers are rushing to get in on the boom, which will ultimately bring down prices for consumers.

This is no longer just a few environmentally-minded homeowners placing solar collectors on their roofs to heat water. The boom is being driven by giant corporations like Ford, GM, and Adobe, companies that have incorporated green techniques into their buildings to improve their overall bottom line through increased energy savings. That trend proves that green buildings are no longer just a fad, and are definitely here to stay, because if companies can realize a quick return on their investment, they’re also quick to jump on the green building bandwagon.

Green building isn’t just the wave of the future. Green building is also the hottest “new” thing in current construction. There’s an organization called the U.S. Green Building Council that actively promotes the usage of green building techniques. If you or your company are interested in incorporating green features in your next building project, you’ll find lots of information at http://www.usgbc.org.

It all adds up to a win-win situation for everyone concerned. The building industry gets increased business, occupants save significant amounts of money, and the environment is impacted less and less. And the trend should only gain momentum as new technology makes green buildings even more efficient and less expensive.

Copyright © 2006 Jeanette J. Fisher