What Does Green Building Mean?

Building Green in New Mexico

Building green has become one of the most important elements for contractors to consider.  Building green is part of the larger sustainability movement that the public is increasingly demanding of their businesses, across all industries, as awareness of climate change and environmental degradation becomes more acute.  For the construction industry, building green means taking a long hard look at sustainability and efficiency practices, and working to improve them wherever possible.  It can also mean qualifying for LEED Certification, a federal government program committed to promoting green technology and efficiency in the industry.  Receiving a strong LEED Certification score will have a positive impact on both operational practices and general public image. 

 

LEED Certification

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  They provide a complete assessment of any kind of building (home or office), and based on the numbers in the assessment, will give out a rating.  The ratings range from Certified, to Silver, Gold, or Platinum.

 

Focus of Inspection

building green in new mexico pictureThe focus of an LEED inspection covers four main categories: materials, waste, energy, and water efficiency.  Here is a rundown of what contractors should know about each of these categories.

Materials: This is one of the major components of any construction project, whether it is an existing structure or a new design about to be built.  The LEED inspection will initiate a dialogue between the contractor and manufacturer about what is good about a product and what can be improved, based on environmental, social, and health effects.  The underlying purpose is to change the way manufacturers and contractors think about the materials and products they use.  Part of this educational purpose is to make companies and manufacturers more transparent.  Clear and exact labelling of all materials will allow architects and contractors to make the most informed decisions they can.

Another aspect of the material assessment is the product or building’s life cycle.  In some cases, building strategy falls back on what is cheapest and easiest to use, putting more emphasis on how things look than how well they work (and how long they will last).

Waste: Proper waste management is something that every building must have if it is to enjoy a long and prosperous life cycle.  The LEED certification board follows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations on solid waste management best practices, which includes source reduction, reuse, recycling and waste, and energy efficiency.  A close look is given to the plumbing system, especially in older structures that may be lagging behind industry standard.

Energy: At 20 percent of all points allocated, energy assessment makes up the largest component of the LEED assessment profile.  Air conditioning and heating systems in a home or building can be very costly and ineffective.  There is also the concern about electrical wiring and the amount of lighting in a building, including the efficiency of the bulbs.  Getting answers to these questions will help save money and improve the environmental impact of any building, whether old or new.

Water Efficiency: Water is so fundamental to the proper operations of a building, and as more fresh water systems get contaminated from human intervention it is vital for contractors to follow best practices when it comes to water efficiency.  The LEED assessment is a vital tool in helping design a structure that re-uses rainwater and measures the amount of daily use for indoor and outdoor activities.

The LEED charges a small fee for their certification service, the impact of which will only improve standards and keep environmental sustainability at the forefront of the construction industry.

GranCor Construction in Albuquerque - (505) 872-0005 can answer all your questions about building demolition services. We are equipped and have the experience to perform demolition on all sizes of structures.

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