The construction industry, responsible for about 4% of the world’s particulate emissions, is a major source of pollution. Despite decades of efforts to improve construction practices, air, water, and noise pollution continue to threaten our way of life. Now, a new approach is beginning to change that.
Green building, a method of construction used to design sustainable, energy-efficient residential and commercial buildings, is now a growing trend and no longer a construction novelty. With pollution jeopardizing air quality, drinking water, and even putting our wildlife at risk, green building has come to the forefront of the construction industry as a highly marketable, thoughtful, and productive method of building.
A combination of sustainable processes and use of high-quality, low-impact materials contribute to the practice of green building. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promotes several components of green building, including renewable energy use, waste reduction, and use of environmentally-preferable building materials.
The popular concept of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” is an example of an environmentally friendly practice used during green construction, especially when it comes to waste reduction. As far as environmentally preferable materials, where concrete and steel are often impractical and expensive, timber is a relatively inexpensive, renewable alternative that is sustainable in the long run.
Ultimately, green construction processes present a pollution-profuse industry with the opportunity to build smarter and more sustainably, to better control costs, and to maintain the condition of the earth.