Why It Matters
- Buildings in the United States account for a large amount of land use, energy and water consumption, and air and atmosphere alteration.
- More specifically, in 2002, the amount of land developed was 107.3 million acres out of 1.983 billion acres of total land, excluding Hawaii and Alaska. This is a 24% increase in ten years. Since 2002, developed land has increased significantly.
- Out of all the total energy consumed by Americans in 2002, 39.4% was consumed by buildings. From that percentage, 54.6% was consumed by residential buildings and 45.4% by commercial buildings.
- As for electricity, in 2002 building used 67.9% of the total amount consumed in the United States, with 51.2% used by residential buildings and 48.8% by commercial buildings.
- 38.1% of the total amount of carbon dioxide in the United States can be attributed to buildings, 20.6% from homes and 17.5% from commercial uses. Part of this has to do with the location of homes and other buildings that people travel by automobile to everyday.
- Buildings account for 12.2% of the total amount of water consumed per day in the United States.
- Given these statistics, reducing the amount of natural resources buildings consume and the amount of pollution given off is crucial for future sustainability.
Source: Wikipedia:Green Bulding
Check out Green Seal's list of 21 low-VOC paints.
What You Can Do
- Try to use materials from rapidly renewable sources (like bamboo), lumber from forests certified to be sustainably managed, recycled and local materials.
- Materials such as paint should come from low-VOC (volatile-organic-compound)-emitting materials.
- Try to orient the building to take advantage of ample breezes and sunlight.
- Reduce waste during construction (see No waste remodeling project).
- Get ideas for picking out where to live: Nick's Green House
- United States Green Building Council Information on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for homes, with a downloadable list of local providers (202-828-7422).
- Ecological Home Ideas A magazine showcasing green home projects, contractors and materials (815-734-5958).
- Ecobroker International trains agents to help homeowners buy and sell green homes(800-706-4321).
- Alliance to Save Energy A comprehensive resource for energy-efficient homes (202-857-0666).
- Partnership for Advanced Housing Technology Tips on building energy-efficient homes, finding builders and obtaining tax credits.
- Building Green The Building Green site offers you a wide range of information - from articles and product listings to project case studies - to help you build a greener world.
- Green Home An online resource for buying green products for the home, also articles and a toxipedia of definitions of environmental terms
- Green communities an interesting site about new trends in affordable AND green housing. --erica 09:22, 27 Jun 2007 (CDT)