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The Benefits of Green Building

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By: Kamy Goldfarb

(2009-05-10)...

The direct effects of sustainable construction are at the community level.  Green building can provide direct benefits to those who own, develop, and build green buildings.  Home owners can see reduced cost of operations and maintenance, or a higher resale value. In the current housing market, this is one great way to set your home apart from the masses.

Commercial developers also see lower operations and maintenance costs in their buildings. This is a great benefit not only to the future owners, but for obtaining higher market costs per square foot in both the sale and leasing sectors.

Design professionals also benefit by designing green.  It allows them to have a competitive edge, particularly as public policies and private sectors are demanding more to stay ahead of the market. With the Obama administration being a strong proponent and advocate of green practices, everyone should be poised to take advantage of the monies being allocated towards this sector.

Lastly, contractors can see a marketing advantage with reduced liability and increased potential for better products.  There are even many available financial incentives throughout the country that have reduced permit costs and expedited plan review. Click here to view the Green Incentives available in your state.

In the past five years, "USGBCs membership has quadrupled and over 1 billion square feet of building space are involved with the LEED program.  The annual U.S. market in green building products and services was over $7 billion in 2005 and was expected to increase to $12 billion in 2007." (USGBC)   With the current market trends we have exceeded that expectation.

Building green effects everyone and everything.  As the end user of the product, we can continue those efforts by practicing sustainable concepts daily; from recycling, to not using water bottles, to using green bags at the grocery store, to buying locally produced products and agriculture.  Society must embrace sustainably not at just the building and construction level, but as a whole society.  We live in a systemic world where what we do has a consequence on several other levels.  Construction is just a start.

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