What Is Green Building?

You hear the words “green building,” and they sound great. You probably say to yourself something like, “Oh cool! Green building; we need that.” But, what does it mean exactly? If you are contemplating a building project in the future, what will it need to entail to be “green”, and what should you expect a “green” contractor to do?”

What Is “Green Building?”

The basic principle behind green building is to design and build a home that has minimal negative impacts on the environment and the health of its occupants. Traditional building techniques waste valuable opportunities to both protect the land and effectively use resources, and many building materials pose a threat to the environment and our health. Green builders consider how the home they are building, the materials they use, their construction methods, the use of the home, and even its eventual demolition will affect the environment and the people using it. Some homes even qualify as “zero homes”, because they so effectively use their resources. They are designed to process as little water, energy, and waste as possible and to generate all that they need on-site in a renewable form.

Green Building Techniques

The following techniques cover some of what you can expect with green building.

Building materials:

● choosing easily renewable building materials
● using certain types of concrete and/or applying concrete in such a way that allows rainwater to soak into the soil
● purchasing materials that are harvested and transported in a more sustainable fashion
● selecting materials without VOCs or other harmful chemicals


● keeping a home small
● reducing the potential for sprawl
● planning for passive solar energy so the home maintains a more comfortable temperature, naturally, without the need for any mechanical device or resource
● constructing the building envelope to minimize waste of temperature-controlled air and to reduce the possibility of water intrusion and moisture collection

Construction and Demolition:

● reducing the amount of materials that will go to the landfill
● minimizing their resource use and pollution levels with their equipment and practices
● selecting efficient windows, doors, and more
● planning the structure so future contractors can reuse as much of the materials during the deconstruction process as possible in another project
Green building is a vast topic, so only a fraction of it can be explained in one blog post. Different countries have different standards for green building, and new practices are being developed every day. Some practices are pretty basic, such as choosing greener building materials and more efficient additions, while many others may not be performed by each contractor. If you are considering a building project, ask potential contractors about their green building practices.

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