According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) there are some 5 million commercial buildings and 76 million residential building in the U.S. today. In just a few years, by 2010, an estimated 38 million more buildings are forecast to be built. Together, the buildings where we live and work have an enormous impact on the environment and our natural resources.
Buildings in the U.S. consume:
1/3 of all the energy used in the U.S.
2/3 of all the electricity used in the U.S.
12% of potable water in the U.S.
Buildings in the U.S. produce:
30% of all "greenhouse gas" emissions that scientists say are responsible for global climate change.
35% of carbon dioxide emissions
49% of sulfur dioxide emissions
25% of nitrous oxide emissions.
10% of particulate emissions
Green building seeks to address these problems by using integrated designódesign that takes into consideration the interrelationships and interaction of the whole building within its environment and of all building components and systems.
As the result of using integrated design successfully, green buildings will be:
Conserve resources and use them efficiently
Use renewable forms of energy
Minimize other environmental impacts
Reduce operating and maintenance costs
Address issues within the community infrastructure
Green building makes good sense at every level. That's why Taco and many other diverse organizations are adding their efforts to green building. As a result, green building is growing fast. Every day, more building owners, developers, designers and architects, engineers, builders and contractors are making sustainable building a priority in their work. There is also a rapidly growing number of private and governmental programs at the local, state and national level to promote green building and support those who want to use the principles and techniques in their building projects.