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Welcome to the 24/7 Zine on Sustainable Building

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Welcome to the 24/7 Zine on Sustainable Building

by clovett

Welcome to the 24/7 Zine on Sustainable Building. We hope this will be a good place to find out about the issue and, more importantly, a place to spark discussion about what we can do to improve our environment through how we live.

Green Building FAQ

What is green (or sustainable) building?

It is the practice of increasing the ability of buildings to use less energy, water, and materials. The idea is to reduce building impacts on human health and the environment, through better site location, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal.
How is green building different from natural building?
Although the two are similar, natural building concerns only the use of natural product (preferably local products) as opposed to man-made products such as plastic. Green building is about making the entire life cycle of a building sustainable, from design and construction to operation and eventual removal.

Why should I or anyone consider green building?

Far in addition to large conservation benefits for society, green building can improve the long term health and financial prospects of those who own and/or occupy green buildings. This practice can reduce operating costs by lowering the amount of water and electricity use, thereby lowering utility costs. Green buildings can improve health by providing increased indoor air quality.

Can green building really improve the environment?

Green building practices can help the environment in many different ways. One of the biggest and most obvious benefits comes from the potential to reduce our consumption of energy and natural resources. Lower electricity use, for example, can reduce demand for energy production from polluting fossil fuels. Lowering water usage keeps more water in our rivers and lakes, improving those ecosystems for all to enjoy. In addition, using natural landscapes to filter rainwater and remove much of the water volume from sewers can lessen storm runoff and prevent some flooding.

Is green building worth the costs for governments and other public institutions?

This is the real issue that citizens must decide. Green building has numerous benefits for individuals, society and the environment. But it usually does cost more. Some estimates put the figure at almost 17% higher than conventional building practices. Other estimates say it is only about 5% higher. Whichever is correct, the fact is it is more expensive to plan and construct a green building. But it is also true that it is cheaper to operate and maintain a green building. With this in mind, the public needs to weigh the financial risks and rewards along with the impact of buildings on the environment and human health.

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Open Mic Comments

Very informative and thoughtful. This is something everyone should take a look at pursuing if they're able.

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