Green construction is new or retrofitted construction that consciously focuses on reducing environmental damage and pollution. In the wake of education regarding global warming, resource depletion, and pollution levels worldwide, green construction has developed as a means of improving building practices so that they do not harm the environment. There are many different components that go into green construction, including sustainable sourcing of materials, energy and water efficiency, and improving waste management.
One of the most important aspects of green construction is a focus on sustainable materials. In order for a material to be considered “sustainable,” it must come from a source that is abundant and well-managed to prevent decline. Bamboo, which is used in green construction for flooring and counters, grows easily and fast, and is planted by many businesses specifically to grow for sale to the building trade. A non-sustainable material might include hardwood tree species that are difficult to grow and may be victims of deforestation, leading to population declines.
The use of recycled materials is also stressed in green construction, since these help cut down on building waste. Recycled materials are often used in insulation and even the construction of walls and foundations. Green construction focuses on materials that are sustainable, reusable, and recycled in order to help ensure that the creation of the building is not damaging the world's cache of non-sustainable resources.
Energy and water efficiency is a key consideration in green building. There are several different ways a building can be constructed to help save money on these important utilities. Passive solar heating involves designing walls, floors, and windows to improve heating and ventilation, cutting down on heating and cooling costs. The use of certified energy-saving appliances, such as dishwashers, water heaters, and washing machines, helps reduce water waste through green technology. Green construction also includes the building of alternative power sources, such as photovoltaic solar systems, that can power a building using non-polluting, fully-renewable energy.
Waste management is an important part of green construction. Building generates a considerable amount of waste material, which can often end up simply poured into a landfill. By undertaking careful recycling and reuse practices during construction, the waste created by building a new facility can be greatly reduced. Waste reduction also plays an important part in the function of the created building; by using water-efficient irrigation and plumbing systems, creating recycling and composting facilities, and reducing the use of water-heavy landscaping, green buildings can help cut down on unnecessary production of waste.