Green building means a lot of things to many people. As a green builder I think long and hard about the definition of green building for our company.
I’ve boiled it down to four key concepts:
good for the planet
Any green building practice has the basic tenet that it is helping the planet, meaning the planet is better off after the work is done. This is not easy since one could say the act of building is not green to begin with. But it really should be good for the planet.
Another tenet is that it is sustainable, aka long lasting both in the ongoing way of building and the actual buildings themselves.
Green building is energy efficient. Like everything in life it is important to use the energy positively.
Green building is holistic in that it considers the whole process. Everything from where the materials came from to where they will go after the building is taken down is considered. The impact of the building on its surroundings such as natural impacts and social impacts are considered. In short the building is seen as a part of a whole.