Global Green USA

Developing Green Building Programs: A Step-By-Step Guide for Local Governments

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Courtesy of Global Green USA

A green building program is an innovative and effective way to improve local quality of life and create a more efficient City Hall.

Why Build Green?

Conventional building construction, use and demolition, together with the manufacturing of building materials, has multiple impacts on the local, regional, and global environment. In the United States, buildings account for:

  • 65% of electricity consumption
  • 30% of greenhouse gas emissions
  • 30% of raw materials use
  • 30% of landfill waste
  • 12% of potable water consumption

In addition, numerous studies have shown a correlation between poor indoor air quality and respiratory health problems, leading to reduced productivity and increased absenteeism.

Green building is a proactive way to address these issues by creating buildings that:

  • Minimize the use of resources
  • Are healthier for people
  • Reduce harm to the environment

The Green Umbrella
A green building program can be the “umbrella” that brings your city’s programs together in a coordinated and streamlined way so that staff are working toward common goals.

Green building is a holistic process that addresses a broad range of issues including community and site design, energy efficiency, water conservation, resource-efficient material selection, indoor environmental quality, construction management, and building maintenance.

A green building program should build on a municipality’s existing efforts in recycling, water conservation, and stormwater management and promote coordination among departmentals. By integrating and enhancing your agency’s existing activities, green building programs stretch local tax dollars and create a more effective and efficient delivery of services.

Show Environmental Leadership
As awareness of environmental issues continues to grow, being a good steward of the environment plays a major role in attracting progressive businesses and new residents. Establishing a green building program allows your city or county to showcase its environmental leadership and demonstrate that it is contributing to larger efforts to reduce resource consumption and waste generation, improve air and water quality, preserve natural resources, and create sustainable communities.

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