The term green construction is often used to describe building construction designed with the least impact to the environment in mind. Sometimes aesthetics are involved with the design of a green building – how well the finished structure looks or matches its surrounding environment – but the main consideration is on the energy expenditure required to build and maintain these structures.
According to recent energy studies, the consumption of natural resources required to build and maintain the buildings in the United States today are staggering.
As much as 68 percent of all the electricity consumed in the US today goes for the construction and maintenance of the country’s buildings. Some relatively easy green construction techniques to incorporate during construction and renovation include installing ceiling fans and windows that open to capture the breeze. Planting trees in strategic locations will also help reduce the need for excessive electricity usage when cooling buildings.
Other electricity-reducing green construction measures include situating a building so the southern exposure is fitted with enough windows to capture the sunlight throughout the course of the day so the need for indoor lighting is minimized.
Sunlight coming through southern windows also provides warmth during cooler months so the use of electricity, natural gas, fossil fuels, and wood to heat the building’s interior are minimized.
The enormous amount of fuel now being consumed to heat the country’s buildings accounts for a whopping 38 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions in the US. The design techniques used for green construction incorporate measures to keep buildings warm without the need to burn so much fuel to maintain a comfortable temperature.