Concern with the health of the global environment and the depletion of natural resources is the driving force behind the growing popularity of the green builders and their environmentally conscious structures around the world.
Green builders are the people in all phases of design, development, and construction of buildings that meet the energy efficient standards as defined by a growing list of regulatory agencies. While many of the major industrial countries have adopted their own standards for green building construction, the standards and goals are similar.
The FirstRate system in Australia focuses on green builders in the residential arena. The scope of its operations are supplemented by the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star rating system.
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One recent project given an outstanding Green Star rating was a renovation of office space in Canberra. Renovation expenses topped $1.7 million but a 75% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and in water use was realized. Eighty percent of the construction materials were recycled.
Canadian incentives for green builders started in 2000 and some provinces are considering making it a requirement that all new homes be constructed using green building technologies.
Although not currently required, green builders in Germany are highly valued. In fact, Berlin’s new Reichstag government building is so environmentally efficient that it actually produces its own energy.
Green builders in India are mastering the designs and techniques that make energy efficiency a viable option in spite of the country’s vast size and climate zones that differ dramatically.
Israel, Malaysia, and New Zealand have all taken steps to encourage green builders to expand the industry within their borders. Each of these countries has negotiations underway to either develop green builders standards or to enact legislature that requires them.
The United Kingdom has been a strong advocate for green builders since 1989 and has developed standards that are followed around the world.
The adverse effects of prolonged drought, deforestation, and depletion of natural resources are felt everywhere. The rapidly growing human population is expected to increase the burden on the planet as population numbers increase. It is vitally important that green builders and the technologies they employ be considered everywhere at every possible opportunity.