Consulting Services
LEED and Green Building Principles

What are Green Building Principles?

Green Building Principles encompass a systematic and comprehensive understanding of all the environmental impacts that occur throughout the building’s life cycle, and seek to improve the environmental performances throughout each stage of the life cycle. This approach – which may be applied to products and services – is known as life-cycle assessment (“LCA”).

Viewed from an LCA approach, the fundamental principles and objectives of Green Building are to:

  • Minimize natural resource consumption (materials and energy) throughout the total building life cycle;
  • Minimize pollution and environmental releases throughout the total building life cycle;
  • Protect the ecological (natural) environment
  • Create a healthy, comfortable, non-hazardous space
  • Incorporate quality, function, and performance consistent with the objective of the building; and
  • Balance environmental performance with cost and economic performance

Why is Green Building important?

The built environment has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health, and productivity. Overall, buildings utilize nearly 40% of U.S. energy use. By category, buildings currently account for:

  • 65% of electricity consumption
  • 36% of energy use
  • 30% of greenhouse gas emissions
  • 30% of raw materials use
  • 30% of waste output (136 million tons annually)
  • 12% of potable water consumption

Are Green Building Principles making an impact?

By early 2009 the American business community will have reached a tipping point in sustainable practices, according to recent studies. At that point, more than 80 percent of companies will have opted for sustainable materials in at least 16 percent of their building stock.

The recognition of the benefits of green practices among executives is expanding very quickly. Many corporate leaders are already very conscious of using green practices, and they believe that green building is in their company's best interests, not only for the clear economic benefits, but for the market differentiation and competitive advantage.

The market for Green or environmentally-efficient buildings has been growing at 23% annually. It is expected to double to $4.7 billion over the next four years.