Why Build Green
Green construction and renovation may seem like a shaky trend that will phase out in a couple years, however, such an assumption could not be further from the truth. With 70% of Chicago’s CO2 emissions coming from buildings and residential homes, it is an issue that needs to be addressed and green buildings are the solution. A green home or building actually outperforms a conventional home or building environmentally, economically, and socially. A conventional home requires the consumption of a massive amount of energy from the burning of fossil fuels including oil, natural gas, and coal. This continuous reliance on our precious natural resources will only further deplete our limited supply while their consumption in homes and buildings will emit harmful toxins into the environment in the form of the greenhouse gas, CO2.
In contrast, a green home yields 50% cleaner air and 30-70% reduction in energy bills than a conventional home because of the more sustainable techniques used. Green, low impact living is the future, especially in Chicago with Mayor Daley’s push for green construction, as eventually all structures will be required to abide by greener, more effective, and more efficient practices that can help us combat our current and future environmental woes. By 2010, 10% of the new home construction will be green homes as compared to the mere 2% in 2005. Why are Americans suddenly beginning to see the tremendous benefits of green construction? Not only does going green in your business or home benefit the environment, it can also be advantageous to your wallet, as such a conservation of resources and energy also means a conservation of the money in your pocket due to lower energy bills. In fact, on a monthly basis a green home will have a lower operating cost than a conventional home because of the decline of energy bills and maintenance costs. So, the question now becomes, what are you waiting for?
- Protect and improve biodiversity and local ecosystems
- Improve air and water quality
- Conserve and restore supply of natural resources
- Reduction of operating costs
- An expansion for markets with green products/services
- Improve occupant activity
- Optimize life-cycle economic performance
- Enhance aesthetic appearance
- Improve overall occupant health and comfort
- Minimize or eliminate strain on local infrastructure
- Reduced exposure to mold, mildew, and indoor toxins
Facts about Green Construction & Remodeling
- Green homes yield 50% cleaner air, a 30-70% reduction in energy bills, and a 50% decrease in the amount of waste sent to landfills during construction in comparison to conventional homes.
- Buildings in the US are responsible for 38.1% of the total CO2 emissions, 39 % energy use, 12% water consumption, 68% electricity consumption, and 40% consumption of raw materials nationwide
- There is no significant difference in the average cost of a green building in comparison to a conventional building
- Upfront costs of any green building can be up to 2% more expensive than a non-green building, however over time, operating costs can be lowered by 20%–saving you 10 times your initial investment
- LEED certified buildings save an average of 32% less electricity, 26% less natural gas, and 36% less energy than conventional non-green buildings
- Green construction will produce around 70% less solid waste that would have gone to a landfill
- The US Department of Energy states that today’s buildings consume more energy than any other area of the economy (and that includes transportation and industry!)
- The EPA states that Americans spend more than 90% of their day indoors where the air quality can be 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside
- According to the EPA, $60 billion of annual productivity is lost because building related illnesses
- Traditional paints release low level toxins into the air that can continue to pollute the air for years after application and cause adverse health effects, however, eco-friendly paints there’s little toxic emission with the benefits of better gloss retention, better face resistance, less pollution, and low odor
- With Obama’s stimulus package now in effect, today is the best time to take on a green project as eco-improvements on a property might make you eligible for tax credits
Have more questions? Call us toll free 24/7 at (312) 884-9984.