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Green Design for Green Buildings by Sustainability Architects

Green building is one component of sustainable communities. Architects and contractors are key players in the product choices and processes that have the potential to reduce impact on the environment.

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Architects are the hub of green commercial buildings...and some residential buildings.

Green building is a solution when you couple adding ANOTHER building to our cities with the alternative -- reducing the number of buildings that cover the landscape -- and reducing the number of hours per day we must spend INSIDE buildings.

Why? First. Buildings contribute as much as 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. Why is that second caveat important? People in the US spend as much as 95% of their time INSIDE buildings and indoor air quality is so polluted with offgasing, poor ventilation and artificial heat that it's just not healthy. In fact, indoor air quality can be 2x to 4x WORSE that outdoor air -- even urban air.

Architects were the "architect" of our move to ever-sexier building fever. They have some work to do to change the trajectory of building-itis. But sustainable community design can make a difference in how architecture shapes the built community of our future.

Green Architecture

This overview of sustainable, or greener architecture shows that some architects are changing their ways -- and reducing the impact of buildings both on communities, and their inhabitants.

Green Contractors

Green design by architects needs to be supported and implemented by green contractors and greener developers. The thousands of materials and choices of techniques add up to green results such as reduced landfill, lower use of water, better functioning ventilation, lower need for HVAC ... choice of energy efficiency equipment, how it is installed and commissioned (checked for proper function) ... and even transportation choices such as distance covered in purchasing materials all make a difference in the sustainability of the building during construction and for its lifetime. And that contributes to the sustainability level of the community.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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