From Volume 85, Number 5 (July 2012)
There is a movement afoot in this country to “go green,” and part of this movement is in green building. Green building is summarized as “the practice of increasing the efficiency of buildings and their use of energy, water and materials, and reducing building impacts on human health and the environment through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance and removal.” So, why are we seeing a move to “go green” in building? According to a 2009 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”), in 2006, buildings in the United States accounted for 39 percent of primary energy consumption, 72 percent of all electricity consumed, and, in 2005, over 10 percent of total water used domestically. Buildings in the United States accounted for more energy use than the entire U.S. transportation sector in 2006 and produce more greenhouse gases than “any other country in the world except China.” Any large-scale attempt to reduce U.S. energy consumption must therefore involve greening building practices.