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Why Build With Green Products?

 

Click on the 12 pictures below to find out, then read the following article

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Rainforests

The ecosystems within rain forests produce much of the world's oxygen and influence global climates. By using renewable resources like bamboo and cork, we can contribute to the preservations of these forests.

 

 

Why Green Building?

By Dave Ganapoler

 

The term “GREEN BUILDING” refers to building designs that utilize materials that are harvested from renewable resources, manufactured with fewer toxins, contain recycled materials and conserve our natural resources. 

 

ENVIRONMENT PRESERVATION

By utilizing GREEN BUILDING materials several things are accomplished.  Less habitat and rainforests are destroyed.  There are less toxins put into the environment that would otherwise stifle the healthier qualities it produces.  Within its own dynamics and ecosystems a healthy environment creates cleaner water and air and more habitat for natural species to proliferate.  It saves money by recycling resources and salvaging used building materials.  It helps to stabilize the climate and gives us all a better quality of life. 

 

RENEWABLE RESOURCES

There are many building products that are harvested from renewable resources with short growth cycles that conserve our world’s rain forests, exotic plants and unique habitats.  Bamboo, for instance, is actually a grass that is cultivated on farms with a 4-6 year growth cycle.  Hardwoods take 40 years or more to grow to maturity.  Bamboo is known for its tough composition and is used for everything from scaffolding to furniture all over the world.  It is primarily used in the GREEN BUILDING industry for flooring and cabinets. However, the value of bamboo should not be overlooked as a unique design component.  Cork is harvested from the outer layers of trees allowing them to regenerate for another harvest.  Cork is resilient, sound dampening and water resistant.  It is used for flooring, wall coverings and ceilings.  Both of these GREEN MATERIALS have a warmth and natural beauty unmatched by conventional manmade building materials.

 

CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES

The government’s recent mandates requiring manufacturers to produce appliances, electrical and plumbing fixtures that conserve energy and water have had an impact on our natural resources.  Appliances and lighting fixtures offering “Energy Star” ratings help conserve electricity.  High efficiency fluorescent, compact fluorescent lights, solar and low voltage halogen lighting conserve energy well. 

“In California, new building energy efficiency standards that take effect Oct 1, 2005, will require more energy efficient lighting in new and remodeled homes.”[1]  

Light emitting diodes or LEDs are being introduced in certain applications that utilize fiber optics to transmit light into water intense areas like a showerhead.  Newly designed toilets are more efficient, use less water and are quieter than older models.  Shower heads, faucets and other plumbing fixtures offer regulated water usage without impeding the flow or pressure of the water stream.  Additionally, insulation and double pane windows offer tremendous savings for energy use.

 

VOCs and OFF GASSING

The toxins that are used in manufacturing synthetic building materials in the main stream of the industry like; phenol formaldehyde, acetone, ethylene glycol, benzene, alcohol, toluene, xylene and other chemicals, contain volatile organic compounds or VOCs.  These VOCs “off gas” or seep into your living environment from the materials used to build or remodel your home or place of business.  VOCs contribute to the creation of ozone and smog as well as many respiratory complications.   

“Some of the symptoms of toxic off gassing include eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals and some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.”[2] 

Many new commercial buildings are governed new building codes that require the use of green materials due to this research.  A tremendous increase of homeowner interest in GREEN BUILDING has recently appeared in the residential markets and “The momentum of green construction is building!”Ó

 

RECYCLED MATERIALS

Less energy is used to produce building materials containing recycled materials.  Building materials like cellulose insulation, salvaged lumber, carpeting made from recycled plastic bottles and countertops made from recycled glass are but a few of the materials that are “friendly” to the environment and conserve energy and resources.   Several new lines of paint, linoleum and everything from furniture to clothing are being made from recycled materials in an effort to become more efficient and protect the environment. 

 

WHY GREEN BUILDING?

Because GREEN BUILDING is a good investment.  Good for the environment; it promotes healthy living spaces, saves energy and water and will save money over the lifetime of the products.  Just as we have seen Organic Foods have an impact on our health as a nation, the popularity and desire to use GREEN BUILDING materials will too, have an impact on our living environments, our health and our quality of life.

 

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[1] Builder News Western Edition, www.buildernewsmag.com

[2] Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov

 

 

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