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Green Building: Home

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What is Green Building?

Green Building at Macintoch Village

Green building refers to the design and construction of sustainable infrastructure.  The range of what is considered green building is wide, and includes buildings, bridges, highways, and more. The goal of this type of construction and planning is to increase the efficiency of resources utilized, including energy, water and materials. Another portion of green building is to reduce the impact on the environment through thorough planning, from siting the building location to operating the structure itself via renewable energy sources (solar, wind, for example). A third component of green building is to design with the productivity and health of the inhabitants in mind. Thus the main goals are improved building efficiency at a lower cost, and reduced negative impact to human health and the environment.

Earthship Biotecture Visitor Center in Taos, New Mexico

A variety of international standards and guidelines have been created to support green building worldwide. These range in scope of application from single-family homes to large corporations.

Another aspect of green building is the aesthetic design of structures, including their interior. While some buildings are strictly functional, others differ very little from their non-sustianable counterparts, and many are designed with overall harmony, even aesthetic harmony, in mind.


Other terms often used for and related to green building include: sustainable building, sustainable design, green architecture, natural building.

Diana Wheeler

Diana Wheeler
Room 211 Wendt Commons

215 N. Randall Ave.

Madison, WI 53706