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U.S. Green Building Codes

Going green is the latest trend today. Whether it’s the special green issue of a popular consumer magazine, an advertisement for a fuel-efficient hybrid car or a push toward environmentally-friendly building materials, the message is clear: green is here to stay.

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“Our whole mission is in market transition,” says Judith Webb, senior vice president of marketing and communications for USGBC. “We will run ourselves out of business because eventually, every building will be green.”

Why Go Green?

With the majority of people’s time spent indoors, a clean, healthy indoor environment is essential to everyone’s well-being.

“Green buildings are healthier places,” says Webb. “We want to create human habitats that have clean lighting [and] good air, that are non-toxic, that have good acoustics and so on.

And when buildings go green – or start incorporating green ideas and practices – the result yields not only a healthier indoor environment, but a reduction in energy use as well. Green buildings are also beneficial to the outdoor environment.

“When you make the air cleaner and fresher, you can also reduce the energy you use,” says Webb. “You can install fixtures that use less water can proactively recycle waste so it will not end up in a landfill. Those are the kind of issues we’re trying to get people to make better decisions about.”

The LEED Program

The organization’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program is setting the standard when it comes to green design and building. Though its third-party certification program, the USGBC has created criteria for what makes a truly green building – and it’s not just simply installing energy efficient light bulbs.

“We’ve developed LEED, a certification program that gives everyone a common language or metric against which to develop properties. We have a third party who comes in and certifies that it is a green building,” says Webb.

“It is more than installing CFLs and bamboo flooring,” Webb continues. “It’s not just using energy efficiently. It’s also water, materials, where you site the building, the air quality – all of those things within our rating system set a metric against which people can measure which side of the line they’re on. It’s rigorous and it’s replicable. Now we can go back and measure buildings on that standard, and know that they will save at least 30 percent in energy, have better air quality, and so on.”


 

The community association management professionals at ASG specialize in HOA management and project management throughout Florida including Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County.

 

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