So what exactly is “green building” and why is it so important?
According to the Canada Green Building Council, Canadian buildings
- consume up to 38% of all secondary energy use,
- produce 30% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions, while
- globally, buildings consume about 40% (or 3 billion tons anually) of all raw materials
Wikipedia defines “Green Building” in the following way:
Green Building, also known as green construction or sustainable building, is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction.
Using fewer resources, building smaller and increasing your building envelope’s insulating properties are all forms of green building, as is renovating instead of building new. Further, incorporating recycled or salvaged materials avoids energy intensive primary processing and eases the burden on our increasingly fragile natural resources.
Finally, creating a healthy indoor important is probably one of the most significant reasons moms look at using “green” materials in their homes. Green materials are also defined as those that are non-toxic and don’t emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are linked to health issues and respiratory ailments, particularly in children. Health Canada has some good information on how to decrease your home’s exposure to VOCs.