Monday, March 2, 2009

The GREEN Paradigm: Coming to a City Near You!

Moving to a green eco-friendly paradigm has become an important aspect in construction and building industries. As citizens of this planet, we have an inherited obligation to care and nurture the world we live in. Helping protect what many citizens want to keep: clean air, water, decreased pollution and healthy food, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining, restoring and enhancing the quality of this planet’s air, water and land.

Green building can and must be available to all people. They strive to produce changes on many levels including: 1) Helping citizens and homeowners to live green 2) Help business, farmers and health providers sustain eco-friendly practices. This will lead to a better quality of life not only for the country, but around the world.

Highly regarded throughout the 20th century, asbestos was considered the pinnacle of building materials, posing many intrinsic qualities that manufacturers loved. It’s fire resistant, durable and versatile components made it sought out by many industries. Asbestos was used in industrial products such as insulation, piping, roofing and flooring products. Many homes, buildings and public facilities constructed prior to 1980 may still be harboring asbestos and other toxic materials. There are now many green alternatives that replace the need for asbestos and can even reduce annual energy costs.

Conducting a study in 2003, the United States Green Building Council reported a savings of $50 to $65 for green constructed buildings. The use of recycled building materials such as cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose can provide significant dividends for home owners. Cotton fiber is becoming a favorite insulation method. Made from recycled batted material, it is then treated to be fireproof. Water based spray polyurethane foam, lcynene, is a healthy insulation which contains no toxic components.

The “building green” philosophy is evolving to be more than a trend. Builders and investors are recognizing that eco-friendly construction provides not only long-term positive environmental benefits but also financial payoffs as well. These new environmentally-sustainable alternatives create healthier, quieter and more energy efficient homes in the 21st century.