What is Green Building? According to the Vermont Green Building Network http://www.vgbn.org “Buildings have a tremendous impact on the environment–both during construction and through their operation. Green building is a loosely defined collection of land-use, building design, construction, and operational strategies that reduce these environmental impacts. Green building practices offer an opportunity to create environmentally sound and resource-efficient buildings by using an integrated approach to design: architects, engineers, land planners, building owners and operators, and constructors get together and design the building by looking for cooperative or advantageous relationships between parts of the project.”
At Redstone we believe Green Building starts with selecting the right site. Many of our projects involve reusing existing buildings and focusing investment in Vermont’s downtowns and village centers. Working in locations with a variety of compatible uses and transportation alternatives results in fewer single occupancy vehicle miles traveled by building occupants. After site selection, using high quality materials that will last long term, are sourced locally when possible, and do not contain harmful chemicals is critical. Additionally, designing mechanical and electrical systems that perform efficiently reduces energy consumption and lowers a building’s carbon footprint.
There are a variety of excellent sources for additional information on Green Building topics and techniques. In addition to the Vermont Green Building Network, a couple of my favorites are Environmental Building News (based in Brattleboro) http://www.buildinggreen.com/ and the U.S. Green Building Council http://www.usgbc.org/