What is "Green" Building?
Green Building refers to the design and construction of a building that has healthy energy-efficiency and the environment in mind. A "green" structure incorporates materials and products that have at least one of the following characteristics: nontoxic; recycled content; resource efficient; long life cycle; or, environmentally conscious. These smart-built structures result in the minimization of use of non-renewable energy, output of pollution and energy dollars while maximizing the comfort, health and safety of the people who live and work in them. The "green" products incorporated into these structures can not only create a healthier indoor air quality for people, but many products have recycled content that reduces waste and environmental pollution.
Does it cost more to build with green products and materials?
There are many green products and materials that cost the same or even less than conventional ones. Even the higher priced items can end up saving you much more money in the long run through energy cost savings, etc. By blending the right mix of low-cost technologies with those that cost the same or more, it is possible to have a "green" building project that costs the same or even less than a conventional one.
What about the use of salvaged building materials for a project as a cost savings measure as well as environmental considerations. Is this a practical consideration?
Yes, if you can find local salvageable materials and use them in your structure, you will reduce the cost of construction. Care should be taken to select materials and products that are useable without too much time consuming preparation, such as the removal of hardware and fasteners, such as nails in wood which can destroy saw blades. You will discover that salvaged wood is typically of a higher quality than comparable wood available today.