An overview of why green building matters, and why Project Uplift is making green building a key part of its mission.
Part of our mission at Project Uplift is to complete a green overhaul of our project headquarters and prepare for a green building movement “in an effort to contribute to the evolution of the neighborhood of Rockford, IL as a model for the expansion of environmental awareness in all communities within our society.”
So what is green building and why is it so important?
The EPA defines green building as: “…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. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high performance building.”
How do green buildings help? Again, the EPA has the answer. Green buildings may use sustainable materials in their construction and create healthier indoor environments by reducing the number of toxic chemicals emitted from materials like paint and carpeting. A look at the health effects of just a couple of these substances demonstrates why it is so important to minimize or eliminate their use:
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—found in paint, carpet, upholstery and carpet cleaners, acoustic ceiling tile, caulking, and many other places—can cause many health problems, like fatigue, headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, joint pain, peripheral numbness or tingling, blurred vision, and skin and eye irritation.
Formaldehyde, found in particleboard and some fabrics, can cause dry or sore throat, nosebleeds, headaches, fatigue, memory and concentration problems, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness, and burning, stinging, and pain in the eyes.
In addition to improving health, green building has other benefits, as outlined by the EPA: improving occupant productivity, creating markets for green products, and reducing operating costs. (The full list of benefits is available here: (http://1.usa.gov/pHhiYY)
For all of these reasons, we look forward to following the principles of green building and using our headquarters as an environmental showcase for the community.