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The construction industry has not gotten the "front page" headlines of industries such as auto and power plants but never the less has a substantial effect on the environment. Below are just a few of the statistics highlighting how buildings are impacting the environment.
Green Guide LiveRoof Why Build Green ENERGY STAR LEED CRRC CA Title 24

Environmental Impact of Buildings

  • 65% of the total U.S. electricity consumption
    • One incandescent light bulb accounts for the production or use of per year
      • Burns 528 lbs of coal
      • Releases 3/4 ton of carbon dioxide
      • Release 20 pound of sulfur dioxide
    • One 3' x 5' window in direct sunlight will allow in as much light as 100 60-watt light bulbs.
    • The per capita use of electricity has doubled since 1970 in the USA
  • > 36% of total U.S. primary energy use
  • 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions
  • 12% of the potable water usage in the U.S.
    • U.S. withdraws 340-billion gallons of water per day from rivers, steams and lakes
    • Five (5) billion gallons of this potable water is used to just flush toilets
  • 40% of the raw materials used globally (3-billion tons annually)
  • 30% of the buildings in the U.S. have or are developing "sick-building syndrome"

Benefits of Building Green

  • Reduced environmental impact of building
  • Economic benefits through improved bottom line
    • Reduced energy costs
    • Reduced water bills
    • Life cycle cost improvements
    • Increased property value
  • Health and safety benefits
    • Improved productivity
    • Reduced absenteeism
    • Enhanced comfort and health
  • Community benefits through reduced strain on infrastructure

United States Green Building Council: A Growing Factor

  2004* 2003 2002
Total Membership 4500 3773 2397
Registered Buildings 1342 1077 620
LEED Certified Buildings 107 82 38
Accredited Professionals 8369 5978 2443


Note: 2004 Data as of 6/04

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