The federal government, and many state governments, are actively trying to plan for, design and build green buildings. Of course definitions count for a lot, and green buildings are no exception. Two of the most common green standards are ISO 14044 and LEED, and these two programs have helped governments and companies save millions over the years.
However, a recent story posted at Sustainable Industries shows that sometimes these standards don’t give a full picture of a building’s environmental impact. It’s not that LEED, for example, is flawed and mis-measures impacts. It’s that LEED may simply not measure some things.
Builders in California, having built to those standards, are now finding that a facility’s biggest impact may not be caused by construction, but by proximity to its workforce or transit options:
It is clear that the use phase of a building, which has been ignored by most green building standards, can be responsible for a disproportionately large share of environmental impacts. The study found that longer commutes could potentially outweigh the benefits of other green measures, like using sustainable materials. In other words, a truly green building should be located in a place that minimizes transportation distance.
Read the article at Sustainable Industries to find out more about how builders in California are attempting to build even greener facilities.
Photo via Sustainable Industries
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