There was a great article titled Building Green in the March 2009 issue of American Gas Magazine that focuses on “green” buildings and the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program for new construction.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in Washington, D.C., the LEED green building certification program awards points in five areas: building site, water efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and energy use. The final point total, based upon written documentation submitted after construction or renovation concludes, determines the building’s level of LEED certification as Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.
Dominion Resources’ new administration building for its Cove Point liquefied natural gas facility is situated on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. The use of drought-resistant landscaping, a highly reflective roof, insulated glass and other features helped the building earn LEED Silver certification. Photo courtesy of Dominion Resources.
The article also does a excellent job of examining the construction of an administration building at Dominion’s Cove Point facility. Some of the highlights from that construction include:
- Purchasing about 25 percent of construction materials—including bricks, windows and cement—from local producers, thus reducing the amount of energy used for transportation.
- Recycling approximately 85 percent of construction waste rather than sending it to a landfill.
- Installing downward-focused outdoor lighting to prevent “light pollution” that disturbs nocturnal animals.
- Using a highly reflective roof, highly insulated walls and insulated glass in windows and doors to reduce heat and cooling loss.
- Installing plumbing fixtures that use 40 percent less water than their standard counterparts.
- Encouraging employees to commute by bike (by offering on-site showers) or car pool (by reserving prime parking spaces for registered car and van pools).
Those are some great examples of how business can have a considerable positive impact on the environment with some planning and dedication. You can download this pdf to read the entire article and visit aga.org for more articles from American Gas Magazine.
Green building is a hot topic as people are more and more concerned with our environment. Check out this useful presentation on the benefits of natural gas in new construction. AGA also has a section on natural gas efficiency. 90% of the energy content of natural gas is delivered to customers as a useful fuel. 90% … that’s huge.
Does anyone have some good links or stories about green construction to share?