Why Build Green?

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Did you know?

The built environment has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health and productivity.

In the United States, buildings account for:

  • 36% of total energy use/65% of electricity consumption
  • 30% of greenhouse gas emissions
  • 30% of raw materials use
  • 30% of waste output/136 million tons annually
  • 12% of potable water consumption

More industry statistics are available on the USGBC’s Research page.

Breakthroughs in building science, technology and operations are available to designers, builders and owners who want to build green and maximize both economic and environmental performance.

Environmental benefits:

  • Enhance and protect ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Improve air and water quality
  • Reduce solid waste
  • Conserve natural resources

Economic benefits:

  • Reduce operating costs
  • Enhance asset value and profits
  • Improve employee productivity and satisfaction
  • Optimize life-cycle economic performance

Health and community benefits:

  • Improve air, thermal and acoustic environments
  • Enhance occupant comfort and health
  • Minimize strain on local infrastructure
  • Contribute to overall quality of life

LEED®, the "Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design" Green Building Rating System, is the nationally accepted standard for green buildings developed by the USGBC membership.

For More Detailed Information

USGBC Introductory Presentation: If you are new to the USGBC, LEED® or green building, or want quick access to convincing statistics, we recommend viewing this presentation and its speaker notes. The slideshow introduces the Council and the benefits of green building, and acts as a primer on the LEED Rating System. Feel free to use it for briefing yourself, your colleagues and clients. Right-click on the links below to save the presentation on your computer.
Download Introductory Powerpoint Presentation (English – PDF – 1.4MB)
Download Introductory Powerpoint Presentation (Spanish – PDF – 1.4MB)

The USGBC’s Research Page includes detailed statistics on building industry impacts, green building benefits, and more.

The LEED Reference Guide discusses environmental, economic and community issues for each credit in the LEED Rating System.


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